LRU News

We are what we remember – Lenoir-Rhyne University forum to focus on memory

Fri Mar 7 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — Memory matters. Think about it.

Without memory we would live in an eternal present devoid of internal and external context. Its loss would cost us a portion of our humanity.

Memory is essential for self awareness, vital for interpersonal connections and key for the development of community. The reason is simple: Humans are born storytellers. The stories we tell about ourselves help us form and display our identities. The stories we tell about our friends, family and community are key to finding and maintaining our place in the world.

The theme for Lenoir-Rhyne University’s 2014 Humanities Forum is “Memory Matters.” The forum is being held at the Blowing Rock Conference Center from May 30 until June1. Early registration has begun.

As memory is key to storytelling, storytelling is key to LR’s 2014 forum. This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Dodson.  He will be speaking on “Memory and Memoir.”  He’ll also be leading a writing workshop called “The Memoir: Getting Started.”

Dodson is one of today’s most esteemed golf writers, and is editor of award-winning PineStraw Magazine in Southern Pines, North Carolina—the arts and culture magazine of the Carolina Sandhills.

He wrote a column for Golf Magazine for nearly 20 years. Dodson’s work has appeared in more than 50 magazines and newspapers worldwide. His bestselling books include a memoir of a golf trip across the U.K. with his terminally ill father called “Final Rounds.” Dodson also wrote “A Golfers Life: Arnold Palmer,” and “Ben Hogan: An American Life,” which won the USGA International Book Award in 2005. His most recent book is “American Triumvirate: How Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson Created the Modern Age of Golf”.

This is the 33rd year of Lenoir-Rhyne’s Humanities Forum. The three-day event allows the public to reserve a place to listen to some of LR’s best and brightest experts shed some insightful light on the topic of memory.

LR’s six presenters come from a variety of disciplines including the schools of music, philosophy, communication, psychology, English and history.


Dr. John Cheek is a music professor and an accomplished concert pianist. He will address the methods musicians use to memorize and perform massively complex compositions. Cheek will detail the process of integrating analytic skill with tactile, aural, and visual intelligence.

Cheek is a top prize-winner in a number of important national and international music competitions. He’s also a Fulbright Scholar who spent 2001 in Armenia performing in concerts and teaching courses on American music. Cheek’s most recent performance album is called “The 99 Beautiful Names of God.”


LR philosophy professor Dr. Michael Deckard is going to examine the intersection of memory and imagination. He will seek to answer the question, “What is the difference between memory and imagination—fantasy and reality?”

Deckard will discuss the therapeutic function of déjà vu and the “ah-ha moment.” He will draw from several literary and scientific sources as he works to answer a single poignant question: “What is the difference between memory and imagination, fantasy and reality?”


If you don’t know something—Google it. How many of us keep Google close by so that we can gather information instantly when we’re using our computers?

What we remember depends in large part on how we retrieve information and how we process what we discover. Communication professor Dr. Jeffrey Delbert will explore how the pervasiveness of Google’s search engine is changing our brains.

Delbert says Google is making a big difference on how human’s think. It’s not the first innovation that has impacted human memory but it’s the most recent one and it’s changing us daily. Delbert will outline how Google has changed what we remember, how we remember events and also how we use information.


If you’ve ever reminisced with people about shared experiences you’ve probably found yourself listening to a friend’s version of events and been surprised by how different it is from the version you remember.

Psychology professor Dr. Amy Hedrick is going to focus on the ways in which we learn to tell our stories and how our conversations with others about the past can strengthen and elaborate not only our memories, but also our sense of self.

Hedrick specializes in how social exchanges influence the development of children’s cognitive skills in multiple contexts and the causal link between young children’s exposure to elaborative language during and after a novel experience and subsequent recall.


English professor Dr. Jennifer Heller’s session will be interactive. Participants will bring an object that reminds them of a personal story. Heller will expound on how humans excel at triggering memories and narratives through the use of personal totems as the audience participates by telling the tales inspired by their chosen items.

It takes very little—a photo, a stone, a scent—to recover the rush of emotive recall that accompanied the acquisition of the object. We can make virtually anything into a souvenir whose function is to help us remember the stories that form our own histories.


Generations have common historical touchstones. You can get a good estimate of someone’s age by evaluating their answers to the following questions: Where were you when:
Martin Luther King was assassinated?
Men first landed on the moon?
The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?
The Twin Towers fell?

Osama bin Laden was killed?

