Like so many activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Carolina University’s traditional Opening Assembly, an annual event for faculty and staff to kick off the new academic year, will have a different look this fall – and a broader audience, thanks to a scheduled video livestream.

This year’s event also will include the administration of the oath of office to WCU Chancellor Kelli Brown, who took office July 1, 2019. Brown’s swearing-in ceremony was originally scheduled to take place as part of official installation activities back in March, but that event was postponed because of the pandemic.

This year’s Opening Assembly will be held virtually beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. After taking the oath of office, Brown will deliver her fall opening address, streamed live from the stage of the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The event will include brief remarks from Peter Hans, newly appointed president of the University of North Carolina System; Kadence Otto, chair of WCU’s Faculty Senate; Ben Pendry, chair of the Staff Senate; and Dawson Spencer, Student Government Association president.

In addition to the usual faculty and staff attendees, WCU students, alumni and friends, as well as members of the surrounding community, have been invited to watch the assembly livestreamed on the university’s Facebook and YouTube pages.