The ground upon which Western Carolina University is built — and continues building today — has centuries of stories to tell. Some are told in history books and museum exhibits, while others are buried away. Some reemerge through archaeological research sparked by new construction on campus, as the university upgrades, renovates and expands its facilities. Hidden below WCU’s surface is Tali Tsisgwayahi, or “Two Sparrows Town,” the first Cherokee town of the Tuckaseigee River valley.
Matthew Hessburg, an alumnus of the University Participant program, used the skills he learned while working at the acclaimed Haywood Smokehouse to create a barbecue sauce of his own.
Natalie Newman knew she had the drive and ambition to run her own business, but what she needed was direction and inspiration. She found both in Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in innovation leadership and entrepreneurship through the College of Business.
Meet Marianne Leek, two time alumna of Western Carolina University.
Graduate History student working to translate Cherokee language from native newspapers. Constance Owl’s master’s degree thesis is more than a means to a graduate degree in American history. It’s a portal to understanding and perhaps saving, a disappearing language.
Garrett Ozar, a 2009 graduate with a degree in entrepreneurship, took managerial skills and confidence gained from the Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Business, to start a success story. He is the co-founder of Eterneva, an Austin, Texas, based company started in 2017 that takes ashes from cremated remains, isolates the carbon and, with heat and pressure, creates diamonds as an everlasting keepsake.
How Rory Jimerson got to Western Carolina University is interesting enough. How he’s managed to stay in Cullowhee thanks to the university’s Master of Sport Management Program and his love of athletics, which led to him becoming the school’s director of athletic facilities, is even more interesting.