Remembering “Where you were when” can be a key indicator for who you were, who you are and how far you’ve come. History Professor Dr. Veronica McComb will discuss the way we orient ourselves by creating a kind of time capsule of memories that we share as oral histories. She calls it the transformative power of collective experience and collective memory. She will examine the art, artistry, and limitations of creating collective memories through oral history.

For more information and to register go to or call Dr. Rand Brandes at (828) 328-7077.

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View Stars, Planets and the Moon at LRU

Fri Mar 7 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — Lenoir-Rhyne University in conjunction with the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club is sponsoring a “Public Observing Night.” This event will be held on Friday, March 21, weather permitting, at the LR Observatory on top of Minges Science Building. This free event will begin at 8:00 pm and conclude at approximately 10:00 pm.

The public is invited to come to the top of Minges Science Building where several telescopes will be set up in addition to the 12.5 inch Cassegrain telescope in the observatory dome.  To access the rooftop observatory, enter the building then take the elevator to the 4th floor and come up the steps.

Television monitors should be available outside the observatory for many people to view the sites. In addition telescope views will be streamed live to Classroom Minges 107, where they can be viewed on a large screen.  Should weather not permit observing, an alternate program will be offered in room Minges 118.

During this viewing, participants will observe Jupiter and its moons, the Orion Nebula plus the Pleiades star cluster. Visibility permitting, Mars will be seen rising around 9:30 pm, along with several other impressive star clusters.

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LRU Student Among Recipients of Wells Fargo Scholarship

Thu Mar 6 2014

Hickory N.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne University student Rachel Lewis, class of 2016, was among 24 other students from private colleges and universities in the state of North Carolina to receive part of$67,600 in Wells Fargo Scholarship money, made possible through the Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC). Lewis is a double major in History and Studio Art.

Wells Fargo distributed scholarships to students from the following institutions: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Lees-McRae College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Louisburg College, Mars Hill University, Meredith College, Methodist University, Montreat College, Mount Olive College, N.C. Wesleyan College, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews University , Salem College, Warren Wilson College, William Peace University, and Wingate University.

“Wells Fargo is pleased to partner with the Independent College Fund of North Carolina to provide the scholarships,” said Leslie Hayes, regional president for Wells Fargo in Triad West. “This helps demonstrate our ongoing and deep commitment to North Carolina. We have been proud supporters of ICFNC for more than 55 years and we are honored to continue our partnership.  At Wells Fargo, we share the belief that supporting education is one of the most important investments we can make in our country’s future. We know the returns on an investment in a great education far exceed those from the best mutual funds.”

Dr. A. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, expressed appreciation to Wells Fargo on behalf of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina and the students attending the state’s 36 private colleges and universities in North Carolina. “The Wells Fargo scholarship makes a positive difference in the lives of students and their families and their ability to make the American dream of a college education come true.  We thank Wells Fargo for making this important investment in our students and in the state’s future.” said Dr. Williams.

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International Accreditation is reaffirmed for LRU’s Charles M. Snipes School of Business

Wed Mar 5 2014

Hickory N.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Charles M. Snipes School of Business recently received International Accreditation reaffirmation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence. The association embraces the virtues of teaching excellence and emphasizes to students that it is essential to learn how to learn.

ACBSP offers programs, services, and an accreditation process uniquely focused on teaching excellence and student learning outcomes. ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree levels worldwide.

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Lenoir-Rhyne University Nursing Program Receives $150,000 from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc, for Student Scholarships

Wed Mar 5 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — Lenoir-Rhyne University was recently awarded a grant of $150,000 for nursing scholarships from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc. This gift includes an increase of $20,000 over last year’s grant amount of $130,000. According to the award letter, the Foundation is pleased to increase awards to those institutions that demonstrate their ability to attract, retain, and graduate female students with financial need.

The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc. is a charity dedicated to the support of women in nine southeastern states, primarily for scholarship grants to deserving female students. Lenoir-Rhyne University has received this support for many years and uses it to provide nursing student scholarships for needy and deserving students.

The grant is named for Lettie Pate Whitehead who along with her husband, Joseph Whitehead, helped to bottle Coca-Cola throughout the United States beginning in 1899. Mr. Whitehead died in 1906 and Lettie Pate Whitehead assumed leadership of the family’s business affairs, which prospered significantly. She was one of the first women to serve on the board of directors of a major American corporation, serving as director of the Coca-Cola Company for almost twenty years beginning in 1934. She established the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation just prior to her death in 1953.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s School of Nursing is well known for its high pass rate on the North Carolina Nursing Board examination, and has graduated 1,229 students with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing, since 1960. Currently 300 students are enrolled in the undergraduate nursing degree program and 29 students are enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program that began in 2012.

