The Spring Class of 2022, the first NC Promise graduating class, leave Cullowhee as one of the most resilient classes in WCU history. They overcame a pandemic that forced a switch to online classes from home, before returning to campus for hybrid instruction, followed by a return to normalcy. Now they are prepared to take that resiliency into the workplace as proud Catamounts.
In addition to our students' determination and hard work, it took a strong community to help them reach this moment. Faculty, staff, friends, family, and mentors provided support in their educational endeavors and personal lives. As the WCU Class of 2021 prepares to close this chapter of their undergraduate experience, a few took a moment to share their appreciation and thanks to those who have helped them along the way.
Connecting with people is what resides at the core of theatre for Kelley Stancil, who graduates with a degree in Musical Theatre from the School of Stage and Screen. What she believes this last year has taught her and her classmates is resilience.
It's been a wild ride! Take a look back at the past four years on campus as we celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2021.
As a non-traditional student, Jazz Click found his way to WCU through the L.E.A.R.N.™ program, which invites transfer students focusing on STEM to participate in a research apprenticeship and to join a STEM learning community. One of 20 students, afforded scholarship opportunity to do research, Jazz is now graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics.
Graduate student introduces STEM to her third-grade students. It wasn’t long after Tracy Hewitt began her career as an elementary school teacher that she discovered the lack of teachers who looked forward to utilizing science, math, or any of the other STEM disciplines into their curriculum.
Senior Thomas C. Golden, a member of the spring graduating class, will deliver the primary address for Western Carolina University’s morning undergraduate commencement. He was chosen for that honor by a campus committee through a speaker selection process that was open to all graduating undergraduate students. Outside of class, Golden served as chapter president of the Nu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a mentor for Project CARE, secretary for the Black Student Union, a founding member of Black CM, which is a student support group for black students in the construction management major, and a member of Order of Omega.
For Lyndan Jones, sharing messages is what she's good at, which is why she's thrived as the Station Manager for WWCU FM. Graduating with a double major in Communications and Spanish is just the start of something much more extensive and by no means limiting her to just that.
Dakota Groves was inspired by the "Pride of the Mountains" Marching Band after seeing their performance in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. His devotion to practice and music led him to being less focused on his electrical engineering classes, which ultimately resulted in academic dismissal. But, his story has come full circle. He returned to WCU, changed his major to follow his love of music, and now, he is marching in the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with hopes that he can inspire the future generation of musicians
A calming influence on her teammates, Student-Athlete Jordan Strickland successfully balanced coursework, competition and her health.