*Republished from the April 2000 issue of The Kayseean
By Danielle Stout
On Friday, March 31, numerous King College students representing the Science, History, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology and English Departments, headed off to Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, for the annual Blueridge Undergraduate Research Conference. We were joined by students, from other small colleges across Tennessee.
At the conference, each student was allowed 10 minutes to present his research paper before the professor’s spectators and other undergraduates. After each presentation, the moderator of the session, a professor from one of the represented schools, led in a question and discussion time regarding the student’s findings.
The day was quite a reward for all the researchers who had poured hours of work into their academic projects. After nearly three decades of deliberations and effort on the part of Dr. Thomas Peake and others, the Blue Ridge Conference began at King in 1993.
Dr. Peake and a friend used to discuss the possibility of holding such a conference over coffee while studying for exams at UNC-Chapel Hill in the 60s.
According to Dr. Peake, “We sensed the desirability of having a conference where undergraduate students could enjoy the excitement and academic discipline of presenting the results of their research in a broader format than the traditional term paper or oral report.”
Since the conference’s origin seven years ago, King has hosted it three times, Carson-Newman twice, and Milligan and Lee both once.