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Commemorating the Naming of the Belcher College

On July 2, 2018, the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the naming of the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Bardo Arts Center Building with Belcher College Banner

The academic unit is home to the Western Carolina University School of Art & Design, School of Music, School of Stage and Screen, and Bardo Arts Center.

This recognition honors the late Chancellor's education as a classically trained pianist and his impact on higher education and the arts at WCU and across Western North Carolina. 

Patricia B. Kaemmerling, past WCU board chair, said the trustees decided to name the College of Fine and Performing Arts for Belcher in celebration of his talents as a musician, his transformational leadership of the university during his seven-year tenure as chancellor, and the financial contributions that he and wife Susan Brummell Belcher have made to provide significant scholarship support to students majoring in the fine and performing arts.

For those who did not know David, and for those who would like to always remember, please visit his memorial page, "Remembering David Orr Belcher". This page includes a wonderful video honoring David, quotes from friends, family, and collegues, and a beautiful obituary. 


As an administrator, David believed in the transformative power of education. As an artist, David knew personally and through experience that the study, discipline and mastery of art prepares one not only to be an artist, but to be anything – even a chancellor. - Susan Belcher, spouse of former Chancellor, David O. Belcher. 

We will honor his legacy, as we, too, believe in the transformational power of education, by actively working to make our region and the lives of our people better through the power of the arts. As Chancellor Belcher says, ‘We are in the business of changing lives." - George H. Brown, Dean of the Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts.

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