Article Published: Jun. 27 | Modified: Jun. 27
Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk held its official
groundbreaking for the May School of Nursing and Allied Health on June 20 in Stinson Parking Lot on
West Main Street.
Designed by McMillian Pazdan Smith, the 18,000-square-foot
facility will soon be the cornerstone of the college’s expanded science and health-related
The ceremony included remarks by Barry M. Buxton, president of
Lees-McRae; Rick Owen, Banner Elk town manager; and Glenn John, Avery County commissioner.
Additionally, the college welcomed Daniel and Dianne May, benefactors of the project, to campus for
The Mays reside outside of Naples, Fla., but maintain a
residence in Linville Ridge as well. Dianne is also an active member of the Lees-McRae board of
trustees and sits on the enrollment management and communications
“Today, we are declaring to build and implement a school of nursing and
allied health on the campus of Lees-McRae College,” said Caroline Hart, vice president of
advancement, in her opening remarks at the ceremony. “(Today) we are celebrating on the very site of
the May School of Nursing and Allied Health.”
“The sacred flame that burned in the
heart of (our founders) Edgar and Bessy Tufts has not died,” Buxton said. “That sacred flame lives
on in the heart of another couple — Dan and Dianne May — who have recognized that Lees-McRae cannot
succeed in a highly competitive higher education environment without first-class facilities. Without
the passion, the dedication and the foresight of this extraordinary couple, the new school of
nursing and allied health at Lees-McRae would not be possible.”
“We’re just so
happy we were able to help Lees-McRae and the community,” Dianne Mayn said. “It will be a
revitalization of the campus. We can see such progress and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. It is
In addition to their generosity for the May School of Nursing and
Allied Health, the May family has also contributed to Lees-McRae through new roof construction and
sidewalks, as well as landscaping and energy conservation. The Mays also donated funds for the May
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which opened its doors in May 2012 and has since helped with the
rehabilitation of more than 1,000 animals in the past year.
The May School of
Nursing and Allied Health will provide classrooms, lab space and technology specific to the nursing
and allied health curriculum.
Lees-McRae currently offers science programs
such as biology, with concentrations in nutrition and health science.
health science curriculum prepares students for graduate schools in the areas of dentistry, medical,
pharmacy, physician assistant and veterinarian studies. Additionally, the college offers allied
health programs such as athletic training, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic
“(Banner Elk) is very excited about this project,” Owen said.
“I am not only excited as town manager, but also as an alumnus. I feel sure that this building and
program will soon be added to the list of all the reasons our community is so admired by
Based on student interest, marketplace demand and the donation from the
Mays, Lees-McRae is moving forward with a prelicensure nursing program and considering the addition
of allied health programs in health care administration and emergency care
Interested students should contact the admissions office at (800)
280-4LMC or (firstname.lastname@example.org
) regarding enrollment as early as fall 2013.