We’re now into the second week of classes, and the Appalachian Community is settling into the consistent rhythm of the fall semester — classes, studying, campus activities and exploring our mountain location. Appalachian academics are rigorous and designed to push students to think critically and creatively. The beginning of each semester is always a good time to review the robust resources our university provides that help all students succeed.
These offerings — many of them guided by our stellar faculty — include early academic interventions, wellness and prevention services, financial aid assistance and career counseling, and contribute to Appalachian’s impressive retention rate, which is about 20% above the national average. We help students establish a foundation for success that lasts a lifetime. Evidence of this, our alumni, nearly 97,000 of whom reside in North Carolina, boast a college debt repayment rate that is 20% above the national average.
Tomorrow is Appalachian’s Black and Gold Convocation, a time when the Appalachian Community gathers to officially commence the new academic year — a time to celebrate and appreciate our rich history and traditions. This year’s event holds particular importance because 2019 marks our university’s 120th anniversary of educational leadership. I’m thrilled to welcome home our guest speaker — 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Dr. Harry L. Williams ’86 ’88 ’95, a respected higher education advocate who serves as president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
The success and well-being of our Appalachian Community are always our top priority.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor