WCU invites community to join in day of service March 24

Western Carolina University students, faculty and staff will participate in WCU Cares: A Day of Service, an event to be held Saturday, March 24, and invite members of the community to join them.

WCU Cares is part of activities planned to celebrate the installation of David O. Belcher as WCU’s 11th chancellor.

“I see the week of the installation as a week of celebrating Western Carolina University as well as our new chancellor, and what better to celebrate the ‘Western way’ and our dedication to engagement than through service opportunities that bring our students, staff, faculty and community members together,” said Erin McNelis, associate professor of mathematics, chair of Faculty Senate and co-chair of the installation steering committee’s service projects subcommittee.

Service projects scheduled for Saturday, March 24, include:

  • 9 a.m. – noon – Help clean and organize the Catman2 shelter.
  • 9 a.m. – Assist the Clean Slate Coalition with projects at a halfway house.
  • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Assist with constructing a Habitat for Humanity home in Haywood County.
  • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Attend a free trail-building workshop hosted by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and work on a new WCU trail in the afternoon.
  • 10 a.m. – Help with painting and other tasks at The Community Table’s new location.
  • 10 a.m. – Participate in a highway cleanup in the Sylva and Cullowhee area.
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Help create raised garden beds and prepare the garden for spring planting at Full Spectrum Farms.
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Help with projects at REACH of Macon County’s shelter, thrift store and office.
  • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Help with planting and other preparation tasks for the spring growing season at the Sylva Community Garden.
  • 10 a.m. – Help with various projects to prepare campus for the week of celebration planned for installation.
  • Help prepare the WCU Campus Kitchen Garden for the spring growing season.

Participants are asked to sign up in advance by sending an email to Jennifer Cooper, interim director of service learning and co-chair of the installation steering committee’s service projects subcommittee at jacooper@wcu.edu.

“Events like this help us maintain a close, mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the community,” said Cooper. “I’m delighted that Chancellor Belcher’s installation has provided us with this opportunity to strengthen our ties through service.”

In addition to the day of service, a Chancellor’s Installation Celebration Blood Drive will be held in the multipurpose rooms of A.K. Hinds University Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 27. To make an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code 5611, or email Shawna Young, director of enrollment support, at scyoung@email.wcu.edu or 828-227-7234.

The installation ceremony is the traditional academic ritual at which the chancellor takes the oath of office and will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 29, in Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends of the university, and the general public are invited to attend.

A 30-member steering committee is in the process of planning other installation-related activities centered on the theme “Defining Our Future in Pursuit of Distinction.”

No state funds are being used for installation activities, which are paid for through private and corporate contributions.

For more information, contact Young, McNelis at emcnelis@wcu.edu or 828-227-3497; or Cooper at 828-227-2595.