CULLOWHEE – The Western Carolina University community will come together to celebrate Homecoming 2014 over a four-day period – Thursday, Oct. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 26 – with events that include a professional step show performance, golf tournament, parade through downtown Sylva and football game versus The Citadel.
This year’s Homecoming theme is “Cheers to 125 Years of Catamount Pride!,” a tip of the hat to 2014 being the 125th anniversary of WCU’s founding.
Public activities actually will begin Wednesday, Oct. 22, as the dance company Step Afrika! provides a performance of the traditional dance art known as “stepping” at 7:30 p.m. at WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. WCU students will be admitted free with a Cat Card. Admission for all others is $5.
Activities set for Oct. 23 include the “Last Lecture” delivered by Lisa Thomas Briggs, WCU associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, at 4 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. The annual event honors a WCU faculty member who has been recognized by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm. Briggs, who holds two degrees from WCU, will address the topic “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Please Help Guide Us Through it All.”
Later on Oct. 23, Catamount fans will gather for the Spirit Night pep rally at WCU’s Central Plaza. The 6 p.m. event will feature a free cookout and appearances by the WCU cheerleaders, dance team, Homecoming court, athletics teams and pep band.
Events on Friday, Oct. 24, begin with the annual Alumni Scholarship Homecoming Golf Tournament at 11 a.m. at Sequoyah National Golf Club in Whittier. The cost of $85 per person includes fees and a cart. RSVPs are required by Friday, Oct. 17, to WCU’s Office of Alumni Affairs at 877-440-9990 or 828-227-7335, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Oct. 24, WCU’s Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Sylva. University alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends are invited to cheer as community and student floats, Catamount cheerleaders, the Homecoming Court and the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band march and roll down Main Street.
Later on Oct. 24, the Western Carolina All-Sports Reunion Social will be held at 7 p.m. at Tuck’s Tap & Grille in Cullowhee. For information, contact Jamaal Mayo in WCU’s Department of Athletics at 828-227-2244.
Activities on Saturday, Oct. 25, will begin with the Chancellor’s Brunch and Alumni Awards Ceremony from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Honorees are Robert Edwards, WCU vice chancellor for administration and finance, Distinguished Service Award; Martha Powell, professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama, Academic Achievement Award; Bob Thomas, president and CEO of EIS Inc. of Atlanta, Professional Achievement Award; and Jarrett Frazier, ingest coordinator in video controls for NBC Sports in Stamford, Connecticut, Young Alumnus Award. The cost is $15 per person and business attire is requested. RSVP by Oct. 17 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or by emailing email@example.com.
Football tailgating will begin at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 25, and Catamount fans will gather at E.J. Whitmire Stadium at 2 p.m. for the Homecoming game versus the Citadel Bulldogs. Halftime activities will include recognition of the Homecoming award winners and court, plus an announcement of this year’s Homecoming king and queen. Tickets to the game are available from the WCU athletics ticket office at 800-344-6928.
Postgame activities will include the WCU African-American Alumni Reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Peele, Westmoreland Suhre, Hartshorn Hospitality Room at Ramsey Regional Activity Center. RSVPs are requested by Oct. 17 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final event for Oct. 25 will be a concert at the Ramsey Center featuring ska punk band Reel Big Fish and rapper ACE Hood at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at ramseycenter.wcu.edu or at the Ramsey Center from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For ticket information, call 828-227-7722.
Homecoming 2014 activities will conclude Oct. 26 with the WCU women’s soccer team’s match versus East Tennessee State University at 2 p.m. at the Catamount Athletic Complex and a perennial audience-pleasing event, a concert by WCU’s Inspirational Choir, in the University Center Grandroom at 3 p.m.
Info: homecoming.wcu.edu or contact WCU’s Alumni Affairs office.