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Scottish Heritage Symposium at St. Andrews

Laurinburg, NC, March 01, 2009 --( Five guest speakers – all experts in their fields of Scottish history, music, and lore – will headline the 2009 Charles Bascombe Shaw Memorial Scottish Heritage Symposium hosted by St. Andrews Presbyterian College on March 20-22 in Laurinburg.

“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.”

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.” After receiving a degree in music from the University of Stirling, she went on to study Library and Information Science at the University of Strathclyde.

Dr. Philip D. Smith Jr. serves as president of the Scottish Tartans Authority and he will present “Tartan Since Proscription.” One of the world’s top scholars of Scottish tartan, he is retired from academia, having served as a dean of West Chester University and currently resides in Tennessee. Smith’s expertise in Scottish topics includes Scottish Gaelic as well as the history and use of tartan. He is a member of the Guild of Tartan Scholars, president of the Scottish Tartans Authority - USA, and a member of the Board of Governors of that authority in Scotland.

Patrick King is a writer, director, and producer making documentary films for international broadcasters including PBS, The History Channel, A&E, as well as BBC Channel 4. His focus has been on historical subjects. King will present “Bagpipes in the Movies”. He is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the European Film Academy and 11 of his last 16 productions have won major awards. His presentation will be a “behind the scenes” look at the making of his award-winning productions “Instrument of War” and “When the Pipers Play” which combine inspirational stories and songs with powerful images to give a unique insight into the effect of the Highland bagpipe on people in both peace and war.

Bridget O’Brien graduated from Boston College in 2005 with a B.A. in Art History. In 2007, after travels in Europe, a volunteer stint in Ecuador, and a teaching position in Boston, she was accepted into the M.S. in Historic Preservation program jointly affiliated with Clemson University and the College of Charleston. She will graduate in May of 2009. Her M.S. thesis was inspired by Catherine Rogers of Bennettsville, S.C., who is restoring an 18th century emigrant homestead in Marlboro County.

O’Brien’s presentation will document floor plans, building materials, and construction methods of several emigrant homesteads from the Highland settlement, as well as the genealogical information relative to the families who built them. She will also explore correlations between Scottish vernacular architecture and these early farmsteads.

Isla St. Clair is a native of the 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. She began her broadcasting career at age 13 with a radio program titled “Stories are for Singing.” She has toured or performed with “The Chieftains,” “The Dubliners,” “The Corries,” Billy Connelly, Tom Conti, Chic Murray, Andy Stewart, Jimmy Logan, Pete Seeger, Ewan McColl, and Jimmy Shand. In 2002, St. Clair was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Aberdeen for her contributions to traditional music. She has appeared in numerous television productions from Disneytime by Walt Disney to recent documentary film productions. Isla will also appear in concert with the St. Andrews Pipe Band over the Scottish Heritage Weekend.

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

About The Learning House, Inc.
In early 2008, St. Andrews Presbyterian College initiated a partnership with The Learning House, Inc. to assist in the development and unveiling of its online campus. The Learning House is a comprehensive online education solutions partner that helps colleges and universities offer and manage their online education programs. The company provides a total online campus solution to each of its clients, including online course development and publishing, learning management system customization and hosting, online program marketing, 24/7 technology support, faculty and staff training, online education infrastructure and consulting. The Learning House provides online learning services to more than 60 accredited institutions of higher education. For more information about the company, please visit
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