Most recently, Lenoir-Rhyne School of Nursing has been a Member of the NC Future of Nursing Action Coalition Taskforce, and has created the Hickory Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program. This provides collaboration between Lenoir-Rhyne School of Nursing and five community colleges in the region wherein students are dually enrolled to improve the transition to the baccalaureate level, resulting in more graduates and better training.

Vice President for Advancement, Dr. Drew Van Horn expressed appreciation, stating “thanks to the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc., the future of Lenoir-Rhyne nursing students needing financial assistance is filled with hope and the promise of fulfilling careers in the nursing profession.”

School of Nursing Chair, Dr. Kerry Thompson, echoed similar thoughts, proclaiming “it is remarkable that during challenging economic conditions, Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Inc. has increased their support of our Nursing student scholarships. We are extremely grateful and honored to enjoy such a wonderful partnership that makes it possible for deserving students to earn their nursing degree.”

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LR recognizes community heroes – Volunteerism honored at local university

Fri Feb 28 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — They don’t do it for the awards. They don’t do it for the recognition. But Lenoir-Rhyne University felt that after decades of serving their community three local people deserve the honor of public appreciation.

LR gave this year’s Community Service Awards to Dr. Edward L. “Eddie” Beard, Jr., Andrea Triplette Benfield and Judy White in a ceremony held Thursday evening.

The honorees live out the spirit of leadership and service that LR seeks to instill in its students, and their lives serve as exemplary role models to the college community.


Beard graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne’s nursing program in 1985. He has since gone on to his current position of Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services, Catawba Valley Medical Center—a 258-bed hospital with $122 million in annual gross revenues.

“Eddie is perhaps most passionate about excellence in nursing care,” wrote Wheaton Williams, Md. in a letter nominating Beard for this award. “Eddie has the ability to match the unique talents and interests of nurses with the needs of CVMC.”

Beard’s compassion and desire for excellence led him to help the Hickory area’s first locally-based HIV clinic in 2003. Before the clinic came along infected patients had to travel to Charlotte, Winston-Salem or Asheville for treatment. The establishment of the clinic allowed patients from eight counties to be treated closer to home regardless of their ability to pay for their treatment.

“Eddie Beard has made significant contributions to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV infection in Hickory and the surrounding area,” wrote Williams. The specialty clinic, called Fairgrove Primary Health, now serves more than 200 HIV-infected patients. “Eddie Beard is one of those special individuals who has the vision and drive to make the world around him a better place.”

Fairgrove Primary Health is just one example of the many efforts Beard has made to help others.

“Eddie formed a team of nurses to travel to the site of the 9/11 attack in New York City immediately after the attack,” wrote Charles Dixon. “The team worked 12-14 hour days for two weeks.”

Board Service: NC Organization of Nurse Leaders (past president and bylaws chairperson), Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society for Nurses (past president), American Organization of Nurse Executives, American and N.C. Nurses Association, ALFA (past president), American Red Cross—Catawba Valley Chapter(past board president), Children’s Advocacy Center, Outright Youth of Catawba Valley, (Founding Board Member and Board Vice President)


Andrea Triplette Benfield earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1962 and went on to become a licensed clinical social worker. She retired in 1998 after more than 30 years of service with the Catawba County Department of Social Services as Social Work Services Program Administrator.

The legacy she left at DSS continues to protect and serve Catawba County’s most innocent victims.

Benfield spearheaded the first multidisciplinary team of an attorney, law enforcement officer and social worker to jointly investigate physical and sexual child abuse—a model now commonly used across the nation. Her efforts also resulted in new statewide statutory rape penalties in 1992.

She penned several child welfare media campaigns, which have been used throughout the state to promote safety in child care.

The year after she left DSS Benfield went on to open a private practice: ATB Consultations—Consulting, Counseling and Psychotherapy.

In 1996 Benfield won the National Association of Social Workers’ award for Social Worker of the Year. In 2008, she received the Hancock-Settlemyre Award recognizing her years of child advocacy.

In December 2013 Benfield retired again, closed her practice and turned her attention to her current roles as babysitting-grandmother and volunteer. She continues to be an enthusiastic advocate and protector of vulnerable children in Catawba County and the state.

