Living and Learning in the Blue Ridge Mountains

A natural setting for exceptional learning
Friday, July 12, 2019

Our home in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers infinite opportunities for exploration, and we recently received external validation to that point. Peterson’s — the world’s leading educational services company — named Appalachian in its “The 20 Best Colleges for Outdoor Enthusiasts” list. The university placed 13th out of the 20 recognized schools nationwide, which were ranked based on the academic and recreational opportunities they provide.

At Appalachian, outdoor recreation builds on the foundations set by our academic programs — simultaneously nurturing the growth of the Appalachian Community. Whether our students and faculty are on a mountaintop, in a classroom, on the banks of a river or on an athletic field, important learning is taking place.

Our academic offerings also make good use of our living laboratory — rich with watersheds, rivers, forests, rock outcrops and highly diverse animal and plant communities — and engage students and faculty with the outdoors. The recent Appalachian-produced documentary about Moses Cone's Flat Top Manor gives an intimate look at one such local landmark and highlights the experiential education received by our students.

As often as possible, Appalachian designs outdoor recreation offerings to have lifelong benefits. For instance, more than 240 students participate each summer in First Ascent, a wilderness orientation program for incoming first-year and transfer students, and more than 40 students are trained to become outdoor adventure trip leaders through Outdoor Programs’ Instructor Development Program. Our students thrive in these programs and feel daily the impact of our incomparable location on their lives and studies.

The Appalachian Experience is all the better because of our location in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

/s/ Sheri Everts

Sheri Everts, Chancellor