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Alumni Blog

At Western Carolina University, we know that a university isn't just a place, it's a community. A community that's built from and defined by the people who call Western Carolina home, first as students and then as alumni. Our Alumni Association fosters a lifelong connection to WCU through programs and services so that no matter where you are, you'll always have a home in Cullowhee. Learn more about the Alumni Association...

Dawn Neatherly.

The Mountains had Her at Hello

Dawn Neatherly was a precocious 11-year-old from Morganton when she first set foot on Western Carolina University’s campus in 1974 to attend the Cullowhee Experience, a four-week enrichment camp for academically and intellectually gifted students.  

Irene Hamrick

Medical director fights COVID-19 with legacy of tenacity

As news broke that a deadly international virus was churning its way across the United States and killing the country’s most vulnerable population, Dr. Irene Hamrick wasted no time in battening down the hatches to protect her patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home in Ohio.   

Caryn Ramming

Coronavirus Sends Family Members to Separate Corners for Online Learning, Teaching

From classroom to computer to neighborhood rounds, Caryn Raming has learned to go with the flow since COVID-19 upended the world of education for students and teachers alike – and where online learning is the new norm.  

Read Her Story  

Summer McMurry

Working Professional Summer McMurry Achieves a Milestone

Summer McMurry claims a singular distinction in Western Carolina University history ― she’s the first person to earn a doctoral degree in speech communication and disorders through a collaborative program with the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  

Read Her Story  

MPA Alumni Derek Roland

MPA Alumni on the Front Line of Response to COVID-19

Locally executed, state-managed and federally supported. That’s how the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long described the ideal way to respond to major disasters. Graduates of WCU’s MPA program are on the front line of this‘locally executed’ response to COVID-19.  

Discover More  

Alumna Sue Lynn Ledford

Alumni Spotlight: Sue Lynn Ledford

Sue Lynn Ledford learned to care for sick people as a young nursing student at Western Carolina University. Today, she uses the same approach as director of population health and field services for WellCare of North Carolina, a provider health plan for Medicare and Medicaid.  

WCU Alumnus Matthew Hessburg

Food. Fire. Friends.

Matthew Hessburg, an alumnus of the University Participant program, used the skills he learned while working at the acclaimed Haywood Smokehouse to create a barbecue sauce of his own.  

Joey Blake

Food For Thought

It’s time for breakfast and more than 50 NFL football players show up. For Joey Blake ’12, this is not an anxiety dream; it’s a great reason to get up in the morning. Blake has two years under his belt as the head dietitian for the Los Angeles Rams and revels in his work.  

KevinRumley

Graduating veteran finds peace after ‘journey of a million steps’

Graduated, enlisted, blown up, hospitalized, released, addicted, homeless, hopeless, rescued, enrolled, graduated, employed, enrolled, graduated, honored, redeemed. This is Kevin Rumley's story.  

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