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Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling just kicked off what will be a month-long celebration of all-things Appalachia. “Celebrate Appalachia” is the name of the series of lectures and events.
An open letter addressed by a Bishop to Catholic clergy, laity and the general public in 1975, entitled, “This Land is Home to Me,” was the impetus for what has become the Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit—a place for research, service, and advocacy for and with the people of Appalachia. From that place, through the initiative of a vista volunteer turned director of the institute, “Celebrate Appalachia” has grown.
Beth Collins was that volunteer. She says what started as a single night of celebrating Appalachian culture with food and revelry has turned into a month full of events that shines a light on everything from corn cob pipes and bluegrass music to mountain top removal coal mining techniques.