The N.C Department of Transportation will christen the newest addition to the state ferry system in honor of Western Carolina University in a ceremony Friday, May 11, at Cedar Island.
The event, scheduled for 11 a.m., is open to the public. Western Carolina alumnus Dave Fowler, mayor of the coastal town of Cape Carteret, will represent the university and speak at the christening ceremony. A 1975 graduate of WCU, Fowler is past president of the Alumni Association and a current member of the Catamount Club board of directors.
The ferry, Motor Vessel Sea Level, will be decorated in WCU purple and gold and adorned with the university’s logo.
In October 1994, the director of the North Carolina Ferry Division gained approval from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to decorate ferries in the school colors of the 16 state-supported universities, said Lucy Wallace, communications officer for NCDOT’s Ferry Division
“This program was developed to honor education in the state and to brighten the ferry paint schemes,” Wallace said. “Since its inception, this program has been a total success and has gone on to include the largest private universities and colleges in the state.”
Western Carolina University previously was affiliated with the Motor Vessel Gov. Edward Hyde, which was christened in 1996 and remained in service until decommissioned and sold last year, she said.