Message from Chancellor Everts, included in Appalachian Connections newsletter for parents and families

Thursday, July 7, 2016

At Appalachian, we promote a spirit of inclusion that inspires students, faculty and staff to form relationships well beyond graduation. Our students and alumni think critically and understand the responsibilities of community engagement.

Appalachian’s identity is built on the university’s tradition. Since inception, the university has had one vision – putting students first by providing access to a quality education. Conceived by the Dougherty brothers over a century ago, this vision has been built upon by each successive chancellor. This tradition is important to me, and I have worked to honor it by working with the entire Appalachian Community to continue building upon our distinctive identity and core values.

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

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. Recently, I announced Paul Forte will join our campus community on August 1 as vice chancellor for business affairs. Soon we will embark on searches for the next vice chancellors for Student Development and University Advancement, who will replace Cindy Wallace and Susan Pettyjohn respectively. I greatly appreciate the years of service and commitment Cindy and Susan have dedicated to our university. As we move forward together, I am confident the faculty, staff and students will chart a course toward a bright future.

I am pleased to share that Leroy Wright, who joined Appalachian as associate vice chancellor for student development in January 2016, will serve as interim vice chancellor for student development. With more than 18 years experience in student affairs administration, Wright received a bachelor’s degree in human resource management and a minor in multicultural relations from Ferris State University and his master’s degree in counseling from Northern Arizona University. Most recently, Wright served as the dean of student life for 10 years at Ferris State University in MI after serving as an assistant director of housing and residence life for 4 years. Leroy brings a wealth of experience in multiple areas of student affairs. The campus will engage in a national search to find Appalachian’s next vice chancellor for student development. Please watch for more information and opportunities to participate and share your feedback during this important search.

Ultimately, the reason our stellar faculty and staff come to work every day is to realize this vision, which can be summed up in one key phrase: we put students first, always, and together we are building a bright future.