Board Service: Charter Member of Children’s Protection Council (past president and chair of Public Education Awareness Committee), Board of Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas (past president), NC Child Advocacy Centers Board, Board of Council on Adolescence, Board of Catawba County Parenting Network, Child Advocacy and Protection Board, appointed to NC Social Work Licensure and Certification Board (past president), Barium Springs Home (orphanage), Cooperative Christian Ministry, LR Alumni Board (past president), LR adjunct faculty (10 years), Appalachian State University adjunct faculty, Daughters of the American Revolution (past regent)


Judy White, President & CEO, Benco Steel, Inc., began running Benco Steel in 2000 after the untimely death of her husband, Joel, in 1999. Early on she considered selling the business, but decided to put herself to the test instead. Today, more than a decade later, it’s clear that she has triumphed.

Benco Steel is a regional steel service center, which specializes in providing industrial steel.

When not devoting herself to the demands of running a corporation, White is an enthusiastic advocate for orphans and children. She organizes and hosts events at her home.

White’s hobbies include reading, golf and charity work.

Board Service: Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County (10 years), Sipes Orchard Children’s Home (15 years), First Citizen Advisory Board (chair, five years), Chamber of Commerce, LR Business Council

LR also presented a trio of awards to a student, a faculty member and an organization in recognition of the community service they’ve rendered.

  • Stephen Amoah, LR junior: physics major, football player, student leader and honor society member

Amoah has created a number of events for his fellow students. He has taken every opportunity to develop the leadership skills in an effort to leave the world better than he found it.

“We have a biblical obligation to help others as Christ commands,” Amoah said. “The world is interdependent and in order for it to be a better place we must help each other.”

  • Men’s Lacrosse: 40-member team celebrating their fourth year on campus

The LR team hosted a lacrosse clinic for local young people to come out and learn about the game. The lacrosse team also volunteered during a local Special Olympics event. They assisted the athletes during a bowling competition.

The team also sponsored a Wilson Creek cleanup.

  • Dr. Sue Friguglietti leads study abroad programs, volunteers with the Boy Scouts, serves as the PTO president and volunteers with dog rescue

“I help to shape the lives of boys as we work in scouting to turn them into fine men,” she said. “I am honored to serve the community I live in.”

Friguglietti also serves as an assistant professor and academic fieldwork coordinator in LR’s School of Occupational Therapy.

“All the time, energy, stress and craziness is worth it,” she said.


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Alex Lee Leadership Series to Present WFAE Radio Station President

Thu Feb 27 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — As part of the 2014 Alex Lee Leadership Series, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Business Council and the Alex Lee Foundation will present Mr. Roger Sarow, Wednesday, March 5 in the McCrorie, Fintel classroom at 6 p.m. Sarow will speak on the topic of Leadership in the World of Media.

Sarow is President and General Manager of public radio station WFAE in Charlotte, NC, a position he has held since 1988. He has spent more than 30 years in public radio at stations across the country, previously managing WEKU at Eastern Kentucky University and serving as Program Director at Wisconsin Public Radio.

Sarow was elected to the board of directors of National Public Radio in 2008, and currently serves as the chair of NPR’s Finance Committee.

He was chair of the board of the Public Radio Program Directors’ Association from 1991 to 1994, where he led the national organization’s strategic planning. He has also chaired both the board of Southern Public Radio and the North Carolina Public Radio Association.

Today, Sarow is also an adjunct faculty member in the Communications Department at Winthrop University where his wife, Dr. Marilyn Sarow, is a professor of Mass Communications.

The remaining speakers in the Alex Lee Leadership Series incluce: Mr. Clark Kinlin, CEO Corning Cable Systems, speaking March 26 on Global Leadership; Ms. Kathryn Greathouse, Co-Chair United Arts Council of Catawba County, speaking April 9 on Leadership in the Non-Profit World; and Col Lee Ellis, Author of Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, speaking April 23 on Leadership When Called.

For more information on the Alex Lee Leadership Series, please contact Clem Geitner at

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LRU Football to Host Awards Ceremony and Spring Game

Wed Feb 26 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — To celebrate a national championship run this past season, the Lenoir-Rhyne football program and new head coach Ian Shields are inviting all fans of Bears football to an Awards Ceremony next Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in P.E. Monroe Auditorium.

The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will include an announcement of team awards for the 2013 season as well as a special recognition for those players who earned post-season honors. A video presentation will also be shown in recognition of the Bears’ historic 2013 season.

