David O. Belcher will be installed as chancellor of Western Carolina University during a traditional ceremony capping a week of activities in late March designed to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of the university’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners.
Thomas W. Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system, will preside at the installation ceremony, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center.
The installation ceremony is the traditional academic ritual at which the chancellor takes the oath of office. The event is typically attended by UNC system officials, state legislators and other elected state and federal officials, academic delegates from other institutions across the nation and around the world, representatives of professional organizations and honor societies, and members of the campus and surrounding communities.
A 30-member steering committee is in the process of planning other installation week activities centered on the theme “Defining our Future in Pursuit of Distinction,” said Beth Tyson Lofquist, interim provost and co-chair of the committee.
“This will be a week to honor and recognize not only our new chancellor and his wife, Susan, but also to express our appreciation to our friends and neighbors throughout our community and region that we serve,” Lofquist said. “It also will be a celebration of all that Western Carolina is and all that this university has to offer.”
Other installation week activities will focus on the academic, creative and athletic talents of WCU students, faculty and staff, said Dianne Lynch, chief of staff and committee co-chair. “We have so much talent on this campus that we want to showcase,” she said. “Our faculty, staff and students will help provide the excitement leading up to one of the most significant days in the life of a university.”
No state funds will be used for installation activities, which will be paid for through private and corporate contributions.
Belcher was named Western Carolina’s 11th chief executive officer in April by the UNC Board of Governors. He assumed his duties on July 1, when John W. Bardo, who had held the position for 16 years, stepped down as chancellor.
Events and times are subject to change. Visit installation.wcu.edu and click on ‘Schedule of Events’ for the latest information.
Paint the Town Purple
Western Carolina University students and organizations will team up with Cullowhee, Sylva and Dillsboro area business owners to help decorate their storefronts in Catamount purple and gold in anticipation of the installation ceremony, with prizes for the best decorating jobs to be announced during installation week.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
WCU Cares: A Day of Service
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (tentative times)
Join WCU students, staff, faculty and community members as they come together to give back to the community in a day of service held in conjunction with Women’s History Month Day of Service. Volunteers can choose from a variety of types of projects, locations, and times. Possible service partners include Full Spectrum Farms, Project CARE, Habitat for Humanity of Haywood County, Adopt-a-Highway, Sylva Community Gardens, Community Table, Tuckasegee Community Food Pantry, Stop Hunger Now, Base Camp Cullowhee, Campus Kitchen Garden and Manning Boys Home in Jamaica.
SUNDAY, MARCH 25
Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K
The second annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon will take runners on a scenic 13.1-mile journey through the WCU campus and along the Tuckaseigee River. For runners looking for a shorter and faster option, race organizers have added a 5-K (3.1-mile) race and walk to this year’s activities. That event will begin at 7:45 a.m.
Learn more or register: halfmarathon.wcu.edu
MONDAY, MARCH 26
11 a.m.-1 p.m./Central Plaza
Join students, faculty, staff and community members for the launching of a new WCU tradition, “Firing up the Cata-Fount,” as the water fountain in Central Plaza is turned on for the season.
- 11 a.m.: Catamount Singers and Electric Soul perform.
- 12:15 p.m.: See the “Cata-fount” come on and wait for a surprise.
Learn more: sga.wcu.edu
Undergraduate Research Expo Poster Session and Reception
5-6:30 p.m./A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom
Check out the work of some of Western Carolina’s best and brightest students at the annual Undergraduate Research Expo, including a poster session and reception. Student presentations will be held at various campus venues all day long March 26 and 27.
Learn more: honors.wcu.edu
The Belcher Open
5 p.m./University Disc Golf Course
Campus Recreation Intramural Sports sponsors the Belcher Open, a disc golf tournament open to all members of the university community. Tournament winners will be recognized during an event on Tuesday, March 27.
Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Whee Hours
5-10 p.m. /Downtown Sylva and Dillsboro
Members of the campus community are invited to head to downtown Sylva and Dillsboro, where local merchants and restaurants will offer special deals all day long to WCU students, faculty and staff who show their CatCards.
- 5 pm: WCU students unveil a new mobile web app that will allow smartphone users to learn more about Dillsboro businesses and attractions. Jarrett House.
- 6:30 pm: “Paint the Town Purple” contest winners will be announced. Sylva fountain.
- 7 pm: “Reflections on Place: An Evening with Distinguished Storytellers” featuring Cherokee storyteller Jerry Wolfe; former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer; and Ron Rash, WCU’s Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture and author of The New York Times best-seller “Serena.” Jackson County Public Library. Reception will follow.
Learn more: http://www.mountainlovers.com/
TUESDAY, MARCH 27
Breakfast with the Belchers
7:30-8:30 a.m./Courtyard Dining Hall
Students, faculty and staff are invited to join David and Susan Belcher for a Dutch treat breakfast in the upstairs section of the Courtyard Dining Hall. Aramark will be serving some of the Belchers’ favorite breakfast items.
