What’s In a Name: The Future

(Editors Note: The following is the sixth and final part of a series where Western Carolinian writers profiled why athletic events are named what they are.)

All year long, the Western Carolinian has been researching and visiting all of the Catamount athletic facilities to discover the history surrounding the complex and why they were named after who they are. Two facilities remain on campus to be looked at, the softball and soccer complexes, but they are currently unnamed. The two complexes, although young in age, do have rich histories though. So what does the future hold, will they be named? According to WCU athletic director Chip Smith, the athletic facilities are just like any other building on campus that is being named, that is, a process starts with a recommendation and then moves on to the Board of Trustees. When a recommendation is made, whether it is for a stadium to be named after an influential program leader or a financial donor, it moves up the University channels until it gets to the Advancement Office, which handles a lot of the contributions and gifts to the University. When the advancement office passes the recommendation along, it goes to the Board of Trustees to vote on the approval of the name. If an athletic facility is being named, the athletics department is heavily involved in the process of passing along the name and performing research on the individual or individuals involved. If a stadium is to be named after a person, or people, the party it is to be named after usually has to allow the University permission to use their name. The Catamount Softball Complex is the newest addition to the facilities at Western, being only four years old. The Catamount softball program also is the youngest program and will graduate their first recruiting class in May. The Soccer program is also young and is just now coming into their own, winning their first conference championship last season. The stadium they play in is ten years old. There are no current plans for either facilities to be named; however as both programs develop and continue to improve, undoubtedly they will be named.