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Nearly 1,150 donors make gifts to WCU on ‘One Day for Western’

one day for western cover


By Bill Studenc

Nearly 1,150 donors made gifts and pledges totaling more than $494,000 during the second annual ‘One Day for Western,’ an all-in day of giving designed to provide financial support to multiple areas of Western Carolina University.

A total of 1,142 donors participated in this year’s initiative, held Wednesday, April 3. That tally includes 211 donors who made their first-ever gift to WCU as part of One Day for Western, during which members of the WCU community are invited to donate to the university priorities most near and dear to their hearts.

The $494,042.65 raised through gifts to One Day for Western will support 106 different funds across the university, ranging from the Catamount Club and efforts to renovate WCU’s athletics facilities to the Fund for WCU and the Division of Student Affairs Student Emergency Fund.

Gifts poured in from donors from 49 of the 50 U.S. states and from as far away as Ireland, England, Austria, Norway, Japan, Canada and Australia. 

One Day for Western included several donor challenges designed to help maximize philanthropic impact. Goals of the challenges varied, with some challenges based on raising specific dollar amounts and others based on donor participation levels.

one day for western students


As part of the day, more than 300 students attended “One Day of Thankfulness” from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center, where they enjoyed pizza, received One Day for Western T-shirts and wrote thank you notes to donors.

Although the One Day for Western initiative increased donors, gifts and dollars contributed year over year, it fell slightly short of reaching its 2024 stretch goal of a total of 1,200 donors. Organizers say they consider this year’s initiative to be a success, nonetheless.

“We knew we were setting the bar pretty high when we established our goal, and we are happy that we surpassed last year’s donor total of 1,128,” said Rebekah Cheney, WCU director of annual giving.

“We also are impressed with the generosity of donors during this year’s One Day for Western, who exceeded last year’s One Day giving total of $316,337 by approximately $178,000. That means 178,000 additional dollars that will help the university better serve our students,” Cheney said.

For a comprehensive look at One Day for Western results, visit the website

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