Focus on Students Inspires a Bright Future
Welcome to the first Message from the Chancellor as part of the alumni newsletter. These messages will provide another opportunity for me to share campus updates, news from events, and important information about special topics that will help ensure you, our engaged alumni, are part of the Appalachian conversation.
Our campus has celebrated many successes. We saw the voters of North Carolina approve the Connect NC bond that will provide $70 million for Appalachian’s new home for the Beaver College of Health Sciences. On May 5, nearly 2,200 alumni and friends broke the university’s one-day giving record, contributing $197,766.80 on iBackApp day. Thank you to all the Mountaineers who made this day a success. Also in May, we celebrated Commencement and another group of stellar graduates joined the ranks of Mountaineer Alumni!
We have welcomed new faculty and staff and we have seen others retire or reach for the next opportunity in their future. With Appalachian’s national reputation for excellence in higher education and our continuing emphasis on students and their transformational experience, we are able to attract new leaders who can carry on our long and proud tradition. Notably, we welcome three new deans to campus: Phyllis Kloda, currently Associate Dean, School of The Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and Chair, Department of Art at State University of New York At Brockport, joins us as Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Melba Spooner, currently Associate Dean, College of Education at UNC Charlotte, joins us as Dean of the Reich College of Education. Heather Hulburt Norris, who has been serving as Interim Dean for the Walker College of Business, has been selected as Dean. Our campus will soon embark on searches for the next vice chancellors for Student Development and University Advancement, who will replace Cindy Wallace and Susan Pettyjohn respectively. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cindy and Susan for their years of service and commitment to our university. As we move forward together, I am confident the faculty, staff and students will chart a course toward a bright future.
Appalachian’s outlook has always been promising and moving ever forward. This is because its focus is squarely on the students who come to this special place to learn, grow and prepare for leadership. Because students are our focus, I’d like to share just a few accolades garnered by our students in recent months:
- Students Elizabeth Hundley, Megan Everhart and Kaitlyn Hutchens have been named SOURCE Awards winners for their conceptual lighting design projects in power management company Eaton’s 39th annual lighting design competition. This marks the third year in a row a student from the university has taken home the top honor, and the second year all three winners have been Appalachian students. Read more
- Students enrolled in Principles of Fund Raising, an upper-level class within the school’s nonprofit management minor, raised over $12,000 for High Country nonprofits during the spring semester. Read more
- Joshua Whitehead has been selected as the 2016-17 winner of Appalachian State University’s Truman Capote Literary Trust Award for Creative Writing. He is a rising senior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in theatre arts. Read more
- Sixty-one Appalachian State University undergraduates representing 25 different academic departments presented their research at the 30th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research at UNC Asheville. Read more
- Two-hundred and twenty-two students were named to the athletics department's academic honor roll for the 2016 spring semester. Those honored included 143 student-athletes and 35 student athletic trainers, managers, cheerleaders and support staff. To be included on the academic honor roll, a student must have a 3.25 or higher semester GPA while enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours. Read more
- Six new Wilson Scholars were chosen for Appalachian’s most prestigious full-ride scholarship, making the total number of recipients of this scholarship, which emphasizes academic excellence, leadership and service, 14. The scholarship is now in its third year. Read more
- Chancellor’s scholar and junior geology major Devin K. Hoffman is a recent recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Hoffman will spend this summer doing fieldwork in Turkey before returning to Appalachian for his senior year. Read more
These are just a few of the many success stories our students live every day and we must be diligent in identifying and providing new ways to support them. For example, the Willie C. Fleming Scholarship committee interviewed 11 applicants at Scholars Day with the intent of awarding four $1,000 scholarships – three one-time scholarships and one four-year renewable scholarship. After the interview process, we were able to allocate an additional $500,000 for these scholarships as a way of recruiting historically underrepresented students. In light of this additional funding, Appalachian was able to award the top six applicants with a one-time scholarship that covers full in-state tuition and fees, renewable up to eight semesters – a significant increase in addition to the original awards. Read more
I hope you enjoyed this update from the mountain and that it strengthened your Appalachian pride. As alumni, you are the best ambassadors for the Black & Gold and are important links in the long tradition of a campus community focused on students in an environment of educational excellence, leadership and service.
I look forward to providing you with additional updates in the coming months.