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This Week In Mars Hill History

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill and said, ‘Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.’”— Acts 17:22

Mars Hill’s First Student: The Story of William Wallace Rollins

3/8/2018 March 24, 1925:William Wallace Rollins holds the unique honor of being the first student to enroll in Mars Hill College, then the French Broad Baptist Institute, when the school opened its doors in 1856. William Rollins was the son of Thomas Jefferson Rollins, who served as a trustee of the institution during the Civil War, and the brother of Reverend Pinkney Rollins, who served as president of Mars Hill College from 1861-1863 and again from 1865-1866. Following his time at Mars … Read More

Visible to All: Mars Hill College’s Student Government Association Secures New Highway Sign

1/18/2018 January 15, 1966: Visitors to Mars Hill College in 1966 were greeted by a new green and reflective street signed which was installed at the intersection of Highway 36 and U.S. 19-23, roughly 2 miles south of campus. The new sign was contributed to the hard work of Mars Hill College’s Student Government Association’s Traffic Committee and committee chair Bob Hoots. Members of the SGA began growing concerned over the difficulty in which new students and their families were … Read More

A New President: Dr. Fred Bentley Named New Mars Hill College President

12/11/2017 December 7, 1965: The Mars Hill College Board of Trustees voted to accept the recommendation made by the special trustee committee in May of 1964 and unanimously agreed to name Dr. Fred Bentley the next president of Mars Hill College. Selected to replace President Dr. Blackwell, Dr. Bentley is Mars Hill’s nineteenth president, and was only the third man to hold the office since 1897. Dr. Bentley and his wife, Doris, were on campus as the Board of Trustees announced their … Read More

A Stamp of Approval: Mars Hill College Receives Accreditation as a Senior College

12/1/2017 December 2, 1967: On Wednesday, November 29 1967, Mars Hill College learned that they had officially received accreditation as a senior college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This exciting capped an eight year journey that saw Mars Hill transfer from a two-year junior college to a four-year senior college. The transition began in May of 1959 when the Baptist State Convention adopted the recommendation that Mars Hill College “proceed to convert into a … Read More

A Special Anniversary Gift: A Rare 1856 Coin is Given to Mars Hill College

11/14/2017 November 6, 1932: In honor of the 76thanniversary of Mars Hill College opening its doors, the institution was gifted a rare one-half cent coin dated 1856 by Mr. A.N. Breneman of Battle Wharf, Alabama. Mr. Breneman had no prior connection to the college nor did he give any specific reason for gifting Mars Hill with the rare coin. Administrators at the time of Mr. Breneman’s gift believed that the elderly man decided to send the coin to Mars Hill after reading a newspaper … Read More

Racing The Clock: Dr. Marc Mullinax Wins Time Trial Race

9/13/2017 September 13, 1974: Mars Hill College Sophomore Marc Mullinax took home first place in the junior class of the North Carolina time trials on July 7, 1974. Mullinax participated in the race that placed riders in one of five categories based on their age. These five classes were veteran, senior, junior, intermediate, and midget classes. The race took place on a 25 mile course made of up of mostly backroads which is designed to challenge the skills of each rider. Time trials are … Read More

A Once In A Lifetime Dig: Mars Hill College Students Participate In A Summer Archaeological Dig.

8/31/2017 September 1, 1977: a joint project between then Mars Hill College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gave students the unique opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig aimed at proving a link between a Native American settlement in McDowell County to the large Cherokee Nation which controlled the western part of North Carolina. The project was made available after a group of collectors interested in Native American artifacts raised their concerns … Read More

Football Returns: The Mars Hill College Board of Trustees Provides New Support To Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

5/4/2017 May 4, 1968: In the spring of 1968, the Mars Hill College Board of Trustees executive committee approved a proposal aimed to enhance and improve the intercollegiate athletic programs at the college. By approving the proposal brought before them, the Board of Trustees executive committee paved the way for Mars Hill College to re-enter into intercollegiate football field in the 1969-1970 academic year. The approved plan also provided additional support for the … Read More

A Special Easter Service: Mars Hill Baptist Church Opens Its New Facilities.

April 18, 2017 April 17, 1954: On April 17 1954, Easter Day, the Mars Hill Baptist Church opened its new facility located on the corner of present day Bailey Street and Main Street. In preparation for the opening of its new facility, Mars Hill Baptist Church worked tirelessly the week prior to make sure everything was prepared for the first Easter service. Furniture was moved in, offices set up and filled, and the first General assembly and individual training union meetings were scheduled to … Read More

Remembering Those Who Served: Mars Hill College Community Members Who Served in World War I

Posted: April 6, 2017 April 6, 1917. April 6, 2017 marks the centennial commemoration of the United States entering World War I. This day is scheduled to be a day of celebration and remembrance of those soldiers who came together from every corner of our nation to fight for a common cause. Today, Mars Hill University would like to take a moment to honor members of our campus community who served during this horrific war. To date, this is the best list we have available. We are currently … Read More

Dedicated In The Memory Of: The Significance Behind The American Flag That Flew Over Campus in 1964

Posted: 3/22/2017 March 21, 1964: For many years, the American flag has held a prominent place overlooking the upper quad at Mars Hill University. During the 1960s, few students walking across campus may have realized the significance or history of the particular flag that they passed on their daily ventures. Mrs. Sallie Chambers Brigman gifted the flag flying over campus in 1964 to the college in honor of her sister, Miss O’Dessa Chambers, a nurse whom served her country during World … Read More

