|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6142
|For Immediate Release
September 25, 2000
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UNC Asheville Alumni Association to Honor Wilma Dykeman at Founders Day Dinner October 6; Author to Receive Distinguished Alumna Award UNC Asheville Alumni Association will honor author and historian Wilma Dykeman at the fourth annual Founders Day Dinner to be held at UNCA's Owen Conference Center Friday, Oct. 6.
An Asheville native, Dykeman is a 1938 graduate of Asheville-Biltmore Junior College, one of UNCA's predecessor institutions, and went on for a degree at Northwestern University. Dykeman is best known for her numerous literary contributions which eloquently explore her love for the Southern Appalachian mountains and its people. She has published more than sixteen books, several in collaboration with her husband, James Stokely.
The public is invited to attend the dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The deadline for reservations is Monday, Oct. 1. Dinner is $15 per person. For reservations, call UNCA's Alumni Office at 828/251-6512.
Dykeman's first major book-length project, "The French Broad" (1955) remains a regional classic. In this work, her observations of the patterns and paradoxes of "a river and a watershed and a way of life where day-before-yesterday and day-after-tomorrow exist in odd and fascinating harmony" ring true even to this day, said Dan Pierce, an Asheville native, author and assistant professor of history at UNCA.
Her classic novel "The Tall Woman" (1966) depicts the struggle of a mountain woman to not only survive in an often hostile environment, but to promote education and social justice in her community. Dykeman has also written numerous volumes related to Tennessee history, including "Tennessee: A Bicentennial History" (1975), and serves as the Tennessee State Historian.
"The strong, determined, courageous, and compassionate pioneer woman often appears as a major character in Wilma Dykeman's work. Not ironically, these same virtues are the ones that make Wilma Dykeman such an endearing and enduring figure," Pierce said.
The Founders Day Dinner is part of a four-day Fall Celebration at UNCA, which includes the formal installation of UNCA Chancellor James Mullen at 2 p.m. October 6 on the Ramsey Library terrace, and a reading and talk by Robert Pinsky, 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, at 8 p.m. October 5 in Lipinsky Auditorium. For a complete list of events, visit UNC Asheville's Web site at www.unca.edu or call UNCA's Public Information Office at 828/251-6526.
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