Anspach Conference Room Named for Bill and Sharla Baker

On Saturday, July 28, the Mayland Community College Foundation hosted its annual Red, White, and Brass celebration at the Burnsville Town Center. Over 125 guests attended as Charlotte party band Coming Up Brass led the evening of music and dancing.

“Red, White, and Brass gives us a chance to spend time with friends and celebrate progress on a number of our initiatives at Mayland Community College,” Dr. John Boyd, Mayland Community College president, said to those in attendance. “There is tremendous energy in Yancey County,” said Dr. Boyd, who reported on the current construction of the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School. 

The evening’s highlight came when Dr. Boyd announced the naming of the William A. and Sharla Baker Conference Room at the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School. 
“For his efforts to help Mayland and serve the community, it seems only fitting to name this room for one of Yancey County’s most loyal and beloved citizens,” said Dr. Boyd, as a stunned Baker and a delighted crowd looked on. “We’ve been quietly working on the $50,000 campaign to name the Baker Conference Room since last winter,” Dr. Boyd said, “and it’s a miracle that we were able to keep it a secret from Bill Baker this long.” 

As Dr. Boyd told everyone at Red, White, and Brass, the “Bill Baker Project” has been well-received by the Burnsville community. The Yancey Chamber, where Baker volunteers, has also been supportive. Funds are still welcomed, however, for the project goal. 

In addition to music and dancing, Red, White, and Brass featured a silent auction, which included a carving by Yancey County’s own David Boone, a whimsical birdhouse by artist Rolf Holmquist, and a glass piece by artist Rob Levin.  Student speaker, recipient of the Designing Women Scholarship, and recent Mayland Community College graduate, Vriesyda Wyatt also shared her personal story at the event.
Dr. Boyd also told those in attendance about the College’s plans to build an observatory and a 34” telescope for the Blue Ridge Star Park as part of efforts to expand and upgrade offerings at the EnergyXchange.  

“The goal, said Dr. Boyd, “is to create a destination for local visitors as well as tourists, and the observatory will be open to the public, not just limited to scientists and researchers.”  

The Blue Ridge Star Park was recently designated as one of only 22 Dark Skies certified sites in the world, and it is the only certified site working under the auspices of an institution of higher learning.   
The Mayland Community College Foundation thanks the Burnsville Town Center, Coming Up Brass, Chef Bruce Brown of Bruce’s Fabulous Foods, and volunteers Bill Baker, Dr. John Boyd, Julia Norris, Bonnie Schmink, David and Elaine Boone, Sally Folcher, Janet Hepburn, Wanda Proffitt, Kristabell Certain, Jae Kennedy, Beth Morris, Dr. Monica Carpenter, Rita Earley, Liz Silvers, Rob Levin, Rolf Holmquist, Dr. William Anspach, Dr. Rita Meeks, Pam Witters, and Wendy Reid for their contributions and tireless work toward making Red, White, and Brass an evening to remember.

To learn more and to support the William A. and Sharla Baker Conference Room at the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School or the Blue Ridge Star Park and Observatory, visit and click on the “Donate Now” button or call 828-766-1275.
Pictured at right volunteering at a MCC Foundation event is Bill Baker with MCC resident/Board of Trustees and Foundation Assistant Kristabell Certain.

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