LAUNCH OF KNOXVILLE ALUMNI CHAPTER

Tennessee WCU alums come together

The new officers of the Greater Knoxville alumni chapter are enthused about their leadership roles and hope more members will join the four-year-old organization.

Gibson and Willis

From left, Marc Gibson ’98 and Ryan Willis ’03 meet at WCU.

“We have a great core group of Catamounts here in the Knoxville, Tenn., area and look forward to building on that core and creating a strong presence on this side of the Great Smokies,” said Marc Gibson ’98, president.

A group of WCU alumni formed the Greater Knoxville chapter in 2010. In March, Chancellor David O. Belcher, along with several other WCU representatives, traveled to Knoxville to visit with members and encourage their efforts to grow the chapter. Robin Parton Pate ’97, the chapter’s former president, and husband Trace hosted the event. Pate is president-elect of the WCU Alumni Association’s board of directors.

Gibson and the chapter’s new vice president, Ryan Willis ’03, have been calling the Knoxville area home for more than 10 years. Both earned master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee after they graduated from WCU. Gibson now serves as UT’s director of corporate relations and Willis is a senior account executive with Ackermann Public Relations of Knoxville.

The chapter plans to host several events this year to help develop the Catamount network in eastern Tennessee.