Message from the Chancellor
Message from the Chancellor

The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is one of the most visible demonstrations of the excellence for which Western Carolina University stands.  From winning the Sudler Trophy – the Heisman Trophy for marching bands – to appearances in such venues as the Rose Bowl Parade and the September 2011 Carolina Panthers/Green Bay Packers NFL game halftime show, the Pride brings consistent national recognition to Western.

This WCU point of “pride” did not just come into being of its own accord; rather, it was created and developed by a director of remarkable and unique ability.  The Pride is indeed the band that Buckner built.

I am excited to participate in launching the Bob Buckner Pride of the Mountains Marching Band Endowment campaign, an initiative designed both to salute Bob Buckner and his legacy and to ensure the future of the Pride.  Of course, WCU provides fiscal support for the basic operations of its marching band.  But we at Western envision even higher levels of achievement and even greater opportunities for the Pride – all built on the foundation Bob laid.  We envision an endowment which will generate funding for the “extras” which will distinguish the Pride even further but which the university simply cannot provide in these challenging financial times – funding which will support, for example, out-of-state marching band scholarships to attract the nation’s top marching band students to WCU; consistent appearances on national and international stages; and the purchase of increasingly sophisticated equipment necessary for cutting-edge performances.

The Buckner Endowment will enable us, not just to sustain, but to enhance and grow the Buckner legacy.  Imagine the difference we could make if every student Bob directed in his career – both at Western and at Sylva-Webster High School – not to mention the parents of those students and Bob’s many other friends and colleagues, made a minimum 5-year pledge of $1000 ($200/year; $16.66/month). 

Will you join Susan and me as together we…


To make your pledge or contribution, make your online gift now, or contact Meg White at 828-227-3343 or

Please dig deep to give your PROUDEST gift for the sake of the PRIDE.

Sincerely yours,
David Belcher


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