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William E. Bird Collection, Add. #4

Identifier: MSS 17-05

Scope and Contents

William Ernest Bird was born in the Qualla area of Jackson County, N.C., on July 21, 1890. He attended local schools and graduated from Cullowhee Normal & Industrial School in 1915. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1917 and an M.A. in English from George Peabody College in the summer of 1920. Bird served as principal of high schools at Wilkesboro and Sylva, N.C. In 1921, he returned to Cullowhee Normal & Industrial School as vice-president. In 1921 his title was changed to dean, a position he held through several name changes of the school until his retirement in 1957. Bird served as acting president of the school in 1947-1949 and 1956-1957. He published the basic history of the institution, The History of Western Carolina College: The Progress of An Idea, in 1963. He also wrote three short volumes of poetry: Lyrics of a Laymen (1962) Level Paths: New Songs by the Laymen (1964), and New Spring Overflowing - More Lyrics of the Laymen (1972). This addition consists mostly of his personal correspondence in relation to his duties at Cullowhee.


  • 1924 - 1957


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1.75 Linear Feet

Physical Description


Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States