Ms. Virginia W. Buchanan, librarian emeritus and beloved member of the Montreat College community, passed away on October 24, 2013. A memorial service will be held to honor the life of Ms. Virginia W. Buchanan at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church on Monday, October 28 at 10 a.m. A reception will follow the service.
Virginia Buchanan served as librarian of Montreat College from 1951 until 1972 and played a major role in planning the construction of the L. Nelson Bell Library. After the new library building opened in 1972, she became assistant dean, and then, acting dean of academic affairs at Montreat College. She would later be named librarian emeritus after her retirement.
Ms. Buchanan received a bachelor’s degree from King College in Bristol, Tenn. and a master’s degree from George Peabody College for Teachers, now Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. She completed additional graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and UNC-Chapel Hill. As Montreat College’s first professional librarian, she ensured the attainment of accepted library standards necessary for regional accreditation of the institution. Through her vision for the library, she set high standards for excellence in library service to the college.
During her time in the Swannanoa Valley, Ms. Buchanan was active in numerous civic organizations as well as Presbyterian churches where she taught Sunday school, served on committees on the local and presbytery levels, was a session member and participated in Presbyterian Women. Virginia was an active member of Church Women and held offices at the local, area and state levels. She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the Montreat Presbyterian Church Presbyterian Women.
Virginia was also recognized for her work with the Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women, where she had volunteered since the institution opened in 1986.
Ms. Virginia W. Buchanan led a remarkable life of Christian service and dedication to Montreat College and the Swannanoa Valley.