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May 19, 2019

“Lead the Way: A Campaign Inspired by the Belcher Years” A Success

Thanks to more than 12,000 donors — nearly half of those first-time donors — the Western Carolina University family helped the late chancellor, David Belcher, meet his pledge of raising millions of dollars in scholarship support to help WCU students pay for their education. The total amount raised: $61,883,018 in cash, pledges, grants and planned gifts from 12,368 donors. The final tally was announced Thursday, May 2, during a community celebration at WCU’s Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center, the site of Belcher’s installation ceremony in 2012 and where he pledged to make increasing student scholarships a priority of his administration. “Lead the Way: A Campaign Inspired by the Belcher Years” kicked off on July 1, 2014, and ended April 15, 2019 – more than two years ahead of its original timeline and $11.8 million more than its initial goal. Lori Lewis, WCU vice chancellor of advancement, said the success of the comprehensive campaign — only the second in WCU’s history — was an historic event that was more than four years in the making. “History is rarely made alone. There are those who inspire, who help ‘Lead the Way,’” Lewis said. “Each gift counted. Each gift mattered. Each gift was an investment in the future.”

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