More than 80 members of the Western Carolina University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff socialized, heard from keynote speaker and award-winning author Gary Carden and approved bylaws at the organization’s second meeting held on campus Nov. 6.
The newly approved bylaws state that the purpose of the association is to enhance communication between retired faculty and staff, and to enhance communication between them and the university. The bylaws also say the association will promote the mutual interests of the university and retired faculty and staff through regular meetings, communication and activities.
Association President Gordon Mercer, professor emeritus and former director of the Public Policy Institute, thanked members for helping the association get off to a positive start. The association was established in June when retired WCU faculty and staff members and their spouses, partners and friends traveled from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for the inaugural meeting.
Also at the November meeting, attendees heard a presentation from WCU alumnus Carden, a playwright, folklorist and recipient of the 2012 North Carolina Award for Literature. Carden discussed his latest book, “The Appalachian Bestiary,” which details wondrous mythical creatures in the region that developed out of ancient folklore, history and storytelling. He also shared illustrations from his book, drawn by illustrator Mandy Newham-Cobb.
Fred Hinson, president-elect of the association and former vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced that the next meeting will be held at the Chancellor’s Residence on Wednesday, May 21. Hinson also thanked members for contributing annual dues of $10 for individual memberships or $10 per couple memberships to support association activities.
Mercer said the association is helping maintain the connection between the university and people who have experience and expertise that can benefit the institution.
“Retired faculty and staff have made many great contributions to the university,” said Mercer. “They helped build the foundation of the current university and share in important university traditions and knowledge.”
For more information, contact Mercer at 828-369-2693 or Hinson at 828-293-5620.