As Chancellor, one of my chief roles is to share your stories and advocate for our campus. This month, I spent time with the UNC Board of Governors and had the opportunity to speak on behalf of Appalachian’s students, faculty and staff.
In my capacity serving on the Board of Governors’ Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, I had the privilege of hearing from student veterans across the state earlier this month. Our coordinator of student veteran services, Eric Gormly, brought information about a peer support network for military individuals transitioning to a campus environment to the attention of the committee, which is chaired by Judge William Webb. Eric is working with me to explore what it takes to launch this program successfully on our campus and across the UNC System.
For veterans who are raising families, day care options are vitally important and a priority as we progress on plans for improved and expanded facilities. Forty-six percent of post 9/11 veterans are 18–34 years of age. This group is a major consideration as we continue to bolster our student veteran resources, which have earned Appalachian its Military Friendly® School status. On average, these veterans achieve higher educational attainment than earlier generations and the general U.S. population. We are committed to making this campus a welcoming one for them.
I am working to share other initiatives important to Appalachian statewide. I shared the critical value of opening doors to higher education for all qualified students in a recent blog post.
I serve as co-chair of the Postsecondary Committee for My Future NC — an organization committed to building a statewide education plan, uniting stakeholders to best allocate resources, and building public awareness and engagement around key educational issues. While we continue to promote slow and steady growth at Appalachian, we are committed to increasing enrollments and retention for rural, first-generation students.
First-generation, legacy, veteran, international — however you have found your way to Appalachian, it is my honor to advocate for you every day. My best wishes to each of you, as well as our faculty and staff, for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor