Messages of Love and Support

Remembering Dr. Belcher’s Life and Work

Chancellor David Belcher. Throughout my many years at WCU, I faced many challenges, adversities, & even the installation of a new Chancellor. But that is one change I can say was not just a gain for the university as a whole, but a personal one for me as well. There are so many things I can say about this great man, but I will just share my favorite personal memory of him: back in the Spring of 2013 I was working in the "White House" for a Combined internship w/ the PR dept., Special Events, & Alumni Affairs. During my time with PR I had been asked to write a press release for WCU in a collaboration project with the community and the music dept. to shine light on Mrs. Belcher for her role in the show "Dead Man Walking" (where we were to meet the actual nun it was based off of). After the show, Chancellor Belcher came to find me, shook my hand, thanked me, and told me what a wonderful job I did writing that piece on his wife, and that he was proud that a fellow thespian (person of the theater) was also a great press writer. Little did I know, he had my name printed in the program as well and I am forever grateful. 12-13-14 is the day I graduated and departed from such a great institution. I thank God that I was blessed to not only be appreciated by such an awesome person, but to have crossed paths with an outstanding individual. Rest in Paradise, in pain you shall be no more... #GoCATS #PurpleAndGoldTilDie
- Shaadia Shanae Moore

Dear Susan, As you already know, your husband was an incredible man who inspired an entire community of Catamounts. I was always stunned by how passionate he was about a school he didn't attend. I strive to be the caliber of man he was. Seeing the photo of Chancellor Belcher celebrate steam plant funding just last month blew me away. I don't believe I would have still had that passion for my work if I was in his position. But Dr. Belcher was truly one of a kind. I would like you to know that you and your husband inspired my wife and me to donate to Western, and I hope to one day be a member of our alumni board so I can play a small role in continuing the upward trend your husband set in motion for my alma mater. Thank you for all you have done to make this university what it is.
- Aaron Alexander

Dear Susan and family, With love and light I hold you in my thoughts and heart. Dr. Belcher was indeed a "holder of the light." He lived the most precious and important legacy one can leave - he was a brilliant shining star who will continue to light the way. Warmly,
- Glenda Hensley

Once I was invited to sit with the Belchers during a women's basketball game, because I was serving on Staff Senate. I will never forget how gracious they were, welcoming us, and playing with our then-infant daughter. But what made that night so unforgettable was listening to the Belchers cheer for the team. He said many things like "good job Monique, you are shooting better than last night." I couldn't believe that not only did they attend the games, but that the Belchers knew the team members on a first-name basis, and they knew their records, playing styles, and whether they were having a good game or not. I know that it made me feel special that he knew who I was, and we worked in the same building. I can only imagine how important that was to those undergrads, to have leaders so personally invested and accessible.
Chancellor Belcher was a one-of-a-kind! His legacy will live on!
- Alison Joseph

Dear Susan: I am writing this message from China where I am a visiting professor at a WCU partner university this summer. I've been following David's health updates for 26 months, sometimes with a zest of optimism. Today, I feel a great deal of sadness. Although I've never worked with David directly, I've been touched by his leadership and by his human qualities. In my entire career as a professor, I had never seen a Chancellor roll up his sleeves to help students move into their dorms and use a "noise-making device" (as he called it) at a graduation! WCU graduation ceremonies will never be the same. And neither will WCU. I will miss him greatly.
- Marie-Line Germain

It was a privilege and honor to work with David during my tenure on the Board of Governors. Hiring him as the Chancellor at Western was one of the best things that we did. His installation ceremony was one of the highlights of my years on the BOG. David's vision and passion for Western were readily apparent from day one. He was truly a "changer of lives". Western is a better university today thanks to David and Susan Belcher. His impact will be felt for years.
- Jim Deal

Each generation has people that are larger than life. They inject energy into our society and greatly affect many lives in a powerful way. Occasionally but not often, we have the privilege of meeting such individuals. David was one of those people. I am certain he is leading the cheer ‘Go Cats” from a better place.
- Stephen Edmonds

I came to know Dr. David Belcher when he was the Provost at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He had tremendous energy, an infectious smile, a deep respect for people, an incredible capacity to remember names, a phenomenal sense of humor, and was passionate about his work. He would always meet with a new administrative appointee. When I was appointed as Associate Dean of Engineering, he met with me. We had a wonderful conversation. He had some words of advice for me, which have stayed me in good stead to this day. He counseled that there are always two sides to a story. It does not matter how compelling one side of the story is, one has to hear the other side before making a judgment call. I was once on a search committee for the engineering dean that was chaired by David himself. He promised the committee members that he would host us at his home if the search effort was successful. It was, and we headed over to his house with our significant others. As I walked up to the front door with my wife and rang the bell, Dr. Belcher opened the door and greeted us with a broad smile and the words "Welcome, Dr. Bhattacharyya and Dr. Bhattacharyya". He knew our first names but chose to greet us the way he did. While at his house, he regaled my colleagues and myself with stories from his career. Susan and David were fabulous hosts. David, you did good wherever you went. My wife and I will miss you very much. Aside from renewing commitments to the ideals you held dear, I will work on my sense of humor. I have a pretty good sense of humor but nowhere near as good as yours. We know you fought hard. Rest in peace.....
- Sudeepa Bhattacharyya and Abhijit Bhattacharyya

David Belcher was a Rock Star, his persona, drive, knowledge and commitment were second to none. He loved WCU and was incredibly proud to lead the Cats and carried the WCU flag with immense joy everywhere he went. I feel blessed to have had the honor to get to know him and more blessed to have been given the honor to work with him. My thoughts and prayers are with Susan and the Catamount Nation, David Belcher was truly an incredible leader.
- Harry Smith

Mrs. Belcher, you and Dr. Belcher are loved by so many. His presence on campus was felt and warm. His laughter, sense of humor and welcoming personality will be remembered for generations to come. I was in my senior year when you and your family arrived, and I had the great fortune to meet Dr. Belcher a few times and his guidance and wisdom still resonate with me till this day. I pray that God give you the strength during this trying time. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Belcher family and my Cullowhee family. I may live far away but I will always remember my "little slice of heaven" is in Cullowhee! My heart felt condolences.
- Michael Allen

Chancellor Belcher was such an inspiration and always made me remember how much I love and why I came to Western Carolina University. Whether it was seeing him jump up and down at games, run up and down the bleachers at a football game (where he stopped to always take a picture with us when asked), or seeing him on campus, he always had a smile on his face that just instantly made you happy. My favorite memory with him was when I had the pleasure of having a dinner with him. I was on the Dance Marathon Committee, and if you raised over $250 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, you got to have an exclusive dinner with Belcher and other WCU staff. I remember going and thinking "I bet he will be too busy to even talk to me!" Boy was I wrong. He asked all the students there individually what our names were, when we were graduating, what our major was, etc. He just took the time to get to know us. I remember having a conversation with him after I told him I was graduating in 2 months, and he told me that I could achieve anything I wanted to. I had only spoken a few words with him prior to this dinner, but his words spoke volumes to me. I will never forget him, and may his legacy and love for Western Carolina University live on forever. Rest in Peace. <3
- Casey Gerringer

My sons freshman year, there was another chancellor at WCU. It was his sophomore year when Dr. Belcher arrived. WOW, what a difference took place. It was evident from the beginning he would be a game changer! Our daughter then came and had the opportunity to work with him as she served in SGA, and later as president. He made an impact on both of them. We have watched as WCU has thrived under his leadership! He not only lead the university but became the students biggest cheerleader! Always on the ground instead of putting himself above the students. What a rare find he and his wife were! It is truly a sad day for WCU as well as his family. Our hope is that he laid enough in place so someone can come and pick up where he left off. Thank you, Mrs. Belcher, for allowing your husband to come share your lives with the community of WCU. Some people leave this world never making a difference. That will never be said of Dr. Belcher! Sending love and prayers 💜💛
- Julie Pierce

"We are in the business of changing lives". One statement that rings true for all who think of their time at WCU under the leadership of Chancellor Belcher. From my time meeting him as a freshmen on move-in day, to hugging him as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, he was there. He was there yelling good morning across campus, he was there supporting at track meets, and he was there behind the scenes helping cultivate a home away from home that has distinctively changed my life. I will never forget one of my favorite qualities about Western Carolina, #belovedbelcher
- Thor Smith

Dr. Belcher was my piano professor many years ago. He was relentless is his demands for excellence and I am a better musician for it. When he became dean, I went through a rough time and he helped me to not give up and gave me the support I needed to get my degree. Two masters degrees later it is hard to believe it was ever so grim but he changed my life profoundly and I am forever grateful.
- Jennifer

David came into our lives through his piano studies with Louie at University of Michigan. He quickly became more than a student but a family friend and a musician we respected. His integrity and joy of living fully was evident in “those” days. It is our honor to have learned from him - and his laughter and the way he could light up a room will shine on us always. Our love to Susan and strength in the days ahead.
- Julie Jaffee Nagel

I always felt like a trusted friend, no matter how far apart our meetings or correspondences. He had that certain humanity that made him so easy to love and so easy to follow. One of the finest leaders I ever had the honor of knowing. My heartfelt sorrow at his loss and my deepest sympathies to his family, his University family, and his multitude of friends. The world is poorer, but Heaven is richer, for his humor and his talents. Godspeed, David Belcher.
- Elaine Howell

Chancellor Belcher was a great leader for our campus we grew leaps and bounds while he was in office only for a short 8 years. He made us faculties workers feel respected every time he seen us on campus. We would see Dr. Belcher and Susan walking early in the morning before the school day started and they always waved even when he didn't feel well. We are a stronger, better and well run campus since he was with us. The Belcher's will be missed everyday from our little city in Cullowhee USA. #GOCATS
- Tommy Sutton

To the whole Belcher family - I have kept up with all of you through mutual friends and relatives throughout my life. I graduated with Phillip from Barnwell High School and David was 3 years older that us. David was a phenomenal piano player as I got to hear him at First Baptist where his dad was our pastor. Our parents are side by side in Barnwell on the hill across from CVS now. I talk to Posey and Jean every time I go to talk with Dad. Rest in peace David and keep a look out with our parents for the rest of us some day. Blessings!
- Laura Easterling Brown

When I was a member of the UA Little Rock Alumni Board, I met Dr. Belcher and talked with him on several occasions. I kidded him once, that when he spoke to a group, his enthusiasm was so infectious that you automatically reached for your checkbook to donate.
He was a special person and both UA Little Rock and Western Carolina are better for his time with us.
- Lee A. Johnson, Jr.

I had the immense pleasure of being a Computer Science faculty member under Dr. Belcher in his years as Provost at UA - Little Rock. His humanity and decency shone brightly through on everything he did. I have fond memories of the many wonderful conversations we had on classical music and opera, and I am still deeply moved by my remembrance of one occasion where he addressed the entire faculty about engaging students and making an impact on their lives, and started talking about the effect one of his old college profs had had on him a long time ago, and started to cry. He touched a chord in my soul that day. Rest in peace, sir.
- Steven Minsker

Meeting David for the first time was a little like being caught in a fierce storm. He was new to the area and had been making a whirlwind effort to meet as many people as possible in the early days of his new role. He blew into my office in the middle of this to attend to some personal business and before the end of the meeting I felt as if I had known him for a long long time. He possessed a unique talent of gaining rapport with people very quickly and establishing focused communication that made him very easy to talk to. His high energy was contagious. His unique talents and leadership skills will definitely be missed. May the coming days bring peace and comfort to Susan and all the Belcher family.
- Mitch Crisp

On behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I send my deepest condolences to David’s wife, Susan, and the entire WCU community. A leader who inspired us all with his personal dedication to the highest standards in higher education – and service to the people of North Carolina – he was an incredible example of how all leaders can best serve the needs of our students and the future of our state and nation. He was a wonderful friend and we will all miss him. With deepest sympathies,
- Carol Folt, Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In March of 2016, I conducted an interview with Chancellor Belcher in the Board of Trustees room. He was a member of the same fraternal organization I was a part of, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in the past. Every statistic; every program, everything about the "2020" plan for WCU - he was so open and inviting to talk about. He even asked me questions back - mid interview. (This is when I was with the Western Carolinian as a Staff Writer.) He asked about MY thoughts on campus food-options. He asked my opinion on Pride of the Mountains. He asked how I was mentally. This man changed my life and many others just by asking "How are you doing?" - but at the end of the interview, HE offered to take a photo with me - and he even gave me the WCU lapel-pin off his jacket. Right off his own jacket. He even gave me a Coca-Cola for the road.
There is nothing this man wouldn't have done for me, and there's nothing I wouldn't have done for him. I know he was the executive of my school, but he made sure I felt like his brother too.
Susan, we have only met a couple of times, but all my love is with you; Allison Morrison-Shetlar, and I will live every day trying to be half the man Dr. Belcher was. Prayers and thoughts always.
- Ronnie Davia

Never in my fifty-four year association with Western Carolina University have I known of a Chancellor who was as amazing all the way through the alphabet to zealous as David Belcher. I had the pleasure of serving on the search committee the year he was chosen as our Chancellor. UNC President Tom Ross charged us to bring him a Superman. Little did we realize during the search that in our recommendations not only were we getting a Superman, but also, a Wonder Woman. David and Susan Belcher embraced us as none before had ever done. They did not have children of their own so they adopted the students of Western Carolina University. They also embrace the entire Western family -- faculty, staff, alums, people of Cullowhee, people of Sylva, people of Jackson County, people of Western North Carolina. When David and Susan were around every event was more lively, more enjoyable, more bold. We all lived large during the years they were our First Family, and they made us all better Catamounts. To me, there has been an emptiness in Cullowhee since our leader stepped down for health reasons. We were traveling on, but without out fearless leader and it showed in the spirit we displayed once we received the sad news that he would no longer be our Chancellor. Now that his brave fight is over, and we know he is free from health issues and surrounded by other loved ones who have gone ahead of him, in his name, in his memory, in appreciation and honor of David Belcher, and as a testament to David and Susan, we must find it in us to carry on his example. We must all step up to cheer on our Catamounts, to support our students and alma mater through donations of our choice, through our presence at as many WCU events as we can make. And in everything we do related to Western, we must always remember our Number 1 cheerleader, our Superman David Belcher, and our Wonder Woman Susan Belcher. I am so thankful for the opportunity to know them. I am so thankful for all they have done for my beloved alma mater. I will never forget either of them.
- Betty Allen

So sorry for all that you both have had to go through for the past two years plus! My heart goes out to you, Susan, and your family. My son, John J Livingston, went to college there and has now been a teacher for 16 years. Without the learning gotten there, that probably would not be. Though that was before David's time as Chancellor there, we feel your pain and wish you all the best. Just remember your good memories of the good times you shared! Sincerely, Dorothy Livingston in Fayetteville,NC.
- Dorothy Livingston

Susan, Jim and I are so sorry to read the news of David's passing. Sending lots of hugs from afar! And hoping for much comfort in the coming days and weeks. May smiles outnumber tears sometime in the not too distant future as you remember your beautiful relationship and the harmonious music you made together, literally and figuratively.
- Mary Wohlleb

I Am Sorry For Your Loss And Will Keep Your Family In My Prayers! I Only Wish I Had The Pleasure To Meet Mr. Belcher However, I'm Sure He Was Impactful To Everyone He Came In Contact With ! Fly High David
- Christina

Never have I met someone so selfless until I met you! Your selflessness and excitement yet humble personality for both the university and your own personal ways are why I chose WCU. You knew you weren't feeling too well, but still would be in the stands or at freshman move ins. You will truly be missed, but there will always be a spot for you in the Catamount stadiums!
- Megan Harward

David Belcher was my (Fred’s) roommate at Furman University in 1976 when he introduced us (Fred and Cindy) to each other... he was a groomsman in our wedding (40 years ago yesterday, June 16!), a great friend to us through the years. We were so proud of David’s work at WCU. What a legacy there... one he leaves through so many lives he touched elsewhere.
One of the places Furman students used to go for “fun” was a mall in Greenville, McAllister Mall. There was a store there for a time which sold grand pianos. So, typically, as we students strolled by that store, we would encourage David to “play something!” David, being the extrovert he always was, obliged... something like Prokofiev!
We loved David Belcher, and grieve the loss of his love and laugh and presence in our lives. We are praying for his brother and sisters, his extended family, and the NC educational community. #belovedbelcher
- Fred and Cindy DeFoor

So hard to believe.
Just a little over a year ago, I had the privilege of accompanying some students who sang at a Friends of the Arts event at the Belchers' home. David Belcher played Chopin and Debussy flawlessly that evening, and I remember listening to his meticulous warm-up routine before the guests arrived.
Ten months ago, addressing WCU faculty and staff at a beginning-of-the-school-year convocation, one of his closing remarks, "Brain cancer is a friggin' waste of my time!" really hit me. I can't imagine what it's like to deal with such a serious illness in such a public manner.
My sincere condolences to Susan, along with all of David's family and friends who are mourning his loss.
- Lyn Burkett

It was my pleasure to know him at both Missouri State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. At important times in my career, David was a mentor, a cheerleader, and a friend. I know he continued those attributes with so many in the WCU family. Susan, thank you for sharing him with so many people over the years!
- Scott Whiteley Carter

During the Senior Tea luncheon at the Belcher’s, I watched Chancellor Belcher walk from corner to corner of the house engaging with each of the scattered congregations. Anyone lucky enough to be in earshot of the conversation felt apart of it. He spoke to you; he made you feel as if you were meant to be there. We spoke less than 5 minutes that day, but on graduation day as I approached him, he looked over the top of his glasses and his eyes kinda crimped as if to say “You.” I felt like I’ve known him for years. Sincerely,
- Bob J. McNeil, B.A. Philosophy, Class of ‘14

Chancellor Belcher arrived during my sophomore year at Western and his presence was immediately felt. The passion and love he showed for our school made me proud to be a Catamount. I’ll never forget the pictures and videos of him cheering like crazy for our men’s basketball team at the top 64 tournament hosted in Asheville. Such great passion for his students. He will be greatly missed.
- Lyndsey Gentry

Thank you for inspiring my daughter to attend WCU with your absolutely uncontainable enthusiasm and vigor! Your energy will be greatly missed but I know you will be blessing to all those at WCU for years to come due to your hard work and contributions to higher education and all the love you gave the students!! Godspeed and go Cats! We love you!
- Summer Andrade

Dr. Belcher was, without a doubt, the soul and spirit of Western Carolina University. His unwavering enthusiasm, dedication to the students and staff, and unmistakable authenticity will live long in the hills of Cullowhee. I particularly appreciated his avid support of the arts. My thoughts are with Susan and his family.
- Andrew Dyson

Mrs. Belcher, My heart broke at the news of Dr. Belcher's passing. I'm so sorry beyond words that he is no longer with us. Knowing him and yourself made my time at Western Carolina the best it could be, and I have been a better person for it. I will never forget that I asked Dr. Belcher to come to my presentation at the English Senior Seminar, and he did even though I asked him the day before and he already had a tight schedule. He listened to a research paper about "The Lion King," which he told me he had never seen, and then missed a good portion of a meeting with Sylva city leaders just to watch me speak. That meant the world to me to have him there... even though I was so nervous I couldn't look at him the whole time! But, I was so proud and happy.
Dr. Belcher told me during our interviews together for The Western Carolinian to never stop "preaching the gospel of Western Carolina." I recently changed my career and am now a middle school teacher in Florida, and believe me, I never stop teaching my students about the amazing education they can find at WCU. One of my very first lessons was what is a Catamount! I hope they have the opportunity to go and discover what it truly is to be a Catamount.
Thank you so much for your dedication, enthusiasm and love to WCU. And Dr. Belcher will be a constant inspiration for me in my classroom and my career. I wish I could be up in those mountains right now during this time. Please know that my heart is always there, and I will miss Dr. Belcher so much. Love,
- Lex Menz

The planet lost an amazing man on June 17, 2018. David Belcher was so much more than the Cheerleader in Chief for Western Carolina University, he was a transformative leader regionally, statewide and beyond. He lead by example in every aspect of university life. His infectious enthusiasm for "the business of changing lives" did just that for everyone fortunate enough to cross his path in any way. His joy of life will be missed by us all.
- P. Richard Olson

Susan and David came on invitation to our home for a luncheon meeting in November 2013 with Jim Miller. We learned about the happenings at WCU, and as alumni, discussed the future and how alumni could be helpful. After lunch, Susan and David amazed us with their joint talent on our piano - she sang like a songbird and David played whatever we called out - a delightful afternoon - kind of like what I would imagine Carnegie Hall to be (at the Dinglers).
Rest In Peace, Dr. Belcher - you are making music in Heaven.
These two lovely people will be so revered and missed and we pray for peace and comfort for Susan as she grieves the loss of this incredible man.
- Cindi Dingler

RIP Chancellor Belcher, you will be missed dearly. Thank you for making WCU the amazing school it is today. It is because of all your hard work that the university and its students are thriving. We love you.
- Stefanie

Susan and family, Thinking of you during this time Susan. I am sure his celebration of life will be wonderful since he was an extraordinary gentleman with huge dreams. Thank you for allowing myself and our team to serve you through some of this journey with the both of you. God bless you and your family!
- Brandi Rutan

Your passion and caring were a gift to our university.
- Jeff Marcum

I graduated in 2011 with a degree in elementary education. As I walked across the stage to shake Dr. Belcher's hand, he wrapped me in a hug and told me to "go change the world".
Dr. Belcher, I am doing just that, teaching 4th grade students in Charlotte. Thank you for everything you did for Western Carolina and all of YOUR Catamounts.
- Brittany Stogner Bell

Dr. Belcher was such a wonderful, positive, and spirited person to have in the WCU community. I'm honored to have met/spoken with him and see the fantastic influence he had on others. My heart and prayers go out to his loved ones during this sad time.
- Ashley Bollinger

I had the privilege of serving with David for the past two years on the North Carolina Arboretum Board of Directors. His only trait which exceeded his wit and wisdom was his courage. He will be missed by many.
- Harold Owen

A wonderful man who brought grace with knowledge, knowledge with grace. Love to you, Susan.
- Joe Bowman

My heart is saddened with the news of my friend, Dr. Belcher's passing. Dr. Belcher was a fine man and loved WCU dearly. My prayers are with Susan and the entire WCU family. #BelovedBelcher
- Wayne King

A great man and a great leader. We will miss him, but we are better for his time among us.
- Richard Starnes

Though he was named chancellor after finishing my studies, I felt he did well as a leader for the university. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
- Benjamin Schlechter

No one has captured the spirit of the Cullowhee idea as much as David Belcher. He managed to impact the lives of seemingly everyone on campus or who was associated with WCU. I know my life was better knowing him. May God bless you with peace and comfort, Susan, as you move forward. David is in God's loving protection now and forever and look forward seeing him again someday. God Bless.
- David Onder

Profoundest condolences to Ms. Susan and all the family. So many memories, but among them our beloved Mr. David there at Freshman arrival, joining his staff & carrying luggage up the stairs for WCU's newest family members. You all change our lives by being who you are. And we share your tears, as all close families do. Ever-appreciatively,
- Barry, Ann & Kent Charles Browning WCU '15

My prayers go out to Susan and Dr. Belcher’s family. Our university is known for making a difference in our world. David was the best at exemplifying this effort. His leadership allowed our organization to make an even greater difference in our world, and truly changed lives. His and Susan’s efforts will serve as a model and motivation for the future. As the video states: we are better for knowing and walking with him.
- Jack Hudson

Two of my daughters had the privilege of attending Western Carolina University during Dr. Belcher's tenure as Chancellor. Through them, I had the honor of meeting him and his lovely wife, Susan, on several occasions. I found Dr. Belcher to be a kind, genuine, and humble man who was indeed a great man as proved by his passion and wisdom in leading the university. His memory will most assuredly live on at Western as will his voice -- "Go Cats!"
- Melissa McQueen

As an alumni of WCU, I absolutely loved that he brought our University to the forefront of the educational world. His efforts beautified our campus and improved the educational offerings that will make a difference in American business and education for several generations. He always shook my hand at Paws Porch and always remembered my name. I would follow him in battle all the way to the gates of hell!! Rest In Peace sir, you will never be forgotten!!!
- Randy White

Just two years ago in July, my husband Carroll and I had the honor to sit with Chancellor and Mrs. Belcher at the Purple and Gold Weekend. It was our only meeting, but he made a lasting impression with his warm personality and clear vision for WCU. He was a man born to lead and WCU was fortunate to have had his passion, energy and commitment to transforming lives through education. His very presence was inspiring. It was our joy to initiate the Lena Mayberry Engstrom Endowed Scholarship on that occasion and to know that it would enable future educators to flourish on the foundation built at WCU.
Our deepest sympathy to Susan and the Catamount Family for such a loss, but what gifts he shared with us all before his passing! What a legacy is his at WCU!
- Joan Davis Humphries '65

To the Belcher Family, May the peace of God comfort you during this celebration of life. Chancellor Belcher will be greatly missed, and he truly made a contribution to the lives of students on and off campus (online). I thank him for his encouraging words that resonated through his emails. God Bless,
- Felicia Gaskin-Ivey, M.A.T Graduate Student

My interactions with Dr. Belcher were primarily at the Southern Conference basketball tournament. My first impression - "THIS guy is our chancellor?" It didn't take very long to persuade me that "This guy is OUR chancellor!" My condolences to Mrs. Belcher and family. Forever and always, GO CATS!!!
- Charles Allison

Condolences to the Belcher family. --Jamaican Cohort 2015
- Brady

I never had the honor of meeting this true gentleman and scholar. I wish I had, as I have heard and read much about his true service leadership of WCU, and about how strong he remained in his character and work while battling cancer. I wish the Belcher family and the WCU family the very best as they grieve and remember him. I know that his mark has been left indelibly on Cullowhee and this fine institution.
From a friend who is a Mountaineer and a Lobo, with many Catamount friends.
- Mark J. Smith, PhD

Will and I are so very sorry for your loss, Susan. We feel so blessed to have known such an amazing person who was an inspiration to everyone he met. I have many fond memories of him, but two of my favorites were of him at the WCU-Davidson game of the SoCon tournament when David was the most fired-up person in the venue. I have never seen someone with that much pep and enthusiasm, and I probably never will again. My second favorite memory is when he played Rhapsody in Blue from memory. What an incredible performance and an amazing feat. Hearing you sing while he played the piano that evening was magical. Your marriage was a match made in heaven. I have never seen two people who were so well-suited for one another, and who worked so well together and accomplished so much. How blessed you were to have found each other and how fortunate we were to be witnesses to your mutual love, respect, and teamwork. You have changed lives forever and made us all better people. What an amazing legacy.
- Becky McKee

My heart 💜 is sad to learn of the passing of Chancellor Belcher. In my 39 years of service to the university, undoubtedly he was the best chancellor! Under his faithful leadership and hard work WCU has excelled to new heights. His love, support, and genuine personality will never be forgotten! Not only was he WCU’s Chancellor he was also the people’s Chancellor! My prayers and thoughts are with his family.
- Kathy Green

Chancellor Belcher made so many imprints on me in the first 2 years here at Western. I will carry these with me for the rest of my life. He believed in education so strongly that he imursed himself among the students and cheered them on, even after his diagnosis. No chancellor after him will ever be as great as Dr. Belcher. He is the ultimate champion of higher education.
- Baili Brooks

My sincerest & heartfelt condolences go out the the Belcher family. Dr. Belcher was an incredible, smart, endearing, and powerful leader for WCU's students, faculty, and staff. We all will miss him dearly. I am incredibly grateful to be a 2010 Alumni and current staff member of Hunter Library at WCU. Rest In Peace Dr. Belcher, you are lifted up in the hearts of so many who were impacted by you.
- Dana M. Wood

WCU will miss the spark, because it's he . . . who has been the joy.
- Vicki Knaack

