Remarks from the August 19, 2021 Team Sunergy celebration

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Thank you, Lee, for your leadership of this great team. Please join me in thanking Lee.

Thank you all so much for being here. I am thrilled to see so many folks show up to congratulate, recognize and thank this amazing group of people.

Last week, our team brought home a first-place trophy from the 2021 American Solar Challenge, immediately after their second-place win at the 2021 Formula Sun Grand Prix. Team Sunergy competed with grace and finesse against elite universities — including MIT, University of California, Berkeley and Georgia Tech — in tests of skill, strategy, endurance and engineering expertise. That deserves a round of applause!

As you can see by the numerous awards and trophies on this table, Team Sunergy’s 2021 win is not an anomaly. Our team is highly decorated. Since App State began competing in solar vehicle competitions in 2016, we have earned top awards in each and every race in which we have competed.

What began in 2013 as a class project to build a solar-powered golf cart blossomed into an interdisciplinary team that has earned the respect and admiration of the entire international solar racing community. Everyone has heard of App because of all of you.

As one of only two universities in the American Solar Challenge without an engineering program, our student-led team continues to excel among a roster of highly respected universities. I am extraordinarily proud of their ingenuity, perseverance and teamwork. These students — and the faculty and staff who helped lead them to victory — truly epitomize the Mountaineer spirit. We are all so very, very proud of how they continue to represent App State on the world stage.

Our team carries forward App State’s commitment to sustainability and shows the world what is possible with a lot of sunshine, even more grit, and boundless support from the Appalachian Community.

In case you can’t tell, I have proclaimed myself the team’s number one fan — I am the president of your fan club! I keep reminders of the team’s success in the Chancellor’s office and at Appalachian House. You are going to see those for yourselves because I am looking forward to hosting the members of Team Sunergy for a reception at Appalachian House very soon.

Now, I hope you all are as excited as I am to hear directly from members of our team and to see our cruiser, ROSE, in action.

Thank you so much for joining us in this celebration and this incredible success of this amazing team.