Nancy Joyner

Faculty Enrichment Fund Helps Broaden Horizons

 Nancy Joyner
Joining the English department at Western for Asheville native Nancy Joyner felt like coming home. The mountains had fostered a friendly and cohesive faculty community, and Joyner welcomed the chance to be part of it. The out-of-the-mainstream location presented challenges, though. “People don’t just happen to come by Western, so it took some extra effort to attract good speakers who had made their mark in the literary world to visit Western,” said Joyner, who taught for nearly 30 years. “Then, when we did a get a speaker, we had to use our own money for a dinner or celebration.”

The need compelled her to create The Nancy Joyner English Faculty Enrichment Fund, an endowment that generated money to help the English department in such ways as funding academic faculty travel, social events for visiting scholars, or other activities that would support the faculty. “A university should offer broad cultural experiences and awareness to expose students to what is possible – to broaden their horizons,” Joyner said. “We can do that in such ways as having different and interesting individuals who have made their mark come to campus, and sending our own faculty out to other communities.”

Elizabeth Addison, head of the English department, said the support has made a difference in such ways as funding receptions for the annual Literary Festival, which brings established and emerging writers together in Cullowhee, and entertainment for visiting writers or prospective faculty member.  The fund also has supplemented faculty social events, travel support and research expenses. “Dr. Joyner was enormously generous as a professor and she highly valued both scholarship and collegiality,” Addison said. “Those of us who know her well see these uses as honoring her legacy.”


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