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Print Story, College of Arts and Sciences Awards

Western Carolina University College of Arts and Sciences honors 5 distinguished alumni

Tucker Horne


A glass plaque was awarded to 6 former students, from a variety of departments within the college of arts and science to kick off the Western Carolina homecoming celebration.

Five came to the ceremony and talked with students and faculty about their success after graduating from Western Carolina. In the group of recipients, five of the eight recipients went on in their educational journey to obtain a doctorate degree.

The awards were given to alumni in Math, Geosciences, Chemistry, English, History, Modern Foreign Language, Political Science and Biology.

Dr. Carl Mummert, a 2000 graduate of the Math and Computer Science program has held post-doctoral positions at Appalachian State University and the University of Michigan. He authored a book about “Reverse Mathematics”. This book is used in upper level mathematics classrooms around the world. He has served multiple terms on the WCU Honors College advisory board.

“I’m grateful for what Western Carolina has done for me, and the region” says Mummert. “ I got a quality education for a fair price”.

Dr. Craig Harper is a 1990 graduate of the wildlife management program at WCU. After graduation, he obtained a masters degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and then later went on to receive his post-doctorate degree from Clemson University. He is currently a professor of wildlife management at the University of Tennessee. He specializes in White-tailed deer management.

 “Western Carolina provided me with a place to go and explore my surroundings, which was just the beginning to what I’d consider a successful career,” Harper told the audience after accepting his award.

The recipient for the chemistry and physical science department was Dr. James L. Breece. Breece graduated in 1967 with his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.  He currently resides in Waynesville, North Carolina, which is home to Holston Fuel Company, the first of many companies he would later start. Before he became an entrepreneur he served in the military.

English major and author, Nick Taylor graduated from Western Carolina University in 1967 and has since written, John Glenn: A Memoir, a book that was once on the New York Times Best- Seller List. Taylor found writing success in non-fiction writing. He has written about the history of the laser, including the intricacies of the 30-year patent war that ensued after its success. Taylor’s most recent novel, American Made is relevant to the current economic times. It is a novel that talks about how the Works Progress Administration put Americans back to work in the 30’s.

Jesse Lankford, North Carolina State Archivist, graduated from Western Carolina University in 1969. He has helped the state make the transition to digital record filing.

 “the process has been long and tedious, but it is the way of the future,” Lankford said

North Carolina has been considered a leader in arranging, describing, preserving, and making accessible digital records.

The recipient for the department of modern foreign languages, Dr. Laura Klatt House later went on to obtain her Medical Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also completed a Masters degree in Public Health Leadership. She is a Fellow in the UNC Department of Family Medicine.

The Political Science Recipient, Leslie Anderson graduated from Western Carolina in 1985 with a Masters degree in Public Affairs. She was included in the Asheville Citizen-Times “Western Carolina’s 50 most influential people of the century”. She was responsible for securing investments, establishing the Asheville downtown association, and administering the annual festivals and special events in downtown Asheville.

Dr. Paul Barton, recipient from the biology department led a long and distinguished career as a professor of cellular biology at the University of Kansas. Barton was unable to attend the ceremony.


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