Cullowhee resident and Western Carolina University professor Janice Holt passed away Thursday morning.
According to a statement released by Angela Brenton, Western Carolina’s newly appointed provost, Holt “collapsed while working in the office area with what was later determined to be an aneurysm.”
“We extend heartfelt sympathy to Janice’s family and to all her colleagues here at Western who are mourning her passing,” added Brenton.
Holt was an avid member of the Jackson County community. Before coming to Western Carolina in 2000, she had been teaching in Jackson County schools for twenty-four years.
Throughout her years of teaching, Holt continuously spoke highly of her classes and had such a passion for teaching.
Dr. Dale Carpenter, interim dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions, said, “She would tell me, ‘You know I just love teaching, I’d do this for free if someone would feed my family. I just love it so much.'”
Holt was very passionate about teachers joining the National Board Certification, as she was involved in the National Board as well.
Holt held administrative responsibilities as the Executive Director for Teacher Recruitment, Advising and Career Support in the College of Education and Allied Professions. She also taught one class, a WHEE Teach Living Learning Community freshman seminar course, that will be taken over by another individual who previously taught the course, according to Kim Ruebel, associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Education and Allied Professions.
When thinking about commitment to Western Carolina, no one was more committed than Holt.
“We’ve never had a person more involved in more things throughout this college than Janice,” said Dr. Carpenter.
According to Brenton’s statement in a faculty-wide email, “Janice is survived by her husband, Bob Holt; mother, Phoebe Holt; sisters, Dianne and Cindy; sons, Adam and David; their wives and six grandchildren.”
A visitation will be held today at Appalachian Funeral Homes in Sylva from 5-7 p.m. The funeral is set for Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. at Sylva First Baptist Church located off Main Street.