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The Memories Collection, 2008-2018

This collection consists of oral history interviews that focus on the history of Mars Hill College/University, the history of various departments and programs on campus, work completed by faculty and staff, and student life at Mars Hill.

Inventory of Interviews

For a complete listing of interviews in the Memories Collection, see the C. Robert Jones Memories Collection web page.

Disc 1: Douglas Gordon, PhD, Department of Music, "Establishing the Music Technology Components for Music Theory Classes at MHC." Interviewed by Julie Fortney, DMA, Department of Music. July 8, 2008.

Disc 2: Robert Chapman, Darryl Norton, Walter Smith, Rachel Chapman, and Pat Smith, "Creating and Producing the Book: Through the Long Years: Photographic Reminiscences of Mars Hill College (Sesquicentennial Edition 1856-2006)." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 17, 2008.

Discs 3 and 4: Pauline Cheek, MDiv, Author, Historian, Teacher and Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus, Mars Hill College, "The Evolution of the Appalachian Room and the Liston B. Ramsey Center at Mars Hill College." Interviewed by Richard Dillingham and Pauline Cheek. July 22 and 29, 2008.

Disc 5: Donald Anderson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, "The Beginnings of Appalachian Emphasis and the Formation of the Southern Appalachian Center at Mars Hill College." Interviewed by Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus, Mars Hill College. August 5, 2008.

Disc 6: Edith P. Swann, "Office of the Bursar during the Moore, Blackwell, and Bentley Administrations, August 15, 1943-August 15, 1972." Interviewed by Robert Melvin, DDiv, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion. August 11, 2008.

Disc 7: Harley Jolley, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department, Author of The Blue Ridge Parkway and "That Magnificent Army of Youth and Peace": The Civilian Conservation Corps in North Carolina, 1933-1942, and Recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, 2008. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 14, 2008.

Disc 8: Emmett Sams, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, "Mars Hill College Math Professor with Links to All the Mars Hill College Presidents, 1897-2008." Interviewed by Susan Kiser, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics. September 9, 2008.

Disc 9: Miss Ruth Anderson, " A Conversation with the Granddaughter of Mars Hill College President John Robert Sams (1871-1872)." Interviewed by Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus, Mars Hill College. September 11, 2008.

Disc 10: Edwin Cheek, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Donald Anderson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, "The Origins and Development of Appalachian Studies at Mars Hill College." Interviewed by Pauline Cheek, MDiv, Author, Historian, Teacher. September 30, 2008.

Disc 11: John M. Hough, Jr., EdD, "The Department of Education at Mars Hill College." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. October 23, 2008.

Disc 12: Everett (Buddy) Gill, EdD, Mars Hill College Graduate 1951, Chairman, Sesquicentennial Committee, "Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of Mars Hill College, 1856-2006." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. October 30, 2008.

Disc 13: Mark Cabaniss, Mars Hill College Graduate 1982, 2007 Mars Hill College Alumnus of the Year, and President of Shawnee Press, Inc., "A Life in the World of Music Publishing." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. December 12, 2008.

Disc 14: James Malon Fish, Mars Hill College Graduate 1943, Director of the Mars Hill College Physical Plant, 1965-1986. Interviewed by Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus, Mars Hill College. March 3, 2009.

Disc 15: Margaret Merchant Verhulst, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of English. Interviewed by Gregory Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. March 5, 2009.

Disc 16: Dr. Sue Fitzgerald, "Director of the Center of Christian Education Ministries, 1975-1996." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. March 12, 2009.

Disc 17: "The SART Pioneers: The Story of the Founding of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in 1975," a roundtable discussion about SART’s beginnings and its first season in 1975 with James Warren Thomas, founding Artistic Director; C. Robert Jones; Bill Gregg, Company Manager, Stage Manager, and Actor; and C. Earl Leininger, First Actor to speak/sing in the first play. March 12, 2009.

Disc 18: David Knisley, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department. April 9, 2009.

Disc 19: "The Department of Religion at Mars Hill College in the Last Half of the 20th Century" with Page Lee, PhD; Earl Leininger, PhD; Robert Melvin, DDiv; Thomas Sawyer, PhD. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. April 16, 2009.

Disc 20: Doris Phillips Bentley, First Lady, Mars Hill College, 1966-1996. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 12, 2009.

Disc 21: C. Earl Leininger, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost, 1988-1999. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department. May 19, 2009.

