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Gov. Cooper honors WCU chancellor with Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Gov. Roy Cooper awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to Western Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Gov. Roy Cooper awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to Western Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher.

Cooper said enrollment at WCU increased by 18 percent and the school has played an important part in the growth of the community since Belcher arrived in 2011.

Belchor has been battling brain cancer since 2016 and is on medical leave.

"He is hanging in there. He is working very hard, and he is still committed to Western North Carolina and the cause of the students and the people who live here," his wife Susan Belcher said.

His wife went on to say her husband believes the school is in the business of changing lives, and education, at whatever level, is the way people can have better, more fulfilling lives.

Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.

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