Faculty Senate chair completes 345-mile bike ride to Raleigh

Brian Railsback (right) and his wife, Sandy Railsback (left), meet with N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper on April 4. The governor presented Brian Railsback, chair of WCU’s Faculty Senate, with a donation for the senate’s Student Support Fund.

Brian Railsback, chair of Western Carolina University’s Faculty Senate, completed a mission to ride his bike from Cullowhee to Raleigh to raise awareness about that faculty group’s new Student Support Fund, and then he topped it off with a meeting with N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper.

Railsback, a WCU professor of English, began the ride from his home near Cullowhee on Tuesday, March 6, and completed it in segments ridden during the university’s spring break and Easter break, and on weekends. He finished up the 345-mile journey Sunday, April 1.

Railsback and his wife, Sandy Railsback, met with the governor Wednesday, April 4. Brian Railsback reported that Cooper surprised him with a personal donation for the Student Support Fund and the two discussed activities of the Faculty Senate. Railsback said he also put in a plug for a state bikeway to connect small towns across North Carolina as a way to make cycling the route safer and boost tourism in those towns.

The Student Support Fund is being used to assist financially independent WCU students who face short-term financial emergencies such as paying for food, medication or rent. For more information about the fund, contact Railsback at brailsback@wcu.edu or 828-227-3933.