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Blue Ridge and Balsam Residence Halls


Balsam and Blue Ridge Halls were named in reference to the Great Balsam Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains which surround the Cullowhee valley.  They were built to house members of Western Carolina University's Honors College.  They are built on the site of former residence halls Helder Hall and Leatherwood Hall.  Helder Hall was named in honor of Horatio A. Helder, an executive at Champion Papers in Canton, North Carolina and member of Western Carolina College's Board of Trustees.  Helder and his wife Adah Clark Helder provided scholarships for students from Haywood County.  Leatherwood Hall was named in tribute to Mr. Thurman Leatherwood and his wife Mrs. Nell M. Leatherwood who provided generous monetary support to students from Swain County and other students from the mountain region.

Opened:  Balsam Hall - 2009; Blue Ridge Hall - 2010.
Who Lives Here:
 All classifications of students - Freshmen, Sophmore, Junior, Senior, Graduate.  Balsam Hall exclusively houses members of the Brinson Honors College.  Brinson Honors College students with non-honors rooms are given priority for Blue Ridge Hall.
Number of residents:  799; 425 in Balsam and 374 in Blue Ridge.
Number of floors:  4
Elevator:  Yes
Airconditioned:  Yes
Room Types:  Double occupancy rooms with en suite bathrooms and private rooms adjoined by a bathroom.
Bathrooms: Located within the room or suite.
Gender:  Single gender rooms/suites with men and women living on the same floor.
Laundry rooms:  floors 2 and 3 in each building.
Kitchens: every floor in each building.
Study Lounges:  every floor in each building.
Location on campus:  Central Campus
Parking:  Balsam Hall Lot immediately adjacent to Balsam; Blue Ridge Lot immediately adjacent to Blue Ridge; additional parking in Lot 21, .3 mile walk and Lot 19A, .5 mile walk.  (Provided for informational purposes only.  On-campus parking requires the purchase of a permit and eligibility to park in various lots is determined by the type of permit for which a student is eligible.  In addition, purchase of a permit does not guarantee parking in any particular parking spot or lot.)
Notable features:  

  • Brinson Honors College offices in Balsam Hall.
  • Large multi-purpose room in Blue Ridge Hall.
  • Library breezway connecting the buildings on 4th floor.
  • Located off the central plaza of campus and immediately adjacent to Courtyard DIning Hall -

    home to BellaSui, Catamount Cafe, Chick-fil-A, Freshens, Moe's Southwestern Grill, Panda Express, Papa John's, Starbucks @ Courtyard, and Which Wich Superior Sandwhiches.


Double rooms in Balsam and Blue Ridge Hall have an en suite bathroom for the students residing in that room.  The sink is located in the room.  Note that there are two sets of furniture in the double room - one set for each resident.

Approximately 13' x 20'
Approximately 260 square feet

Room Amenities
Bathroom sink and mirror in the room
Ethernet Port (2 per room)
Movable furniture
Window Blinds

XL Loftable bed (2 per room)
XL Twin Mattress (2 per room)
Desk (2 per room)
Desk Chair (2 per room)
Wardrobe with two drawers (2 per room)

Private rooms in Balsam and Blue Ridge Hall adjoin a second private room via the bathroom.  Students in private rooms share a toilet and shower with the student in the adjoining private room.  A sink is located in the room.

Approximately 9' x 14'
Approximately 126 square feet

Room Amenities
Bathroom sink and mirror in the room
Ethernet Port
Movable furniture
Window Blinds

XL Loftable bed
XL Twin Mattress
Desk Chair
Wardrobe with two drawers


All residence halls at Western Carolina University feature the following amenities:

  • Wireless internet access throughout the building
  • Exterior door access controlled by Cat Card (student ID)
  • Non-smoking building with 50 foot non-smoking perimeter 
  • Resident Assistant staff
  • Professional staff on call 24 hours a day


The view from the Plaza of Blue Ridge and Balsam Residence Halls


Students studying in their dorm room of Balsam Hall.


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