Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina Athletics' fundraising arm, the Catamount Club, met and exceeded its annual goal for donations and contributions for the 2014-15 fiscal year, eclipsing the $1 million mark by June 30, 2015.

"It seems like just yesterday that we first set and achieved our goal of $400,000 in membership year 2010-2011 to support student-athlete scholarships," said Gorham Bradley, Associate Athletic Director for Development and the Director of the Catamount Club. "As we eclipsed the $500,000 scholarship goal in 2012 and also welcomed the arrival of new leadership at WCU, our Catamount Club staff and Board of Directors began looking toward the future with a vision to reach $1,000,000 in scholarship support by 2015."

He added, "I'm proud to say that through the continued commitment to student-athlete excellence and investment into education at Western Carolina, we didn't just reach our goal by June 30th, 2015 -- we exceeded it by $137,700 for a total of $1,137,700 to directly support scholarships of Catamount student-athletes."

All told, for the fiscal year 2014-15 inclusive of donations to the Catamount Scholarship Fund, Endowed Scholarships, the Catamount Golf Tour and sport-restricted contributions, the Catamount Club raised over $1,676,000, which is another all-time fundraising record for Western Carolina Athletics.

"Needless to say, the student-athletes and administration at WCU have so much to be thankful for, and to all who contributed this past year, know how grateful we are for your belief in us as we educate our young men and women while making each of you proud to be Catamounts," Bradley continued. "This accomplishment is directly attributed to your outstanding support and take pride in knowing that the Championship direction WCU Athletics is heading is because of you."

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Since 1995 tuition, fees, room and board for students at Western Carolina University has increased over 424 percent, and over 40-percent specifically since 2008. As a result, after extensive discussions with the Catamount Club Board of Directors to address the challenge facing WCU Athletics, a section of the donation levels will be increasing in preparation for the upcoming membership year. Please note that the Catamount Club membership donation levels have not been revised since the 2008 year. Our student-athletes and coaches are extremely grateful for your support and know your continued commitment is vital to our efforts in building a championship athletic program at Western Carolina University.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Catamount Club staff for any questions that you may have at 828.227.3047 or at

During the 2013-2014 membership year, the Catamount Club was able to increase its support of Western Carolina Student-Athlete Scholarships while surpassing its goal of $850,000 in annual scholarship fund contributions. The Catamount Club and its membership raised over $1.25 million inclusive of all gifts to support Catamount Athletics. A year later, the Catamount Club eclipsed the $1 million mark with an all-time high $1,676,000 raised.

The Catamount Club is charged with generating the resources necessary for the enrichment and leadership development of WCU student-athletes as they excel in the classroom and compete on their field of play. We will seek private support for scholarships, program operations, and facility enhancements to realize our vision of being the premier institution of choice to be a student-athlete in the Southern Conference. We are committed to integrity and serving our constituencies in the best interests of the university, the Southern Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The Catamount Club is extremely grateful for your support as we fulfill our mission of providing scholarship assistance to the young men and women who compete for WCU. Take pride in knowing your support is creating opportunities for our student athletes at WCU as the University develops them into our future leaders of tomorrow.