Catamounts converging in Cullowhee Oct. 21-25 for Homecoming 2015

The WCU cheerleaders lead the team onto the field at E.J. Whitmire Stadium during the 2014 Homecoming football game.

The WCU cheerleaders lead the team onto the field at E.J. Whitmire Stadium during the 2014 Homecoming football game.

“Purple on the Prowl!” will be the theme as the Western Carolina University community comes together to celebrate Homecoming 2015, with major public events planned over a five-day period – Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 25.

Activities include comedy and country music shows featuring nationally known performers, a golf tournament, the traditional parade down Main Street in Sylva, a performance by WCU’s Inspirational Choir, and a football game pitting the Catamounts against the Samford Bulldogs.

Scheduled for Oct. 21 is a Homecoming Comedy Show featuring Colin Jost, one of the stars of NBC’s iconic “Saturday Night Live.” Jost, who is currently SNL’s “Weekend Update” host, will be joined by comedians Jose Barrientos, Chloe Hilliard and Kevin Yee. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Student tickets, free with a valid Cat Card, are available at the information desk of A.K. Hinds University Center. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu or 828-227-2479.

Activities set for Thursday, Oct. 22, include the “Last Lecture” delivered by Vicki Szabo, WCU associate professor of history, at 4 p.m. in the theater of the University Center. The annual event honors a WCU faculty member who has been recognized by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm. Szabo will address the topic “Scholars, Warriors, Cowards and Fools: Fear and Learning from Rome to Raleigh.”

A Homecoming concert featuring rising country star Hunter Hayes will begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Hayes is a four-time Grammy nominee and was named New Artist of the Year in 2012 by the Country Music Association. Advance tickets are $20 for WCU students and $25 for all others, and all tickets are $25 on the day of the show. Tickets are available at ramsey.wcu.edu or by calling 828-227-7722.

Events on Friday, Oct. 23, begin with the annual Alumni Scholarship Homecoming Golf Tournament at 11 a.m. at Maggie Valley Golf Club. The cost of $100 per person includes golf, one mulligan and two raffle tickets. RSVPs are required by Friday, Oct. 16, to WCU’s Office of Alumni Affairs at 877-440-9990 or 828-227-7335, or by emailing bbusby@wcu.edu.

Also on Oct. 23, WCU’s Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:30 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. 24, will begin with the Chancellor’s Brunch and Alumni Awards Ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Honorees are Teresa Williams, former chair of the WCU Board of Trustees, Distinguished Service Award; Keith Ramsey, professor of medicine at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, Academic Achievement Award; Michell Hicks, former principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Professional Achievement Award; and Brandon Robinson, an attorney in Durham, Young Alumnus Award. The cost is $15 per person and business attire is requested. RSVP by Oct. 16 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or by emailing magill@wcu.edu.

WCU students get into the spirit of things at the Homecoming 2014 football game at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

WCU students get into the spirit of things at the Homecoming 2014 football game at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

Football tailgating will begin at noon Oct. 24, and Catamount fans will gather at E.J. Whitmire Stadium at 3:30 p.m. for the Homecoming game versus Samford. Halftime activities will include recognition of the Homecoming award winners and court, plus an announcement of this year’s Homecoming king and queen. Tickets to the game are available from the WCU athletics ticket office at 800-344-6928.

Postgame activities will include the African-American Alumni Reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Peele, Westmoreland Suhre, Hartshorn Hospitality Room at the Ramsey Center. RSVP by Oct. 16 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or emailing magill@wcu.edu.

Homecoming 2015 activities will conclude Oct. 25 with the WCU women’s soccer team’s match versus Samford at 2 p.m. at the Catamount Athletic Complex and a concert by WCU’s Inspirational Choir in the University Center Grandroom at 3 p.m.

For more information and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, check out the website homecoming.wcu.edu or contact WCU’s Alumni Affairs office.