Message from David Starnes
Message from David Starnes

It is with great honor and responsibility that I endorse the Bob Buckner Endowment Fund created for supporting the future of The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. As many directors, former and current students are aware, Mr. Bob Buckner was an integral part of creating the legacy and notoriety that we at Western Carolina University enjoy as our marching band. The reputation, exciting show designs and attraction of students throughout the United States to our band program can be attributed to the work and commitment of Bob.
When the idea of creating this endowment was proposed by Dr. David Belcher, Chancellor of WCU, I immediately accepted the charge and embraced the opportunity to assist students in need of financial assistance. My long-term goal is to offer the Pride of the Mountains experience to students both in and out of state, while not excluding students who qualify by audition, but cannot afford to attend WCU. This initiative sets in motion new possibilities for students throughout the United States to share with WCU their musical talents while accepting a financial offering from a fund whose name brands the history of our marching band program.

Why should a university marching band program worthy of receiving a national award, such as The John Philip Sousa Sudler Trophy, exclude America’s most talented musicians?  Many times, these questions can be answered in terms of dollars and cents. With the formation of the Bob Buckner Endowment Fund, we can now offer those students in need and deserving of membership based on talent, the opportunity to become one of The Pride. For those of us fortunate enough to know Bob, his philosophy is based on inclusion and the experiences a student receives in marching band, well past the musical benefits. This endowment will make this possible for students across the nation with your support and generosity.

 As the legacy of Bob Buckner continues under my leadership, I urge you to donate to this fund knowing that in his 20 years as Director of Athletic Bands, Bob created memories and opportunities for hundreds of students. As Bob’s friend and successor, I pledge to you the same kind of experiences for future WCU students.
Quite simply said…Bob’s dream became reality…My vision is focused on continued growth and excellence…OUR partnership can insure the future, while honoring the past with greatest respect for the man who led the journey.

I look forward to a very lucrative campaign!


David Starnes
Director of Athletic Bands


Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services