The Warren Wilson site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Southern Appalachian region. It is a stratified site with intermittent Native American occupation zones dating from as early as 5000 B.C. to around A.D. 1500. It is best known for the remains of a two-acre Pisgah culture village, home to ancestors of the Cherokee Indians. The site has been investigated since 1965 and in 1996 the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians became official partners in the archaeological research project. Also, in 1999, under the guidance of representatives of the Eastern Band, human remains previously excavated at the site were returned and reburied in a repatriation ceremony.
The site serves as the focal point for classes such as Archaeology Field and Laboratory Methods and was the focal point of the Archaeology Field School for over twenty years. The Field School now operates out of historically-significant sites near Morganton, North Carolina. The Archaeology/Collections crew is responsible for maintaining the on campus site and curating excavated materials from this dig and field school sites.
The College maintains ample computer facilities for students. All student dormitory rooms are linked to the campus network and the Internet. Public e-mail stations are available on campus. The Bannerman Technology Center serves as the campus community lab and multimedia center. The facility provides ready access to word-processing, spreadsheets, databases, statistics, graphics, and programming languages software. The Pew Learning Center and Ellison Library maintains a battery of computer workstations with state-of-the-art on-line references and multimedia facilities. Multimedia instructional facilities are located throughout the campus. At the College one can find PC, Macintosh, and Linux systems. The student computing services work crew manages the day-by-day campus information technology systems under the direction of the computing services manager.
Information technology prerequisites are on the rise for the student in American higher education today. Accordingly, the student is encouraged to bring a personal computer to campus and to learn more about information technology and how to use it during the college years. Basic guidelines for computer competency challenge the student to understand the following operations: the computer's operating system, Internet and e-mail connections, word processing, spreadsheet development, database development, graphic presentation development, folder and file maintenance and sharing, and basic computer and printer care. Many of these skills are learned through individual practice and through course assignments. Students may contact the academic advisor for counseling on how to best meet these guidelines during their college careers.
The mission of the Environmental Leadership Center (ELC) is to raise awareness of local, national, and global realities and to inspire caring citizens --especially youth-- to reflect, to communicate, and to act as responsible caretakers of the earth.
Students may participate in a variety of ELC programs: 1) teach EcoTeam -- a seven-unit, science-based, environmental education curriculum -- to Buncombe County third graders; 2) participate in paid summer internships at the finest environmental organizations in the Americas (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Audubon's Seabird Restoration Project, Costa Rica's Tropical Forestry Initiative, Programme for Belize, Rocky Mountain Institute, and more); 3) apply for seed grants to support campus environmental projects; 4) record environmental essays for the ELC's Swannanoa Journal, a twice-monthly broadcast on public radio aired in a five-state region; 5) contribute to the newsletter Catalyst and the annual journal Heartstone (ELC publications with national readership); 6) interact with visiting ELC speakers like Jane Goodall, Thomas Berry, E.O. Wilson, and David Orr; 7) become a regional presenter for the ELC's speaker's bureau.
The Holden Gallery offers several exhibits each year including student and faculty shows. The Holden Visual Arts Center also includes an auditorium, a printmaking studio, 3 darkrooms, and an artist book/paper making studio. Next to the Holden Visual Arts Center is the sculpture and ceramics facility. This annex is a 2,000 square foot building housing fully equipped ceramics and sculpture studios, including a high fire stoneware gas kiln, and raku and electric kilns. Stone carving, bronze casting, wheel thrown and handbuilt pottery, and ceramic sculpture are some of the skills taught in this area. New as of 2003-2004 academic year is the Lucy T. Fletcher studio building. This facility houses painting and drawing studios, and adds a woodworking shop, studios for senior students and an outdoor metal foundry and welding station for the sculpture program. This new building adds over 5,700 square feet of studio space.
Kittredge Theatre includes a 321-seat proscenium house, a large stage, a 30-batten counterweight system with full rigging, and a 42-channel computer-controlled lighting system. The theatre features a large costume collection and a large scene shop with direct stage access. Kittredge Theatre is run by the Department of Theatre, the staff of which includes the Director, Technical Director/Designer, Costume Designer, and a 12-member work crew. Three to four productions are offered by the department each year.
The Music Department, located in the Helen Kittredge Community Arts Center, sponsors guest artist and student recitals in its 60-seat Rehearsal Hall or in the Kittredge Theatre. Seven music practice rooms, each equipped with a piano, are open to all members of the campus community. The Keyboard Laboratory has state-of-the-art electronic keyboards with computer assistance for composition. The Music Library has a wide collection of scores and recordings.
This modern child care center opened in 2001 and is located one mile from the main campus on Riceville Road. The center is committed to the goal of providing high quality child care and early childhood development to children of diverse backgrounds including those with special needs and those from low-income families. The Mountain Area Child and Family Center represents a dynamic model of quality childcare and early childhood development, providing experiential learning for current and future teachers, while serving children and families through innovative collaborations with education, health care, and community organizations. The Mountain Area Child and Family Center houses six classrooms for infants through preschoolers, a family resource room, a health center, an art room, a multipurpose room, a kitchen, teachers' lounge, offices, and an adult teaching area. The unusual "backyard" playground was built by Warren Wilson students and volunteers. Students from the Education, Psychology, and Social Work departments, as well as the Work Program and the Service Learning Center, participate in the MACFC.
The Appalachian Collection consists of tools and assorted artifacts representing traditional Appalachian cultural material. The Intercultural Collection includes artifacts, clothing, dolls, and print materials from Africa, Asia, and South America. The collections are available for use in classes as well as for campus exhibits. They are maintained by the Archaeology/Collections Crew.
Many cultural programs are offered at Warren Wilson College during the summer. The Swannanoa Gathering offers a variety of courses and workshops on traditional crafts and music. The five-week Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival features weekly chamber music concerts, as well as introductory presentations on Thursday evenings.
Each year Warren Wilson College invites important scholars, researchers, artists, musicians, and other individuals to the campus. In recent years, the College has hosted members of the North Carolina Shakespeare Company, the North Carolina African-American Dance Ensemble, Northern Harmony Shapenote Singers, sculptor Robert Lobe; and spiritual leaders representing Native American traditions, Thai Buddhism, and North American religions and spiritual movements. Environmentalists Carl Leopold of the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, David Orr of Oberlin College, Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Lee Pasarew of the United States Environmental Protection Agency are recent visiting scholars. Other recent scholars are Aurora Lim, chemical engineer, and Lynn Pareja, women's studies specialist at Central Philippines University; Stefana Roussenova, Fulbright scholar in dissident literature at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria; Godwin Mbamalu of Johnson C. Smith University; Neal Mangham, President of the School for International Training; Parker Palmer, national leader in higher education; and Sociologist Suchart Setthamalinee, Payap University, Thailand.
In addition to visiting scholars and activists in the arts and sciences, the Warren Wilson College Lyceum Program sponsors a series of foreign and domestic films and special events complementing the intellectual life of the academic community. Lyceum's support of Appalachian Day festivities and Warren Wilson's International Week reflects the breadth of the community's interest. Regular lecture series include the William Faulds Lecture on religion and the G.D. Davidson Roundtable on Christian vocation.