Campus Movie Screening
Mark your calendars for November 7 at 5:30 p.m. A documentary telling a story of promise will be shown in the Simms room of the Gordy Center. Clear Day Thunder, Rescuing the American Chestnut isn’t just the story of an iconic tree, it’s the story of humankind, hope, and promise.
The mighty wonder once graced the Appalachian forests and sustained all forms of life. Over 100 years ago a deadly blight devastated the magnificent American Chestnut, sending it near extinction. This 52-minute film tells the story of passionate citizen scientists and researchers working tirelessly to restore this ecologically and economically important species at a pivotal moment.
Reinhardt University biology instructor, Kylie Stover, (’19) is also an orchard manager working to restore the American Chestnut’s splendor and future in the Waleska area. Board of Trustees member and donor Dr. Austin Flint has two orchards on his farm that are maintained by the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to test hybrid genotypes for disease resistance. When she was a Reinhardt student, Stover was the first intern at the orchard and explained, “My calling is to make this world better than how I found it.”
Stover says the film is a must-see, “Everyone on campus should see this movie because the American chestnut has played a pivotal role in supporting the ecology, economy, and culture of these areas. This documentary shows what we are currently doing, the importance of these trees, and what people can do to help them.”
Dolly Parton and President Carter are among those featured in the film, created by TACF. Watch the trailer here.
A related event that showcases Reinhardt’s educational ethos, “To Do the Real Work for the Good Life,” is taking place less than a week after the movie screening. Reinhardt University Alumni and their guests are invited to an exciting, memorable, and free event at the Tellus Science Museum.
From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, this gathering celebrates the alumni community and highlights the incredible work being accomplished by students, faculty, and donors to restore the American chestnut tree. It's the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in science, technology, and natural history.
The highlight of the evening will be a captivating panel discussion. Board of Trustees member and donor Dr. Austin Flint, faculty/alumna Kylie Stover '19, and student Vinny Varsalona ’25, will share their insights, experiences, and the research they’ve done throughout their mission. This project is a testament to the commitment to sustainability and community involvement that defines the values of Reinhardt University and its community.