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Fall on Sunderland Lawn

Fall colors on Sunderland Lawn.

October 2009

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News & Events

An Inspiring Journey: Dwayne Betts MFA ’10
Warren Wilson now NAIA member
Writer-in-Residence presentations
Harwood-Cole Lecture - Nov. 7
Marian Elmslie Gift One of the Largest Ever
Fall Open House
Alumni Board Nominations
2009 Homecoming/Family Weekend Photo Gallery
In the media
Links

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An Inspiring Journey: Dwayne Betts MFA ’10

“There is something in my blood that turns foolishness into felonies.”

Dwayne Betts’ journey to success has been an unlikely yet inspiring one. At age 16, he was arrested for armed carjacking, which led to a 9-year prison sentence. After prison, he attended the University of Maryland and graduated with an undergraduate degree in English. Now a Warren Wilson College MFA student, he spoke in August at Malaprop’s Bookstore about his memoir A Question of Freedom.

Dwayne Betts Betts spoke of the carjacking incident with a voice of growth and redemption. He and a friend pulled a gun on a man sleeping in his car one icy November night in Washington, D.C. His story continued with deep emotion, but he kept a clear distance from sorrow when he spoke about the disappointment his father had felt after the incident. His father was too ashamed to show up for his son’s court date. As he reflected on that day, the most vivid image was of his mother sitting in the audience, long, solemn face, completely silent.

“I knew a broken heart could make you stop talking,” Betts said.

The last words his mother said to him before he went to prison were, “Dwayne, you’re my only son.” Recalling her sorrow, Betts said, “My mother was aging before me and her smile was gone.” While in prison, he was placed in solitary confinement for being accused of assaulting a guard, when really, he just tapped the guard on the shoulder. Once that happened, “I was left with the silence of my mother,” he says.

Solitary confinement was a major turning point for Betts. He began to grow internally now, locked in a cold prison cell with a missing brick for a window. One night someone slipped a book under his cell door. The book was The Black Poets, a compilation of poetry that changed his life. He began to write in prison to release his heavy emotions. It was not something he had ever considered doing.

After being released from prison, he began to write more vigorously. He went to college and began to grow to love independent book stores, eventually meeting his wife in one.

He started a book club, YoungMenRead, in Washington, D.C., for troubled youth. “The best rehabilitation is education,” he says. Betts will graduate from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers in July 2010.

Savannah Anderson ‘11

Warren Wilson now NAIA member

Members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents recently approved the membership application from Warren Wilson College. “The NAIA welcomes Warren Wilson and looks forward to working with campus leaders to advance character-driven intercollegiate athletics,” said John Leavens, NAIA senior vice president for membership services. “I am confident that Warren Wilson shares in the long-held mission of the NAIA to promote the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through intercollegiate athletics.”

The Warren Wilson College athletic department became an independent member of the NAIA and will become eligible for post season competition in 2010-2011. The Fighting Owls will compete in men's and women's cross country and men's and women's swimming starting this season, but will have dual membership with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) for basketball and soccer. Mountain Biking will continue its affiliation with United States Collegiate Cycling.

“We are extremely excited about our acceptance into the NAIA,” said Warren Wilson College athletic director Stacey Enos. “The NAIA has a long and rich history of proven success for small colleges. Their emphasis on developing the character of each student-athlete fits our mission and gives us the opportunity to highlight our talented student-athletes.”

Writer-in-Residence presentations

Erik Reece WWC’s writer-in-residence this semester is award-winning author, poet and essayist Erik Reece. You may have heard him this summer on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross or seen his work in Harper's, Orion, The Nation or the Washington Post. Now you have the chance to hear him in person when he’ll give two presentations that are free and open to the public. Nov. 5, 4 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall he’ll deliver the lecture, "What's the Real Story Here?" Nov. 6, 7 p.m., in Sage Cafe he’ll read from Lost Mountain. More info: Catherine Reid (828) 771-2017.

Harwood-Cole Lecture - Nov. 7

The College didn’t need to look far for an engaging speaker at this year’s annual Harwood-Cole Lecture. Poet Debra Allbery, the new director of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, will deliver the free public lecture at 4 p.m. in Canon Lounge of the Gladfelter Student Center. The event is sponsored by Warren Wilson’s Friends of the Pew Learning Center and Ellison Library.

Marian Elmslie Gift One of the Largest Ever

The College has received one of the largest individual gifts in its history through an unrestricted $500,000 bequest from the late Marian Elmslie of Black Mountain, N.C. Elmslie relocated from the Midwest to Asheville in 1960 with her husband, Cliff. After Cliff Elmslie died in 1985, she moved to Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain. Through volunteer work, she met several women associated with Warren Wilson and became impressed with the college’s liberal-arts education and governance system. Read more about the Elmslie gift.

Fall Open House

The College’s Fall Open House for prospective students and their families will be Nov. 7. The open house begins with registration and an early-bird concert at 9:30 a.m. in Kittredge Theater, at the north entrance to campus. Prospective students will be able to meet faculty, staff and current students; tour the campus; learn more about the academic program, the Warren Wilson College learning Triad and financial aid; and have an admission interview. More info: Brianna Quick (828) 771-2021, (800) 934-3536, or visit@warren-wilson.edu.

Alumni Board Nominations

The WWC Alumni Board is looking for alumni who have attended or graduated from Warren Wilson or any of its predecessor institutions to be a part of the Alumni Board. This is an exciting time to serve as an Alumni Board member or to nominate someone that you feel will serve the College with the highest standards. If you are interested or would like to nominate someone, please follow the nomination process. Nomination deadline is Nov. 1.

2009 Homecoming/Family Weekend Photo Gallery

Thanks to all of you who traveled to the Swannanoa Valley Oct. 2-4 to connect and reconnect with the people and places that define Warren Wilson College. We had record numbers at the barbecue, Festival on the Field and other activities. Check out the photo gallery.

In the media

“Writer [Dale Neal MFA ‘89] turns N.C. lore into a Novello winner

“When Your Dorm Goes Green and Local”

“What’s Inside the Nation’s Greenest Dorm? Happy Students”

“Growing a Revolution,” featuring Meghan Cole ‘06

WWC named best local institution

“A Healing Place,” with WWC trustee Don Cooper and psychology professor Bob Swoap

Counselor Anne Riddle Lundblad wins 24-hour race in Boulder

“Eck ends 31-year career with Prairie Stars,” featuring Joe Eck ‘77

WWC finishes 4th in Collegiate Canoe and Kayak National Championships

WWC a finalist in Vegetarian-Friendly College Contest

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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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