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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...

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.  

Alumna Danita Johnson

WNBA’s Sparks turn to alumna as team’s next president and COO

When Danita Johnson left the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks to become the director of business development and later the director of business operations for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in 2017, she had no idea it would be a temporary move. Little did the 2005 Western Carolina University graduate know at the time that she soon would return to the Sparks as the team’s president and chief operating officer, a move that was made official Jan. 7.  

Greek Challenge

Love for Cats keep Greeks coming back

It’s all in the family for Amy Kilby, Samir Hafiz and Jerry Matheny when it comes time to shake the money tree for Western Carolina University’s student-athletes. All three are enthusiastic participants in WCU’s Greek Challenge – now in its fifth season – which rallies members of past and present fraternities and sororities at WCU to pony up big bucks and to join the Catamount Club all in support of athletic scholarships.   

Tuyen Tram

Accomplished First-Generation Student says Scholarships Changed her Life

She was first influenced as a child by television pictures of 15th-century temples in China's Forbidden City and elaborate, ornate churches in Europe, beautifully designed structures, all of which left an indelible mark on a little Chinese girl growing up in Vietnam.  

MichaelPenland

Scholarships Unleash Student’s Potential

The power of scholarships reaches beyond simply alleviating financial burden from students and their families. Scholarships are oftentimes the determining factor in whether a student pursues a college education at all.  

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Car Ride with Chancellor, Scholarships Prove Turning Point for Future Vet

Students, pets, pets, students. It seems to be one or the other for Western Carolina University senior Sarah Bennett, who graduated in May with a biology degree and an eye on veterinary school.  

erin-west

Scholarships Mean More than Money to Erin West

Erin West knows the value of a scholarship can go well beyond its dollar sign. A senior in the College of Business, West has received slightly more than $17,000 in WCU scholarships since her sophomore year. But besides helping to pay for her education, the financial support has helped to position her as a student with some cachet, a good bet, a smart cookie who knows a thing or two.  

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