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Scottish Heritage Symposium at St. Andrews

Laurinburg, SC, January 16, 2009 --( The annual Charles Bascombe Shaw Memorial Scottish Heritage Symposium will be the weekend of March 20-22 on the St. Andrews Presbyterian College campus in Laurinburg, N.C. This event, now in its 19th year, will feature scholars from Scotland and the United States.

All interested are invited to attend.

“Since its inception in 1989, the symposium has provided a forum for those interested in Scottish history, culture, and genealogy to learn from top scholars in their fields,” said Bill Caudill, director of the Scottish Heritage Center. “Our symposium is nationally considered a leader in the exploration of Scottish culture.”

Five guest speakers headline this year’s event.

Eleanor Harris, a native of St. Andrews, Fife, will present “Local Sources for Global Communities: An Overview of the Local Collections Held by Argyll and Bute Library Service Highlighting Resources Pertaining to Early Emigrants from Argyll.”

“Those with research interests in Scotland and Argyll in particular will not want to miss her presentation,” said Caudill.

Dr. Philip D. Smith Jr. serves as president of the Scottish Tartans Authority and he will present “Tartan Since Proscription.”

Patrick King is a writer, director, and producer making documentary films for international broadcasters including PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and BBC Channel 4. He will present “Bagpipes in the Movies.”

Bridget O’Brien’s presentation on “Early Scottish Farmsteads in the Eastern Carolinas” will focus on the floor plans, building materials, and construction methods of several emigrant homesteads from the Highland settlements as well as the genealogical information relative to the families who built them.

Isla St. Clair will present “The Songs of Scotland”. She is a native of North East of Scotland, growing up in Buckie, Findochty, and Aberdeen. She is a well-known exponent of Scottish traditional song and at age 12 was recorded by the legendary Hamish Henderson, principal of the School of Scottish Studies.

Three additional events continue to accompany the symposium.

On Friday night, the annual Scottish Heritage Awards Banquet features three people receiving awards. Dr. Philip D. Smith Jr. will receive the Scottish Heritage Center Service Award. He has devoted much of his personal research and educational efforts toward Scottish topics including the Gaelic language and the history, culture, and lore of Scottish tartans.

Betty Holmes and Pinny Geffert will jointly receive the Flora MacDonald Award this year.

Holmes is a retired librarian for St. Andrews where she first began stirring interest in the college’s Scottish connections due to numerous library inquiries from individuals and societies who were interested in Scottish connections. Geffert is the retired archivist for St. Andrews. She was caretaker and custodian for the collections which were later to become the nucleus of the Scottish Heritage Center.

On Saturday night, the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Pipe Band will give their much-celebrated annual live concert. This year, the band will be joined by folk singer and recording artist Isla St. Clair. The concert is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, the traditional Kirkin of the Tartans Worship Service will be held at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. Reservations are required for the lunch following the service.

For a schedule of events and registration information, please visit or call the Scottish Heritage Center at (910) 277-5236.


About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture to an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship have marked the distinctive character of St. Andrews. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews Online. St. Andrews was formed by the merger on Aug. 29, 1958, of Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to

In early 2008 St. Andrews Presbyterian College initiated a partnership with The Learning House, Inc., a total online education solutions provider, to assist in the development and launch of its online campus. Learning House will provide a customized package of online services, including a learning management system for eCourses, Tier 1 hosting and Help Desk services, custom course consultation, online marketing services, faculty and staff training, and consulting services.
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