Remarks from the Installation of Dr. Sheri N. Everts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Installation of Dr. Sheri N. Everts
Friday, April 17, 2015
Holmes Convocation Center, on the campus of Appalachian State University

Remarks by Sheri N. Everts, Chancellor

Good morning and thank you all for being part of this occasion celebrating the stellar history and bright future of Appalachian State University. I am honored to serve as Appalachian’s seventh Chancellor and humbly accept the task entrusted to me by our students, faculty, staff, the UNC system and our state.

Looking out over this audience, I am reminded why I wanted to be part of this great academic endeavor. A university campus is an amazing place of confluence where great leaders and ideas emerge for the betterment of society. Our remarkable students, faculty and staff, combined with an engaged community, make this a very special place to live and work. The passion for teaching, learning, innovation, creativity and service is palpable on this campus and each day I am renewed by our community’s dedication to making a difference in the world.

Governor McCrory - Thank you for your remarks and for being with us in the High Country to celebrate Appalachian. Please know that you have a standing invitation to visit our campus and witness firsthand how our university brings people together in inspiring ways to fulfill our core academic mission of teaching, scholarship, and service.

The Honorable Virginia A. Foxx - Your greetings are greatly appreciated and I thank you for your leadership and representation of our great state in Congress. I look forward to working with you to support Appalachian in fulfillment of its mission for the betterment of our region and state.

The Honorable Joseph Nelson Dollar - As one of Appalachian’s most respected alumni, it is an honor to welcome you back to campus. Thank you for the important work you do with the North Carolina General Assembly and for employing your Appalachian education to make a difference.

Mr. Scott Lampe and the Board of Governors - Governor Lampe, thank you for bringing greetings on behalf of the Board of Governors and for the trust you have placed in me to serve my colleagues at Appalachian. The UNC system is the premier system of higher education and I thank the board for their support of our system and Appalachian.

President Tom Ross - I am very appreciative of President Ross’ leadership and the support he has provided to me and Appalachian. Thank you President Ross for your support and for your service to our system and state.

The Honorable Gary L. Henderson - One might begin to get the idea that Appalachian alumni do very well after leaving our campus. It is a privilege to have my oath of office administered by such an accomplished alumnus. Thank you for being here in support of your alma mater and for your continued engagement with our campus.

Mayor Andy Ball - Our university’s focus and quality in the areas of civic engagement and service-learning are part of our essential character. This intersection of classroom learning and real world experience are a very powerful educational combination and is made possible by engaged partnerships within our community. Mayor Ball, thank you for your leadership and willingness to support the collaborative opportunities that make both our campus and town stronger.

Former Chancellors who join us today, the platform party, Chancellor’s Cabinet and all of our fabulous faculty present - It is challenging and exhilarating to be among people whose dedication has made such a positive and powerful difference for our university.

Chair Bradley T. Adcock and the Board of Trustees - Chair Adcock, thank you for your introduction and for your leadership on our board. Appalachian is indeed fortunate to have trustees that are passionate and engaged in their work on behalf of our university. It is a real honor to work with these dedicated individuals and to witness their commitment to service.

The Appalachian Community - Thank you all for being here today and for welcoming me as a partner in this great endeavor. I am humbled by your collegiality and support and know that together we can accomplish amazing things.

Family - I’ll thank you privately later.

Miriam – 50th wedding anniversary.

As President Ross mentioned, Appalachian State has adopted the state motto as our own. The translation of the motto from its original Latin is this: “To Be Rather Than To Seem”

These were words selected as the North Carolina state motto by jurist and historian Walter Clark, in 1893. At App State I believe we manifest the motto in a special way: “to be” means we—faculty, staff, students—are first and foremost “doers.” We are here “to be” passionate, energetic, risk takers who push ourselves and our students to stretch goals every day. It’s not how we “seem” to others that matters, but what we do to grow to new heights continually to enhance the lives of our students, our alumni, and the extended communities in which we work and live—Boone, the state of North Carolina, and far beyond.

Since arriving on Appalachian’s campus, I have been deeply impressed by the dedication of the people of this University community who put students first in this life-changing enterprise that we all have the privilege of serving. You are people who, each day, embrace the challenges and complexities of connecting with students by teaching, learning their needs and wants, listening and counseling toward our ultimate product—a brighter future. And you contribute to that future because for you, “to be” is risk-taking in ways that are innovative; invested; creative; inquisitive; committed; adventurous; caring; and engaged—and always principled. That’s what “being” as opposed to “seeming” really means. For this you earn my deepest admiration and gratitude.

Our risk taking and student focus is not just our culture today—it is the core of our history as a University. At the very beginning the Doctors Dougherty brothers took risk to create a new college that provided access to education for children in the mountains by providing quality teachers to serve the high country of North Carolina. They were here “to be” the source of a brighter future for the children of the previously educationally underserved communities of the high country. Appalachian was founded on the power of education to change individual lives and thereby the world. The isolation of the early years with its challenges and hardships led to one of Appalachian’s enduring essential characteristics – a strong pioneering spirit. And that pioneering spirit has grown to the Appalachian State of today producing committed and highest quality teachers, musicians, artists, scientists, health professionals—and yes—a community far beyond the campus borders with an always brightening future.

So to the Brothers, Doctors Dougherty we say “thank you” for charting the path for App State “to be” now and continue “to be” hereafter risk-taking and passionate pioneers for our students’ futures.

Today I am profoundly grateful for the privilege to serve as your colleague, advocate, and supporter as we engage in the pioneering, imaginative, and courageous work before us. I commend our students, faculty, staff, friends and community for living our university motto each and every day. Appalachian is indeed the place "to be."