No Ordinary B.S. Only College in America to Offer Degrees in Building Arts

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The American College of the Building Arts welcomes its inaugural class of students during its first Convocation ceremony held this morning at McLeod Plantation at 10 a.m. The ceremony will also celebrate the opening of the newest college in South Carolina and the first ever in American history to be licensed to offer a degree in one of the traditional building arts.

The historic bell on the grounds of McLeod Plantation will ring this morning when the American College of the Building Arts welcomes its inaugural class of students during its first Convocation.

The ceremony will be held this morning at McLeod Plantation at 10 a.m. The ceremony will also celebrate the opening of the newest college in South Carolina and the first ever in American history to be licensed to offer a degree in one of the traditional building arts.

With the successful completion of their studies, which include the liberal arts general education requirements (English, Math, History, etc.); students of the College will receive either an Associate's or a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Sciences. Students will major in one of the six traditional building trades: architectural metal, architectural stone, carpentry, masonry, plaster working, or timber framing.

David AvRutick, President of the American College of the Building Arts, will welcome America's first building artisan baccalaureate candidates and guests on the morning of the 19th and lead the ceremony. Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., recognized as a national leader in preservation and urban planning, will also address the gathering.

Mayor Riley said, "We are extremely proud to have the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston and to welcome their first incoming class of students. As one of the great centers for preservation in America, Charleston is the perfect home for the College and will serve as a wonderful textbook for the students. We are thrilled to be home of the first college of its kind in America."

In addition to speeches by Mayor Riley and President AvRutick, Master Artisan Jean Wiart will offer the Keynote Address as the representative of the building artisan community; a tradition the College plans to follow every year. A graduate of the French program, Les Compagnons du Devoir, which has been continuously teaching the building arts for over 600 years, Wiart has received several prestigious awards for his work in France and has also been highly praised for projects in New York and throughout the United States, including the restoration of the torch for the Statue of Liberty. Wiart, the founder of the American extension of Les Metalliers Champenois, S.A., of Reims, France, specializes in historic preservation and select metal craftsmanship.

Wiart has stated, "I am extremely flattered to be the keynote speaker and building artisans' representative at the first Convocation at the American College of the Building Arts. The need for the graduates of the College is something I know all too well and am very excited about helping launch this important program.”

Following the Keynote Address, another new tradition will be unveiled, the Splitting of the Stone. This ceremony, deeply rooted in history, consists of a stone being split in half using only a plug and metal feathers. This process reveals the true nature of the stone for the first time and represents the opening of a new era and all its new possibilities. This dramatic event will be a symbol of what the new College will offer both its students and the nation. President AvRutick will lead this ceremony and be joined by a number of other individuals credited for helping create the College. Participants include: Philip Simmons, Master ironworker and Charleston's national treasure, who is considered to be the Inspirational Founder of the College; John Paul Huguley, founder of the School of the Building Arts – the College's predecessor organization; Nancy Hawk, Chair of the College's Board of Directors; Simeon Warren, the College's Associate Dean for Strategic Planning, as the representative of the faculty; and a student representing the entering class.

After the Stone Ceremony, Nancy Hawk will declare the academic year of the College open. At that time, another student representative will ring the McLeod Plantation bell, which has been mounted in one of the major live oak trees on the plantation for decades, to signify the opening of the American College of the Building Arts.

A reception under the live oaks, hosted by President and Mrs. AvRutick, will follow the Convocation events. Media are warmly invited to attend the Convocation Ceremony and reception.

About The American College of the Building Arts:

The American College of the Building Arts provides a focused liberal arts education and trains new generations of artisans in the traditional building arts to foster exceptional craftsmanship and encourage the preservation, enrichment and appreciation of our architectural heritage. The College operates in three locations: the historic Old City Jail in downtown Charleston, the Noisette Campus at the former Charleston naval base and the future permanent home being created on the nearby 330+-year-old McLeod Plantation. All three sites offer the students and faculty the chance to work together in a living laboratory that encompasses history and beauty. The inaugural class will study primarily at the Noisette Campus and use McLeod and the Old City Jail as their learning labs. For more information, visit http://www.buildingartscollege.us or call toll free at 877.283.5245.

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Jay Stecher