May School of Nursing and Allied Health groundbreaking held June 20



Article Published: Jun. 27, 2013 | Modified: Jun. 27, 2013
May School of Nursing and Allied Health groundbreaking held June 20

Pictured from left, LMC President Barry Buxton, benefactors Dan and Dianne May and LMC Board
of Trustees Chairman Harvey Lowd break ground with the first shovels of dirt at the future site
of the May School of Nursing and Allied Health at LMC.

Photo by Jamie Shell



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 programs.

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 ceremony.

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 committee.

“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 just wonderful.”

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.

The 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 Training Education.

“(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 others.”

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 management.

Interested students should contact the admissions office at (800) 280-4LMC or (admissions@lmc.edu) regarding enrollment as early as fall 2013.

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