Western Wednesday is a monthly event featuring WCU alumni, faculty, or staff member who explores their area of expertise with us in a virtual conversation.
As we enter into the heart of the college admission cycle, it’s worth asking: what
is the value of a college degree? What drives the cost of higher education? What’s
the best way to pay for it?
We’ve pulled together an expert panel to help answer these questions and more, including Phil Cauley ’83, WCU’s associate vice chancellor for undergraduate admissions, Dr. Sean Mulholland, professor of economics, and Donna Winbon ’80, a financial planner.
This month on Western Wednesdays, we’ll talk with classroom teachers and administrators
to hear how they’re grappling with pandemic learning loss, what new challenges they
face around student wellness, and what keeps them motivated to keep doing the work.
Few things about WCU’s Pride of the Mountains marching band fly under the radar—a 500-member ensemble is hard to miss, after all. However, Western’s marching band has changed leadership and education in our region in a way that few other organizations at WCU or anywhere in the system can lay claim to.
WCU’s recently updated mission statement specifically calls for a “robust connectedness” with the communities of southern Appalachia, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, or EBCI. That relationship is the topic of this month’s Western Wednesday. Join Marty Ramsey as he talks with Sky Sampson, director of WCU’s Cherokee Center, and other panelists about the exciting work happening on campus and on the Qualla Boundary.
Fall is getting closer, and the Catamount sports teams are gearing up for an exciting season ahead. Watch a preview of the upcoming season in this month’s Western Wednesday!
Special Guest Include:
The Los Angeles Rams have backup quarterbacks. They have backup coaching staff. But they only have one director of performance nutrition and wellness, and that is Joey Blake '12. Blake, who graduated from Western with a degree in dietetics and nutrition, joined the Rams organization in 2017, and now he's responsible for the dietary needs of a five billion-dollar franchise.
The May edition of Western Wednesdays takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Bells in the Valley - a 22-minute documentary on the history of Western Carolina University. Originally produced in 1989, the documentary was updated in 2012 and then again in 2022 to include some of WCU’s more recent history. Learn from the makers of the documentary Arledge Armenaki, Bruce Frazier, and Gurney Chambers and their story on the making of Bells in the Valley.
February’s Western Wednesday highlights WCU Hall of Fame legends Henry Logan and Ronnie Carr. Logan was a four-time All-American and had a phenomenal career scoring average of 30.7 points per game. He was WCU’s first African American intercollegiate athlete. Carr was an all-star player at WCU in the early 1980s. He made the first three-point goal in NCAA college basketball history.
December's Western Wednesday features Dr. Andrew Adams, telling us the story of Richard Trevarthon and Dr. James Dooley, central figures in the musical life of Western Carolina University and throughout our region. This Western Wednesday explores their elaborate performance from 1995 entitled Christmas Voices and Brass, exploring the lives and careers of both men, and features live performances of holiday music written by both Mr. Trevarthen and Dr. Dooley
It's shaping up to be an exciting basketball season in Cullowhee! Watch a preview
of the upcoming Men's and Women's Catamount basketball season at this month's Western
Special guests include:
Wednesday, September 29th Special guests include Jacob Lowman, Graduate Student Vice President, Dr. Ashley Thrasher, Master of Athletic Training Program, Dr. Kevan Frazier, Executive Director of Programs at Biltmore Park, Dr. Brian Kloeppel, Dean of the Graduate School and Research.
August's Western Wednesday features Dr. Jack Eaddy, director of athletic bands and Pride of the Mountains at WCU! Dr. Eaddy joined WCU in May 2021. He previously served as the assistant director of bands at McNeese State University and the University of South Carolina. Join us for a special Western Wednesday event with him as he reflects on the legacy of Pride of the Mountains and his plans for an exciting fall!
The Office of Alumni Engagement and the Department of Athletics is excited to present a preview of this Fall Catamounts Sports season! With a new head coach in football and a new director of athletic bands and Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, it's shaping up to be an exciting fall in Cullowhee. The guest panel includes Alex Gary – Athletics Director, Kerwin Bell – Football Coach, Karen Glover – Volleyball Coach, Chad Miller – Women’s Soccer Coach, Jesse Norman – Cross Country Coach.
This Western Wednesday includes a presentation about the impact of COVID-19 on North Carolina's economy and its projected road to recovery. Special guests include Dr. AJ Grube, newly appointed dean of the College of Business, and Dr. Edward Lopez, professor, and director for the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise.
March’s Western Wednesday highlights the 1996 Catamount men’s basketball team to reminisce about that magical Southern Conference Championship season and punching their ticket to the 1996 NCAA Basketball Tournament. Former longtime WCU Sports Information Director and Catamount Historian, Steve White '67, moderates the reminiscing session.
Revisit this special panel edition of Western Wednesday! Western Carolina University leadership and key faculty discuss WCU's new COVID-19 vaccine clinic and its plans to serve the Western North Carolina region. Guests in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel, followed by closing remarks from Chancellor Kelli R. Brown.
February's Western Wednesday features Danita Johnson '05, who recently joined Major League Soccer club, D.C. United, as President of Business Operations. Johnson is the first Black president of a Major League Soccer club, and is one of the highest-ranking female executives in the sports industry.
December's Western Wednesday highlights the 1983 Catamount football team who will reminisce about that magical season and their run to the ‘83 NCAA National Championship game. Former longtime WCU Sports Information Director and Catamount Historian Steve White '67, moderates the reminiscing session.
Learn more about the four WCU Alumni Association Award recipients below and watch the recorded ceremony.
Mr. Bob Folsom ’66, ’68, Distinguished Service Award, Mr. Jake Robinson ’10, Young Alumni Award; Dr. Carol Burton ’87, ’89, Professional Achievement Award; Dr. Jason E. Bond ’93, Academic Achievement Award
October's Western Wednesday features Dr. Chris Cooper, Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor and Department Head of Political Science and Public Affairs at WCU. His areas of scholarship include elections as well as the politics of North Carolina and the South overall. He publishes widely on these areas and has been quoted in a variety of media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and National Public Radio
Dr. Anderson is the Dean and Professor of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University. She has over thirty years of acute and critical care nursing experience in various roles ranging from staff to administration and academia. Her research interests include investigating the utilization of simulation in academia and in the healthcare setting, critical thinking and clinical decision-making, and learning outcomes.
August's Western Wednesday featured Ron Rash, an accomplished author and English professor at WCU. He will be discussing his newest book titled "In the Valley," a collection of stories that feature the return of characters that made his book "Serena" popular.
Western Wednesday is a monthly event featuring a WCU faculty or staff member who will speak about their area of expertise. July's Western Wednesday is with Pamela ("Pam") Buchanan, WCU Director of Health Services.