My eyes fill with tears every time I think about what losing Chancellor Belcher means to Western, the UNC System, and our state. He was the kindest, most generous, sincere, and genuine person and leader. I knew him only through short interactions and meetings but he always remembered me and always embraced seeing me. When my daughter toured Western, he met with her at the end of the day in his office and said that he had seen us walking across campus when he was eating lunch at the cafeteria. He noticed. He cared. He loved Western Carolina and all the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. He was such a special leader and his legacy will stand the test of decades.
Cancer is a horrible wretched disease - he approached his diagnosis with dignity and courage. I honor his decision to step aside and entrust his beloved university to those whom he had mentored and groomed, knowing that they would continue the excellent work he had started. He set his priorities on how to spend his last months -- to do that is truly the mark of an exceptional human being. Rest in peace Chancellor Belcher, and know you have made a difference in the lives of so many.
- Susan McCracken

David was the most visionary and passionate leader I ever worked with. Working with him wasn't work, it was hilarious fun. His manic laugh electrified a room. I remember sitting with him at the faculty salad bar at Missouri State and having other people come by and say that they wanted to sit at his table because things seemed like so much more fun there. He was fearless, energetic, and passionate about everything he did. I will miss him. All my love to Susan and his family, and my sincerest condolences to all of you in the WCU family.
- Gloria Galanes

My first meeting with Dr. Belcher was during a Full Spectrum Farms benefit dinner where we were hosts and showed folks to their tables. We had such a great time that day! I was also very fortunate to have Dr. Belcher as my chancellor during my time at WCU. His laugh was infectious and he had such a positive impact on anyone he came in contact with. My prayers are with Mrs. Belcher and their family during this very sad time. There will always be a special place in our hearts for The Man, The Myth, The Legend - Dr. David O. Belcher.
- Julia Hartbarger Duvall

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one man would be able to rally and connect over 10,000 people. In my two years at WCU, that's exactly what Chancellor Belcher did. His enthusiasm, passion and love for our university and the people who lived, worked, and studied there will never be forgotten.
- Zach Massey

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chancellor Belcher. My sincere condolences go out to his wife and family at this most difficult time.
- Robert Caruso, Former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Susan, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of David. I will always remember taking voice lessons from you and your wonderful way of teaching and coaching. We also enjoyed David's piano performances. He was a remarkable musician and academician. He was a great provost here in Little Rock, Arkansas, and very much missed when he left to go to North Carolina. You are often in my thoughts.
- Sandra Graves

I first met Dr. Belcher during new faculty orientation in August 2011. He joined us for lunch and sat down next to me at the round table. All the faculty at the table enjoyed getting to know him, and his encouraging words and enthusiasm. A older gentleman from the cafeteria staff was helping to serve the food at this catered event. Dr. Belcher greeted him by name and asked about his family in a very kind, personal way. I thought to myself "This is my kind of guy. He is so kind and caring for all of the WCU faculty and staff." Since that day every time I have heard Dr. Belcher speak I become so encouraged, energized, and thankful for his incredible wisdom and kindness. We will miss him so much.
- Elizabeth

Sharon and I are so very sad and send our love to Susan, all family and our WCU community of colleagues, students and friends...our sincere condolences...Oh David, so genuine, so beloved, you creative force, such an inspiration and true agent of change...your long-lasting legacy wrapped around us all. Thank you Chancellor Belcher and Susan. Thank you so very much.
- Martin DeWitt

Leader of all people no matter your background ..... that was David Belcher.
- Steve Wilson

I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great leader and had quite the sense of humor and style! I was always impressed at his willingness to listen. I have missed him since he left UALR. But he left his mark on many so his legacy lives on....
- Cindy Gilbert

Rest in Peace, Chancellor Belcher. You touched so many people's lives and made a major impact here at Western Carolina University. I'm so so grateful and blessed that I had the opportunity to come to WCU during the Belcher Years and that, later on, I was able to serve you as a Chancellor's Ambassador. I have never met nor heard about a more caring, selfless, and pure-hearted chancellor. Your legacy will forever live on in our hearts and minds. My thoughts and condolences are with Susan Belcher and the rest of his family during this devastating time. Go Cats. #BelovedBelcher
- Emma Hand

Sad to hear. Dr. Belcher was WCU to the core. When my daughter started there last year, Dr. Belcher was in line at the student cafeteria behind us. After we sat with our food, he walked right over and plopped down next to her. "Please sit, sir, I'm not here to see you. I'm here to meet one of our newest Catamounts." This left quite an impression on all of us, and made us all fall in love with Western. He will never be forgotten, and impossible to replace. RIP Dr. Belcher. Love, The Phieffers
- Jeff Phieffer

My heart goes out to Susan and the entire family for your loss. David was a friend and his kind words of encouragement and support were always there. His life and dedication to the educational institutions he served should be a role model for everyone in academics and music.
- Charles Law

Was so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear husband, and our beloved Chancellor.
- Billie Bryson

Such a sad moment in Catamount history. Dr. Belcher was the best of the best. He will be missed. I'm not sure he knew the incredible impact that he had on our little university. My heart goes out to Susan and to his family and friends, you are in my thoughts and prayers. #BelovedBelcher
- Dora Walker

I first met Dr. Belcher in the hotel lobby in Atlanta, GA after a football drubbing from Georgia Tech. It was late. I was sitting with a couple of friends and he walked in the lobby headed for the elevator, but he caught a glimpse of us in our purple and he made a right turn. We were completely across the lobby, but he came over and introduced himself and chatted with us for several minutes. He made such an impression just with that little conversation. Again, it was late, he could have easily moved on up to his room. From that moment on, I knew we had someone special to lead us and boy, did he ever! He inspired me to give back and get involved. I am thankful for what he has accomplished and meant to this university.
- Ron Sink

Prayers for the family of this amazing man who gave so much to the university I love to attend. Forever in the hearts of all of us fellow Catamounts.
- Savannah Gillespie

Chancellor Belcher was a true pioneer in higher education and his presence at WCU was a true blessing. He brought about much needed innovation, expansion, and success to a now thriving university. He also brought about pride of wearing the insignia that bore the Catamount as well as purple and gold. I will never forget seeing Chancellor Belcher on a regular basis at events and on campus and seeing his smile as well as regular interactions with his students that he so loved. No one can ever replace such a great leader.
- Matthew Garcia

My son was a freshman at WCU and played in the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band in 2017. I was sitting in the stands at one of the early September football games, and Chancellor Belcher was walking up the steps toward the concessions area. I noticed all these people stopping him to speak and have their picture made with him! Even from a distance you could see that people were drawn to him. I followed him up the stairs and waited until he was alone and I introduced myself. We talked for a while. He made me feel as if I had known him my whole life. After the initial meeting, I was so struck by his energy and enthusiasm that I went back and read about the impact he had made on the campus of WCU and to the Western North Carolina area. I have worked in education for 15 years and can honestly say his energy has reinvigorated me at a time in my career where I was in need of inspiration.
- Dave Ross

Dear Susan, Deepest wishes of sympathy to you and your families. I thank you and David for the graceful optimism both of you shared with our arts students and WNC at large. You were able to champion both our grand dreams and also the small acts of goodness that define and propel us. May love surround and comfort you.
- Erin Tapley

Truly a lily within our Valley of Cullowhee. Godspeed to all the family and friends. He bled purple through and through. He will be missed.
- Chris and Beth Moore

