As a senior at Forest View High School in Gastonia, Marcy Sammons had her eye on Western Carolina University. She'd heard good things about WCU's College of Business, but perhaps even more importantly, WCU had the best Marching Band in the state and one of the best in the nation. Sammons led the Color Guard at Forest View, and she'd heard stories about WCU's 2014 trip to march in the Macy's Day Parade. She was a high school junior at the time. But when senior year rolled around, the cost of a four-year university simply wasn't an option for Sammons or her family. She was going to need to borrow the money she would need to attend school, and the thought of finishing a marketing degree with significant college debt was overwhelming.
As Gabriel Pope was looking at schools to transfer to from Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, he learned of an upcoming program the state of North Carolina was implementing called NC Promise. At first, Pope was a little skeptical over whether the state would follow through with offering $500 per semester tuition. But once he was convinced, Pope knew he wanted to go to Western Carolina University. “I was a little concerned with how the education would be with the school bringing in less money, but the more I learned about it, and researched it, the more I knew (WCU) was going to be a great school to go to,” Pope said. “I’m really thankful for (NC Promise) because it really helps me financially to be able to get my education.”
Barbara Helen Bolinger Coulter, 89, of Waynesville, North Carolina, passed away Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Haywood County.
Long after holiday decorations are back in their boxes and most New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned, the momentum from an eventful 2018 will carry WCU forward through the new year. In 2019 the rumbling of the big construction machines will continue and the tick-tick-tick of the Pride of the Mountains’ metronome will return amid the sounds of spring birds and young voices across campus. And our campus and community will continue to thrive and grow.
Sending you warm winter wishes from your friends at Western Carolina University. May you find yourself wrapped in the charm and the wonder of the holidays. Season’s greetings – from our Catamount family to yours!
Betty Farmer, award-winning WCU professor of communication and owner of Farmer Communications, will serve as workshop instructor.
Monday, Dec. 31, is the deadline for gifts to the university to be counted as charitable gifts in calendar year 2018.
Students are home for the holidays and campus is quiet. It is easy to find parking and there is no line of cars waiting to enter the traffic circle to access N.C. Highway 107. The hum of big machinery busy with campus construction has replaced the tick-tick-tick of the metronome from the Pride of the Mountains drum line rehearsing around campus. And so, it seems the perfect time to reflect on the past year as it slips seamlessly into the year ahead.
If ever there was a Western Carolina University graduate who was living his dream, it would be Tyler McKenzie. McKenzie, a 2013 graduate from WCU's School of Stage and Screen, is traveling across the country, dancing and singing as a member of the ensemble in the second national tour of the Broadway hit "Hamilton."