We are all home safe. I should already be asleep, but I am overrun with emotion. Tuesday seems like a distant memory, yet it was only three days ago. To quote Billy Bob Thornton’s character in “Friday Night Lights,” my heart is full!
Pamela DeGraffenreid ’80, director of the Western Carolina University Bookstore and vice chair of the University of North Carolina System’s Staff Assembly, is the 2017 recipient of the Thomas W. Ross Visionary Leader Award.
The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees has honored Harvey Lee Haynes ’55 MAEd ’64, A-B Tech president emeritus, by naming the school’s computer science facility the Haynes Building. Haynes served A-B Tech in various capacities for 46 years. He received the WCU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990.
Former Western Carolina football student-athlete and longtime football coach Don Powers ’68 MAEd ’69 became the newest member of the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame as the sole inductee of the hall’s 28th class, which was honored the weekend of Nov. 10-11.
As you probably know, I am currently on medical leave and do not plan to return to the chancellorship. Despite the best efforts of my medical team, the effects of my glioblastoma brain tumor have continued to worsen, and the aphasic impact of the disease on my communicative skills has become more pronounced.
Following a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Wofford in October, Western Carolina football coach Mark Speir MAEd ’95 did not ride the team bus back to campus. Emotionally drained over wasting an opportunity to defeat the fifth-ranked Terriers, Speir climbed into a rental car alone and drove seven hours to see Cam Brown, a recruit who will never play a down for the Catamounts.