Letter from the Editor

Welcome to a special online-only “North Carolina state budget crisis edition” of The Magazine of Western Carolina University.  In the wake of the current economic downturn, the university is seeking ways to reduce costs wherever possible by eliminating many nonessential activities while protecting our academic core and maintaining mission-critical services to our students and the region we serve.

That said, we do not want to lose any of the momentum gained since we revamped the former tabloid-format alumni newsletter Our Purple and Gold into a glossy, quarterly magazine. You’ve told us you enjoy reading stories about WCU people – the professors, students and graduates who are making a difference in their world. You’ve offered wonderful suggestions about people and programs we should profile in upcoming editions. And you’ve followed up your enthusiastic response to our magazine by making contributions to the $40 million Campaign for Western fundraising effort – something that is more important now than ever before.

We are determined to continue our communications with our friends – the alumni, faculty, staff, benefactors and other supporters of Western Carolina University – by taking our spring edition entirely online. In this issue, you’ll find the same type of stories and features you have been receiving in your mailbox four times a year.

Unfortunately, we do not have e-mail addresses for all alumni and other recipients of the regular print edition. We invite your help in letting others know of this temporary transition. Please share this electronic publication with others, and ask friends and family members to send us their current e-mail addresses so we can continue to provide news about the exciting things happening at Western Carolina; direct those e-mail addresses to magazineaddress@wcu.edu.

We hope you’ll enjoy this electronic version of the magazine, and we look forward to returning to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as our budget permits.

Happy reading,

Bill Studenc

Managing editor
The Magazine of Western Carolina University