From Our President


Dear Western Carolina University Alumni and Friends,

It’s truly an honor to serve as your Alumni Association President. As alumni and friends of the WCU, we are connected as a family of committed ambassadors for our University. We have the opportunity and responsibility to work together to meet Chancellor Belcher’s 2020 vision goals, which will enable our University to maintain strong standards while growing to meet the needs of the region.

I wonder if our forefathers thought that the Cullowhee idea founded 127 years ago would grow into such a remarkable institution, with a boast-worthy list of national accolades that continue to inspire us to PROVE OUR PURPLE. 

Chancellor Belcher and Susan bring a magnificent amount of leadership and momentum to campus and the entire WCU family is incredibly fortunate to be led by them. The opportunity to continue to learn from board leadership, especially Betty Jo Allen, Jack Hudson and Frances Owl-Smith has been especially meaningful to me.  I am genuinely appreciative of the entire WCU team for their partnership and dedication to WCU Alumni all over the world. 

Hearing from fellow alumni share their own diverse collegiate experiences has been a personal highlight of my board experience.  Your stories continue to impress upon me and other WCU leadership the depth of passion and the sense of pride for WCU felt by so many students, alumni and University leaders.  

When the Cats were playing in the Southern Tournament, you came, cheered and shared the story until WCU was a feature for ESPN.   When a digital poll asked you to vote for your top outdoor college, thousands of you voted, enabling us to claim that well-deserved title.  When the request was made to engage in a giving campaign to help WCU meet the challenging goals for alumni participation, you gave. Thanks to all of you for supporting our University. 

Please continue to support WCU through your time, treasure and talent. 

There are numerous ways you can support WCU.  Come back to campus and enjoy the arts or an athletic event. Join an alumni club. Advocate for WCU. Update your information in the Alumni database. Connect and advocate for fellow WCU alumni. Connect with a student by sharing your story, speaking to a class or sharing internship opportunities. Participate in the giving campaigns to ensure our University can continue to provide scholarships to students in need. Alumni participation rates are one of the most impactful ways to help ensure WCU is ranked highly among key strategic partners such as the University of North Carolina System and the U.S. News and World Report Ranking. 

Whether you graduated many years ago or are a recent graduate, Cullowhee will always welcome you home.    

Go Cats!


Robin Parton Pate
President, WCU Alumni Association
Class of 1997