The Department of English will celebrate Professor Ellesa High’s retirement on Saturday, April 30 from 2:30-5:30 in 130 Colson Hall. A traditional native giveaway will be held at 3:00 p.m., followed by a potluck feast at 4:00. Carol Markstrom, Top Female Vocalist of the Year, Academy of Western Artists, along with Mother Earth Beat Drum will provide singing and drumming.
Dr. High joined the WVU Department of English in 1981, and has spent her entire thirty-five year academic career here. Her initial scholarly concerns focused primarily on Appalachian literature and culture, illustrated powerfully in her 1984 book Past Titan Rock. She has also developed an abiding passion for Native American studies, a passion she has pursued with great success. She helped found the Organization for Native American Interests (ONAI) student group in the late 1990s, and served as Coordinator of the Native American Studies Program from 1998 through 2005. In 2015, Professor High was recognized with the Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice for her outstanding service in addressing Native American issues, a fitting and significant capstone to her career.
“Elle High’s presence in our department has been crucially important to the health and vitality of our various programs,” said James Harms, Chair of the Department of English. “It would be impossible to overstate the significance of her contributions over the past three decades. She will be sorely missed.”
The celebration is open to the public. Please bring your favorite dish for the potluck, if you can.