In December, Kenyatta Fortune will become a three-time graduate of Western Carolina University. Doing so didn’t come without facing significant challenges. “The dynamics are different,” Fortune said. “While the professors provide guidance, encouragement and support, the student is given full autonomy in setting personal timelines, meeting agendas and maintaining contact with milestone updates on their thesis research.”
For Hank Henderson 17’, there was never a question if he would stay engaged with Western Carolina University once he graduated.
Melissa Metcalf Le Roy believes her father, the late Oscar William Metcalf Jr., would have been the first to apply for membership in Western Carolina University’s new Veterans and Military Alumni Society. Metcalf, a decorated Vietnam War vet, died Oct. 18, at the age of 72 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. “He dearly loved Western,” said Le Roy. “He was proud of his alma mater, the opportunities it gave him. He went to college while working full time and raising a young family. The university supported him, and (his bachelor’s degree) really meant something.”
The cover of the Fall 2020 publication of the Western Carolina University Magazine highlights a small portrait of the many ways the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted our faculty, staff and students. Inside this issue, we take a look at how in times of adversity, our Catamount Community displayed innovation, creativeness and a willingness to support Western North Carolina.
In the midst of nationwide civil unrest, Western Carolina University renews its commitment to inclusive excellence. When Charity Leigh Moon Henry ’93 was studying theatre in the early 1990s, she had no inkling while on stage in what was then called Hoey Auditorium that she was performing in a building named to honor an individual who would have vehemently disapproved of her selection of a spouse and denied their multiracial children enrollment at her alma mater.
Lakisha Blount ’04 is one of four African American alumni of Western Carolina University’s School of Art and Design who participated in the creation of a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Asheville over the summer. Blount painted the letter “M,” with imagery evoking a mountain range, an Appalachian quilt and an African kente cloth. Take a closer look at the project and the artists involved...
When Alex Gary was introduced as Western Carolina University’s director of athletics on Feb. 28, the former Catamount baseball player had visions of what his first 90 days would look like when he officially started May 1. Gary imagined he would spend a lot of time meeting and talking to as many people as he could, while also learning the current campus landscape.
Jake Robinson ’10 has come a long way from the days he got paid in honey buns for picking up aluminum cans in the auction ring after a sale at his grandfather’s stockyard.
Part-time admissions counselor serves as a conduit to Cullowhee for students from Georgia. When there’s an increase in student enrollments from the metro Atlanta area, an alumnus who jokingly refers to himself as “the oldest college recruiter in the state of Georgia” is usually the reason why. Bob Folsom ’66 MAEd ’68, a retired teacher and counselor from Gainesville, has turned the Peach State into a “significant pipeline” of new students for WCU, said Phil Cauley ’83 MS ’90, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment.