Update from Appalachian State University
Happy New Year, Mountaineers!
After an incredible 2023, I look forward to welcoming our faculty, staff and especially our students — new and returning — to the start of the spring semester on Tuesday.
Our students are aspiring to join the more than 147,000 App State alumni around the world. More than 110,000 live and work in North Carolina, contributing to our state’s growing economy. We can all be proud that App State provides a top-rate education at a great value. Our investment in our students’ success is borne out in the data: We’re third in the UNC System for retention and graduation rates — behind only UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State — and our students graduate with some of the lowest college debt in the nation. Top publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, Money.com, The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, recognize the quality of the App State educational experience — in the classroom and online. For four years running, we've been nationally recognized for our institutional innovation. For seven consecutive years, we’ve been nationally recognized for our undergraduate teaching excellence, and we have a long track record of national recognition for our support for military families and transfer students.
These accolades speak to our commitment to the mission set forth by our founders to expand access to education, and we continue to carry that mission forward as we mark our 125th year as an institution. Throughout the year, we will celebrate our historic quasquicentennial milestone with various events, academic programs, tributes and commemorations.
Since my last message to campus, our App State football program won the 2023 Cure Bowl with a 13–9 victory over Mid-American Champion Miami (Ohio) University on Dec. 16 — a terrific way to end 2023! It was a very wet game, but Mountaineers fans embraced the rain (and warmer weather!), supporting our team to victory as they took our bowl record to 7–1 since we joined the Sun Belt in 2014. Congratulations to Coach Shawn Clark and our exceptional student-athletes!
On Monday, the university will be closed in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. App State will commemorate Dr. King’s legacy, leadership and life with programs scheduled for Jan. 24–26 and continue our decadeslong tradition of commemorating his legacy with community service projects in February.
As we look ahead to a new year and a new semester beginning on Tuesday, the horizon is bright and possibilities abound for App State. I look forward to our collective celebration of App State’s 125 years of academic excellence and service to the people of our region, as we continue to shape an exciting future — making a difference in the world, one student at a time.