New WCU chancellor to meet with communities

by Oct 31, 2011COMMUNITY sgadugi, Happenings, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

     CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher will meet members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Swain County community in November as part of a “get acquainted tour” that will take WCU’s new chief executive officer to 15 stops during a four-month span.

     Belcher, who became chancellor at WCU effective July 1, and wife Susan will meet alumni and other community members from Swain County from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Calhoun House in Bryson City.  The Nov. 17 event is sponsored by MedWest Health System.

     The Belchers will meet alumni and other community members from the Qualla Boundary from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Maple Room of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, which is sponsoring the evening’s event.

     The tour is designed to assist Belcher in the process of crafting a vision for the next phase of development for the university by soliciting ideas and input from alumni, benefactors, legislators and community members. It includes visits to towns and cities in the Western North Carolina region and across the state, and to Upstate South Carolina, the Metro Atlanta area and Washington, D.C.

     “Susan and I are very eager to get to know the members of the Western Carolina family,” Belcher said. “I need to hear their thoughts about what the university does well and about what it could do better to serve our students, our region and our state. Together, we will develop a shared vision for the future direction of Western Carolina University.”

     Formerly provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he succeeds John W. Bardo, who stepped down as WCU chancellor this summer after 16 years in the position.
     The schedule for the statewide tour includes stops in Jackson County; Haywood County; Macon County; Qualla Boundary (Cherokee); Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties; Greater Asheville area; Greater Hickory area; Greater Hendersonville area; Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill; Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem; Charlotte/Mecklenburg County; and Swain County.

     Refreshments will be served at the Nov. 17 and Nov. 29 receptions.

     For information or to RSVP for the receptions, contact Cindi Magill in the Office of Alumni Affairs at 828-227-7335 or