When Sky Sampson, director of WCU's Cherokee Center, learned that the university chose Cherokee as its campus learning theme for the 2017-18 academic year, she couldn’t wait to relay the news to the Cherokee community. After a campuswide vote, Cherokee was the overwhelming choice as the next theme.
David Dorondo, associate professor in Western Carolina University’s Department of History, has been honored with an American Legion Distinguished Service Award, presented recently by the Steve Youngdeer Post 143 of Cherokee.
Western Carolina University recently renewed an agreement with Cherokee tribes from North Carolina and Oklahoma in which the university pledges to continue its commitment to the academic study and promotion of Cherokee language, history and culture.
A Western Carolina University professor was an author for a recent AARP report on older American Indians that found population shifts, continuing health care issues and traditional strengths within the community.
What began as a request to translate “The Star-Spangled Banner” into Cherokee evolved instead into a new song, the “United Cherokee Nations Anthem,” which was recorded in a studio for the first time at Western Carolina University. The anthem opens with a translation of “O say can you see,” but then takes its own course into messages of strength and the desire for peace.
Wayne Robbins, English instructor at Western and SMART program director, is rolling out new activities and rewards to strengthen a different kind of bond – the bond between the tribe's young members and their own heritage. The recent Cherokee Preservation Foundation's decision to continue supporting the program with a more than $50,000 grant to WCU's English department means Robbins will be able to advance those efforts into the 2006-07 school year.