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Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

WCU to mark 125th year in 2014

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When the clock strikes midnight and Dec. 31 gives way to Jan. 1, the tolling of the bell won’t symbolize the start of just another typical new year at Western Carolina University. Instead, the first day of 2014 will mark the beginning of WCU’s 125th year of existence, and university faculty, staff and students are planning a yearlong celebration to mark the milestone.

 

The festivities will get underway Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus. Scheduled from 12:25 to 2:25 p.m., the kickoff event will include a fashion show of apparel adorned with WCU’s 125th logo, and refreshments, prizes, games, giveaways, displays and a birthday cake.

Birthday cupcakes also will be available that day for students, faculty and staff at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square. That night, the men’s basketball team will take on Davidson in a Southern Conference game at Ramsey Regional Activity Center, with special activities and promotions planned as part of the evening.

“The year ahead will be a significant and exciting point in our university’s history,” said Kellie Monteith, assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness in the Division of Student Affairs. Monteith and Melissa Wargo, chief of staff, are co-chairs of a steering committee charged with organizing festivities on campus – and throughout the western region of North Carolina that WCU serves.

“We not only will be remembering Western Carolina’s legacy and history, but also will be celebrating how far we have progressed as an institution over the past 125 years,” Monteith said. “And we will be looking forward to the future of this university as we continue our mission of providing quality education to our students and being a partner in the economic and community development of our region.”

The official 125th anniversary bash will be held in August, the month in which the school that became WCU was founded in 1889. The event is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 26, with a picnic on the University Center lawn, old-fashioned games, music and photo opportunities in historical garb representative of the late 19th century.

The final celebration event is tentatively set for Friday, Dec. 5, in the Ramsey Center, with music from the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band (which will have just returned from its appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), refreshments, remarks from the chancellor and special recognition for those who will graduate during the December 2014 commencement, the last graduating class of WCU’s 125th year.

Other events will be designed around traditional highlights of WCU’s annual calendar, such as spring commencement ceremonies, Mountain Heritage Day, Spring Literary Festival, Homecoming, alumni receptions across the state and the Southeast, and a variety of events in communities across Western North Carolina.

For more information, visit the recently launched website at celebrate125.wcu.edu.

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