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WCU Stories

Aerial Shot of Main Street in Sylva

Jackson County ranked second in nation for areas to start new businesses

Jackson County and the unincorporated community of Cullowhee surrounding Western Carolina University have been ranked as the nation’s second most economically dynamic “micropolitan area” of 50 profiled in a report by the Heartland Forward, an institute for economic development.  

Doug Reed at Commencement

Doug Reed, longtime director of public information, passes away at 92

A. Douglas “Doug” Reed, who served as director of public information and a top-level adviser for 30 years through 10 administrations at Western Carolina University, died Sunday, July 19, at his home in Cullowhee at age 92.  

A photo of the overpass on I-40

Alumna Helping Local Wildlife

Anyone who has ever traveled along Interstate 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge near the North Carolina-Tennessee border knows how dangerous that stretch of highway can be. With its narrow lanes, twisting and winding curves through the mountains, rockslides, and speeding drivers, that portion of highway has been notorious for accidents. Well, just imagine what it must be like for wildlife living in those beautiful mountains that make up Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah and Cherokee national forests.  

Michaela Schmidlin

WCU Alumna Blends Project Management with Hospitality

Michaela Schmidlin, MPM ’18 can put your fear of hosting holiday company in perspective. As Entertainment and Event Programming Manager for Asheville-based The Biltmore Company, Schmidlin serves as the project manager for a number of estate events, the largest undertaking being Christmas at Biltmore and Candlelight Christmas Evenings.   

Discover Her Story  

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Police Chief Lillard named national runner-up in Campus Safety magazine’s annual awards

Chief of Police Steve Lillard was named national runner-up in the higher education division of Campus Safety magazine’s 2020 Director of the Year awards.  

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Face coverings, sanitizer, thermometers will be provided to faculty, staff in COVID-19 fight

Faculty and staff soon will be receiving bags of personal protective items that are designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus as part of the institution’s “Catamounts Care” campaign.  

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Highlands Biological Station begins bird banding project

In conjunction with an international effort, the Highlands Biological Station has initiated a bird banding project in the high-elevation mountain community.  

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General Assembly approves additional NC Promise funding for WCU, 2 other institutions

The North Carolina General Assembly’s biennial short session has resulted in several pieces of legislation that benefit WCU, including approval of $15 million to fund the NC Promise tuition plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year.  

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WCU board removes name 'Hoey' from campus auditorium

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution removing the name “Hoey” from a campus performance facility named after Clyde R. Hoey, a former governor of North Carolina and state and federal legislator who actively opposed civil rights legislation and favored racial segregation.   

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