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Author: John Daniels
Media Contact: LeAnn Waldroup
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Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center Hosts Special “YHC Day”
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga.—On March 22, Young Harris College’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement (CASCE) and the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center co-hosted a special “YHC Day” filled with readings, talks, and musical performances.
“Our goal for the event was for YHC students, faculty and staff to be exposed to and enjoy the Farm,” said Director of the CASCE and Bonner Leadership Program Coordinator Rob Campbell, Ed.D. “Though the connection between Reece and YHC is deep and significant, many on campus are not aware of Reece’s life and work. The Farm is a unique asset to both the College and the larger community.”
During the event, YHC alumnus, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy, and Byron Herbert Reece Society Chair John Kay, D.Min., ’56, provided attendees with a brief presentation on the life and works of noted poet and YHC alumnus and former instructor Byron Herbert Reece, ’40.
“The Reece Farm and Heritage Center exists to honor and perpetuate the legacy of Reece as both an Appalachian farmer and a distinguished poet and novelist,” said Dr. Kay. “Our exhibits and displays are educational in nature in that they acquaint visitors with Appalachian farm life in the first half of the 20th century, as well as Reece’s literary accomplishments.”
Following a lunch catered by The Sawmill Place in Blairsville, Ga., attendees enjoyed music by folk group Butternut Creek and Friends, featuring Professor of English Steve Harvey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology Brenda Hull, Ph.D., Jennifer Cordier and Don Cordier.
The Farm serves as a teaching venue for the College’s Bonner Leaders program as well as courses for YHC’s Appalachian studies and community engagement minor. The site is also utilized for service learning and internship opportunities for many of YHC’s academic programs.
“I see the Farm and Heritage Center as a learning center in respect to Appalachian culture,” said Dr. Kay. “Without the investment of YHC personnel and resources in this venture, it is doubtful we could have created and sustained what is by all counts a viable and thriving organization.”
The Society was founded in 2003 on the YHC campus to increase awareness of Reece’s work through programs, publicity and development of the Farm. The majority of the group’s officers have direct links to the College, and many YHC employees also serve as members of the Society’s board of directors.
A virtual showcase of Appalachian farm life in the first half of the 20th century when the Reece family tilled the land as subsistence farmers, the Farm is designated part of the Southern Literary Trail, placing Reece alongside literary greats such as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Margaret Mitchell and Flannery O’Conner.
To learn more about the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center, visit byronherbertreecesociety.org.
About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 226-bed residence hall that is expected to earn LEED certification, a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village and a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics, and in 2012, was invited to become the 14th member of the Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2013-2014 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit yhc.edu.
Members of the YHC community enjoyed a catered lunch by The Sawmill Place and music by Butternut Creek and Friends before touring the Farm.
YHC students, faculty and staff toured various exhibits at the Farm.
Attendees enjoyed music by folk group Butternut Creek and Friends, featuring Professor of English Steve Harvey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology Brenda Hull, Ph.D., Jennifer Cordier and Don Cordier.