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Longtime WCU employee supports student emergency fund as faculty, staff giving campaign begins

By Bill Studenc

Linda “L.C.” Carmody, director of Greek student engagement and development, has not only contributed 35 years of her career to supporting Western Carolina University through her work assisting students in a variety of roles, but she also regularly donates to the university’s student emergency fund.

The fund, administered by the Division of Student Affairs, provides monetary assistance to students who find themselves in times of unexpected financial crisis.

“The needs of our students seem to increase each year,” Carmody said. “The student emergency fund is one way to help students overcome some of the challenges. And, like many funds, there never seems to be enough money to meet the needs. For me, it was a fund I could support that has the potential to meet student needs almost immediately.”

Carmody said she is glad to see students take advantage of the financial life raft that the student emergency fund can provide for things like unexpected medical bills, laptop replacement and transportation needs. “I hope students will use the funds to alleviate financial stress created from the curve balls life tends to throw. I hope that students will find a measure of peace and courage to face future challenges,” she said.

“Students are the heart of what we do at Western. Any role you serve, students are at the center of that position. I feel it is our responsibility to support students like we would like to be supported,” said Carmody, who has previously served as an area coordinator for the Department of Residential Living, assistant to the dean of students, senior associate director of student activities, OneStop adviser and director of OneStop.

Linda Carmody

Linda Carmody

She is among the more than 350 faculty and staff who go beyond their work toward the success of students and the enrichment of the mountain region by making financial contributions to WCU and who are recognized as members of the Shetland Society.

One of four giving societies established by the Division of Advancement in 2020 to celebrate the impact of philanthropy, the Shetland Society acknowledges faculty and staff gifts made on an annual basis. The society is named for the Shetland ponies that then-Chancellor A.C. Reynolds purchased in 1912 to haul supplies by cart back and forth from Sylva to campus.

A campaign to increase faculty and staff membership in the Shetland Society kicks off Friday, Sept. 1. The campaign, which will continue through Friday, Oct. 20, includes a faculty and staff giving challenge. Each WCU college and division will have a “Giving Champion,” a volunteer who has committed to encouraging his or her colleagues to give back to WCU.

The campus unit with the highest participation rate of donors will receive the Faculty/Staff Giving Champions Trophy. The goal for this year’s effort is to increase the faculty and staff participation rate to 25 percent.

Faculty and staff donors will be recognized during the third annual Shetland Society Day, set for Wednesday, Sept 6, from 10 a.m. until noon on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center and the Alumni Tower.

All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. The event will include initial distribution of “thank you” gifts and 2023-2024 Shetland Society membership decals to participating faculty and staff, free snacks and refreshments, and a ceremonial stroll by Chancellor Kelli R. Brown and a pair of Shetland ponies.”

For more information, contact Rebekah Cheney, director of annual giving, at 828-227-2868 or via email at

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