Today We Honor the Women of Mars Hill’s Past and Present.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we here at Mars Hill University honor the amazing women who have helped shape our institution’s history. Today, we honor Mrs. Ellen Keith Ramsey. Mrs. Ramsey owns one of the unique stories of an individual stepping forward and helping in a time when Mars Hill needed them the most. Mrs. Ramsey is the daughter of founder Reverend William Keith. Mars Hill recognizes Rev. Keith as the first benefactor of the institution after he left a bequest to … Read More

Fire Takes A Longstanding Campus Structure: The History of Treat Dormitory

March 2, 1977: In 1890, Mars Hill College President Adonnas E. Booth convinced the college trustees to deed him a lot of land on which a boarding house for female students was to be constructed. Work on the two-story structure began in the 1890s but eventually ceased due to a lack of funding. In an effort to pay building debts, the trustees sold the property to the George brothers of Mars Hill. In 1899, Dr. B. W. Spilman purchased the property in hopes for turning it into his summer home. … Read More

Men’s Golf Swings Back Into Action

February 20, 1965: After a yearlong hiatus, the Mars Hill College Varsity Men’s Golf team returned to action in the spring of 1965. Coached by Ron Bromley, the 1965 Men’s Golf team consisted of approximately five players whom were chosen by means of an elimination tournament held in early April of that year. 1965 saw the Mars Hill College Men’s golf team compete against Milligan College, King College, Asheville-Biltmore College, and East Tennessee State College, finishing the … Read More

A Personal History: Founders Grandson Presents History to Mars Hill

January 25, 1941: In January of 1941, Edward J Carter, the grandson of Mars Hill University founder Edward Carter, gifted the institution a copy of his Master’s thesis,A History of Mars Hill College. Mr. Carter, who at the time was serving as the principal of schools in Almond, North Carolina, wrote his thesis as part of his masters studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Carter’s thesis totals 110 pages and breaks the different eras of the institutions … Read More

Dr. Harley Jolley: Pearl Harbor Survivor, Beloved Professor, Historian

December 7, 1941: On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy carried out a planned surprise attack against the United States naval base located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Intended to serve as a preventive attack, the Imperial Japanese Navy hoped to prevent the United States Naval Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor from becoming involved in Japanese military actions in Southeast Asia. Using 353 Imperial Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes, the Imperial Japanese … Read More

Practice Makes Perfect: MHC Marching Band Highlights 1947 Armistice Day Parade

November 22, 1947: The Mars Hill College marching band was met with overwhelming support and admiration as it performed in the annual Memorial Day parade on November 11 through the streets of downtown Asheville. Accompanied by the Lee Edwards High School Band and the American Legion Band, the MHC marching band displayed its “musical ability and military style marching” along the three-mile parade route. Those in attendance noted that the MHC marching band outperformed its … Read More

“Minstrel of the Appalachians”Returns Home: Bascom Lamar Lunsford Performs for Mars Hill College Students, Community

November 8, 1958: On Saturday, November 22, famed Mars Hill native folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford presented a program on the tradition of American ballads for the campus of Mars Hill and its surrounding communities. Born on the campus of Mars Hill University on the site on which Cornwell Hall stands today, historians and locals recognize Bascom Lamar Lunsford for his invaluable efforts to collect and preserve the music, dance, and culture of the southern Appalachian region. Identified as … Read More

A True Scholar and Historian: The Life of John Angus McLeod

October 28, 1980: Retired Professor of English John Angus McLeod passed away on the morning of October 28 following several months of declining health. During his 43-year tenure at Mars Hill College, Mr. McLeod served as Professor of English, chair of the English Department, advisor and editor of college publications, and community correspondent for the Asheville-Citizens Times. Perhaps Mr. McLeod’s most notable project from his time at Mars Hill College is his publication,From These … Read More

A Patriotic Performance: Mars Hill College Band Invited to Perform at Freedom Train Exhibition

October 5, 1948: During the 1948-1949 academic year, the Mars Hill College Band had the opportunity to perform at several special events and occasions. On October 5, 1948, the MHC Band made one of its more outstanding appearances of the year when they were 1 of 8 bands invited to play for the 384thstop of the Freedom Train exhibit at the Biltmore Railway Station in Asheville, North Carolina. Consisting of 45 students, the MHC band was under the direction of Mr. James Hall and performed for two … Read More

Bascom Lamar Lunsford”Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival

September 29, 1977: Mars Hill College hosted the 10thyear anniversary of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival. Billed as “the world’s most authentic festival of mountain music and dancing,” Mars Hill College will highlight the special anniversary of the festival with three days of programming and special events. The festival began with a night of dancing on Thursday, September 29 at Madison High School in Marshall. On Friday, September 30, … Read More

A Symbol of the Institution: Mars Hill University’s Mace

In September 1986, Mars Hill College witnessed the installation of Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf as its new Academic Vice President. In honor of this important campus event, the institution was gifted an important item intended to be used in the academic procession from President Emeritus Dr. Fred Bentley and First Lady Doris Bentley; the mace of Mars Hill College (now University). Intended to represent the authority of the institution, the mace of Mars Hill University was the idea of President … Read More