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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...

Lauren Bryson

Scholarship recipient revels in advanced technology, new surroundings

It took a childhood spent in the outdoors for former competitive wakeboarder Lauren Bryson to appreciate the world of technology as a Western Carolina University student, and as a result, become the first recipient of the Hopkins and Ray Engineering and Technology Scholarship.  

Jeff and Tina Ray

Rays strive to bring students, STEM together through scholarship support

To support their love of engineering and education, Jeff and Tina Ray created the Hopkins and Ray Engineering and Technology Endowed Scholarship to support students in WCU’s College of Engineering and Technology, for which Jeff Ray serves as dean.  

Aerial image of campus in the snow

Year-end giving pushes WCU's 'Lead the Way' fundraising campaign past $58 million mark

Western Carolina University’s “Lead the Way” comprehensive fundraising campaign climbed ever closer to hitting its goal of $60 million as a surge of year-end giving pushed the total raised to date to $58.7 million. Among the recent contributions to the campaign is an anonymous estate gift of $1 million to go toward student scholarships, which is the top priority of “Lead the Way: A Campaign Inspired by the Belcher Years.” The campaign is scheduled to come to a close this spring.  

WCU College of Business Faculty Hollye Moss

Moss fund supports teaching excellence, honors colleague

With a new doctorate under her belt and her dream job at Western Carolina University in hand, Hollye Moss jumped right in – and promptly started to sink. No longer distracted by a dissertation, Moss realized something was lacking: her teaching skills.   

Donna Winbon

Donna Winbon: We all have the power to make an impact on the next generation

In 1980, I graduated from Western Carolina University. I was an average student with a modest background and a deep appreciation for the faculty and staff who helped me get through four years of college. I knew even then that my time at WCU had prepared me for a good life, but I had no grand vision of becoming rich or famous.  

Vannoy and Entegra

Classroom spaces named in recognition of Entegra Bank, Vannoy Construction gifts

Classroom spaces in Forsyth and Belk buildings now bear the names of two Western Carolina University corporate partners in recognition of recent contributions from Entegra Bank and Vannoy Construction toward student scholarships and academic program support.  

The Worleys

Former Asheville mayor makes gift to help WCU grad students, pushing campaign total past $55M

The Lead the Way campaign crossed a major milestone when a gift commitment from former Asheville Mayor Charles Worley and his wife, Nancy Worley, pushed the amount raised across the $55 million mark.  

POTM Field

Giving Tuesday efforts to focus on band’s trip to Macy’s, student-athletes

WCU will kick off the season of generosity five days after Thanksgiving with Giving Tuesday. This year, the focus will be on two special projects – upgrading the student-athlete computer lab and sending the Pride of the Mountains marching band to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2019.  

Enid and Curtis Melzter

Meltzer scholarship endowment will benefit hundreds of students from array of disciplines

When former Highlands resident Curtis Meltzer died Dec. 17, 2017, he left a multimillion dollar estate gift to WCU to support students in the College of Arts and Sciences, increasing his and wife Enid’s overall scholarship endowment to $3.3 million.  

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