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Vol. 84 No. 20 PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN THE COUNTY SEAT AT MARSHALL, N C WEDNESDAY, May 16, 1984 25c
College Graduates 253
By ROBERT KOENIG
Mars Hill College brought its 128th academic
year to a close Sunday afternoon with com
mencement exercises in Moore Auditorium.
Mars Hill College president Fred B. Bentley
presented diplomas to 253 graduates.
Following the presentation of individual
diplomas, Bentley addressed the graduates and
their families. He said that the graduates had
"made this a better place just because you
were here to grow with us."
Bentley went on to quote a verse from a poem
written by a member of the graduating class,
Carol Roane. The poem, entitled 'There Is A
Place' appeared in the 1984 edition of the col
lege literary magazine, 'Cadenza.'
The poem mentions a special place filled with
laughter, tears, memories and tomorrows.
Bentley told the graduates, "It would be my
hope that this is your special place. You have
invested four years of life in this community. I
love you and appreciate that special pain which
comes with your graduation."
Mars Hill s greatest living benefactor, Dr. J.
Wesley Grayson of Laguna Hills, Calif., also ad
dressed the commencement audience. Grayson
told the graduates that they need to "Start out
right" by renewing their resolve each morning-.
He urged the new graduates to develop good
points of view toward family, community,
business and government.
The retired California financier told the
graduates, "In developing your own life, bear
in mind that success often depends on what you
do or choose not to do, and on how you do it -
how you start your next undertaking, your next
campaign. Try each day to improve and
strengthen your character. In working to ac
complish this, reach up to ideals, Christian
ideals, and let them influence you in all your ac
tivities. And if you do that, you will take a long
step in becoming a successful and respected
member of your community."
Grayson and his wife, a Mars Hill native,
reecntly contributed an additional $441,000, br
inging their total contributions to the college to
nearly $3 million.
During the commencement exercises,
Bentley presented the Scholarship-Character
Award to Donna Jayne Boyd, a native of Pe
questa, Fla. The award is presented annually to
the student ranking highest in scholarship,
manners and character. Boyd, an elementary
education major, graduated with a 3.97 grade
point average out of a possible 4.0.
Earlier Sunday morning, Dr. Robert
Seymour, pastor of the Binkley Memorial Bap
tist Church and former pastor of the Mars Hill
Baptist Church, delivered the sermon during
the Baccalaureate Service. Entitled, *1984:
Ominous Opportunity', the sermon was based
on Luke 4:19 and was divided into four parts.
In the first, Seymour discussed "Big
Brother" government surveillance and securi
ty and asked, 'Are we moving toward a society
in which there is no privacy?'
Staying with George Orwell's work of post
war satire, Seymour noted that the sort of
linguistic manipulations which Orwell describ
ed in his book have crep into our everyday
speech. As an example, Seymour noted the
Reagan administration's practise of referring
to the MX missile as "The Peacemaker."
Seymour also quoted from Michael Harr
ington's book, 'The Politics At God's Funeral'
and told the graduating class, "We will have
togetherness one way or the other; either built
on mutual respect and love, or built on terror
"What will it be?" Seymour asked, "Even
though there are ev idences of teh 1964 of George
Orwell, if young people still believe in the power
of God in Jesus Christ, it is not too late to
change the direction of our threatened and
Twenty-eight Madison County residents were
among the graduates receiving diplomas dur
(See 28 on Page 4)
Gahagan Home Burns
PIECES OF THE COLLAPSED ROOF and
chimney are all that remain following a May 6
fire. The family has posted a $1,000 reward for
information concerning the fire.
DOGWOOD BLOSSOMS signaled the return of
spring last week following weeks of rain and
2nd Rabid Skunk Found;
Pet Vaccinations Urged
By ROBERT KOENIG
For the second time in less than a month, a
rabid skunk has been discovered in the Laurel
section of Madison County.
Ed Morton of the Madison County Health
Department reported that a skunk shot on May
7 was found to have been rabid following
labratory tests conducted by health officals in
Morton said the skunk was shot by Buddy
Blackwell on Monday night when the animal at
Mars Hill College Tightens
Belt, Makes Profit Again
Mars Hill College is back in
the black as the 1983-84 school
year comes to a close. Dr.
Fred B. Bentley delivered the
good news Saturday to a joint
meeting of the college's
boards of trustees and ad
"It's amazing the difference
one academic year can
make," Bentley told the board
members. "Last year, when
the college closed its books,
there was a deficit of $460,000,
the first the school had ex
perienced in modern times."
The college president said that
decreased enrollment was
resonsible for the deficit.
Bentley instituted a cutback
plan which included a salary
freeze and reductions in staff
and faculty members. The
reduction in faculty resulted
in an increase in the student
teacher ration at the baptist
college, but Bentley pointed
out that the school's current
15:1 student-teacher ratio is
better than the national
average of 18:1.
"The plan is working,"
Bentley said, "We have
operated with a 40 percent
reduction in supplies and ex
penses this year, no new
equipment purchases from
college income, and a 50 per
cent reduction in travel." The
college president said the cut
backs would result in a sav
ings of $800,000.
Bentley also reported that
the school's expanded recruit
ment program has produced a
ten percent increase in
enrollments for the upcoming
year He said that the
college's housing office is also
reporting an increase in
deposits for the 1984-85 school
Gifts to the college have also
played an important part in
Mars Hill's economic tur
naround. Most notable among
contributions was a gift of
$440,000 from Dr. J. Wesley
Grayson and his wife, the
former Polly Wall of Mars
(See COLLEGE on Page 3)
tacked Blackwell. The county health officials
shipped the animal's head to Raleigh on Tues
day for testing. Morton was notified on Friday
afternon that the tests for rabies proved
Morton said that officials do not believe that
the skunk had attacked any animals or people
before being killed.
Dr. Bud Allen conducted a special clinic to
vaccinate household pets Monday evening in
Belva. Earlier, clinics were held throughout the
county in response to the first rabid skunk
discovered near Guntertown in April.
The latest rabid skunk was discovered about
two miles from the first.
Morton repeated his earlier warning, stating,
"People should watch out for wild animals and
be on the alert, not only for skunks, but for
foxes, bats and other wild animals that carry
rabies. Be very careful if you notice animals ac
ting strangely. Notify the health department,
dog warden or sheriff's department and, if
possible, kill the animal, being sure not to
destroy the head."
Madison County has two full-time
veterinarians, Dr. Bud Allen in Gabriel's Creek
and Dr. Larry Frost in Mars Hill. Dr. Allen can
be reached at 689-5537. Dr. Frost's office
telephone number is 689-5711
Health officials test animals' heads to deter
mine if rabies is present.
Morton also urged all residents to have their
house pets, both cats and dogs, vaccinated
State Contracts For U.S. 25-70 Improvements
By ROBERT KOENIG
The North Carolina Board of
Transportation has awarded a
$1.2 million contract to
upgrade U.S. 25-70 between
Marshall and Walnut.
The contract to grade, drain
and pave the highway was
awarded to Taylor and Mur
phy Construction Co. of
Asheville. The award was
made Friday during the
board's monthly meeting in
Raleigh at which the board ap
proved more than $3 1 9 million
"This contract is the first of
three which will be let to com
plete an overall 9.2 mile pro
ject from N.C. 208 to U.S. 25-70
Business in Marshall. I'm
very pleased at the board's
decision to award this project
Ponder explained that the
contract awarded Friday will
wide with paved
The project will <
pleting work in Marshall on
the town's new sewer system.
Work on the U.S. 25-70 pro
ject is scheduled to begin in
June and be completed in Ju
The total award of the con
tract approved Friday is
$1,371, 612 50