Comments from Sun Belt Celebration Day

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Today is an important day for Appalachian Athletics and for our university. The move to the Sun Belt Conference means more opportunities for our student-athletes and that is exactly what they are – students first – who also show the amazing dedication and work ethic to participate in their sport at the college level. Our university has a core academic mission and we are recognized nationally as a leader in higher education. Our faculty and staff have built a strong foundation of academic excellence and it is always at the forefront of our efforts.

Athletics can play a critical role in supporting our academic mission by providing students a venue to earn a degree, by rallying the community, engaging alumni and friends, and raising the visibility of our university. This increased visibility can help grow our pool of prospective students and serve as an entrée for people to learn about our transformational Appalachian Experience. Enjoying a rich college sports tradition does not take our eyes off the core educational mission of our university. Rather, it serves as an enriching experience that brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to celebrate the challenge of competition and pride in our university.

As Appalachian Athletics begins its first day in the Sun Belt Conference, I join you in supporting our student-athletes. I thank them for their commitment to education and their dedication to their sport. I think the only thing left to say is, GO MOUNTAINEERS!

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