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WCU Stories

The Power of Giving

One Day for Western

One Day for Western, the inaugural all-in day of giving to benefit multiple areas of Western Carolina University, proved to be one day to remember as 1,128 donors made gifts and pledges totaling $316,337, blowing past an original goal of 800 donors.

Held March 29, One Day for Western was a 24-hour fundraising event designed to benefit 12 distinct units of the university by inviting members of the WCU community to donate to the priorities that mean the most to them.  

“The generosity shown by members of the Western Carolina University family on our first-ever One Day for Western has been amazing,” Chancellor Kelli R. Brown said. “My heart is touched to know that there is a personal story behind each and every gift made that day.”

Giving Tuesday

The university is now turning its attention toward its other day of philanthropy, GivingTuesday. Launched nationally in 2012, GivingTuesday is held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and after the big shopping days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This year’s GivingTuesday falls on Nov. 28.

The 2022 GivingTuesday focused on increasing contributions to the Fund for WCU. The effort brought in more than $712,500 in gifts and pledges from 995 donors for the Fund for WCU and other areas including Catamount athletics and WCU’s General Scholarship Fund.

For more information, visit 
1889 Club 
Regional nursing outreach, student support among projects enabled by 1889 Grants Western Carolina University’s 1889 Impact Grant Program recently wrapped up its second year of providing donor-assisted financial support to campus projects, with initiatives ranging from nursing outreach clinics to efforts to help historically disadvantaged students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

The program was created in 2021 by the Division of Advancement to provide a consistent source of funding for colleges and other units at WCU in support of initiatives that enhance the engagement of alumni and community stakeholders to the philanthropic activities of the university. Eleven projects were selected to receive a total of $40,000 in 2022, the program’s first year of providing grants.

“More than $200,000 in grants were requested through 16 campuswide grant applications this year and we were able to allocate $47,500 overall for nine awards, which was an increase over the funds awarded in our inaugural year of 2022,” said Jamie T. Raynor, vice chancellor for advancement.

Funding for the program comes from contributions by members of the 1889 Club, which recognizes donors for gifts made on an annual basis to the Fund for WCU. The club, among four giving societies established to celebrate the impact of philanthropy on the institution, is named in honor of the year of WCU’s founding.

Total membership of 263 includes 199 current students, up from only three student members last year. The increase is driven in part by a new philanthropy cord initiative to recognize graduating seniors who also are members of the 1889 Club.

In addition to the 1889 Impact Grants Program, the Fund for WCU provides first-year access scholarships to new incoming freshmen. A total of 82 students received approximately $40,000 in scholarship support during the 2022-2023 academic year.   
For more information on the 1889 Club, visit 

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