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Warren Wilson College:
A small liberal arts college in Asheville, NC.

Named for Warren Hugh Wilson

Noted because of the triad program in which all students must work at the college as well as perform a certain amount of community service.

A brief history:

The property was purchased in 1893 by the Women's Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church. The women of the church were concerned that many Americans in isolated areas were not receiving a proper education. The women decided to establish church supported schools in areas where there were no public services. There was a need for a nonconventional grading system as the young people who came to these mission schools usually had no prior formal education.

In 1894, the Asheville Farm School officially opened with 25 boys attending and a professional staff of three people. It was not until 1923 that the school had its first graduating class. In 1936, the first post high school programs in vocational training were begun. It was hoped that this type of training would give the students more prospects in the job market. In 1942, the junior college division was established. The Asheville Farm School continued as a boys unit in high school studies. The Dorland-Bell School of Hot Springs was joined with the Farm School, which brought high school age girls to campus. The Warren Wilson Vocational Junior College was joined with them under our one administration.

After WWII, the public education system in NC improved dramatically and the need for the mission's high school diminished. The last high school class at WWC was graduated in 1957. WWC was a junior college until March 1966 when it was established as a four year college, offering six majors. In 1972, the National Board of Missions deeded the WWC property over to the college's Board of Trustees. Since that time, the College has grown and changed in many ways. In 1996, The North Carolina Outward Bound School moved its headquarters to campus. We've added all sorts of crews to accommodate new technologies and new ways of doing things.

History taken from the Warren Wilson College Website http://www.warren-wilson.edu/history

The mountains of Western North Carolina have hidden secrets since time began. William Bartram found them in his Travels. The Civil War created historical rifts between the mountain people and flatlanders that exist even today. Every valley, every peak, every cove has a story all its own, so particular to that place that a mile apart, a seperate history exists entirely.

In my valley, the Swannanoa Valley, in Bee Tree Cove, there exists a place so special. Countless students have entered, emerging as farmers, electricians, environmentalsits, computer geeks, people. It is a place with its own culture, its own sense of purpose, its own history. I'm talking (talking in the writing sense, with regards to Sam Scoville) about a school that's more than a school, a haven for rednecks and hippies and all those in between, a throwback to olden times that is continually looking forward. An enigma, wrapped in a mystery, smothered in secret sauce. Where everyone graduates, but it seems that few walk across that stage and recieve a diploma, where heroes and gods are made out of everyday people. Where concepts like love, redemption, integrity and honor exist in days paralleled by such mundane activities as feeding pigs, changing lightbulbs, typing papers, and walking in the moonlight. It's there, waiting around the mountains and through the mist, as it has been since 1893. I have left it, but whenever the word "home" is used, my mind will fly back to a place, that place, my place, Warren Wilson College.

In this electronic forum, I will "node" every last little bit that I know, remember, think and feel about this place that I once and will again call home. I do this as a way to close this part of my past, but moreso to scribe all the legends of greatness, humility, and humanity that comprise Warren Wilson College. I want the world to know about Legends like Billy Edd Wheeler, Tim Fischer, Frank Kalinowski, Lara Lustig, Ben Holden, Bev Ohler, Moon Burton, and all the rest of my friends and heroes that the world should and will know about. I am Pete Connolly. These are my stories.

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