Join us at the Mountain Heritage Center and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachians. Discover the rich traditions of the mountains, see the Appalachian region from new perspectives, and come away with an enhanced understanding of its land, culture, and people.
WCU was founded in August 1889 as a semi-public secondary school and chartered as Cullowhee High School in 1891. The founder, Professor Robert Lee Madison, wanted to provide an education for the young people in the region and train teachers to spread education throughout the western part of the state. In 1893, the Legislature designated the school as the first publicly funded normal school. Explore the story of our heritage and history.
The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU is a regional resource for education and research. We connect people with local history and culture and build bridges between WCU and the region.
The Center works with youth and adult audiences through specially designed gallery, school, and outreach programs.Find In-House and Outreach Programs