By Bill Studenc
While many folks are still in the process of nailing down their vacation plans for 2023, the Western Carolina University Division of Advancement is already looking ahead toward potential travel destinations for next year.
That’s because WCU will be launching a new travel program in 2024 designed to help alumni and friends explore different places, meet new friends and engage in lifelong-learning activities.
The WCU Catamount Adventures travel series 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.
“We envision our new travel series as an excellent opportunity for our alumni and friends to experience interesting new spots across the country and around the globe,” said Jamie T. Raynor, WCU vice chancellor for advancement. “Participants will benefit from the knowledge of selected faculty experts, visit some bucket-list destinations and learn more about the fascinating world in which we live, all while enjoying the camaraderie of traveling with fellow members of the WCU family.”
First priority for participation in the program will be 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.
University representatives are finalizing destination details for the inaugural year of the WCU Catamount Adventures series, including plans for the first trip to be to Ireland in March 2024 in conjunction with the appearance by the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band in next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Raynor said.
Registration for the inaugural trip to Ireland will kick off in early summer 2023 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-227-2051.