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WCU Catamount Adventures travel series bound for Montana

glacier mountain

Glacier Mountain National Park in Montana.

By Bill Studenc

With the inaugural trip of a recently launched travel series sponsored by the Western Carolina University Division of Advancement about to embark, plans are now underway for this year’s second excursion – a cross-continental journey to the Big Sky Country of Montana.

Part of the WCU Catamount Adventures travel series, the upcoming trip is scheduled for Sept. 17-22 in conjunction with the Catamount football team’s intercollegiate game at the University of Montana.

The excursion will include visits to Glacier National Park and Lake McDonald, a Rocky Mountains bus tour and opportunities for fly-fishing, horseback riding, gem mining and other activities.

Travelers will join other WCU fans and local Catamount supporters on Saturday, Sept. 21, at a pregame tailgate prior to the matchup with the Montana Grizzlies, national runner-up in the 2023 Football Championship Subdivision. The starting time for the game has not yet been announced.

The Montana trip will be hosted by Explore Up Close travel partners and WCU faculty and staff, including alumnus and Provost Richard Starnes.

The WCU Catamount Adventures series is designed to help alumni and friends explore different places, meet new friends and engage in lifelong-learning activities. It is expected to consist of one international excursion and one continental U.S. trip per year.

The program will include WCU faculty members who will be on hand based on each destination to share their expertise and enhance the learning experience for travelers. It will feature guided daily tours entailing moderate activity levels by participants.

The travel program kicks off March 7-18 with a trip to Ireland in conjunction with the appearance by WCU’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band in the 2024 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin on March 17.

First priority for participation in the program is given to members of WCU’s top two giving societies – the Madison Legacy Society and Cullowhee Society. The Madison Legacy Society recognizes donors who have made planned gifts to the university or to the WCU Foundation, while the Cullowhee Society acknowledges cumulative giving of gifts totaling $100,000 or more.

Registration for the September trip to Montana will begin Monday, March 4, with initial invitations sent to WCU’s giving society members, followed by open registration for WCU’s alumni and friends.

For more information about the WCU Catamount Adventures travel series, contact Janice Feichter, advancement events manager, at or 828-227-2051, or visit the website

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