H. F. Robinson, 1979

 

HF Robinson receiving the Mountain Heritage award, 1979.

HF Robinson receiving the Mountain Heritage award, 1979.

 

Robinson Presented Heritage Award During Building Dedication At WCU

Dr. H.F. Robinson, Chancellor of Western Carolina University, was presented the 1979 Mountain Heritage Award on Saturday by Asheville Citizen Times contributing editor and columnist John Parris of Sylva.  Presentation of the award came during dedication ceremonies for WCU’s new University Administration Mountain Heritage Center, one of the many events marking the celebration of WCU’s 90th anniversary and fifth annual Mountain Heritage Day.

Standing before the new structure and addressing some 300 persons at the dedication, Parris said we are standing “at the threshold of an era” when WCU, hand in hand with the University of North Carolina and the people of this region, will move to preserve and protect our Western North Carolina heritage.  “This day, this building, this era of commitment are possible,” he said, “because of the deep love for home and hearth, the outward zeal for action, the determination to persevere, and the breadth and scope of vision and understanding of H.F. ‘Cotton’ Robinson.”  “For the accomplishment of this building and this center,” Parris said, “the award could go to no other than Chancellor Robinson.”

Winners of the award are chosen by a special committee, following guidelines laid down when the award was established in 1976. One of the criteria for the award provides that it be made for “outstanding contributions to the preservation or interpretation of the history and culture of Southern Appalachia.”  The presentation represented something of a reversal of roles for the two men. It was Robinson who presented the first Mountain Heritage Award in 1976. The recipient that year was John Parris.  In 1977 the award was presented to the Cherokee Historical Association, and in 1978 it went to Leona Hayes of Asheville.

Others on the program shared Parris’ assessment of the importance of the center, of the day, and of the award.  President William Friday of the University of North Carolina said it was “a memorable day in the life of the university, a day of joy, of thanksgiving, of gathering strength for greater service.”  Friday said he had invited Robinson more than five years ago to come home to his native land to lead WCU to greater achievement in teaching, research and service. “But he knew his assignment required something more,” Friday said, “and that something more was the greater involvement of Western Carolina University in the life of all the people from this region.  “He has succeeded. The completion of this center is a visible, tangible manifestation of that success.”

William Johnson, chairman of the UNC Board of Governors, pointed to the building as proof of the benefits of cooperation between the people, the legislature, the university system, and the board of governors.  “By this ceremony,” he said, “our thoughts are focused  upon one of our most prized possessions: our heritage. It is necessary that we have a full and proper awareness of our heritage of this great region will never neglected.”  State Rep. Liston Ramsey called the administration building a heritage center, “a building that belongs to the people”  “It was the people of North Carolina voting in favor of higher education bond issue in 1976 who financed this building,” he said, “ Just as surely as if they had sent in their dimes and their dollars to pay for it.”

Ramsey said the structure “will help the university to grow, to prosper, and to serve the region much more effectively.”  House speaker Carl Stewart said the center and its director, Dr. Cliff Lovin, have the ability “to make the mountain heritage program a dynamic institution, one which will administer to the needs of this region and one which will preserve the history of this region.“  “We have a lot to be proud of today,” Stewart said. “We have a lot to look forward to.”  James Glenn, chairman of the WCU board of trustees, accepted the building on behalf of the university. Lt. Gov. Jimmy Green was to have spoken at the dedication, but was unable to attend.

 

Heritage Day Events

Asheville Citizen-Times

Sept. 30th 1979

Dr. H.F. Robinson, chancellor of Western Carolina University at Cullowhee, was presented the institution’s Mountain Heritage Award Saturday at dedication ceremonies for the new University Administration/Mountain Heritage Center, as craftsmen filled other parts of the campus with exhibits of their skills. In top photo, the Western Carolina University Mountain Heritage Award is presented to Robinson, left by Citizens-Times columnist John Parris, recipient of the first award when it was established five years ago. Tania Rollman, bottom right photo, displays her wheat weaving at one of the numerous exhibit areas around the campus Saturday.

Related Articles:

  1. Mountain Heritage Center

Related Posts

  • John Parris, 1976John Parris, 1976 Parris Receives Heritage Award/John Parris Receives Award During Mountain Heritage Day Festivities Asheville Citizen/ The Reporter Oct. 17th 1976 / Oct. 20th 1976 Western Carolina Univers...
  • John B. Battle, 1983John B. Battle, 1983   WCU Honors Battle Asheville Citizens Times John Parris 9/25/83   CULLOWHEE - Western Carolina University’s 1983 Mountain Heritage award went Saturday to John Bascomb Battle, an 8...
  • Mary Jane Queen and the Queen Family, 1999Mary Jane Queen and the Queen Family, 1999   Mary Jane Queen and The Queen Family Receive 1999 Mountain Heritage Award CULLOWHEE — Mary Jane Queen and the Queen Family, performers who have played a major role in helping mainta...
  • The Deitz Family, 2006The Deitz Family, 2006   WCU’s Mountain Heritage Award Presented To Jackson County’s Musical Deitz Family CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University presented its Mountain Heritage Award for 2006 on Saturda...
  • Joe Parker Rhinehart, 1990Joe Parker Rhinehart, 1990   Rhinehart Receives Heritage Award Joe Rhinehart received  Western Carolina University's 1990 Mountain Heritage Award for his work in  preserving the history of the old Jackson cou...