Nancy Stroupe Morrison was associated with the North Carolina High Country newspapers for more than 10 years, heading The Avery Mountain Times for several years and then becoming publisher of The Avery Journal in 2002. In 2003, The Avery Journal and The Avery Mountain Times were merged into The Avery Journal-Times with Nancy as the publisher. She added All About Women to her responsibilities when she became publisher of that magazine in July of 2008.
In 1962, Nancy graduated from Newland High School in Newland, N.C., where she was valedictorian of her class and also head cheerleader for three of her four years of high school cheerleading. Starting her editorial career early, she was both editor-in-chief and business manager of her high school yearbook during her senior year. She went on to work on her college newspaper.
Her mother, Nancy Stroupe, was a longtime English and Latin teacher in Avery County, N.C. Her father, Odes Stroupe, was Nationwide Insurance’s first field underwriter in the nation.
Nancy has a background in social work and psychology, graduating from St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, N.C., with a degree in psychology and sociology. She did her graduate work at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
She worked as a social worker with child welfare and general cases with the Department of Social Services in Scotland County, N.C., as a counselor at the Robeson County Mental Health Center in Lumberton, N.C., and then was senior therapist at The Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center in Butner, N.C. Nancy was Director of Therapeutic Services and later director of the Long-Term Unit at the Charlotte Detoxification Center in Charlotte, N.C. There she designed the program, obtained the grant, and won a number of state and local awards for the innovative program. After being held at knifepoint overnight by a patient the police had not frisked sufficiently, Nancy decided her job was getting a bit dangerous. She then opened an entertainment booking agency, Goodman Entertainment & Events, in Charlotte and arranged events all over the east coast for 25 years. She helped to bring the Hornets to Charlotte and also helped establish the Charlotte Business Journal. During that period, she designed a quilt square that became part of the celebrated “Sea to Shining Sea” Bicentennial Quilt Banner that now resides in the National Museum of Folk Art in New York City.
She came home to Avery County in 1994 to care for her father. After a short while helping friend Jack Kiker at the Nationwide Insurance Agency in Newland, N.C., Nancy saw an advertisement for a general manager for The Avery Mountain Times, applied, and the rest is history.
Nancy won a number of awards from the North Carolina Press Association including awards for best column, investigative reporting, and community service. She has served on numerous community and civic boards, including the following:
- Avery County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (Past President);
- Woolly Worm Festival Committee (Past Chair);
- Avery County Arts Council Board of Directors;
- MAY (Mitchell, Avery, Yancey) Coalition Board of Directors (Currently President);
- Drug Abuse Resolution Team (Founding Executive Chairman and Current Chairman);
- Avery County Community Foundation Board of Directors;
- Avery/Williams YMCA Board of Directors;
- Newland High Alumni Association Board of Directors (Founding and Past President);
- Banner Elk Kiwanis;
- AMY (Avery County) Library Board of Directors;
- AMY Regional Library (Avery, Mitchell, Yancey) Board of Directors;
- Crossnore Community Enhancement Committee;
- Newland Business Association (Past President);
- Avery County Centennial Committee;
- Newland Centennial Committee;
- Avery County Hall of Legends Committee;
- Avery County Humane Society (Current Chair).
Some of Nancy’s achievements include:
- Helped to secure two K-9 units for the Avery Sheriff’s Department. Headed up the six-month campaign and kept the donations coming in with weekly articles and updates in the newspaper.
- Worked with the State Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement officers, and the NC Attorney General’s Office to rid Avery County of corruption in local government, resulting in a local official going to prison.
- Spearheaded efforts to form a citizens’ committee to promote a drug court and a liaison between residents and law enforcement officials to alleviate the drug problem in Avery County.
- Received the Distinguished Service Award for her service to the people of Avery County from the Mayland Community College Board of Trustees in 2008.
- Received the Outstanding Service Award for her service to Avery County from the Avery County Chamber of Commerce in 2010.
- Received the 2013 Woman of the Year Award from the Avery County Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to Avery County.
- Elected to the Martha Guy Hall of Legends of Avery County in 2015.
When Nancy retired as publisher of the Avery Journal-Times in 2010, she decided to concentrate on a career in a field she has always enjoyed: ART! She is also an excellent writer, potter, and jewelry craftsperson. While she focuses on painting in watercolor, oil, and acrylics, she also finds time to do her pottery and jewelry. Since she is on so many boards and committees, she is constantly being asked to do articles for various newspapers and magazines, so she keeps her writing skills finely tuned. She also is presently working on a couple of books of her own, a self-help book and a novel.
Never is there a dull moment in Nancy’s busy life. Although her favorite times are those when she is working toward achieving goals alongside her dear friends, or spending time with her family, perhaps no other time is quite as rewarding as are the moments when she is able to let her imagination roam freely.