Update from Appalachian State University
With the first day of classes just over three weeks away, campus is bustling with activity. The second Summer Session is in full swing, many middle and high school students participating in academic and athletic camps are enjoying the late summer Boone climate, and An Appalachian Summer Festival is wrapping up its 38th season.
On Saturday, we celebrated the patrons of An Appalachian Summer Festival with a toast to their steadfast commitment to sustaining artistic excellence in the High Country. App State’s annual celebration of the performing and visual arts has enhanced the cultural life of the community for nearly four decades, and we thank these donors for their vision and generosity.
On Monday, we held the inaugural meeting of the advisory board for App State’s newest lab school, the App State Academy at Elkin. We are excited to welcome approximately 100 of App State’s youngest students to begin their academic year in just a few weeks. The new App State Academy at Elkin will utilize a “school-within-a-school” model and will serve students in second through fourth grades. As we continue to build on the success that the App State Academy at Middle Fork has achieved over the last four years, we have seen strong support from the UNC System Board of Governors and the North Carolina General Assembly. App State is the only UNC System institution to operate two lab schools, and we greatly appreciate the trust placed in us to replicate this model in other North Carolina school districts. Thank you to Dean Melba Spooner, Dr. Hannah Reeder, Dr. Amie Snow, their team at the Reich College of Education, Elkin City Schools, Elkin City Schools Superintendent Myra Cox and Academy Principal Emma Hatfield-Sidden for their leadership and dedication toward this program’s development.
Building renovations are beginning at our App State @ Hickory Campus, our Child Development Center expansion project is nearly complete, and this week, our first Resident Assistants began moving into New River Residence Hall. On Tuesday, we hosted UNC Board of Governors members Philip Byers and John Fraley for a tour of campus to provide them with updates on these projects, and the many others we have underway. Our tour included a visit to the site of the Innovation District, and updates on the expansion and renovation of Peacock Hall, as well as renovations to many of our other academic buildings, thanks to allocations from the best biennial budget in App’s history. We thank the members of the Board of Governors for their advocacy, and the members of the General Assembly and North Carolina Governor Cooper for the critical financial support that is allowing us to continue our core mission of ensuring access to higher education for the people of North Carolina, while advancing economic development and vitality in the region.
Yesterday concluded the Chancellor’s Summer Institute for academic department chairs, and I was pleased to host this group for a reception to celebrate their thoughtful engagement during the many sessions. Over the last three weeks, these individuals have demonstrated their passionate and unwavering commitment to the success of our students. App State is fortunate to have such an outstanding group of chairs leading our academic departments.
A special thanks to the dedicated faculty who have been working so hard throughout the summer months teaching our students and continuing exciting research, and to our staff, who support our faculty, students and guests, ensuring a safe, welcoming and beautiful environment for all. With the excitement and anticipation of a new academic year before us, late summer invites us to pause in the midst of our celebrations and preparations, enjoy the beauty of the mountains and savor the moments that mark the season. I hope you can all find some time to do so.