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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...

Three portraits of people wearing masks

Going Viral

The cover of the Fall 2020 publication of the Western Carolina University Magazine highlights a small portrait of the many ways the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted our faculty, staff and students. Inside this issue, we take a look at how in times of adversity, our Catamount Community displayed innovation, creativeness and a willingness to support Western North Carolina.  

Students at a march

Winds of Change

In the midst of nationwide civil unrest, Western Carolina University renews its commitment to inclusive excellence. When Charity Leigh Moon Henry ’93 was studying theatre in the early 1990s, she had no inkling while on stage in what was then called Hoey Auditorium that she was performing in a building named to honor an individual who would have vehemently disapproved of her selection of a spouse and denied their multiracial children enrollment at her alma mater.  

aerial of the black lives matter mural from Reggie Tidwell, Curve Theory

Asheville's Black Lives Matter Mural

Lakisha Blount ’04 is one of four African American alumni of Western Carolina University’s School of Art and Design who participated in the creation of a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Asheville over the summer. Blount painted the letter “M,” with imagery evoking a mountain range, an Appalachian quilt and an African kente cloth. Take a closer look at the project and the artists involved...  

Alex Gary on a football field with Coach Spier

Calling An Audible

When Alex Gary was introduced as Western Carolina University’s director of athletics on Feb. 28, the former Catamount baseball player had visions of what his first 90 days would look like when he officially started May 1. Gary imagined he would spend a lot of time meeting and talking to as many people as he could, while also learning the current campus landscape.  

Jake Robinson

Bank Shot

Jake Robinson ’10 has come a long way from the days he got paid in honey buns for picking up aluminum cans in the auction ring after a sale at his grandfather’s stockyard.   

Bob Folsom

Pipeline Engineer

Part-time admissions counselor serves as a conduit to Cullowhee for students from Georgia. When there’s an increase in student enrollments from the metro Atlanta area, an alumnus who jokingly refers to himself as “the oldest college recruiter in the state of Georgia” is usually the reason why. Bob Folsom ’66 MAEd ’68, a retired teacher and counselor from Gainesville, has turned the Peach State into a “significant pipeline” of new students for WCU, said Phil Cauley ’83 MS ’90, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment.  

jason bond

Bugs Life

A UC-Davis researcher examines global environmental consequences, beginning with insects and arachnids. Jason Bond ’93 is the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics and a professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of California, Davis, where he specializes in research into the evolutionary diversification of terrestrial arthropods, particularly spiders, millipedes and beetles.   

Carol Burton

Value Added

Vice provost for academic affairs leads and represents campus, community. Could Carol Burton ’87 MAEd ’89 be the quintessential Catamount? A lot of people would say yes.  

Drew Starkey

Streaming Now

Not long ago, Drew Starkey ’16, one of the stars in a hit Netflix television series, had doubts about whether his hope for a full-time career in the entertainment industry was realistic.  

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