Arts + Entertainment

For someone who’s spent decades introducing thousands of children to the joy of swimming, Mike Creason’s relationship with water didn’t begin too auspiciously.

Enrique Gomez was 16 years old the first time he experienced the shadow of the moon.

Gomez, now an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Western Carolina University, is originally from Mexico. And while his family had already moved to the United States when the 1991 solar eclipse passed over Mexico City, they just so happened to be in town that summer for a visit with Gomez’s grandparents.

Nearly a century old, the aging Cullowhee Dam is at a crossroads — with risk of failure increasing, Western Carolina University must decide whether to renovate the existing structure or remove it completely.

The dam hasn’t been used for power generation since the 1960s, but it creates a reservoir of still water that supplies WCU and the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority. However, some would like to see the dam disappear, offering increased opportunity for paddlers and allowing fish and other aquatic life to travel freely through a more natural, higher-quality river.

The “WCU PRESENTS” performance series, previously known as “Galaxy of Stars” brings professional artists from around the world to the Bardo Arts Center performance hall. Season Subscriptions and Multi-Pass Ticket Packs are now available to the public; single tickets will become available Aug. 1.

The tuition reduction program N.C. Promise won’t go into effect until 2018, but its impending implementation could already be affecting Western Carolina University’s enrollment numbers.

Designs for a new 600-bed residence hall at Western Carolina University met approval from the WCU Board of Trustees June 2, putting the project on track to house students starting in the fall 2019 semester. 

What was once a wildfire became an outdoor classroom for students in Western Carolina University’s Natural Resource Conservation and Management Program this spring. 

As part of a spring capstone course, 23 students studied four post-fire aspects of the forest ecosystem — forest composition, wildlife habitat, soil and water. Now, they’ve just finished compiling and analyzing the data they gleaned from the 728-acre burned area of the Dicks Creek drainage near Dillsboro.

Two years have passed since developers first got approval to build a student housing complex along South Painter Road in Cullowhee, though not a shovel of earth was ever turned. But the stalled project could move forward this summer if a handful of Jackson County boards give approval.

Sophia Calhoun was 9 years old the day the world changed. Her mother died, leaving her dad to care for Calhoun and her younger sister. When her father passed away four years later, the two girls were officially branded orphans, wards of the state.

On virtually any college campus, they’re there — students who have recently exited foster care, are homeless, wards of the state, or orphaned. And most of the time, they’re invisible, blending in with the student body at large and keeping their struggles wrapped in a tight armor of privacy. 

A new initiative at Western Carolina University, however, will reach out and serve those students in a way that no other college in the state is doing. 

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This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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