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Top 10 Warren Wilson Moments of 2019

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of the most memorable moments that happened at Warren Wilson College in 2019.
  1. Two recent graduates received Fulbright Research Scholarships — Keaton Scanlon ’18 and Nick Macalle ’18 earned prestigious Fulbright Research Scholarships to pursue agroforestry research projects. Scanlon’s project will focus on traditional wild food in rural villages of Joal, Senegal, and Macalle’s project will focus on bridging a gap between social and ecological analyses of agroforestry management systems on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  2. Athletics joined the NCAA Division III membership process — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approved Warren Wilson College’s application for exploratory membership in NCAA Division III. The membership will bring additional sports and wider opportunities for the College’s student athletes.
  3. The Archaeology Department was recognized internationally — The Berry Site Archaeology Project, directed by archaeology professor Dr. David Moore, received the 2019 Shanghai Archaeology Forum’s Field Discovery Award. The Berry Site is an active archaeological site of a Native American town and a Spanish fort dating back to the 16th century. Moore, an archaeology professor at Warren Wilson College, discovered the site and has led research and excavations there for nearly three decades. The site was also featured by WLOS News 13, PBS Charlotte, Blue Ridge Public Radio, The Charlotte Observer, and other news outlets.
  4. Campus streams were restored to their original meanders — Warren Wilson began a major project to restore campus streams to their original meanders and natural courses. The project will help improve water quality in the Swannanoa River, reduce sediment load, diversify and improve wildlife habitat, improve the farm infrastructure and increase aesthetics of campus. The project is funded through stream mitigation credits.
  5. An Aquatic Ecology course made a life-saving discovery — While doing routine sampling at Beaver Lake, Dr. Mark Brenner‘s Aquatic Ecology course discovered a toxic algal bloom. Shortly after the sample results came back positive for the toxin, which is known to be deadly to dogs and poisonous to humans, Brenner notified state officials and Beaver Lake was closed. The discovery is a good example of Warren Wilson’s experiential learning in action.
  6. Three different rankings named Warren Wilson one of the nation’s top 10 colleges for service — Warren Wilson was ranked No. 9 for service learning by U.S. News & World Report, No. 7 for community service by Washington Monthly and No. 6 for most engaged in community service by The Princeton Review. Service is one part of an intentional effort the college is making to prepare students for lives of engaged citizenship. Together students contributed more than 50,000 hours of service to local nonprofit organizations throughout the year.
  7. Lacrosse became a new varsity sport — Warren Wilson College announced it will add lacrosse as a new varsity sport. The introduction of a new team sport helps satisfy requirements for NCAA Division III membership. The college began a nationwide search to hire coaches for both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and it hired a men’s coach in early December. The coaches will focus on recruiting full teams and will begin to practice and compete in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  8. The College hosted nationally recognized speakers — Bill Adair, founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact website, spoke at Warren Wilson College’s 2019 Commencement in May. Oscar-winning producer Melissa Berton, creator of the short documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” and graduate of the MFA Program for Writers spoke in October.
  9. Professor Mallory McDuff was published in the New York Times — Dr. Mallory McDuff, a professor of environmental leadership and outdoor education at Warren Wilson College, wrote an essay that was published in the New York Times. In “Rest Me In a Pine Box and Let the Fiddle Play,” McDuff shared the story of helping her father have the homegrown funeral he planned, and about planning her own green funeral. McDuff was also published this year in the Washington Post.
  10. Warren Wilson celebrated its 125th year — In 2019 Warren Wilson College celebrated its quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary. The college’s predecessor Asheville Farm School was founded in 1894. The anniversary was celebrated all year with multiple events, including a “Power of Place” lecture series centered around innovative land management.