WCU Commencement Events Remain On Hold

The Sylva Herald

Due to COVID-19 impacts, Western Carolina University has delayed a decision on when to reschedule spring commencement ceremonies originally set for May 8 and 9.

University officials had announced on March 20 the postponement of May commencement exercises, with the hopes of being able to set a new date by Friday, April 3.

The university has been forced to delay that decision, WCU Chancellor Kelli Brown said.

“To students and their families, we want you to know that we are absolutely committed to hosting in-person commencement ceremonies so that we can celebrate this important milestone together,” Brown said. “We fully understand that you are anxious to know when we will hold these on-campus events, but the fluid nature of this global health crisis means that we simply are not in a position to make a decision today with any degree of certainty.”

Brown and other campus leaders are looking at tentative dates for rescheduled spring semester commencement exercises in early August or mid-December.

“We will set a firm date for the rescheduled spring commencement ceremonies in the weeks ahead, and will do so in consultation with public health officials, the University of North Carolina System and state leaders,” she said. “For those of you on track to graduate at the end of this semester, I am looking forward to the time when this pandemic has passed and I can acknowledge you as you walk across that stage at commencement.”

Students who complete all academic requirements for graduation at the end of the spring semester will be awarded their degrees and will be able to request official transcripts after all degrees have been certified by the WCU registrar.

WCU Literary Festival author talks move online

Admin., Smoky Mountain News

While Western Carolina University had to cancel the 18th annual Spring Literary Festival, WCU is happy to announce that listeners can soon find exclusive virtual content from some festival authors at www.litfestival.organd social media.

First up, a live conversation with New York Times bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. Dr. Laura Wright, professor of English at WCU, will speak with Jeff about the natural and unnatural worlds in his fiction and how art can take on environmental issues. Viewers will also have a chance to write in with questions. You can find the live steam at litfestival.org. This event is sponsored by WCU’s 2019-20 campus theme: Sustainability and the Environment.

Then, throughout the rest of the week, you’ll also find videos — readings, interviews, tours around writing spaces — from Doug Bock ClarkNickole BrownJessica JacobsCassandra KircherKevin BoyleCatherine Carter, and Wesley Browne.