It is with sadness that I read of Dr Belcher's death. He was an inspiration and a wonderful asset to the University as well as the community at large. He was both inspirational and authentic...hard traits to find in a leader. He leaves behind a legacy of greatness and will be missed.
May Mrs. Belcher and the rest of the Belcher family have peace during this time and find joy in their memories.
- Carol Isaac MacKusick

As an alumni of this fabulous university, my heart is broken. I had graduated before Chancellor Belcher came in, but meeting him and Susan over the years at the Greensboro Grasshoppers alumni event he always made me continue to feel like family. He changed so much at WCU for the better. There is no one who will ever fill his shoes. May he Rest In Peace without pain and continue to shine down on Catamount Nation! Prayers for the family.
- Jeanna Martin

He was truly indescribable. A real gentleman, smart, kind, always full of enthusiasm! He did more for our beloved university in 6 years than anyone that came before him in any length of service. He will long be remembered and missed. David and Susan were a complete team I hope that Susan will keep in touch and come back whenever she can. I can honestly say he was loved by many and will never be forgotten in the bonds of phi phi kappa alpha.
- Bob Barber

Our hearts are broken to learn of the passing of David. Much love and sincere sympathy to Susan and the entire WCU family.
- Pauline and John Cobrda

Still at a loss for words and heartbroken by the news. Thank you for being so kind to everyone by embodying the Golden Rule and truly making everybody feel like somebody. I am honored to have known you and learned from you as a leader while at Western.
And most importantly... Go Cats!! #BelovedBelcher
- Kayleigh Perlotto

My wife Julie, daughter Sonya, and I remember David as a master's degree student here at the University of Michigan. He was a wonderful student, and became a dear friend throughout our lives together even as our paths diverged. His were lessons I always looked forward to and enjoyed greatly. We will miss him, and offer condolences to Susan and the entire WCU community at this time.
- Louis Nagel

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. I graduated in 1981 but will always be a Catamount. I so appreciate your husbands dedication to our wonderful university. I wish you peace in your time of loss.
- Penny Jordan Pilley

Our beloved Dr. brought joy back to our university. You brought smiles back to our faces, with your love and enthusiasm. You will forever be loved. You will forever be missed.
- Kim Jamison

We met the Belchers at one of Dr. Tim Gillespie's Highland Brewing events in Asheville. He was very warm and likeable and I could tell that WCU was going to be in good hands. I particularly enjoyed that "musical Christmas card" the Belcher's sent out their first year at WCU! 60 is far too young and we are so sorry for the loss of this great husband, Chancellor and friend.
- Tim & Angie Bryant - 1980

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." This quote from John Quincy Adams embodies Dr. Belcher's leadership. There is no doubt his work will continue to touch lives through others.
- Jess Weiler

Dr. Belcher changed this university forever. He will never be forgotten. We will miss our energetic, visionary, fun, and loving friend and leader. He will be in our hearts as we try to move forward in a way that he would be proud. Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Belcher for being an important part of our lives.
- Lisa Lefler

I began my service as a faculty member in 1970, and note my good fortune of serving with several highly competent chancellors. Among them all, Dr. Belcher was one of the best. His leadership has contributed to the university's continued excellence today.
- Ellerd Hulbert

I will never forget the day I first met Chancellor Belcher during my interview for the Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology position at WCU. I was awestruck by his passion for the institution and remembered him asking me if I knew what the WCU acronym meant. I wasn't certain if it was a trick question and nervously answered "Western Carolina University". In his typical quick wit he answered "Whee Carry Umbrellas". Right then I knew I had found my new home as a Dean, and as David mentioned, we're fortunate to live and work in paradise.
I was honored to be selected as the Dean and had so many opportunities to interact with Chancellor Belcher and Susan in multiple activities at scholarship events, football and basketball games, and at the Chancellor's residence.
We will carry on in your honor and Go CATS!
- Jeff Ray

Dr. Belcher had such a great enthusiasm about life and had the “Whee can” spirit! He will be remembered in our thoughts and prayers as a true leader who led by example and made WCU a great place to be! Thank you for sharing him with all of us. God continue to bless the Belcher family and the WCU Nation.
- Darrin Hemphill

I had the chance to meet with him a few times when I was a criminal justice student. He was a great man and will be missed. I was heartbroken when I heard of what type of tumor he had my family lost someone with the same kind.
- Ashley Reber

Dr. Belcher was such a joy to everyone he met. I have never heard a negative word spoken about the man in all my time at WCU. I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, but he made his presence and support known to every student on campus. He was a star among educators and truly inspired students, faculty, and all those who met him. He has inspired me on my music education journey with his endless support for the arts and I hope that I can one day be remembered and thought of half as fondly as Chancellor Belcher. "We are in the business of changing lives" is such a powerful and true statement and I hope that I can change lives the way he did as I progress through my teaching journey. My thoughts and prayers are with the Belcher family during this difficult time. He truly was an outstanding man and educator.
I never had the chance to meet Chancellor Belcher but from noticing the impact he left on the people of WCU, I can tell that he made a good university into a great one that we as Catamounts must continue! Honor him by giving your all and doing your best. Honor him by running your race of life with fervor, conviction and purpose. We are WCU! And thank you Chancellor Belcher. You have become our standard. Go Cats!
- Derrick Harris

I've never known of a university administrator who was so universally beloved. I used to come away from the fall faculty and staff assembly feeling inspired and energized by your speeches. I will always feel fortunate to have been at WCU during your tenure.
- Katy Ginanni

I will never forget your passion for the Catamounts in that first SOCON tourney. You inspired everyone to believe that anything is possible. Thank you for your dedication to WCU and love of education.
- Patti Roach McFarland

My first experience with Dr Belcher was the year Western played Davidson in the SoCon tournament and went to triple overtime. I hadn't seen him yet but we had players that hit several huge shots to tie and I saw this man running up the stairs and around the upper deck. I asked somebody who he was and they said that was the new chancellor. I knew he was the man for the job and I was right. Our university was more alive while he was there. He did more for all students and made us grow exponentially over his tenure. He will be dearly missed.
- Cameron Pierce

Dear Susan, I am so sad to hear that Chancellor Belcher has passed away. I can tell you that when I was trying to graduate from WCU, I was having trouble getting information from another school so that everything could add up for my degree. Chancellor Belcher, himself, sent a letter to the other school and before I knew it everything was AOK. I never expected him to do that for me. But as I learned that was just the kind of person he was. He was a wonderful person as well as a dearly loved part of WCU. He will truly be missed and impossible to replace. Prayers for your family.
- Nancy H. Pittman

Thank you for bringing Catamount pride back to WCU and for making every student feel that they were home. My love for WCU was sparked by your infectious energy and passion. I now work in student affairs at a university, and my love for education and helping others came from my desire to impact students' lives and their collegiate experience the way you impacted mine.
- Amanda Marshall

I never met a leader with more passion for his role than David Belcher. The energy he brought to Western Carolina was an inspiration for us all. We learned so much from David by how he lived his life as Chancellor and how he handled these last two years. As he said, Western is in the business of changing lives but by David's example, he changed the lives of so many of us who were fortunate enough to know him.
- Bob Thomas

