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...
The School of Stage and Screen turned to technology to present a virtual version of a Shakespeare classic. Theatrical stages from coast to coast may have gone dark in this time of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but that has not stopped the folks from the School of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University from sharing their talents with the public. In the grand tradition of “the show must go on,” WCU students and faculty presented William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” via Zoom, the videoconferencing service that has exploded in popularity as millions of students and workers find themselves studying and working remotely because of the coronavirus crisis.
More than two years after its debut, the groundbreaking tuition reduction plan known as NC Promise is, by most accounts, a solid success that is meeting the goals of improving access to higher education by providing a financial leg-up to undergraduate students who might not otherwise be able to afford it and lowering student loan debt. Enrollment has increased significantly at Western Carolina University and two other University of North Carolina System institutions that are part of the plan. Students say the lower tuition cost is making a difference in their lives, and the amount of student debt incurred is on the decline.
Garrett Ozar, a 2009 graduate with a degree in entrepreneurship, took managerial skills and confidence gained from the Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Business, to start a success story. He is the co-founder of Eterneva, an Austin, Texas, based company started in 2017 that takes ashes from cremated remains, isolates the carbon and, with heat and pressure, creates diamonds as an everlasting keepsake.
Every summer, I give advice to incoming freshmen as they prepare to begin their college careers. I encourage them to take this advice for what it is worth, but I also tell them that WCU staff members are excited to welcome new students “home” every year — pandemic or no. Here’s some of that advice...
Residents of Scott and Walker halls share their memories of the iconic high-rise dormitories, scheduled for demolition later this year. The box fans in the windows. The panty raids. The middle-of-the-night fire alarms. The in-room movie nights. The climbing of nine flights of stairs to avoid the long lines at the elevator on move-in day. The developing of lifelong friendships and relationships.
Late Western Carolina University Chancellor Myron Coulter, who led the university from 1984 to 1994, was looking to create a symbol worthy of representing the institution when he proposed the construction of what is now known as the Alumni Tower. The 66-foot-tall brick structure was built on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center in 1989, WCU’s centennial year, and officially presented to the university as a gift from the WCU Alumni Association on Homecoming day that October.
The ground upon which Western Carolina University is built — and continues building today — has centuries of stories to tell. Some are told in history books and museum exhibits, while others are buried away. Some reemerge through archaeological research sparked by new construction on campus, as the university upgrades, renovates and expands its facilities. Hidden below WCU’s surface is Tali Tsisgwayahi, or “Two Sparrows Town,” the first Cherokee town of the Tuckaseigee River valley.