Disc 22: Sylvia M. Murphy, “The Right Arm” to Dr. John Hough and Ray Rapp, forty-plus years in Education, Career Opportunities Program (COP), Continuing Education Program (CEP), and Accelerated Credit, Continuing Education, and Summer Sessions (Access), 1967-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. June 4, 2009.

Disc 23: Nancy Fosson, Assistant Registrar, Serving Mars Hill College in Housing, Continuing Education Program, Conferences, Elderhostel, and Registar’s Office, 1977-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. June 16, 2009.

Disc 24: Noel J. Kinnamon, PhD, Professor, Department of English 1966-. Interviewed by Carol Boggess, PhD, Professor, Department of English. June 18, 2009.

Disc 25: Charity Ray, Librarian, Renfro Library. Interviewed by Gregory Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. June 18, 2009.

Disc 26: David Riggins, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, 1986-1999; Interim Athletic Director, 1999-2000; Athletic Director, 2000-. Interviewed by John Hough, EdD, Founder, Department of Education, Professor Emeritus Mars Hill College. July 14, 2009.

Disc 27: Nina Pollard, PhD, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, 2005-2009. Interviewed by Phyllis Smith, PhD, Chair Department of History and Faculty Chair, 2008-2011. July 16, 2009.

Disc 28: Robert E. Knott, PhD, Professor, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chancellor. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, Professor Emeritus, Department of History. July 22, 2009.

Disc 29: Robert Kramer, Professor Emeritus, Modern Foreign Languages, 1965-2009. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 27, 2009.

Disc 30: Julie Tracey Fortney, DMA, Professor of Music, 1972-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 28, 2009.

Disc 31: Donald Schmeltekopf, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, 1985-1990. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, Professor Emeritus, Department of History. July 29, 2009.

Disc 32: Oralene Graves Simmons, First African American Student Admitted to Mars Hill College, 1961. Interviewed by Teresa Buckner, Media Relations Mars Hill College. August 6, 2009.

Disc 33: John Rogers, architect for eight buildings on Mars Hill College campus. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 20, 2009.

Disc 34: JoAnne Alexander, Mars Hill College Graduate 1957; Mars Hill College Alumna of the Year 1993; Board of Trustees beginning January 1, 1977; First Female Chair of Board of Trustees 1980. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 25, 2009.

Disc 35: Virginia Hart, PhD, Mars Hill College Graduate 1943; Coach and Professor of Physical Education for 40 years; Founder of most Mars Hill College women’s sports teams; Inducted in Mars Hill College Sports Hall of Fame 1987; “Omelet Lady.” Interviewed by JoAnne Alexander, Mars Hill College Graduate 1957; Mars Hill College  Alumna of the Year 1993; Board of Trustees beginning January 1, 1977; First Female Chair of Board of Trustees 1980. August 25, 2009.

Disc 36: A. Max Lennon and Ruth Carter Lennon, President and First Lady, Mars Hill College, 1996-2001. Interviewed by Robert Melvin, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion. October 5, 2009.

Disc 37: Beverly Lunsford, First Lady Mars Hill College, 2002-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. October 26, 2009. (2 copies)

Disc 38: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1971-2009; Donald Anderson, PhD; Julie Nooe; Kenneth Sanchagrin, PhD; Gail Foster Sawyer; Larry N. Stern, PhD; and Walter Stroud, PhD. Interviewed by George Peery, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Political Science. November 9, 2009.

Disc 39: Betty Smith, “A Minstrel of Appalachia.” Singer, Educator, Author, Historian, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 2008-Mars Hill College. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. November 16, 2009.

Disc 40: George Peery, PhD, Professor, Political Activist, Author, Actor, Singer. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. December 10, 2009.

Disc 41: Charles Tomlinson, Mars Hill College Graduate 1951; Internationally Known Set and Costume Designer for Theater, Opera, Ballet, Film. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. January 5, 2010.

Disc 42: Winona Bierbaum, Mars Hill College Faculty, 1966-2001; Chair, Department of Home Economics; Professor of Education. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. February 16, 2010.

Disc 43: Susan Kiser, PhD, Professor, Department of Mathematics, 1970-1973, 1976-1983, 1984-2003. Interviewed by Gregory Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. February 18, 2010.

Disc 44: L. James Lenburg, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, 1973-2006. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. March 9, 2010.

