Education

Western Carolina University chancellor dies after fight with brain cancer

Posted June 18, 2018 9:07 a.m. EDT
Updated July 12, 2018 2:14 p.m. EDT

— The Western Carolina University community is mourning the loss of their chancellor, who died on Sunday after battling brain cancer.

Chancellor David O. Belcher, who passed away at the age of 60, served in the role since 2011.

Belcher went on medical leave in December after being diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2016.

“David Belcher’s passion, integrity and vision have forever shaped and strengthened the university that he loved so much," said Margaret Spellings, president of UNC System. "David’s fierce belief in Western Carolina University’s ability and responsibility to change the lives of students and transform the region it serves inspired the Catamount community, and it inspired me."

According to university officials, Belcher was regarded as a passionate and committed believer in the power of education.

His message, "We are in the business of changing lives," became both an inspiration and a challenge to those sharing his commitment. He enjoyed travel to experience new cultures and was an avid gardener.

The campus community will remember him for his infectious laugh, quick wit and energetic leadership style.

Plans are in the works for a memorial service to be held on campus. Details will be announced on the university's website.