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University retiree group makes gift to General Scholarship Endowment

The Western Carolina University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff recently gave a $500 gift to WCU’s General Scholarship Endowment Fund, to continue making a mark on the institution.

The gift came from the group’s membership fees and is to be used at the university’s discretion, said Sue Persons, association president and professor emeritus of health and human performance, who presented the gift on June 19 to Alison Morrison-Shetlar, WCU interim chancellor.

“The retirees made significant contributions to the lives of students throughout their careers at WCU,” said Lori Lewis, vice chancellor for advancement. “Through their generous gift to the General Scholarship Endowment Fund, they extend that legacy and show the caring and commitment this university is known for.”

Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar (left) accepts a $500 check from WCU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff President Sue Persons.

The association formed in 2013 when more than 125 retired WCU faculty and staff members traveled from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to participate in its first meeting. Subsequent meetings have attracted about 95 attendees.

“Our association hopes to maintain communication between WCU and its retirees by supporting, promoting and developing activities that will benefit the membership and the university,” Persons said. “The original group that founded the association ― Gordon Mercer, Fred Hinson, Karen Nicholson and Carol Martin-Vegue ― had a vision for the association, which we hope will continue to expand as WCU and the community grow.”

Currently, meetings are held twice a year on campus, with other activities and community events promoted to members throughout the year, all to build comradery and keep retirees actively involved in WCU. Membership is open to all retired faculty and staff and their spouses and partners.

For more information on the retirees group, contact an officer, with Persons at or 828-293-5289; vice president Norma Clayton at or 828-506-9241; secretary Karen Nicholson at or 828-586-2590.

For more information or to contribute to the General Scholarship Endowment Fund, contact Ben Pendry, executive director of WCU Advancement Services, at or 828-227-2558.

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