UNC Asheville celebrated the opening of Pisgah House in February with a variety of special events for alumni, students, faculty, staff and donors. In the first six weeks, some 1,000 people visited the new facility, which provides an attractive and comfortable on-campus venue for meetings and other events.
The two-story building is made up of 4,333 square feet of public space and 2,000 square feet of residential area. It is energy efficient, and was built using sustainable construction practices, materials and equipment. In addition, a number of Pisgah House’s unique attributes came from on location. Walnut used in the entry staircase came from a large tree harvested on site, while the great-room fireplace features stone from a nearby old dairy barn foundation.
In addition to an architectural style that reflects the university’s Western North Carolina location, Pisgah House is also a showcase for regional arts and studio crafts, which are found throughout the public spaces of the house.
Pisgah House was planned and funded through the efforts of the UNC Asheville Foundation. No state monies were used other than the $600,000 in net proceeds from the sale of the former chancellor’s residence on Macon Avenue.
Seeing the Light: Religious Colleges in Twenty-First Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press, December 2009), written by former chancellor Sam Schuman, examines the place of religious colleges and universities in contemporary American higher education. Schuman concludes that many of these institutions offer important and timely lessons for the broader higher education community. Schuman currently serves as adjunct professor in the Literature and Language Department.
Political Science Professor Mark Gibney is co-editor of the new text Universal Human Rights and Extraterritorial Obligations (University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2010). This book examines both the international and domestic foundations of human rights law and addresses how states’ actions or omissions may affect the human rights of individuals in foreign states.
History Professor Grant Hardy is the author of the critically acclaimed Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide (Oxford University Press, April 2010). The work provides a thorough literary analysis of the religious text, especially focusing on its narrative structure, the style of its main writers and the characterizations of its principal actors. Publishers Weekly, which gave the book a starred review, said, “This will be a classic work in the field of Mormon studies for decades to come.”
UNC Asheville: A Best Value
Despite rising costs in today’s economy, there are still great values to be found in higher education—and UNC Asheville continues to lead the way. Earlier this year, the university was among just 50 institutions named to the Princeton Review’s “Best Value” Public Colleges. In addition, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine ranked UNC Asheville 44th in the nation as a best value for in-state students and 50th in the nation as a best value for out-of-state students. The “best value” rankings recognize not only UNC Asheville’s relatively low cost, but its rigorous academic standards and outstanding commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Writing instructor named N.C. Poet Laureate
UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program has a host of talented instructors, including the new North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers. Appointed by Gov. Beverly Perdue, Bowers will serve a two-year term as the state’s ambassador for poetry and literature. “Cathy’s powerful poems open new avenues of thought, and are a reflection of the love of words and learning. She believes poetry inspires and instructs North Carolinians of all ages,” Perdue said. Bowers, who holds a master’s degree in English from Winthrop University, is the author of four books of poetry, including the 2009 release The Candle I Hold Up to See You. Her powerful poems about family and loss also have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry and The Southern Review. Bowers lives in Tryon with her border collie, Manna.
On a sunny spring day, we asked four of our current students how they plan to spend their summer. Here’s what they had to say…
Cortland Mercer ’11 Political Science Charlotte, N.C.
“After a trip to the West Coast, I’ll be studying for the LSATs (Law School Admission Test).”
Amanda Read ’14 International Studies Greensboro, N.C.
“I’m taking a cruise to Mexico to practice my Spanish skills, and I hope to get a job working in Asheville where I can further practice my Spanish.”
Fabian Rodriguez ’13 Multimedia Arts & Sciences Winston-Salem, N.C.
“I’ll be working at the Marble Slab ice cream shop in downtown Asheville. I’m also going to California for 10 days with my family.”
Michelle DiPietro ’13 Mass Communication and Management Clemmons, N.C.
“I’m going to study abroad in Italy through the Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence. I plan to take a public relations course and a class on secrets in architecture.”
Catherine Frank appointed executive director of N.C. Center for Creative Retirement
Catherine Frank, who served as director of Duke University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, has been named executive director of UNC Asheville’s North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR). She succeeds founding director Ron Manheimer, who announced his retirement last year.
Frank said, “I am committed to seeing that the center continues to provide a national model for fostering health, wellness, and creativity in later adulthood, and to exploring new ways that the center and its members can contribute to and participate in the rich cultural and intellectual life of the area.”
Frank holds a doctorate in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. Previously, she taught literature courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and provided academic support to members of the UNC-Chapel Hill men’s basketball team. She also served for six years as executive director of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill. NCCCR, now in its 24th year, is considered a national model for lifelong learning. It offers a wide range of learning opportunities to people of all ages and has 1,800 members.
NCCCR also offers Leadership Asheville Seniors, Leadership Training for Older Persons, an intergenerational computer mentoring program, and two national workshops—Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend and Paths to Creative Retirement. UNC Asheville recently received a $1 million donation from the Janirve Foundation in Asheville to establish an endowment that will support NCCCR’s capital needs and new programs.
May Commencement 2010
Chancellor Ponder presented honorary degrees to freedom singer Bernice Johnson Reagon and UNC-Chapel Hill men’s basketball coach Roy Williams at the 82nd Commencement Ceremony. Williams also accepted an honorary degree on behalf of legendary Tar Heel coach Dean Smith, who was unable to attend. Some 677 students were honored during the ceremony on Saturday, May 15.
Pharmacy-education program expands to UNC Asheville
Recognizing the need for more health care practitioners in Western North Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill will open a satellite pharmacy-education program at UNC Asheville in partnership with Mission Health System.
“The new program is in perfect alignment with UNC Asheville’s new N.C. Center for Health & Wellness and its work on the maintenance of healthy lifestyles and prevention of chronic diseases and will greatly enhance academic and research opportunities for UNC Asheville students and faculty.”
The program will enroll up to 40 Doctor of Pharmacy students a year at UNC Asheville. It is an expansion of the successful partnership the UNC-Chapel Hill pharmacy school has had with Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)since 2005.
“This new initiative is an inspirational example of how partnerships with sister UNC institutions and local community leaders in health care, business and government enable us to invest substantially in our region’s future,” said Chancellor Anne Ponder. “The new program is in perfect alignment with UNC Asheville’s new N.C. Center for Health & Wellness and its work on the maintenance of healthy lifestyles and prevention of chronic diseases and will greatly enhance academic and research opportunities for UNC Asheville students and faculty.”
Like its counterpart at ECSU, the satellite program at UNC Asheville will educate more pharmacists in an area of North Carolina that doesn’t have enough health care providers in general.
The start-up costs for the program will be covered by a $2.5 million fund-raising initiative spearheaded by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has pledged $600,000 toward that goal, and the City of Asheville has pledged $100,000. By the fourth year of the program, its cost is projected to be fully covered by tuition and by Mission Health System funding half the clinical faculty’s salaries. The partnership program should not require any state funding.
For more information about UNC-Chapel Hill's Eshelman, visit pharmacy.unc.edu.
Electronic music lab named for the legendary Bob Moog
A newly expanded and refurbished music studio at UNC Asheville recently was dedicated in honor of the late music visionary Bob Moog, a former faculty member. Located in Lipinsky Hall, the Bob Moog Electronic Music Studio houses a variety of classic analog synthesizers and processors, as well as seating for a small audience.
Best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Moog essentially turned electricity into music. The innovative sounds of the Moog synthesizer became the force behind generations of music—from 1960s grooves to 21st century techno. When Moog moved to Asheville to start a new company that produced synthesizer modules, the bushy-haired engineer joined the Music Department faculty and served as a visiting research professor for four years.
“The students were in awe,” said Wayne Kirby, professor of Music and chair of the department, who hired Moog. “It was like being taught by Thomas Edison.”
Moog retired from full-time teaching in 1993 and went back to work on electronics until his death. Moog died in 2005 at the age of 71 from an inoperable brain tumor.
Now, students who study and work in the studio that bears his name will uphold the legacy of a music pioneer and professor who left an indelible stamp on the recording industry and on the university.
For more information about the Music Department, visit unca.edu/music
Alumni honored with annual awards
Three UNC Asheville alumni and a current faculty member, who continue to distinguish themselves in their careers and inspire students, received 2010 Distinguished Alumni Awards at a campus ceremony on April 29. Presenting the awards were Chancellor Anne Ponder and National Alumni Council Chair James Carter ’00.
Ann B. Ross ’84 was presented with the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumna Award for her notable career as a novelist. The Hendersonville native recently released the 11th installment in the “Miss Julia” series. Books in the series have appeared frequently on the New York Times Best Seller list. (To learn more about Ross, turn to page 30.)
Steve Zeis received the Thomas D. Reynolds Award for Service to the University. A native of Istanbul of Greek heritage, Zeis studied at UNC Asheville’s predecessor institution, Asheville-Biltmore College. He went on to a successful international career representing European textile and plastics machinery manufacturers. Zeis and his wife, Frosene, donated $3 million to UNC Asheville in 2005, the largest private gift in the university’s history.
Tarik Glenn ’06 was inducted into the Order of Pisgah for outstanding achievement in his professional field. Glenn is a workforce development specialist at Mission Health System in Asheville. He has been an integral part of the success of Mission Possible, an innovative program that provides health care internships and career development to local high school students.
Dan Pierce, associate professor of History, received the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award. Pierce is a noted national expert on the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and recently published a scholarly work on the history of NASCAR. (To learn more about Pierce, see Dan Pierce brings history to life)
28th Annual Concerts on the Quad
UNC Asheville’s summer outdoor concert series is free fun for the entire family.
June 14 • Cool John Ferguson Blues, Gospel, Funk
June 21 • ELM Collective World Music, Jazz, Fusion
June 28 • Pan Jive Energetic, Genre-Defying Steel Drums
July 5 • April Verch Traditional Roots, Fiddle, Step-dancing
July 12 • One Leg Up Gypsy Jazz
July 24 & 25 • Folkmoot World Folk Dance & Music (ticketed event)