Student Life

Life here extends far beyond the classroom. Our residential campus in the mountains offers a home for both intellectual and personal growth. Rich traditions encourage social responsibility and remind us to embrace the environment. An array of groups and activities connects you to students, faculty, and staff and may even lead to enduring friendships. From adventuring in the natural beauty with others, to using your voice in student government, to playing intramural sports against a roommate—we celebrate coming together in all forms. You decide which community is right for you.

Shape your experience.

Student Involvement

From student clubs to leadership workshops and community service projects, there are so many ways to make your mark at Lees-McRae.

Recreation, Wellness, and Outdoors

How many schools have a competition rock climbing team? Or beautiful hiking trails on and near campus? Lees-McRae does!

Located at 4,000 feet above sea level, we are the highest elevated campus on the east coast, and with our elevation comes a natural laboratory of wildlife, outdoor adventure activities, beautiful views and crisp mountain air.

Engage in Your Environment

Whether in spring or winter, fall or summer, there is simply no shortage of ways to involve yourself in and around the Lees-McRae campus. Situated between the two resorts of Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain, Banner Elk is as much a destination for four-season adventure-seekers – skiiers, mountain bikers, snowboarders, rock climbers – as one for those who desire more serene encounters with nature through hiking, swimming, “hammocking” – that’s not a real word, but it definitely exists on this campus! Take full advantage of all the area has to offer, and let nature be your classroom!

Living at Lees-McRae

Our variety of living options, including residence halls, cottages, suites, apartments and houses, offer you the opportunity to grow as a person and build close relationships with your peers in a place that feels most like home for you. Studies have shown that students who live on campus are more involved, have higher retention and graduation rates, have higher grade point averages, and have a greater overall degree of satisfaction with their college experience than their off-campus peers. Students also enjoy residential benefits like wireless internet, cable television, student lounges, and ample green space to study, play and enjoy the mountain air.

Learn more about your housing options

Named no. 2 on College Raptor’s list of pet-friendly colleges and universities, we are one of a handful of campuses in the nation to allow you and your pet to enroll.


Since its founding in 1900, Lees-McRae College has been dedicated to the quality education of its students. Some of the integral hallmarks of a LMC education include communicating effectively, collaborating with others, respecting diversity, treasuring the environment, striving for growth and learning for a lifetime. We hope you’ll come visit our historic campus and see for yourself why a Lees-McRae education is right for you, now and for the future.

Campus Safety 

A small campus means you are not just a face in a crowd, a number in a database, a name on paper. Your professors will know you, your residence hall staff will know you, the cafeteria staff will know you. Knowing who you are means we want you safe, and we make that a top priority at Lees-McRae, whether it’s through well-lit walking paths, 24-hour campus security or workshops on bystander awareness and more. 

Learn more

Shape your experience.

You decide which community is right for you.