Bomb threat moves WCU commencement outside


Evacuating the Ramsey Center after the bomb threat. Photo by Hunter Bryn

There was a change of plan at Western Carolina University’s graduation on Saturday after bomb threat was called in.

Five minutes after graduation was supposed to start Chancellor Belcher came on stage to announce that everyone needed to evacuate to the football field. He insured that he thought it was 100 percent a hoax.

Everyone in the Ramsey center found the closest exit and flooded into E. J. Whitmire Stadium’s stands.

“This is crazy, definitely one for the books,” said Grace Hnizdil, a friend of one of the graduates.

About 7,000 people including approximately 650 graduates all stood outside while awaiting news on what was to happen. After an hour of confusion, everyone was directed to take seats at the stadium for an outside commencement.

“I’m graduating! Nothing can stop me. This is an exciting day and it’s really just a little glitch,” said Alina Voronenko, a graduate of WCU and WCJ campus editor. She and the other graduates and guests did not let the bomb treat ruin the day.

The Jackson county sheriff’s department are investigating the bomb threat.