At WCU, we have always known that a university isn't just a place, it's a community. That community is built from and defined by the people who call Western Carolina home, first and foremost our students and alumni. So, as we charge ahead with tremendous momentum into a year of record-breaking enrollment and significant campus expansion, we wanted to also pause for a moment and remember the stories of those who came before us and how their experiences continue to define who we are and who we will be in the years ahead.
In their stories, we found a prevailing sense of pride in Western Carolina University's past and future. They are, Catamounts for Life.
We invite you to view below heartwarming videos featuring our WCU alumni from each decade, beginning with alums from the 1950s. We hope you are inspired to share your story as well with your network of friends and family in your own community. Then, share it with us as well. We will be featuring some of the stories during I Love WCU month in February.
Whether or not the 90's was a "less wild" decade than the 80's remains to be seen because there was always something going on, playing pool in the UC, attending a mixer, participating in the Greek games, meeting up with friends at a football game or just hanging around Dodson Cafeteria.
When you would see Jan O’Brien at the cafeteria and how she would always remember everything going on in your life. Or in 98' when Western beat App, the goal posts were taken down and marched through campus, and set it up in Chancellor's lawn. When Brad Hoover playing for the Catamounts. The experience we had here at Western Carolina University made an impact that's resonated throughout our lives.
Flashback with us to the 1990's as five Western Carolina Alums - John Connet '92, Jamie and Jarrett Friday '99, Robin Parton Pate 97', Doug Palmer 99', – remember your years here and how they influenced you.
The Bon Jovi concert. Watching General Hospital in the lobby. Hanging out in on the wall front of the College of Business. Or perhaps watching the cars drive by in front of the Dodson Cafeteria. The '83 Catamount Football team making it to the playoffs or the first 3-point shot made in college basketball.
The memories may be what we hold on to, but the experience we had here at Western Carolina University made an impact that's resonated throughout our lives. The person you were when you first came over Catamount Gap was a far cry from the one you grew into when you graduated. The legacy that WCU left with you is one that we continue to honor today.
Come back with us to Western Carolina in the 1980's and eight alums - John Davis '87, Amy Kilby '87, Shelly White '88, Janine Bryan '83, Ann and Mitch Treadaway '83, and Michael, Larry and Eric Naylor '82 and '86 – in a video all about your years here and how they still influence your life today.
Tubing down the Tuck. Catching up with friends at the Townhouse. Watching football games on the weekend. The beer bash on K.A. Hill. Playing hall hockey in Benton Hall. Or even streaking through campus.
Western Carolina University has undergone a significant transformation since the 1970's but the principles on which we were built on hold steady today. We've always been a place of opportunity for our students and those opportunities continue to grow.
Step back in time with us to the 1970's and four alums - Steve Riggs '76, Steve and Gail Williams '72 & '73, Jim Rowell '72 – in a video all about your years here and how it changed you and your classmates' lives.
Dancing for hours to the jukebox in the Student Union. Snow day sledding on trays from the cafeteria. The Cullowhee Olympics. Sold-out Friday night games in Reid Gym. Henry Logan playing basketball for the Catamounts.
With many first-generation college students attending Western Carolina College (now Western Carolina University) in the 1960's our commitment to high-quality education resonated with our alumni. It is a pledge that we continue to uphold throughout campus to this day.
Take a look back at this remarkable decade with us and five alums - Kathy Abbott Beam '67, Gurney Chambers '61, Jim Beddingfield '67, Steve White '67 and Betty Allen '68 – in a video all about your years here and how they impacted you and your classmates' success.
Dancing in the basement of the Student Union. Meeting friends for a burger at the Townhouse. May Day in the courtyard in front of Madison. That time Eleanor Roosevelt came to speak. The first basketball game played at Reid Gym.
Western Carolina College (now Western Carolina University) was alive and thriving in the 1950s. The college was well-known across the region for producing top-notch teachers, which we of course still do, and many of our alumni were going on to successful careers in business or education not just in North Carolina but across the nation and internationally.
Join us as we look back at this incredible decade through the eyes of four alums – Julia Britt ’57, Marvin and Mimi Cole ’58 and Baxter Wood ’58 – in a video all about your years here and how they influenced you and your classmates’ success.
We'll be celebrating Catamounts for Life over the next several months, culminating in February with our second annual I Love WCU Month. Look for new videos here and on our Alumni Facebook page as we debut them each month:
See more historic photos, share your own stories and more on our Alumni Facebook Page!