The 125th Anniversary Commemoration of Lenoir-Rhyne University
Jeff Norris, Ellis Boatmon, Robert Allen, and Rand Brandes

Designed and published for Lenoir-Rhyne University
by Nathan W. Moehlmann, Goosepen Studio & Press

Casebound: $40.00 | 256 pages | 9.5" x 12" | Spring 2016
ISBN 978-0-9898125-8-0

lr.edu and visitingwriters.lr.edu

With the rose window of the Hickory campus's Grace Chapel shining on the front cover, A Fair Star Rises: The 125th Anniversary Commemoration of Lenoir-Rhyne University is bound in a three-piece case that includes Iris book cloth for the spine, a pearlescent paper for the panels, and a quarter-inch-wide black ribbon marker. Profusely illustrated with 461 four-color images, this comprehensive history celebrates Lenoir-Rhyne's most recent twenty-five years in Part One, written by Dr. Rand Brandes and Rev. Dr. Robert Allen, who illuminate "the downs and ups — mainly remarkable ups," as Brandes writes in the foreword, of the college's evolution into a university. Part Two features the entirety of Jeff Norris and Dr. Ellis Boatmon's centennial history of Lenoir-Rhyne, Fair Star, with the addition of numerous historical images made available in recent years.


The quasquicentennial anniversary of Lenoir-Rhyne marks not only a significant span of years, but also the extraordinary achievement of the last twenty-five in particular, which saw the college reinvigorate itself heading toward the new millennium and subsequently rise as a university encompassing three campuses. These last twenty-five years could form a substantial book of their own. However, as Lenoir-Rhyne celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1991, Jeff L. Norris, an alumnus who served in various administrative capacities on campus for many years, and Dr. Ellis G. Boatmon, a history professor, blessed us with their seminal and essential publication Fair Star: A Centennial History of Lenoir-Rhyne College. . . . “The division of labor was natural,” they noted. “Norris wrote the narrative; Boatmon selected the pictures and wrote the captions.” A Fair Star Rises: The 125th Anniversary Commemoration of Lenoir-Rhyne University retains the whole of their centennial history. Emphasis has been given to the last twenty-five years by placing them first. The previous one hundred years follow with a number of additional early historical photographs donated to the Lenoir-Rhyne archives in recent years.

The new section in A Fair Star Rises endeavors to capture the spirit and character of the institution by carefully selecting representative events central to Lenoir-Rhyne’s rise to national prominence. The story of these last twenty-five years is not strictly told chronologically, but episodically and impressionistically, gathering significant and related moments into coherent sections. We hope this narrative strategy makes the story more readable and enjoyable and reflects the dynamism of the last twenty-five years, their downs and ups — mainly remarkable ups. There have been so many occasions for good humor and great joy and celebration. President Powell has always emphasized that the gains Lenoir-Rhyne has made have been the result of teamwork and that every individual at Lenoir-Rhyne has made important contributions to the university’s many successes. We thank the students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni for making this an exciting and inspiring story to tell.

In the production of A Fair Star Rises, we give particular thanks to my co-author, Dr. Robert Allen, a 1962 alumnus and source of institutional knowledge who as Lenoir-Rhyne University Executive Director of Advancement Relations and Annual Giving was also instrumental in the realization of Grace Chapel. In the president’s office, Taryn Hutchison’s meticulous preparation of the manuscript and editorial prowess were a benediction. Burl McCuiston, librarian, shared with us his vast institutional knowledge and many jewels in the archives of the Rudisill Library. Lenoir-Rhyne student Katelyn Vause methodically identified historical images in Hacawa for reproduction. The photography of Erin Sweet, in the marketing department, helps provide the vivid visual record in the book’s new section. Joe Smith and John Karrs, in the athletic department, were invaluable for the knowledge and images they shared.

I could not have wished for a more capable, committed, and creative publisher than Nathan Moehlmann of Goosepen Studio & Press. His attention to detail and passion for quality knows no limits, as when he climbed out on top of the Lineberger Building one cold December night to take the marvelous photograph of the Grace Chapel rose window that appears on the cover and title page in all of its illuminating glory. Nathan was actively involved in all stages of this publication in addition to taking several of the photographs. With the help of Burl McCuiston, he scoured the Lenoir-Rhyne archives for the most compelling images; he contributed to the entire editing process; he created a dynamic, flexible layout whose image placement complements the text; he selected only the finest materials for the book itself; and he did all of this with good humor and patience.

We continue to be grateful to those who contributed to the centennial history, as Jeff Norris and Ellis Boatmon thanked them: Thomas H. Blackburn ( ’45), Russell E. Brown, Dottie Crafton, Robin F. Gatwood, John F. Hall ( ’72), Douglas W. Hinson, Carolyn B. Huff, Myra E. McFall ( ’17), Walter T. Nau, Essie P. Newton ( ’21), Norman M. Newton ( ’36), Catherine B. Norris ( ’52), Hanley H. Painter ( ’50), Clarence L. Pugh ( ’62), William H. Shuford ( ’54), Everett J. Sox ( ’26), Pauline F. Sox ( ’31), M. Luther Stirewalt, Jr. ( ’34), Mary W. Thuesen ( ’59), John E. Trainer, Jr., and Timothy E. Warren.

It has been a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Jeff Norris and Ellis Boatmon on this walk through Lenoir-Rhyne’s history and help tell the story of Lenoir-Rhyne’s most recent twenty-five years — years which I experienced firsthand and with great pride. Many I have known at Lenoir-Rhyne are no longer with us, and I trust that I have honored their endless contributions in spirit and in deed. Here’s to a bright future!

Dr. Rand Brandes
Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English,
Lenoir-Rhyne University
January 29, 2016