Homecoming 2013 includes big variety of activities through Oct. 27

The Western Carolina University community will gather to celebrate Homecoming 2013 over a four-day period – Thursday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 27 – with events ranging from a parade in downtown Sylva and a golf tournament to a stepping competition.

This year’s Homecoming theme is “Whee Are Catamounts!”

Public activities will begin Oct. 24 as Burton Ogle, associate professor and director of WCU’s environmental health sciences program, delivers the “Last Lecture” at 2:30 p.m. in the recital hall of Coulter Building. The annual event honors a WCU faculty member who has been recognized by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm. Ogle will address the topic “What is Cool about Environmental Health.”

Later on Oct. 24, Catamount fans will gather for a Spirit Night Pep Rally at WCU’s Central Plaza. The 7:30 p.m. event will feature music, food, giveaways and recognition of the most-spirited student organization.

The annual Alumni Scholarship Homecoming Golf Tournament will tee off at noon Friday, Oct. 25, at the Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa in Waynesville. The cost of $85 per person includes fees, cart and a buffet dinner. RSVPs are requested by Friday, Oct. 18, to WCU’s Office of Alumni Affairs at 877-440-9990 or 828-227-7335, or by emailing magill@wcu.edu.

WCU students wave to the crowd during the 2012 Homecoming parade in downtown Sylva.

WCU students wave to the crowd during the 2012 Homecoming parade in downtown Sylva.

Also on Oct. 25, WCU’s Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Sylva. University alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends are invited to cheer as community and student floats, Catamount cheerleaders, the Homecoming Court and the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band march and roll down Main Street.

Activities on Saturday, Oct. 26, will begin with the inaugural Catamount Chaos Homecoming 5-K at 9 a.m. Runners and walkers will start at WCU’s Central Plaza and follow a 3.1-mile course around campus. The race is open to everyone and awards will be presented to the top male and female finishers, and to the three male and three female runners or walkers who dress in WCU colors and show their Catamount spirit and creativity. Preregistration is available online at Imathlete.com and at the Campus Recreation Center. Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at Central Plaza. For more information, contact Mandy Dockendorf at aldockendorf@wcu.edu or 828-227-8804.

Events on Oct. 26 will continue with the Chancellor’s Brunch and Alumni Awards Ceremony from 10 a.m. until noon in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Honorees are Joan MacNeill, former WCU Board of Trustees chair, Distinguished Service Award; and WCU alumni Johnny Carson, Academic Achievement Award; Wes Elingburg, Professional Achievement Award; and Manteo Mitchell, Young Alumnus Award. The cost is $15 per person and business attire is requested. RSVP by Oct. 18 to the Office of Alumni Affairs.

Football tailgating will begin at noon Oct. 26 and Catamount fans will gather at E.J. Whitmire Stadium at 3:30 p.m. for the Homecoming game versus the Elon Phoenix. Tickets to the game are available from the WCU athletics ticket office at 800-344-6928. Halftime activities will include presentation of WCU Alumni Association award winners, the winner of the university’s Distinguished Service Award and the 2013 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming king and queen for 2013 also will be announced.

Postgame activities will include the WCU African-American Alumni Reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Illusions at A.K. Hinds University Center. RSVPs are requested to the Alumni Affairs office by Oct. 18. Stompfest, the annual stepping competition sponsored by WCU’s Organization of Ebony Students and Department of Intercultural Affairs, will begin at 8 p.m. at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale at the Bardo Arts Center box office at fapac.wcu.edu or 828-227-2479.

Rising country music star Kacey Musgraves will perform in a show that begins at 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Musgraves recently received six nominations for the upcoming Country Music Association Awards. The show is being sponsored by WCU’s Office of Residential Living and Hinds University Center. Ticket information is available at ramsey.wcu.edu or 828-227-7677. (Editor’s Note: The Kacey Musgraves concert at WCU has been rescheduled to the spring semester.)

Homecoming 2013 activities will conclude Oct. 27 with a perennial audience-pleasing event, a concert by WCU’s Inspirational Choir, in the University Center Grandroom at 12:30 p.m.

For more information about Homecoming events, check out the website homecoming.wcu.edu or contact WCU’s Alumni Affairs office.

Dominuqie ‘Dee’ Tyr’e Turner and Lauren Chelsey Crawford were WCU’s Homecoming king and queen for 2012.

Dominuqie ‘Dee’ Tyr’e Turner and Lauren Chelsey Crawford were WCU’s Homecoming king and queen for 2012.