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Commencement 2010

Commencement 2010 (view more images)

May 2010

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News & Events

Commencement 2010: More commencing than ever
Bryson Gym restoration garners award
1930’s Asheville Farm School film
Skye Rios ’12 awarded science grant
MFA graduate/Beebe Fellow at National Humanities Center
Did you know?
Weekend @ Wilson
Swannanoa Gathering
Parliament: A Gathering of Owls
Alumni Notes
In the media
Links

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Commencement 2010: More commencing than ever

by Ben Anderson

Although Commencement is the single most significant event on campus each year, the ceremony is not exactly sedate at Warren Wilson College. And the 2010 version, in the spirit of the more the merrier, seemed even more festive than usual. For the first time, the College sent more than 200 graduates out into the world – 201, to be exact – and the large crowd spilling off Sunderland Lawn likely neared or even surpassed 1,000 people.

Commencement was enlivened still more this year by the main speaker, alumnus Tony Earley ’83. Earley, acclaimed writer of fiction and nonfiction and Vanderbilt University professor, had both young and old rolling in the aisles with his observations on the art of commencement speeches and nostalgia for his childhood in Rutherford and Polk counties. Earley’s deadpan delivery only enhanced an often irreverent text, as dozens of one-liners produced howls of laughter from the large gathering. But Earley also had some serious advice to the 2010 graduates. You can read the address here.

The 2010 Pfaff Cup Award, the College’s highest student honor, went to Lindsay Popper, social work major from Andover, Mass. Geoffrey Black, religious studies major from Arkansaw, Wis., received the Sullivan Award in recognition of spiritual qualities applied to daily living. Other award recipients included Phillip Otterness, faculty member in history/political science, for Faculty Teaching Excellence; and Jessica Wooten, recycling/ solid waste supervisor, for Staff Teaching Excellence.

Bryson Gym restoration garners award

Bryson Gymn The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County awarded the conservation of Bryson Gym with the Griffin Award to honor the conservation efforts.

On May 22, 2008, a section of Bryson Gym collapsed just hours before the weekly Old Farmers Ball contra dance. After a controlled collapse of the roof, workers began the Bryson rebuild. The building reopened this past fall. Built in 1920 for $45,000, Bryson is one of the oldest wooden floor gymnasiums in Western North Carolina and one of the oldest buildings on campus. The gym is named for Holmes Bryson, an Asheville Farm School graduate and one-time mayor of Asheville.



1930’s Asheville Farm School film

Mid-Purple Mountain Majesty was a creation of the Church World Missions of the Presbyterian Church as a student recruitment tool and a fund-raising message for the Asheville Farm School. The film was based on Paul James from Newport, Tenn. Paul is a member of the Asheville Farm School class 1937 and still lives in Newport. Being from rural Appalachia and used to farming, he was chosen because he represented many of the boys who attended the Farm School. A portion of the film used actors to portray Paul’s parents and girlfriend, but most of the people were actual faculty, staff and students from the 1930’s. Paul says the film was produced by a man driving a big Packard car with a trailer full of cameras coming all the way from New York.

After leaving school, Paul started a career with the A.C. Lawrence Leather Co. and eventually managed several of the company’s facilities. In addition to his business career, Paul went on to be a community and church leader as well as a strong supporter of Warren Wilson. He credits his time at the Farm School for giving him the work and leadership skills that made him a success in life.

Watch the film online
Part I
Part II

Skye Rios ’12 awarded science grant

WWC sophomore Skye Rios, from Eugene, Ore., has been awarded a grant from the UNC-Asheville Chapter of Sigma Xi to study “Hydrogen production of Rhodobacter sphaeroides under varied conditions of light and ammonium ion concentration.” The mission of Sigma Xi is to “enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition.”

MFA graduate/Beebe Fellow at National Humanities Center

Erin Stalcup MFA ’04, the 2009-10 Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow, has been accepted to the National Humanities Center Summer Institutes in Literary Studies. Stalcup, arguing her MFA and experience as a short story practitioner amid a fierce field of Ph.D.s, was chosen by Louis Menand for his seminar, "Five by Five: The Short Story as Art and Artifact."

Did you know?

Scene from 1948 film 'Tap Roots'

Parts of the 1948 movie Tap Roots were filmed on the WWC campus. In the scene above, mounted riders cross a field near where the Red Barn stands today. In the distance is Christmas Tree Hill (Craggy View Cottages) with Watch Knob rising behind it.

Weekend @ Wilson

Come to campus June 25-27 for workshops, dances, dorm living and more. Visit Weekend @ Wilson for more information and to register.

Swannanoa Gathering Catalog

Swannanoa Gathering

The Swannanoa Gathering is a series of summer workshops in various folk arts held on campus. Take a look at the 2010 Swannanoa Gathering Catalog or visit the Swannanoa Gathering online.

Parliament: A Gathering of Owls

The 2009-10 WWC yearbook, Parliament: A Gathering of Owls, is available for online viewing.

Alumni Notes

It’s never too late or too early to send your updates for the alumni notes in Owl & Spade. Take a few minutes to let us know about the latest developments in your life. Indicate dates and places of events so we get the facts straight. If you have a picture of an event or child, please send it along. Email your news, including your name, class year, address, email and phone number.

In the media

Lloyd Penley, class of 1928 Asheville Farm School, featured as WLOS Person of the Week

Lost in the ’50s in Rutherfordton

Team River Runner help veterans heal through paddle sports at WWC

Faith groups, leaders, students discuss renewable energy

NC archaeology with Dr. David Moore

Dave Davis ’83 named men's basketball coach at Newberry College

WWC students spend spring break working in Smokies

Asheville #1 in “Top 25 Small Cities”

Kitty Phillips Price ’02 and All Souls Counseling Center

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Links

Visit the campus bookstore online to shop for WWC T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and other college flair.

Inside Warren Wilson College

Events Calendar

WWC Athletics

The Green Calendar

Owl & Spade

Catalyst – environmental news

Physics Photo of the Week

The Story Behind



WWC on Flickr

WWC on Twitter

WWC on YouTube

“True Life: I'm A Warren Wilson Student”

WWC Emergency Information Line
(828) 258-4521

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