Western Carolina University 125th

INSPIRING NEW HEIGHTS

Making a Difference Since 1889

Western Carolina University was founded 125 years ago to bring education and career opportunities to Western North Carolina. Since our humble beginnings as a one-room schoolhouse serving 18 students, Western Carolina has grown in size and scope, today providing higher education to more than 10,000 students and inspiring them – and the region we serve – to reach new heights. Join us as we celebrate our legacy and look toward new horizons.

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Events

These major celebrations are going all-out to commemorate the quasquicentennial anniversary of Western Carolina University. To see even more being planned by colleges, schools, departments and units, visit this calendar page.
125th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff

125th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff

Date: Thursday, 1/23/14 Time: 12:25PM Venue: University Center Grandroom

The celebration featured a fashion show to showcase 125th anniversary apparel now available in the Catamount Clothing and Gifts store, as well as attire from 13 decades of WCU history. Attendees enjoyed games, giveaways, prizes, music from the WCU Cathouse Band, performances by cheerleaders and the dance team, and refreshments - including a birthday cake featuring the 125th anniversary logo. The celebration continued that evening in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center, where a memorable halftime surprise took place. See the 125th Flickr photo page.

Big Birthday Bash

Big Birthday Bash

Date: Tuesday, 8/26/14 Time: 4-6PM Venue: University Center Lawn

This event will include a picnic on the lawn, old-fashioned games, music, dance and fun for everyone. Prior to the picnic on the lawn, a Commemorative Celebration of the 125th Anniversary will be held in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community are invited to attend. More details and associated events will be announced in the coming months. Visit celebrate125.wcu.edu again soon, or "like" the 125th anniversary Facebook page for the latest announcements.

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Stories

Over these many years, Western Carolina has been a place where exceptional people have chosen to excel and innovative events have laid the foundations for their ascent. Read about some of them here … and share your own stories.
Josefina Niggli

Josefina Niggli

Teaching both journalism and drama, this memorable writer/actor/voice talent inspired and prepared a generation of students to pursue careers in these fields. Learn more - Remembering her

Levern Hamlin Allen

Levern Hamlin Allen

Among the first African Americans to be admitted to any of North Carolina's all-white state institutions of higher learning, Levern Hamlin capitalized on the opportunity to learn, earning master’s degrees at the University of Maryland and George Washington University, and eventually serving on the WCU Board of Trustees for eight years. Learn more...

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History

Timeline

For 125 years, a school nestled in the heart of a mountain paradise has sought to bring education to eager minds in a region rich in culture, art, music and innovation. After the school began in 1889, it became known as “The Cullowhee Experiment.” And so it is today at Western Carolina University. And so it will be tomorrow. Learn more about some of Western Carolina's major landmark events, milestone achievements, formative traditions and unique personalities.

Explore The Timeline