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Headlines

The legacy of a man of peace in the town of War

Swannanoa Gathering wins 2008 Players’ Choice Award

Heartstone interview with Carol Browner

Internship Portfolio

MFA Program for Writers winter residency

Headwaters Gathering: Appalachia at the Crossroads

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The legacy of a man of peace in the town of War

War, W. Va., the southernmost city in the state, is set high in the Appalachians about 200 miles north of the Warren Wilson campus. A coal town rich in natural resources, War saw its population swell to 100,000 in the 1950’s. After a depression period in the 1980’s, the coal operations shut down and now only 1,000 people remain in War, the sixth poorest area in the United States. The median family income is half the national average, and 85 percent of the land is owned by absentee landowners.

Warren Wilson’s relationship with the community of War runs deep. Andy Summers, the College’s late minister to students, brought groups of students from his first-year seminar class titled Freedom and Dissent to the community for several years, incorporating service-learning through manual labor to help homeowners in War.

“War loved Andy,” junior Derek Clatterbuck remembers from his first-year seminar with Summers. “They all knew him and looked forward to Warren Wilson coming every year. The community really embraces us.”

Man in War, WV

This fall, Clatterbuck and junior Hannah Inglesby each had the idea to honor Summers by carrying on his work in War. With the support of the Service-Learning Office; Campus Support Supervisor Doug Bradley; and Bradley’s church, Grassy Branch Baptist Church, Clatterbuck and Inglesby led a group of students to War for a week during fall break in October.

In November, Bradley and his work crew led a Christmas toy drive on campus for the children of War. The campus toy drive was a success, and during the first week of December, Bradley took a group of Warren Wilson students back to the West Virginia community. “We participated in the McDowell County Christmas Parade, and passed out the toys donated by the Warren Wilson community,” says Bonner Scholar Nadir Karim.

The students also went to work installing insulation in two homes in War. “Students are able to directly affect people’s lives by fixing their homes,” Clatterbuck says.

Because of student initiative, proposals have already been made to send another group to War during spring break 2009. The compassion demonstrated by students’ persistence to return to the community of War is a beautiful extension and reflection of Andy Summers’ legacy.

Story by Laura Dison ’10
Photo by Christopher Lininger ’10

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Swannanoa Gathering wins 2008 Players’ Choice Award

The Swannanoa Gathering, a series of folk arts workshops held each summer on campus, has won a 2008 Players’ Choice Award in competition sponsored by Acoustic Guitar magazine. The Gathering received a Silver Award in the category of Music Camps and Workshops. The award is being noted in the February 2009 issue of California-based Acoustic Guitar. The magazine emphasizes that Players Choice Awards are “voted on by the people who are out there using the products and making music, not doled out by the editors or experts in the field.” The Gathering also was nominated in 2004, when it received a Bronze Award.

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Heartstone interview with Carol Browner

President-Elect Barack Obama has selected former Environmental Protection Agency Director Carol Browner as coordinator for the nation’s energy and climate policies. In 2004 Browner was interviewed in Heartstone, the journal of the College’s Environmental Leadership Center. You can read the interview to learn more about Browner’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

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Internship portfolio

The Environmental Leadership Center’s 2008 internship portfolio is now available online. In the portfolio twenty Warren Wilson student-interns present their work for some of the finest environmental organizations in the Americas.

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MFA Program for Writers winter residency

The winter residency of the Warren Wilson MFA program for writers is Jan. 3-12, 2009. The public is welcome to attend the morning lectures and evening readings in fiction and poetry offered during the residency.

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Headwaters Gathering: Appalachia at the Crossroads

The Headwaters Gathering will be held March 27-29, 2009, on the Warren Wilson College campus. The Headwaters Gathering will bring together writers, activists and scientists to create strategic alliances and a powerful new voice to inspire hope and action in the era of climate change. Keynote speaker Herman Daly will be joined by activists Majora Carter and Winona LaDuke, retired coal miner Chuck Nelson, and environmental educator David Orr. Also presenting are NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center scientist Thomas Peterson, author and activist Janisse Ray, the New York Times DOT EARTH’s Andrew Revkin and National Wildlife Federation president Larry Schweiger. Co-hosts for the conference are Warren Wilson College, The Wilderness Society and Orion magazine. For more information, contact Margo Flood. To register Headwaters, visit the conference website

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