We’re almost there! Tomorrow and Saturday, nearly 3,600 spring 2018 graduates will join a group of alumni more than 120,000 strong. I look forward to congratulating many of you as you cross the stage to your next exciting destination.
Last week, representatives from Tesla and Palmetto, two of the top solar energy companies in the world, were on our campus recruiting. They were at Appalachian, they said, because they were looking for leaders. They certainly came to the right place! Appalachian tracks where its graduates go and notes high success rates — 86 percent of the 2015-16 undergraduate students and 93 percent of graduate students were either employed or enrolled in postsecondary education within a year of graduation.
Those impressive numbers are due in large part to the extraordinary faculty who dedicate their lives to our students’ success. In March, Appalachian’s Board of Trustees conferred emeriti status on 26 individuals and a number of faculty received promotion and/or tenure. Our students look every day to the thinkers, the doers, the leaders across our campus for knowledge, assurance and guidance. It is imperative we reward and retain the best possible faculty available.
Behind the scenes are the amazing staff who sustain this university — negotiating contracts, balancing budgets, preparing our food, maintaining our buildings and grounds, scheduling, counseling and caring for the Appalachian Community.
The recently initiated Staff Shout Out program provides a small way to recognize those who rise above. Here’s my personal shout out to each of you: Thank you for your untiring efforts and accomplishments!
For those of you moving along or just taking some time off campus for the summer — good luck and safe travels. To the rest of you, here’s to another glorious season in the High Country.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor