Wildacres Retreat 2023

Memorable moments from the retreat

Wildacres Spring 2023 Retreat Speakers  |  April 24 – 27, 2023 

Dr. Marjorie Spruill

Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics

2023 Wildacres video:

Marjorie Spruill – Women’s Rights -The First & Second Wave

Marjorie J. Spruill is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of South Carolina. She is known for her work on women’s movements in the United States from the woman suffrage movement through the modern feminist and anti-feminist movements and the history of the American South.

Her many publications on women and politics include not only Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics but One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement (NewSage Press).

In 2021 Spruill brought out a new edition of the book, that she originally edited to accompany the PBS American Experience film “One Woman, One Vote,” expanded to include new material on the diversity of the movement, the role of white supremacy, regional and international issues, and the story of women and the vote from 1920 forward through the 2020 election.

Spruill’s work has won support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard; the National Humanities Center, and the Gerald Ford Foundation.

Spruill is also co-editor or author of multi-volume anthologies on the Lives and Times of women in Mississippi and South Carolina and a two-volume reader, The South in the History of the Nation.

She was a consultant for and appeared in the MSNBC documentary “On Account of Sex: The Equal Rights Amendment,” and in Nashville Public Television’s new production, “By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South.” She was also a consultant for “Rightfully Hers,” the National Archives exhibit for the suffrage centennial.

She is currently the chair of the Scholars Advisory Committee for the National Women’s History Museum. A native of Washington, NC, she was educated at UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A.), Duke University (MAT), and the University of Virginia (M.A., Ph.D). In addition to the University of South Carolina, she taught at the University of Southern Mississippi and Vanderbilt University where she was Associate Provost.

At present she lives in Folly Beach, South Carolina, and is a frequent speaker on woman suffrage nationally and abroad, as well as a media consultant and advisor for films and exhibits on suffrage and the larger subject of women’s history and politics.

Christopher Brook, Esq.

From Roe to Dobbs

Hear a preview of the program at the Friday lecture on January 20, 2023.

2023 Wildacres video:

Christopher Brook The Right to Abortion – Roe & Dobbs

Christopher Brook is a Partner at Patterson Harkavy. He joined the firm in 2021, and his work with the firm focuses on the areas of appellate advocacy, civil rights, and employment law.

Chris has recently ended a term on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Governor Roy Cooper appointed him to that position in 2019, and he served through the end of 2020. Before that, he served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina from 2012 through 2019. Earlier in his legal career, Chris practiced in the Raleigh office of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog. He then worked as a staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham. From 2007 to 2011, Chris served as an adjunct professor at Carolina Law.

Chris has received numerous recognitions for his contributions to the legal profession in the state. He was inducted into the James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society upon his graduation from Carolina Law and was subsequently honored as the school’s Outstanding Recent Graduate. In 2016, the North Carolina Association of Women attorneys awarded him the Gwyneth B. David Public Service Award. Chris was recognized with the North Carolina Justice Center’s Defender of Justice Litigation Award in 2017.

Chris grew up in Raleigh and attended UNC for his undergraduate and law degrees. At Carolina Law, he was managing editor of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and director of the Pro Bono Program. Chris is active in the community in his time away from the firm, currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Transplanting Traditions Community Farm.

L to R:  Paul Nitsch (piano),
Ali Kavadlo (violin),
Gene Kavadlo (clarinet)

Music Entertainment

2023 Wildacres video:

Gene & Ali Kavadio – Klezmer Music at Wildacres 2023

SIMKHE will perform 2 programs.

The first program is “A Klezmer Journey”, tracing klezmer music from its appearance in this country from the early 1900’s to the present day.

The second is “Jewish Music and Tango”, which is just what the name suggests.

Click here for more information on SIMKHE.


2023 Cost for members includes lodging, meals and social hour. 

  • $275/person in a double room* 
  • Scholarships are available

Senior Scholars would like for everyone who is interested in the Wildacres Retreat to be able to attend.  With the increase in prices all around, this may be a stretch for some. If you would like to have financial help covering the costs (25%, 50%, or 100%), please send your request to Joni MacDonald (jonimac2@me.com). Your request will be kept confidential. 

The Wildacres Scholarship Fund was set up several years ago with donations from members to ensure that all Senior Scholars can participate in the retreats. 

*Note:  Only double rooms are available this year.  If you would like help in finding a roommate, please indicate this on the registration form.

Your request for a special room assignment will be taken into consideration. Street access and handicap rooms due to physical requirements will be addressed.  Other requests will be considered only if there is availability after accommodating physical needs.      


I. Regarding the movement for women’s rights (historical), including the right to vote:

Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics (Bloomsbury Publishing 2017)*

One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement (2021 edition)*

Tina Cassidy, Mr. President, How long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote (37Ink Atria 2019)

J. D. Zahniser & Amelia R. Fry, Alice Paul: Claiming Power (Oxford University Press 2014)

Mary Walton, A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot (Palgrave MacMillan 2010)

Deborah Kops, Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights: From the Vote to the Equal Rights Amendment (Calkins Creek 2017)

II. Regarding Roe v. Wade

David J. Garrow, Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade (University of California Press 1998)

Beth Allison Barr, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth (Brazos Press 2021)

*Books by Marjorie Spruill available on Amazon.

Senior Scholars Wildacres Retreat

Relaxing days of learning, reflection, fellowship, laughter, entertainment, solitude, sharing and hiking at this beautiful 1,400 acre wilderness retreat near the Blue Ridge Parkway in the spectacular mountains of western North Carolina.

Organized by: Co-chairs:  Jim Gronquist and Jeanne Smith

Quick Links

Registrations for the next Wildacres retreat, spring 2024,  will be posted when available.

Wildacres Photo Albums