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Impact Stories

Our alumni, community, faculty, staff, and partners are dedicated to supporting the success of current and future Catamounts. Western Carolina University is committed to sustaining and improving individual lives through education and by enhancing the economic and community development of our region. Discover the philanthropy and the people who make this happen...

giving tuesday

Catamount Nation Answers the Call on Giving Tuesday

For the fourth time in as many years, Western Carolina Athletics and its fundraising arm, the Catamount Club, put out the call as part of the National Day of Giving, #GivingTuesday. And once again, the generosity of the Catamount Nation brightly shined through. Through fundraising efforts stemming around the Dec. 3 Giving Tuesday initiative, a total of 254 generous supporters ranging from the West Coast to the Southeast – and points in between – answered the Giving Tuesday challenge by raising a record-setting total...  

Kevin Rumley

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. Read between those lines a minute, and listen. This is WCU Alumni Kevin Rumley's story...  

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.  

Lead the Way Logo

Scholarships Created from Lead the Way

Thanks to your generous support we were able to create over 200 scholarships during our Lead the Way Campaign. Explore the scholarships here...  

Dwight Ryland

Colorado couple endows scholarship in effort to save environment through education

Dwight Ryland has seen some glorious views in his day, having climbed all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains — some of them more than once—and skied his native state’s majestic slopes. But a dark cloud on the horizon has redirected his gaze and nudged the 77-year-old Ryland to put his money where his heart is: saving the environment through education.  

Lead the Way Reveal

‘Lead the Way’ fundraising campaign total surpasses $60 million goal

David Belcher would be proud. Thanks to more than 12,000 donors — nearly half of those first-time donors — the Western Carolina University family helped the beloved late chancellor meet his pledge of raising millions of dollars in scholarship support to help WCU students pay for their education.   

Lead the Way

‘Lead the Way’ total to be announced May 2 with campus celebration

It’s been more than a year in the making, this fundraising challenge to reach $60 million for the Lead the Way campaign in support of late Chancellor David Belcher’s pledge for more student scholarships. Did we make it? Find out May 2 during the ‘big reveal’ at a community celebration in the Ramsey Center.  

WCU Campus

WCU feels the love during February fundraiser, with increase in donations and participation

By all accounts, the third annual “I Love WCU” month was a huge success, with more than 1,400 people making financial contributions or pledges to Western Carolina University between Feb. 1 and Feb. 28.  

Jack and Judy Brinson

Highlands residents pledge $2 million for Honors College, undergraduate research

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of a husband and wife who divide their time between Highlands in the Western North Carolina mountains and Hilton Head Island in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Western Carolina University is one step closer toward its goal of being able to provide scholarship assistance to every Honors College student with financial need. Make that 1 million steps closer.  

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