Published On: Fri, May 11th, 2018

Nominations sought for WCU’s Mountain Heritage Awards


HERITAGE: EBCI storyteller Lloyd Arneach Sr. (right) receives the WCU Mountain Heritage Award from WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher during a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. (DAWN ARNEACH/One Feather contributor)

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University is accepting nominations for the Mountain Heritage Awards, prestigious honors bestowed on an individual and an organization each year for contributions to or playing a prominent role in research, preservation and curation of Southern Appalachian history, culture and folklore.

The awards will be presented at the 44th annual Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 29, on the WCU campus.

Deadline for nominations is Saturday, June 30.

There is a storied tradition of the awards and the recognition given to regional figures, institutions and organizations, beginning with the first presentation in 1976. “What do Cherokee ‘Beloved Woman’ Amanda Swimmer, community activist Rob Tiger, the late WCU Chancellor H.F. ‘Cotton’ Robinson and Mountain Faith Band all have in common?” said Pam Meister, director of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center. “And how about Dogwood Crafters, the Jackson County Genealogical Society, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Young Adult Choir of Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church? They’re all recipients of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Award.”

Recipients are chosen by a committee comprised of regional and campus representatives. Letters of nomination should not exceed five pages and should include the full name of the individual or organization being nominated, with a website address if applicable; the mailing address of the nominee; the founding date for organizational nominees; a list of the nominee’s accomplishments; a list of the awards and other recognitions received by the nominee; information about the nominee’s influence in the relevant field of expertise, such as crafts, music or organizational cause; and information about the nominee’s role as a teacher, advocate, leader or curator of mountain culture.

Nominations should be delivered to the Mountain Heritage Center offices, located in Room 240 of WCU’s Hunter Library; mailed to Mountain Heritage Center, 1 University Drive, Cullowhee N.C. 28723; or emailed to