Children’s Story Time
11-11:30 a.m./Jackson County Public Library
David Belcher will lead a children’s story-time session at the Jackson County Library for local preschool children.
Learn more: http://www.fontanalib.org/sylva/index.htm
“Lawn-gating”/UC Lawn and Central Plaza
1- 4 p.m.
Enjoy “Lawn-gating,” a pregame festival featuring games, music and food on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center and the Central Plaza prior to the afternoon’s home baseball game.
- 1 p.m.: Enjoy popcorn, cotton candy, pizza and other food.
- 1 p.m.: Play games including cornhole and ladderball. Listen to the university’s radio station WWCU-FM Power 90.5.
- 1:30 p.m.: Witness the unveiling of David Belcher’s signature flavor of ice cream. Try a sample.
- 2:30 p.m.: Compete in an intramural four-square tournament.
Learn more: sga.wcu.edu
Stadium Strut and Baseball Game
4 p.m.-until/Central Plaza to Hennon Stadium
March with members of the WCU Purple Thunder drum line to Hennon Stadium to watch the Catamounts take on Kennesaw State in baseball action. The first 200 fans that enter the baseball stadium for the game will be given a voucher that will allow them to purchase a hot dog and a soft drink for $3. The “Belcher Open” trophy will be presented between the first and second innings.
- 4 p.m.: March with the WCU drum line to the baseball game.
- 4:30 p.m.: Members of the Purple Thunder drum line, cheerleaders and students parade into the stadium.
- 4:45 p.m.: The team players and starting line-up are announced.
- 4:50 p.m.: Susan Belcher sings the national anthem.
- 4:55 p.m.: David Belcher throws the ceremonial first pitch.
- 5 p.m.: The Catamounts take on Kennesaw State.
Get tickets: catamountsports.com
30 minutes after baseball game ends/UC Theater
Thirty minutes after the end of the baseball game, join David Belcher in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center for a screening of one of his favorite movies. Free popcorn!
Learn more: lmp.wcu.edu
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28
2-4:30 p.m./UC Grandroom
The university will celebrate the fifth anniversary of development of its Quality Enhancement Plan in a half-day event showcasing how the QEP and its focus on curricular and co-curricular synthesis have improved teaching and learning.
Learn more: qep.wcu.edu
“Starting Now! Defining Our Future in Pursuit of Distinction”
6-9 p.m./John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center
By invitation. Terrence Mann, the university’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, faculty and students from the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and community friends will present an evening of classic Broadway show tunes and popular songs especially selected to recognize the career of David Belcher. The black-tie optional gala (coat and tie for the gentlemen) will be preceded by a reception.
Learn more: email@example.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 29
Installation of David O. Belcher
10-11:30 a.m./Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center
David O. Belcher will be installed as the 11th chancellor of Western Carolina University. This event is free of charge. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends of the university, and the general public are encouraged to attend. Those faculty members who have been invited to march in the processional wearing their academic regalia should arrive before 9 a.m.
View map, driving directions and parking information: (INFO TO COME)
Noon-1:30 p.m./Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends of the university, and the general public are invited to gather beneath a tent adjacent to the Ramsey Center for a reception to honor WCU’s newly installed chancellor immediately following the ceremony. Displays profiling WCU’s academic units and undergraduate research will be located throughout the Ramsey Center concourse.
Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community on Campus: Discover WCU
3-9 p.m./Multiple venues
Members of the community are invited to discover the variety of entertainment, cultural, health and learning opportunities available at WCU. Participants in self-guided tours will visit new campus facilities, learn about our Cherokee heritage, review the scholarly and creative achievements of WCU faculty, and see the newly revised “Bells in the Valley,” a photographic journey of WCU from 1889 through today showing every 30 minutes on the half hour. Take advantage of a $4 (all you can eat!) dinner at the Courtyard Dining Hall and stay for a free concert by the WCU Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band at the Bardo Performing Arts Center.
Learn more: email@example.com
Faculty Scholarship Celebration/Hunter Library
The scholarly and creative achievements of Western Carolina faculty and staff members will be on display, including books and articles, music scores and audio, art, presentations and other diverse examples from those who teach, research and work at WCU.
Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
MFA Exhibit/Fine Art Museum
Exhibitions featuring abstract expressionist painter Pat Passlof, new WCU painting professor Ron Laboray and photographer Herman Goustin will be available for viewing.
Learn more: fineartmuseum.wcu.edu
Daily Dining Specials
Throughout the week, Aramark (the university’s food service partner) and restaurants throughout Cullowhee and Sylva will offer a variety of special dining options, including discounts and featured menu items in honor of David and Susan Belcher.