Ferrum gets $10,000 gift for Appalachian Literature project

Image: Tracy Frist. Courtesy of Ferrum College.

Former Ferrum College student Tracy R. Frist recently made a $10,000 gift to Ferrum College to support the College’s Appalachian Literature project (AppLit) and the digitizing and archiving needs of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum (BRIM).

“Tracy’s generous gift to the BRIM archive will provide us with the resources we need to digitize collections of folktales and songs so that they will be easily available for public use,” said Bethany Worley, director of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum in a statement.

AppLit is an online resource library created by Tina L. Hanlon, professor of English at Ferrum College, to serve as an archive of Appalachian literature for children and young adults. Frist’s own original animal tale, “Mountain Marbles: An Appalachian Tale,” is archived on the site and is an example of how the project includes student and faculty authored works as well those gathered from oration. 

The AppLit project was originally funded in 2000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities and serves as a resource for educators and dramatists. 

In addition to Frist’s gift, Ferrum College received a Humanities Research for the Public Good grant from The Counsel of Independent Colleges to fund student work on the project. 

“Dr. Tina Hanlon taught me preservation of culture, history and diversity lies in storytelling. Ferrum College and the greater Appalachian community is full of powerful and transformative stories. I wanted to be a part of saving these stories with this rich cultural evidence and making them accessible to everyone,” Frist said in a statement.

First published on cardinalnews.org on November 27, 2022