Saturday memorial service to celebrate life, accomplishments of Chancellor David Belcher

Chancellor David O. Belcher and first lady Susan Brummell Belcher pause for a moment in their journey down Sylva’s Main Street during a WCU Homecoming parade. A memorial service for the university’s late chancellor will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23.

An on-campus memorial service to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23, in the performance hall of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The service, with the Rev. David Reeves of Cullowhee United Methodist Church officiating, will include remarks from friends and family members, along with musical selections that were near and dear to the heart of Belcher, a classically trained pianist.

Seating for the memorial service is on a first-come, first-served basis, with a capacity of 922 people. In the event that seating capacity is exceeded, attendees will be directed to nearby overflow seating. The service also will be livestreamed at the website beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Following the service, an hourlong reception featuring Belcher’s favorite dessert – lemon cake, baked using his late mother’s recipe – will be held in the Star Lobby of the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Parking immediately adjacent to the venue will be reserved for members of the Belcher family and participants in the service. Public parking will be available in the nearby H.F. Robinson Building, Camp Building, Belk Building and Fieldhouse lots.

WCU chancellor since July 2011, Belcher died Sunday, June 17, after a more than two-year battle with brain cancer.

In lieu of flowers, the Belcher family requests that memorial gifts be directed to the foundation endowments of Western Carolina University, Furman University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Missouri State University.

Belcher earned his bachelor’s degree at Furman in 1979. Prior to his arrival at WCU, he was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UALR (2003-2011) and a faculty member, academic administrator and dean at Missouri State (1988-2003).