All posts by Matt Mittan

Western Carolina sets enrollment record thanks to discount tuition program

screen-shot-2019-02-11-at-11.59.09-am(Carolina Journal) Enrollment at Western Carolina University is at a record high now that a low-tuition plan for select University of North Carolina schools is in effect.

WCU’s enrollment has spiked to 11,028. That’s almost 800 students more than were enrolled this time last year. Republican lawmakers link the growth to N.C. Promise, a $500 per semester tuition plan for in-state students. The plan also dropped out-of-state tuition to $2,500 a semester.

N.C. Promise became law in 2016. The cut-rate tuition applies to Elizabeth City State University and UNC Pembroke, in addition to WCU. State legislators invested $51 million in the program. Their main goal was to improve enrollment at some of North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, although only ECSU chose to participate in NC Promise.

Read the full report by Kari Travis HERE>

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Asheville’s Flatiron hotel project OK’d by Downtown Commission as local concerns linger

185c00ab-f87c-4d7b-99f7-9cc025fd2435-flatironbuilding_meeting_10092018_0075(Citizen-Times) Plans to redevelop Asheville’s historic Flatiron Building into an 80-room boutique hotel will move ahead after receiving approval this week from the city’s Downtown Commission, a green light that comes with a lengthy list of concerns about its potential impact on the community.

Much of the commission’s roughly three-hour meeting Friday centered on a proposed multimillion dollar renovation effort for the 93-year-old property at 20 Battery Park Ave. Charleston, South Carolina-based developer Philip Woollcott has offered a plan in conjunction with building owner Russell Thomas to convert it from primarily small business use to a hotel with two bars and a restaurant.

Woollcott, an Asheville native, said the proposal — which still requires City Council approval — is designed to preserve the aging structure while putting forth a business model to “provide stability for it to sustain itself for generations to come.”

Red the full report by Dillon Davis <HERE>

A look back… A look forward…

12-14-18 355Happy New Year everyone! 

I am so excited for 2019!!!! Each year, I give myself a battle cry phrase, a mantra if you will, to help define my actions. (I don’t do annual resolutions, but rather themes to underpin my actions.)

2016 was the year of my Phoenix rising. I was emerging from the back end of sweeping and humbling times in my life. I had gone from the top to the rock bottom, between 2013-2015 and I was ready to start climbing my way back up again. So I needed to remind myself daily of the story of the Phoenix. And it worked! I ended 2016 hopeful, energized and happy.

2017 was “Service”. Feeling the momentum out of 2016, I sought to redefine what I was doing with my life and my time. I wanted everything I touched to be of benefit to others. I knew what it was like to be alone, lost and confused so I wanted to bring hope and impact to other people’s needs.

For 2018, my personal call to action phrase was simply “Purpose!”. And what a year 2018 turned out to be. Wow. I tried to always focus on the purpose behind anything I did, to help guide my steps, last year and it worked. My life is so strongly aligned around service and purpose now, like never before. I’m so grateful. But that’s just the start. I needed to acknowledge the spokes of this wheel with a worthy follow up mantra, a challenge to myself to see these things through to the next level of impact.

My 2019 phrase for myself is…. “Dominate!” Because it is born out of purpose, service and humility, I feel like I’d be blowing smoke in the face of God if I didn’t do everything I could to increase the impact of the blessings I have received in my own life over the past few years. So, as we enter into a new year, my prayer for each and every one of you is that you find your call to action for the year and make it your guiding principle in everything you do.

#love – Matt

The Elder Pole

Matt-Mittan-Poles-BenBy Matt Mittan

I’ve had a lot of fishing poles over the years but there is one that has proven itself over the test of time. It’s got a couple of eyes on it that have been repaired with the old dental floss/nail polish trick. The handle padding is worn down to the nub. And there are more stretch marks on its core than… never mind, I won’t finish that sentence.

Here’s where the magic is….

Read the Full Column in Angler Magazine <HERE>

I can’t be Silent about Sam

Commentary by Matt Mittan

(Warning: This post may tick some of you off but it might also set you free.)

We are living through a very tense time in our nation and I think it is imperative that we speak with moral clarity and candid truth.

NC has been thrust into the national spotlight again, on the issue of race, due to the toppling of the Confederate Monument on UNC referred to as “Silent Sam”.

Many who are angered over its desecration yell “it’s history, not hate” or “its about states rights, not racism”… The question we should be asking is not whether it should go back up or not but why was it put up in the first place and when?

Rather than argue for days on end, lets not guess but instead go to the source… The statue was put up in the Summer of 1913, during the Jim Crow era.

Here’s what UNC trustee and Confederate Veteran Julian Carr, the keynote speaker at Silent Sam’s unveiling ceremony said… (Taken directly from the transcript stored in the UNC Library achives.)

“The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo-Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race in the South. When ‘the bottom rail was on top’ all over the Southern states, and today, as a consequence, the purest strain of the Anglo-Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States — Praise God.
I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand [on Franklin Street], less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted an maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterward slept with a double-barrel shotgun under my head.”

Those are the words spoken right there at the statue, the day of its unveiling, by a trustee on UNC who was the invited keynote.

Here’s how I see it… We are at a crossroads of accountability in our country’s evolution. Are we going to rise above the darker truths of our history by owning the harshness of true evils that occurred, and become the shining light we propagate that we want to be, or will we continue to deny the ugly truths that – by our refusal to acknowledge – continue to chip away at the soul of our nation?

No… You didn’t own the slaves youselves… But your denail of the actual history and the plainly articulated sentiments behind so many of these ‘monuments’ is yours to own.

When you have been shown the truth but still subscribe to a false narative then it keeps wounds open, it breeds resentment and it marginalizes fellow citizens from discovering the common goals and shared values that exist between us, within our communities.

It’s been over 150 years since the Civil War ended. But it’s been less than an hour since I’ve seen people try to justify, defend or excuse the hate that lingers in its wake.

Rise above it. Please.

(Posted from a place of #love…)