Scott Philyaw, director of the Mountain Heritage Center and associate professor of history at Western Carolina University, has been named to lead Mountain Heritage Day, the university’s popular celebration of Southern Appalachian culture.
Philyaw will serve as chairman of the 30-member committee that plans and carries out the annual festival, which is always held on the last Saturday in September. The committee is composed of WCU students, faculty and staff, and local residents.
Philyaw takes over the chairmanship of Mountain Heritage Day from Jim Rowell, WCU’s senior director of marketing and promotions, who served as chairman for the 2005 and 2006 festivals.
“Jim Rowell has done a wonderful job in leading the Mountain Heritage Day Committee as it has taken care of the million-and-one details that are involved in holding the festival,” said Clifton Metcalf, WCU vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs. “This year’s Mountain Heritage Day on Sept. 30 was, by all accounts, the most highly attended one in its 32-year history.”
In planning for Mountain Heritage Day 2006, Philyaw served as co-chairman to Rowell to allow him to learn the details of leading the festival. Rowell will serve as Philyaw’s co-chairman to ease the transition as planning for the 2007 festival takes place, Metcalf said.
Raised in Caldwell and Burke counties, Philyaw is a WCU alumnus and has been a member of the university faculty for 10 years. He was named director of the Mountain Heritage Center last spring.
The 2007 edition of Mountain Heritage Day will be held on WCU’s campus on Saturday, Sept. 29. For more information about Mountain Heritage Day, contact the festival office at (828) 227-3193.