I will never forget one day as I was walking back from class, through the fountain, and I passed Mr. Belcher with my service animal and he stopped to talk to me about her. As I explained my story and why I have her, he gave a me a huge hug and told me how strong he thought I was. He said he knew she and I would do great things! My prayers and condolences go to the Belcher family.
- Haleigh Harrison

My interaction with Chancellor Belcher was generally at graduation. I would say hello and we would chat as though we were longtime friends. His ability to engage and energize everyone he met is a special part of his legacy. I will never forget how he made me feel. I will do my best to continue his legacy of caring. My prayers are with you, Mrs. Belcher, and family, that you may lean on God's grace for comfort during this time.
- Sheila Price

Dr. Belcher stopped me on campus one morning just to talk. That day changed my life, knowing that someone so influential and of stature cared for every individual on campus. Thank you for being the reason I made it through and fell in love with my school. Your memory will never be lost and your contagious spirit will continue to empower all students at WCU.
- Madeline Slaughter

There are few people in this world that truly live their life with passion and show that to those around them. Chancellor Belcher was one of those people. Everything he did, he put his all into and those around him couldnt help but smile and join!
- MacKayla Olson

Dr. Belcher had a contagious spirit that captured the Catamount family. He was a man who you could tell truly loved his students and what he did in life. He inspired many and will be greatly missed.
- Alyssa Gillikin

Thank you for all you have done for the school and especially for your love of the arts. You have a special place in all of our hearts.
- Murphey A. White

I had the honor of knowing David and enjoying his legacy of leadership. Though our friendship was brief, his fortitude, wonderful sense of being, and his enthusiasm for education and students were evident in his actions and deeds. A tremendous man worthy of emulation by us all. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.
- Hunter Bacot

Dr. Belcher always made being on campus a joy. His love for the university and the community made everything better. He was there for my mom after her husband and my stepdad had passed. He knew everyone personally making the whole college experience much more exciting and family oriented.
- Cherokee Welch

I never personally never met Dr. Belcher but Susan is a frequent customer in my store. We often discussed ways to get downtown Sylva and WCU closer connected. Through Susan, I felt in some little way to have known him. He will be greatly missed and left an amazing legacy at WCU and in Sylva.
- John Wermuth

Dear Mrs. Belcher and family, It is with deep sadness that I extend my sincere condolences on the loss of Dr. Belcher. He was such an amazing man and a wonderful support to all students. I joined the WCU family in August 2015 as a 52 year old RN-BSN student. I was very afraid of failing, but it was my dream to finally earn my bachelor’s degree. My fear of failing quickly disappeared after hearing Dr. Belcher speak. He was so encouraging and so caring about student success. Listening to him gave me a special courage that made me not want to disappoint him! Even though I didn’t have a chance to talk to him personally because I was a distance student, he made a difference in my life, and I.can proudly say that not only did I earn my BSN, but I graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2016 and started in the master’s program for Nursing leadership last Fall 2017. I will always remember Dr. Belcher and I love him dearly. I prayed so much for his healing, but everything happens in God’s time. I pray that God provides you healing and provides comfort to you all during this difficult time. Again, my deepest heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
- Rhonda Henderson

Your legacy will always be that of strength, compassion, leadership and school spirit. You embodied all the traits of a great institution. You will be missed.
- Eva Smith

Thoughts are with you during this difficult time. David was a friend, mentor and a giant in our community. The two of you, together, have been a powerful force for good and have touched lives too numerous to count, a legacy that will long endure. I am honored to call both of you friends.
- Steve Heatherly

David Belcher's laugh carried all of us to a magical place.
- Sara Brummel

I am saddened to learn of David's passing. Although the news has been expected for some tine, it is nevertheless a shock to hear. His passing is a loss to those of us who cherish higher education and who believe in its power to change individual lives and the world at large. I will remember our efforts, along with those of Mary Grant, to pass the bond referendum in 2016. David worked tirelessly to ensure the referendum passed, giving us all a few of the dollars needed to make higher education in North Carolina better than it was. I was inspired then to work for our cause and I am inspired by his passing to continue the fight. My wife Jan and I join the entire A- B Tech family in remembering this transformational gentleman.
- Dennis and Jan King

Dr. Belcher modeled true leadership and passion in everything he did. He exuded love and joy for everyone he came in contact with. Our lives are forever changed because of you.
- Richard Sneed, Principal Chief - EBCI

Mrs. Belcher, I am so sorry about the passing of your husband. Chancellor Belcher made an impact on my life. The two of you graciously donated wagons a couple of years ago to Irene Wortham Developmental Day while I worked there. Also, it was an extreme pleasure to have met Dr. Belcher again at the Chancellor's Award ceremony and to have pictures taken with him. He has left an indelible mark on all WCU students, staff, alumni, etc...
- Franceen M. Clark

You will live on in our heart and soul. Your energy and kindness will forever be cherished and passed forward. Thank you for nurturing the entire community on and around campus!
- Yanjun Yan

Susan, you and David have been such inspirations to all of us, both in the WCU community and across the non-academic plateau.
- Marilyn Staats

Chancellor Belcher had a contagious energy that spread through the entire campus. I am honored to have attended WCU under his leadership.
- Natalie Newman

Deborah and I send our deepest sympathy and regret. Please know you are in our thoughts.
- John Bardo

I am happy to have met you. Your warm smile and encouraging words we will always remember. You were an inspiration to us all.
- Tanesha Sobah-Fong

I was a graduate of WCU in 2013. Starting my career at Western in 2009 there was an immediate difference from that first year to my sophomore year when Chancellor Belcher started. I can honestly say from then on I had the best years of my life. To have someone who is so well respected come out to the games with students in the student section, and starting the freshmen run onto the field at the first home game... those are things that people hold near and dear to their memories of Western with Chancellor Belcher. I was heartbroken in 2016 when he was diagnosed and I knew that students who never experienced the Bechler spirit would be missing a huge piece of what I will never forget. Prayers to you Susan and to all of those whose lives were touched by such an amazing man. He will forever be the face behind my Western Carolina experience.
- Emily

We have lost one of the most influential people to ever step foot on Western Carolina’s campus. My heart is broken learning about the passing of Chancellor Belcher, but my heart is also so full to have known someone so incredible. He was the most passionate about higher education and even more passionate about each and every one of his students- those students who were at WCU and those yet to come. I strive to be like him each and every day when I go to work, as it is my mission to change lives like he changed mine and my husband's. It has been an honor to work with Chancellor Belcher and see his legacy make WCU into the worlds unknown “little slice of heaven.” #belovedbelcher
- Myranda Thomson

Mrs. Belcher, my sincerest condolences to you. May you find peace and comfort in God's loving care. Dr. Belcher was always so kind to me, always taking the time to speak and talk to me. He treated everyone with love and kindness, and that will live on in his legacy as a part of WCU forever. Thank you Dr. Belcher.
- Annette Parris

Our hearts are heavy as we try to wrap our minds around this sad news. Dr. Belcher brought such energy and excitement, such vision and passion to his role as Chancellor! His sincere desire to have WCU be a meaningful life-changing experience for each and every student is a wonderful legacy. He will be sorely missed!
- Wanda and Dave Fowler

Into our lives enter people who change us. David was one of those people in mine..he was a change agent for our dear WCU, an inspiration for many, and someone who fought tenaciously for us all. He is now at peace but always watching over the progress of the Cullowhee experience!
- Myra Grant

Dear Susan and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. There are not enough words to express what David Belcher has done for every individual in WCU. He will be missed by us all and you will always have a family in WCU!!
- Danielle Knight

It is because of Dr. Belcher and his wife Susan’s tireless work that WCU has the reputation it does. I’ve never seen a more courageous and loving leader. I will always remember his words at commencement... “Never forget to come back home, to that little slice of heaven we call...Cullowhee.”
- Cody Dunlap

No matter what kind of day that I was having, anytime I saw you on campus, you would light up my day. Meeting you will forver be one of the greatest memories of my college career. We love you always!
- Brandee H.

