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WCU begins ‘Welcome Tour’ to introduce new chancellor

Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown meets with Ed Holland, president of the university’s Alumni Association, at the July 15 ‘Chancellor’s Welcome Tour’ event in Greensboro. Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown meets with Ed Holland, president of the university’s Alumni Association, at the July 15 ‘Chancellor’s Welcome Tour’ event in Greensboro.

Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown is meeting with alumni, friends of the university and community members across North Carolina this summer and fall as part of a “Chancellor’s Welcome Tour” designed to introduce WCU’s new chief executive officer to the region and state.

Brown, who became WCU’s 12th chancellor effective July 1, and husband Dennis are meeting with a variety of stakeholders — including alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors and elected officials — as she begins the process of crafting her vision for the direction of the university.

“I want to hear from alumni, students, faculty and staff. I want to hear from community members and neighbors. I want to hear from our students’ parents. I want to hear from fans of our Catamount sports teams and from patrons of our arts programs,” she said. “I want to be known as fully collaborative and transparent, and to develop initiatives and solve problems through open discussions with all of our many stakeholders. I truly believe that we will do our best work when we work together.”

The tour kicked off July 15 in Greensboro at First National Bank Field, home of minor league baseball team the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The event attracted a crowd of approximately 450 alumni and friends and was hosted by Wes Elingburg, a 1978 graduate of WCU who is team owner of the Grasshoppers.

Upcoming stops on the tour include:

• Sylva/Dillsboro — 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at Innovation Station, 40 Depot St., Dillsboro; hosted by Stanberry Insurance.

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• Cherokee — 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Selu Garden Cafe at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Drive, Cherokee; hosted by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort.

• Asheville — 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Highlands Brewing Co., 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville; hosted by Gillespie Dental Associates.

• Hendersonville — 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Technology Education Development Center at Blue Ridge Community College, 49 E. Campus Drive, Flat Rock; hosted by Blue Ridge Community College.

• Charlotte — 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Sugar Creek Brewing Co., 215 Southside Drive, Charlotte.

• Waynesville — 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at Boojum Brewing Co., 50 N. Main St., Waynesville; hosted by Stanberry Insurance.

To participate in a tour stop, registration one week prior to the date of each event is required. To register or for more information, contact Elizabeth Honbarger in WCU’s Office of Alumni Engagement at 877.440.9990 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Plans are currently in the works for additional stops on the “Chancellor’s Welcome Tour” at other cities in North Carolina and out-of-state.

In addition, the Catamount Club, WCU’s athletics fundraising arm, will be introducing the chancellor as part of tailgating activities prior to football games at North Carolina State University in Raleigh on Saturday, Sept. 7, and at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Saturday, Oct. 19. Additional information about those two events, including costs to attend the tailgate activities, will be announced later.

Formerly provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University, Brown succeeds David O. Belcher, who died in June 2018 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected her as WCU chancellor April 25 upon the recommendation of Bill Roper, interim president of the UNC System.

For more information about the events, visit the website

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