Donors commission bricks for the Catamount Legacy Walk to benefit a student emergency fund


Deciding to give enough to have a brick paver engraved for the Catamount Legacy Walk, which supports a WCU student emergency fund, was easy for Katie Spear ’03. Deciding what message to have engraved was not. Spear struggled with how best to, in the 4-by-8-inch paver’s two 16-character lines, honor someone who meant a lot to her – Rickey Gandy, who played basketball for WCU from 1999 to 2001 and died in 2003.

“Given the character limitations, it was a challenge. I decided I want the brick to say ‘For Rickey Gandy with love KS,’” said Spear, executive assistant to Martha Stewart. “That I might be able to help a WCU student – the reason for the Legacy Walk – by honoring a friend compelled me to give. Emergency funds are incredibly important, and I was certainly aware of students who could have benefited from access to an emergency fund while I was
attending WCU.”

Each $125, tax-deductible donation to the walk will be honored with a reddish-orange brick paver engraved with a message of the donor’s choice and installed on campus. When enough donations are received for the walk’s first 300 pavers, they will be engraved and installed as a group near the Alumni Tower. In addition, donors will receive a commemorative certificate for each paver commissioned.

Eighty percent of each donation goes directly to the WCU Division of Student Affairs Student Emergency Fund, with the remaining amount used for maintenance of the walk and Alumni Tower. The fund offers limited financial assistance to full-time students unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship resulting from an emergency that would otherwise prevent them from continuing their educations. Although the assistance provided to students by the fund is not a loan, recipients are encouraged to repay the fund if possible so that other students also may benefit.

“Students have crises. We all have crises,” said Jane Adams-Dunford, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. “This emergency fund can do so many wonderful things, and I hope it intervenes at the right moment so students still feel valued and supported to pursue their educational goals. Also, when students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends support the fund by commissioning a brick to honor student achievements or remember someone, they write a piece of the WCU history that will be preserved on this walk and leave a legacy for students to come.”

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