WCU to celebrate conclusion, announce final tally of fundraising campaign Oct. 15-17

UPDATE: The 3 p.m. celebration originally scheduled for the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center today (Thursday Oct. 15) has been moved to the Grandroom and Illusions club (on the third floor of the University Center) because of rainy weather.

Western Carolina University will host a series of events Oct. 15-17 to celebrate the conclusion of The Campaign for Western Carolina, the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the 120-year history of the university.

With its theme of “Creating Extraordinary Opportunities” and a goal of $40 million in contributions to WCU, the campaign will come to a close during activities scheduled to coincide with Homecoming 2009.

A highlight of the celebration will be announcement of the total amount of contributions and pledges received during the campaign, which was launched to the public in February 2007.

“We want as many members of the Western Carolina family and our surrounding community as possible to join in celebrating this major milestone in the life of the university,” said Clifton Metcalf, vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs. “Homecoming week seems to be the perfect time, because it brings together representatives from all of our various constituencies, from the alumni who return to their alma mater to the students who take part in the many Homecoming events, and from our friends and benefactors who like to visit campus during the fall to our faculty and staff who are teaching and providing services to students.”

The schedule for the campaign celebration will include “Extraordinary Opportunities Created,” a public ceremony at which the final tally of the fundraising campaign will be officially revealed, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the recital hall of the Coulter Building.

The event, which is open to the public, will include WCU students and faculty discussing the importance of philanthropy, comments by university officials, a performance of scenes from the upcoming presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featuring students from the department of stage and screen, and announcement of the campaign total by WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo.

After the announcement, the campus campaign celebration will spill out onto the University Center lawn from 3 until 5 p.m. with a free concert by country music performer Matt Stillwell, a Sylva native and former Catamount baseball player.

As part of activities on tap for Friday, Oct. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 17, colleges and units of the university will hold open houses, demonstrations and symposia throughout the day to showcase their programs and initiatives, and how the Campaign for Western Carolina has provided the additional resources needed to help build the quality of academic and athletic programs through scholarships, endowed professorships and programmatic support.

The second annual Scholarship Lunch is set for noon Oct. 16 in the Grandroom of the University Center, providing an opportunity for many recipients of scholarships to meet and thank their benefactors.

“Our inaugural scholarship lunch last fall was a tremendous hit,” Metcalf said. “The students really enjoying having a chance to personally thank the people who established the endowed scholarship funds that made it possible for them to come to WCU, and the benefactors who have so graciously given their philanthropic support to the university really appreciated getting to know the students they are helping.”

For more information, contact the Office of Development at (828) 227-7124 or visit campaign.wcu.edu for more information, including an up-to-date listing of events.