Disc 45: JoAnn Croom, PhD, Professor of Biology, 1976-2010. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 6, 2010.

Disc 46: Arthur Everett Wood, Professor Emeritus, Science Department, 1949-1991 and Nancy Medford Wood, Professor Emeritus, Math Department, 1956-1994. Interviewed by John Hough, EdD, Professor Emeritus, Founder of the Education Department. May 19, 2010.

Disc 47: Katharine Meacham, PhD, Bost Professor of Philosophy and Chair, General Studies Program Mars Hill College, 1989-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 21, 2010.

Disc 48: Jay Ledford, Mars Hill College Graduate 1998; Director Bailey Mountain Cloggers, 1998-2005. Interviewed by Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus, Mars Hill College. June 16, 2010.

Disc 49: John Wilson Wells, PhD, Executive Vice President, 2009-. Interviewed by Katharine Meacham, PhD, Bost Professor of Philosophy and Chair, General Studies Program Mars Hill College, 1989-. July 12, 2010.

Disc 51: Joel Reed, EdD, Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities and Department Chair, Mars Hill College Graduate 1968. Interviewed by Julie Fortney, DMA, Professor of Music, Voice Division Coordinator. July 19, 2010.

Disc 52: Dan Lunsford, EdD, President Mars Hill College/University, 2002-; Mars Hill College Graduate 1969. Interviewed by: C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. Part I recorded July 27, 2010, Part II Recorded August 18, 2010.

Disc 53: Jeanne Threatt Hoffman, Graduate Mars Hill College, AA 1960, BS 1970; Widow of Richard Lee Hoffman, PhD, Professor of Political Science, 1959-1960, 1961-1994; Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1969-1985; Assistant to the President 1986-1994. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 3, 2010.

Disc 54: Ellen Coomer, Director of Health Services, 1973-1995; Director of Medical Services, 1995-1999. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. October 26, 2010.

Disc 55: Robert Chapman, Registrar and Professor of Business Administration on Staff and Faculty, 1947-1991; Mars Hill College Graduate 1945 and Rachel M. Chapman, Professor of Business Administration, 1946-1991; Mars Hill College Graduate 1945. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. November 18, 2010.

Disc 56: Gerald Ball, Director Information Technology Services, 1977-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. December 2, 2010.

Disc 57: Thomas S. Plaut, PhD, Professor of Sociology, 1977-1995. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department. December 8, 2010.

Disc 58: The Imperials, Mars Hill College Band with Carroll Aldridge, Bill Brown, David Buddin, Bob Drake, Jay Flippin, David Funderburk, Sammy Lucas, Bill McNeil, Don Peach, Bob Suttenfield, and Carlton Wilkes,1966-1969. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. January 21, 2011.

Disc 59: Walter P. Smith, Vice President of Publications, 1954-1996 and Pat J. Smith, Admissions/Registrar's Office, 1955-56, 1958-1959, 1969-1996. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 24, 2011.

Disc 60: Evelyn Anderson, Assistant Director, Computer Center, Payroll, Serving Mars Hill College, 1953-1997. Interviewed by: C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 24, 2012.

Disc 61: Ophelia (Fifi) Hildreth DeGroot, Mars Hill College Graduate 1958; Special Assistant to President Dan Lunsford; Director of Alumni Relations, 2001-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May, 29, 2012.

Disc 62: Karen Hedrick, Gift Services Associate, Office of Institutional Advancement, Serving Mars Hill College 1978-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. June 5, 2012.

Disc 63: Frank Quick, PhD Professor/Chair Department of Biology, 1971-2005 and William Hutt, PhD, Professor Department of Biology, 1974-2002. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. June 7, 2012.

Disc 64: Paula Clayton Dempsey, Mars Hill College Chaplain, 1991-2002. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. June 19, 2012.

Disc 65: Robert L. Merrill, Alumnus, 1947-1948; Honorary Doctorate, 1991; Lifetime Trustee. Interviewed by John Hough, EdD, Founder, Department of Education and Professor Emeritus, Department of Education. July 10, 2012.

Disc 66: Donald R. Russell, PhD, Professor and Former Chair, Department of Mathematics. Interviewed by L. James Lenburg, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History Department. July 12, 2012.

Disc 67: Ray Rapp, Former Dean of Continuing Education (AGS) and Summer Programs, Serving Mars Hill University 1978-2010. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 13, 2012.