Mrs Belcher, you and Dr Belcher arrived during my Junior year at WCU, giving me the awesome opportunity to view the impacts of your work as I passed from student to alumni. I have seen an incredible amount of advancement and betterment for WCU because of the work you both did. Dr Belcher, you will live on in each of our hearts and minds--both emotionally, but also intellectually. As you've made education your passion, you have created a passion in each and every one of us you supported. Thank you both so much for your giving and service.
- Caleb Brock

When I arrived as a freshman at WCU, one of the first things I remember is the excitement that Dr. Belcher brought to his job. His energy was motivating and welcoming and I count myself exceedingly blessed to have had the honor to be a part of the same university family as Chancellor Belcher. His initiatives and his care for the students made him a truly inspiring model for all of us.
- Benjamin Snedegar

I am so sorry for your loss Mrs. Belcher. Chancellor Belcher was beloved by all at WCU! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
- Audre Tyner

The Catamount spirit is what it is today because of Chancellor Belcher. Every athletic game was made special by his pep. He was present at nearly every event held on campus. He redefined the school's atmosphere and made it what it is today.
- Mary Brown

As a 1974 grad of the 2nd nursing class I did not know Dr. Belcher but have followed his time at WCU. I'm deeply sorry for your loss and may the comfort of God help you through this difficult time. God bless you and keep you in his light of everlasting love.
- Donna L. Payne

My heartfelt condolences to the Belcher family. I was privileged to have attended WCU under his leadership - and equally blessed that he was in attendance at our December, 2017 graduation. Chancellor Belcher made WCU "A slice of Heaven" (to quote Mrs. Belcher regarding the mountains). I am eternally thankful for him....and wish to offer Mrs. Belcher my deepest sympathy. Please know you and your family are in my prayers.
- Michelle Stephens

David did change lives and his accomplishments will continue to do so. We have never known as transformative a University Chancellor or President in any institution. It was clear that he loved his work and loved everyone and was tireless in his leadership of WCU. His enthusiasm and joy were infectious. His hands on involvement with the students, walking the campus, interacting at sports events, and his emphasis from day one on scholarships leave a legacy we sincerely admired and will never forget.
- Mark and Kathy Whitehead

My deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathy for the loss of one loved by all. May you rest in peace.
- Dana

Chancellor Belcher was an absolutely dynamic person. He is one of the main reasons that I decided to stay at Western Carolina. I transferred in and I was very apprehensive about continuing there. It was a new place but after meeting Chancellor Belcher and seeing his vision for the community, I knew that Western was where I needed to be. Whenever I saw Chancellor Belcher around campus, he always had a smile on his face, he was excited to be on campus and he was excited to be around the students. When issues arose on campus, I felt comfortable enough with him to send an email and not only did he respond, but he took into consideration what I said and he made me feel like my opinion and my voice mattered on campus. Whether it was at a football game, basketball game, walking through McAlister's or at leadership dinners around campus, I could always count on Chancellor Belcher to be the one with the most energy and the most Catamount Pride. I'm so grateful that I was able to attend Western Carolina University under his leadership and I am forever proud to be a Catamount. Rest Well Chancellor Belcher.
- Victoria Blount

I am deeply saddened to hear about Dr. Belcher's passing. He was a man of intense enthusiasm, wisdom, and selflessness. Dr. Belcher made my transition into WCU much easier and helped it feel like home almost immediately. He will forever live on in our hearts. The Belcher family is in my thoughts and prayers.
- Brandon Jeffries

Thank you for bring the inspiring leader you were; for truly caring about not only the school, but the wellbeing of the students. As the parent of a WCU alum, that meant the world to us when she was a student during your tenure. You have set the bar high...not sure anyone will ever truly measure up. The WCU family misses you. Prayers to all.
- Barbara Meyer

While we join all in grieving the passing of an extraordinary person, we also celebrate a life well lived. David has led our university with a clear vision and a focus on students. The impact of his life and leadership will be felt for generations to come. Good bye our friend.
- Debbie & Dale Sims

What an inspiration to so many! Chancellor Belcher was an amazing man who had the unique ability to inspire young people. I am so thankful for his influence on both of my children’s lives and proud that their WCU diplomas bear his name. My prayers are with the Belchers and the entire WCU family. Also praying that his legacy lives on. ❤️
- Stacy Allore

Sending sympathy & prayers for comfort and support in the difficult days ahead. This man was such an awesome asset to WCU...everyone loved him. I got to know of him as my granddaughter attends WCU and personally found his enthusiasm at sporting events contagious. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will linger forever. A great man gone way too soon.
- Dru Richardson

Thank you Chancellor David Belcher for the impact you had on my life while at WCU! You contributed so much to the place I now call home and your efforts will go down in WCU history!
- Colton Shelton

Dr. Belcher was a hero for Western Carolina and a friend to my family and me. We were blessed to have had him at the helm in Cullowhee, and I am profoundly grateful for the tender love he poured into our alma mater. He was so much more than a college administrator--he was a champion for us. I will miss his infectious energy most.
- James Hogan

Though only in WCU for a semester, Dr. Belcher's warmth and dedication was felt throughout the university. A big loss for all those that knew him. Sending my condolences to his family from the UK.
- AJ Talyor

Chancellor Belcher was one of those rare individuals who always inspired those around him to do better/more. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan and his family.
- Tim & Donna Haskett

I will always remember locking arms and singing the fight song with him after a football game when he came to address the band. He truly was great to all programs at WCU. He helped to grow athletics as well as the arts. His energy and positivity caused students to gravitate to him and it made him so approachable. I’ll miss him so much but I’m so thankful for what he did for us as a school.
- Caleb Moore

I remember Dr. Belcher as one of the greatest inspirations I have met. From freshman orientation to being able to be the last class to graduate with him... From engaging with him during football games as a Pride of the Mountains Marching band member and even cheering on the Cats at basketball games. He will always be a Catamount. This is paradise, GO CATS! As he would always say.
- Connor Thompson

You were the reason I chose to become a Catamount. Your legacy will live on forever. You changed my life!
- Ami Goodlake

You made Western a home. A place where diversity, equality and acceptance was fostered among all students with pride. You set the example for us all to follow. You never had a bad word to say or a frown on your face. You were an inspiration for every student to do more, achieve more, and be kind to one another. Your passion will always be remembered by all. God truly blessed Western with your legacy.
- Mac McCoyle