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Stops in Franklin, Murphy added to 'Chancellor's Welcome Tour'

Organizers of the Western Carolina University “Chancellor’s Welcome Tour” have added two more Western North Carolina stops to a series of events designed to introduce Kelli R. Brown, WCU’s new chief executive officer, to the region and state.

Chancellor Kelli R. Brown (third from right) meets with alumni during a tour stop in Raleigh.

Brown, who became WCU’s 12th chancellor effective July 1, and husband Dennis are meeting with a variety of stakeholders – including alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors and elected officials – as she begins the process of crafting her vision for the direction of the university.

“I want to hear from alumni, students, faculty and staff. I want to hear from community members and neighbors. I want to hear from our students’ parents. I want to hear from fans of our Catamount sports teams and from patrons of our arts programs,” she said. “I want to be known as fully collaborative and transparent, and to develop initiatives and solve problems through open discussions with all of our many stakeholders. I truly believe that we will do our best work when we work together.”

Newly added stops on the tour are:

Franklin – 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Lazy Hiker Brewing Co., 188 W. Main St.; hosted by Lazy Hiker Brewing Co.

Murphy – 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Shoebooties Cafe, 25 Peachtree St.; hosted by 1968 WCU alumnus Bill Forsyth and the Murphy Electric Power Board.

Additional upcoming stops on the tour are:

Hendersonville – 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Technology Education Development Center at Blue Ridge Community College, 49 E. Campus Drive, Flat Rock; hosted by RCBC Global.

Charlotte – 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Sugar Creek Brewing Co., 215 Southside Drive.

Washington, D.C. – 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Terrell Place, 575 Seventh St. NW; hosted by WCU alumnus Ben Comm.

Waynesville – 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at Boojum Brewing Co., 50 N. Main St.; hosted by Stanberry Insurance.

Atlanta – 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Georgian Club, 100 Galleria Parkway No. 1700; hosted by WCU alumnus Bruce Clayton.

To participate in a tour stop, registration one week prior to the date of each event is required. To register or for more information, contact Elizabeth Honbarger in WCU’s Office of Alumni Engagement at 877-440-9990 or

The tour kicked off July 15 in Greensboro at First National Bank Field, home of minor league baseball team the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The event attracted a crowd of approximately 450 alumni and friends and was hosted by Wes Elingburg, a 1978 graduate of WCU who is team owner of the Grasshoppers.

More than 300 people attended the Jackson County tour stop Aug. 19 at Innovation Station in Dillsboro, and nearly 100 attended an event Aug. 22 in Cherokee at Selu Garden Cafe at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort. More than 250 people took part in the tour stop in Asheville on Aug. 28 at Highlands Brewing Co.

Formerly provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University, Brown succeeds David O. Belcher, who died in June 2018 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected her as WCU chancellor April 25 upon the recommendation of Bill Roper, interim president of the UNC System.

For more information about the events, visit the website

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