Disc 68: Lura Edsell, Assistant Professor, Dance, Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, 1979-2013. Interviewed by Gregory Lisenbee, Graduate 1984; Adjunct Professor, Department of Education, 1995-2003. July 22, 2014.

Disc 69: Lora Coomer, Manager Paw Prints Copy Center, 2006-. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 23, 2014.

Disc 70: Gregory Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984; Adjunct Professor, Department of Education, 1995-2003. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 29, 2014.

Disc 71: Rebecca “Becky” Cody, Mars Hill Faculty, 1981-; Professor and Chair, Department of Apparel and Interior Merchandising and Brenda Russell, Professor Emerita, Department of Fashion and Interior Merchandising; Mars Hill College Faculty, 1981-2007. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 16, 2015.

Disc 72: Neil St. Clair, Mars Hill College Degrees: Music Education 1974, Theatre Arts 1975; Mars Hill Faculty, 2000-2014; Chair, Department of Theatre Arts, Managing Director SART. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. July 23, 2015.

Disc 74: Scott Pearson, PhD, Mars Hill Faculty; Dean of Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Professor of Biology; Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. November 13, 2015.

Disc 75: Gregory Clemons, PhD, Mars Hill Faculty, 1996-; Professor of Spanish, Department of Language and Literature. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. December 11, 2015.

Disc 76: Wayne Higgins, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mars Hill University, Mars Hill College Graduate 1975. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 26, 2017.

Disc 77: Eric and Janis Blackwell, Son and Daughter-in-Law of Dr. Hoyt Blackwell, President of Mars Hill College, 1938-1966, "A View of the Blackwell Years from the Blackwell Family Perspective." Interviewed by Richard Dillingham, Regional Specialist Emeritus; John Hough, EdD, Professor Emeritus Education Department; C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 11, 2017. 

Disc 79: Harold Bud Christman, Vice President for Advancement at Mars Hill University since 1995, first as Director of Planned Giving in the Office of Development (later Advancement). Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. February 27, 2018. 

Disc 80: Susan King, Mars Hill College Graduate 1976; Founding Member, Licklog Players, Hayesville, N.C.; Founding Member and Artistic Director, Tapestry, Wilmington, N.C.; Star of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART); Production of The Belle of Amherst, 1978 and continuing. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. March 20, 2018. 

Disc 81: C. Robert Jones, Author, Playwright, and Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. Interviewed by Neil St. Clair, Professor, Department of Theatre Arts, Director Musical Theatre; Julie Fortney, DMA, Professor Emerita, Music Department; and Susan King, Alumna, Class of 1976. March 21, 2018.

Disc 82: Tim Clifton, Head Coach - Football, Celebrating 25 Years at Mars Hill University, "Coach Clifton: His Sport and His Career." Interviewed by Don Russell, PhD, Professor of Mathematics, the Most Senior Faculty Member Celebrating 45 Years at Mars Hill University and C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. May 29, 2018.   

Disc 83: Mike Owens, Men's and Women's Cross Country/ Track and Field Coach, Celebrating 30 Years at Mars Hill University, "The Story of Cross Country and its Winning Coach at Mars Hill University." Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts and Don Russell, PhD, Professor of Mathematics. June 5, 2018. 

Disc 84: Kevin Barnette, Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach - Football, Celebrating 30 Years at Mars Hill University, "A Mars Hill University Sports Star Comes Back Home to Share His Talents with the Next Generation." Interviewed by Greg Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. June 12, 2018. 

Disc 86: Barbara Cary, PhD, Professor of Education and Richard Cary, PhD, Dean of Fine Arts and Professor of Art, "Celebrating 30 Years Together at Mars Hill University."  Interviewed by Greg Lisenbee, Mars Hill College Graduate 1984. July 26, 2018. 

Disc 88: President Tony Floyd, JD. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. August 1, 2018.

Disc 90: Grainger Caudle, PhD, Executive Director of Planning and Auxiliary Services, Professor of Business, Department of Business Administration. Interviewed by C. Earl Leininger, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion and Philosophy. August 7, 2018. 

Disc 91: Carol Boggess, PhD, Professor Emerita, Department of English and Retired Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Interviewed by Katharine Meacham, PhD, Professor Emerita, Department of Religion and Philosophy. December 4, 2018.

Disc 92: John Omachonu, PhD, Provost. Interviewed by C. Robert Jones, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts. December 8, 2018.