The Scottish Heritage Center will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new facility at 11 a.m., and the public is invited to attend. The grand opening is part of the college’s Scottish Heritage Weekend, which will be held March 20-22.
The Scottish Heritage Center began at St. Andrews in 1989 as a project aimed at highlighting the Scottish heritage of the college and the greater region. After initial fundraising and collection of rare books and artifacts, the center was granted use of a wing of the DeTamble Library in 1996. With the ongoing growth of the center, the collections were moved to a vacated building, the old Career and Personal Counseling Center, at the corner of Elm Avenue and St. Andrews College Drive late fall.
Carol McLean of Rockingham, author of “John D. McLean, Scottish Immigrant to Rocky Fork Creek and His Descendants,” said the center will certainly be helpful to anyone researching family and other history.
In doing his research back in 1979, McLean spent three weeks in Scotland and the British Isles. He visited the Isle of Mull where his ancestors originated.
Published in 2001, his book later won an award from the N.C. Society of Historians for its scholarship and is now in libraries around the state and across the United States.
“We have a significant collection here, and it has long deserved a proper home and access for interested parties,” said Bill Caudill, founder and director of the Scottish Heritage Center. In addition to roughly 4,000 volumes of old and rare books and other materials relative to Scottish history, genealogy and culture, the Center houses a collection of artifacts relative to Scots who settled in the region, an interpretive exhibit room that documents the history and lore of the Scottish settlement and notable artwork and other memorabilia. The facility also houses a band room for the prize-winning St. Andrews Presbyterian College bagpipe band, which had no space to call its own on campus since its founding in 1991.
“I’m very excited to have been given the opportunity to develop this center and to provide these resources to the public,” said Caudill. “To see this project develop over the years and to see the support for it has been tremendously fulfilling. I’ve been truly blessed with this opportunity, and thank all of our supporters who have made it a reality.”
Funding for the Center was provided completely by outside supporters of the college who have Scottish interests. Renovations for the Center included a new roof, installation of new HVAC and security systems and various cosmetic changes to give the facility a Scottish theme.
For further information on St. Andrews Presbyterian College and the Scottish Heritage Center, visit www.sapc.edu. For information on the Scottish Heritage Weekend, visit www.sapc.edu/shc/images/2009SHBrochure.pdf.