Mars Hill University hosted a birthday parade today for Professor Emeritus of History Harley Jolley, who will turn 100 years old on July 5. John Chandler, Mayor of Mars Hill, presented Jolley with the key to Mars Hill this afternoon, and issued a proclamation naming July 5 as “Harley Jolley Day” in the town.
In addition to being a history professor for over 40 years, Jolley is a veteran of World War II and a Pearl Harbor survivor. He also spent 25 years as a seasonal ranger with the interpretive division of the U.S. Park Service, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. He has authored eleven books and publications, most of which chronicle the history of the Parkway. He authored one book about the Civilian Conservation Corps, in which he was involved as a young man in the 1930s. He has given numerous interviews as an historic expert on both the Parkway and the CCC program. He received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2008.