The football team also recently announced the date of their annual Spring Game, which will take place on Friday, March 28, at 7 p.m. in Moretz Stadium. The game is free and open to the public.

For more information on the 2013 LRU football awards ceremony, please contact the PEF/Bears Club office at 828-328-7130

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Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble Announce Details of Spring Concerts

Tue Feb 25 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir and College Singers, directed by Paul D. Weber and the Lenoir-Rhyne University Brass Ensemble, Christopher Nigrelli, Conductor, will perform in North Carolina and throughout Florida this spring.  Accompanying the choir will be Jeana Neal Borman, Lenoir-Rhyne University collaborative artist.

Repertoire sung by the choir will include “Glorie, Lob, Ehr, und Herrlichkeit” from Cantata 106 by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Ubi caritas” by Ola Gjeilo, “Grant Peace, We Pray” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Kyrie” by Hans Leo Hassler, and two works of F. Melius Christiansen: “Praise to the Lord” and “O Day Full of Grace.”

The University Low Brass will join the choir in performing “O Filii et Filiae” by Volckmar Leisring and “Sing a Mighty Song” by Daniel Gawthrop.

The men of the choir will perform Lee Hoiby’s “Last Letter Home” a setting of Private First Class Jesse Given’s final letter to his family before his death in Iraq.  The choir women will sing Susan Brumfield’s setting of two camp meeting songs, “No Time.”

Other pieces to be sung include “City Called Heaven” by Josephine Poelinitz, “Hope for Resolution” by Caldwell & Ivory, “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Taylor Davis, and “We Give You Thanks” by Paul Weber.

The College Singers, a select vocal ensemble drawn from the A Cappella Choir, will also appear on the program and perform “Oh mi Belén!” by Conrad Susa, “Somewhere” arranged by Robert Edgerton, “The Silver Swan” by Orlando Gibbons, and Mark Miller’s “Before Too Long.”

The university low brass will perform several selections at the beginning of the concert.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir celebrates its 78th concert season this academic year.  The choir has sung for the installation of two national Lutheran bishops, for mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, and for the 2009 Lutheran unity service at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.  In April of 2007 the choir gave its final spring concert in Blacksburg, Virginia, in remembrance of the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre. The choir has taken eleven tours abroad and will tour Costa Rica in March of 2015.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Weber, now in his fifteenth year as Director, is only the third tenured conductor of the choir in its seventy-eight year history.  Weber and his wife, University Organist Florence Jowers, joined the Lenoir-Rhyne faculty in 1996 to found the Sacred Music Program for the training of undergraduates in the craft and practice of church music.

The concert schedule includes appearances in North Carolina on February 27, 5:15 pm at Duke University Chapel in Durham; on March 27, 7:00 pm at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Asheville; on March 30, 7:30 pm at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Hickory; and on April 5, 7:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone.  Concerts in Florida include:

  • St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, FL, March 13, 7:30 pm
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, FL, March 14, 7:00 pm
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Venice, FL, March 15, 5:00 pm
  • St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, Sarasota, FL, March 16, 9:00 and 11:00 am
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vero Beach, FL, March 16, 7:00 pm
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Deerfield Beach, FL, March 17, 7:00 pm
  • Advent Lutheran Church, Melbourne, FL, March 18, 7:00 pm


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Information Session to discuss new Physician Assistant Program at LRU

Tue Feb 18 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — An information session detailing Lenoir-Rhyne University’s new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program will be held on Monday, February 24 from 6 p.m. until 8:15 p.m. in McCrorie, Fintel room 213.

Community members including current high-school students, along with graduates or alumni who have a Bachelor of Science degree are invited to the information session, which will highlight the intense 27 month, year-round program focused on patient care theory, science and practice, combining didactic, laboratory, and clinical study experience.

The mission of LRU’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is to educate primary care physician assistants; students originating from a diversity of faith, geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, educationally and clinically prepared to become compassionate professionals providing quality healthcare from a holistic standpoint to populations in diverse geographic locations and for the medically underserved in local, national, and international settings.

Currently LRU has applied for Provisional Accreditation from the Accreditation ReviewCommission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARCPA). The Accreditation site visit is scheduled for September 2014.  The ARCPA commission meets in March 2015 where provisional accreditation is granted to those developing programs who provide evidence of compliance with the ARCPA standards. The program is projected to begin in the summer of 2015.

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