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Lees-McRae: Empowering the Women of Appalachia for 120 Years

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Deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Rev. Edgar Tufts (1870-1923) gathered a small group of young people together in his home and began what 120 years later would be known as Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. Named after two influential women, the school continues to be a place of opportunity for women of Appalachia and beyond.

Beginnings of the Lees-McRae Institute

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Susanna P. Lees

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Nine of the 11 May 1928 graduates of Lees-McRae. Information accompanying this photograph, reported: “Members of this class are filling position of real usefulness. Two are located at Grandfather Orphanage, three are in college, one is back at LMI taking post-graduate work in Home Economics, one has a commercial position, one is studying commercial work, two have entered nurses training and one is not definitely located.”

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Sarah is a newcomer to the Boone area. She loves traveling, reading, and all things Baltimore sports.

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