July 4, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Catamount Club - the fundraising arm of the athletic department - was able to both reach and surpass its annual scholarship fundraising goal of $850,000, the most-ever by the organization. The donations represented a 20-percent increase in support from the membership from the previous year with all funds directly supporting the Catamount Scholarship Fund which helps to provide scholarships for WCU student-athletes.
Overall, the total contributions in support of Western Carolina University athletics by WCU Alumni and friends for the 2013-14 fiscal year ending June 30th exceeded $1.25 million. This total is inclusive of Catamount Club annual memberships, restricted sport donations, net proceeds from the Catamount Golf Tour, as well as contributions made towards new or existing WCU athletic endowed scholarships.
"Thanks to the continued support and generosity of the Catamount Nation, the Catamount Club was again able to not only meet, but surpass our fundraising goals over the past year," said Associate Athletic Director for Development and Director of the Catamount Club, Gorham Bradley.
"The generosity our Catamount Club members have demonstrated truly shows their commitment to building a successful athletic program at WCU. Our primary mission continues to be increasing scholarship opportunities for our student-athletes and we are making great strides in providing our administration and coaches the resources to recruit the best of the best in our future Catamounts," Bradley added.
Combined over the past seven years, Catamount Club contributions have increased by nearly 400 percent.
"I am extremely proud of the job our Catamount Club staff has done since my arrival," said Randy Eaton, WCU Director of Athletics. "We are strengthening current relationships, and making new ones within the Catamount Nation which continues to have a major impact on our ability to become a more competitive athletic department. Without the generosity of our supporters, our future would not be nearly as bright."
With the 2014-15 membership year underway as of July 1st, WCU and the Catamount Club's Board of Directors transition in new leadership as Chuck Wooten of Sylva, N.C., was elected the next president to succeed Dave Thompson of Charlotte, N.C.
Currently the County Manager for Jackson County, Wooten is the former vice chancellor for administration and finance for the university. A 1973 graduate of WCU, he received the 2010 Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award, retiring from in 2010 after over 30 years of service. Wooten and his wife, Kathy - a 1972 WCU graduate - have been loyal Catamount Club members for over 30 years.
For those interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Catamount Club and supporting the student-athletes at Western Carolina, please contact the Catamount Club office at (828) 227-3047 or visit www.CatamountSports.com for additional information.
Important Upcoming Dates to Remember:
Mon., July 7 - 2nd session of summer school begins
Fri., July 11 - The Great Smokies Invitational golf tournament; The Ridges Golf Club in Hayesville, N.C.
Wed., July 23 - Southern Conference Football Media Day in Spartanburg, S.C.
Thurs., July 31 - 2014 Catamount football student-athletes report for camp
Fri., August 1 - First scheduled football practice of the 2014 preseason (helmet only)
Tues., August 5 - First scheduled football practice in full pads
Wed., August 6 - First scheduled two-a-day practice sessions
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club members)
Wed., August 13 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Winthrop (exhibition), 6 pm
Fri., August 15 - Catamount women's soccer vs. UNC Asheville (exhibition), 7 pm
Sat., August 16 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Mon., August 18 - First day of fall classes at WCU
Fri., August 22 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Eastern Kentucky (2014 home opener), 7 pm
Sun., August 24 - Catamount women's soccer vs. East Carolina, 2 pm
Mon., August 25 - Catamount Football single-game tickets go on sale
Fri., August 29 - Catamount cross country hosts the Western Carolina Invitational, 6:30 pm
Sat., August 30 - 2014 Catamount Football season opener at USF in Tampa, Fla.
Fri., Sept. 5 - 10th Annual Bob Waters Memorial golf tournament; Maggie Valley Club, Maggie Valley, N.C.
Sat., Sept. 6 - 2014 Catamount Football home opener vs. Brevard in Cullowhee
Fri., Sept. 26 - The Upstate Classic golf tournament; The Preserve at Verdae in Greenville, S.C.