Story originally published Nov. 28, 2016.
“Anything I do at Western is for Western.”
Brandon Truitt is a senior communication and political science double major at Western Carolina.
Truitt’s most recent honor was to be chosen as the commencement speaker for graduation in December.
“I think that’s one of the highest honors I could receive as a graduating senior,” said Truitt. The commencement speaker was chosen by university representatives who are professors, Provost office representatives, and honors college representatives. Graduating seniors had the opportunity to apply to be the speaker and the choices were narrowed down to three candidates.
Leading up to Truitt’s recent accomplishment, you could say he has been an involved student.
“I was thinking the other day, ‘how the hell did I get here?’”
During Truitt’s sophomore year, he came across Pi Kappa Phi.
“Those guys accepted me right out of the gate for who I really was,” said Truitt. “I think going through Pi Kappa Phi’s new member process really showed me that I can multitask and that I can be more successful than I ever thought here at Western.”
“He took initiative and always set a good example for the chapter from the very start,” said Will Walker, a brother of Pi Kappa Phi. “He can always see things with a different perspective and open people’s eyes to something they may not have seen before.”
While being a brother of Pi Kappa Phi, Truitt has served as head of recruitment and head of new member education. “It lit a spark within me to keep doing more,” said Truitt.
And so he did.
Truitt studies communication with a concentration in broadcasting. During his time here, he landed two internships – summer 2015 and 2016 – with WYFF News 4 in Greenville and Fox 5 Atlanta. In summer 2015, Truitt covered the confederate flag issue in Columbia sparked by the Charleston church shooting during his WYFF News 4 Greenville internship.
Truitt serves as a Chancellor’s ambassador to provide hospitality to guests at the Chancellor’s residence. This service is not only important to those guests, but also important to David Belcher. “We also work events for student academic awards, Board of Trustees dinners, and scholarship based fundraisers,” said Truitt.
One of Truitt’s main objectives at Western is to recruit students through several programs. “It has all been about giving back to this school.”
He served as an orientation counselor during his sophomore and junior year, 2013 and 2014. “When I started as an orientation counselor, I just wanted to make people find the school attractive and be on their top list for colleges,” said Truitt.
Pride of the Mountains has played a big role in Truitt’s life, whether it was the support system of the musicians and directors or the opportunities for recruitment. Truitt served as alto saxophone section leader his sophomore year, and this year will be his third year as drum major.
The Pride of the Mountains visited Florida Nov. 13-16 to perform at the Florida Marching Band Championships where thousands of students and parents watched this year’s production, “Whee See You”. With the NC promise legislation that just passed, this could be huge for WCU and the school of music.
“Recruitment wise, Florida was an incredible thing. I think we will see benefits from it,” said Truitt. “The students in the program are absolutely incredible, and Florida was a family effort. It’s the comradery that pulls off a product like that.”
When Truitt graduates in December, he will be ending his chapter with Pride of the Mountains.
“What I do hope I’ve done is inspire future leaders of the program to work hard and work tirelessly to have experiences like Florida,” said Truitt.
Truitt will start his career in less than a month as an alumnus of WCU. “I can graduate here knowing without a doubt that I was meant to be here.”
Truitt has served the WCU community for four years with nothing else left to finish. “The last thing for me to do is to just enjoy it – the campus, however smoke-filled it may be, and the people because that’s what I’ll miss the most,” said Truitt. “It’s not just about what you learn in classes, but every thing else you learn just through life in these four years.”