Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University
Motto Esse quam videri (Latin)[1]
Motto in English
To be, rather than to seem
Type Public
Established 1899
Parent institution
UNC System
Academic affiliation
Endowment $300.77 million)[2]
Chancellor Sheri Noren Everts
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 19,026[3]
Undergraduates 18,024[3]
Postgraduates 1,002[3]
Location Boone, North Carolina, U.S.
Campus College town, 1,300 acres (5.3 km2)[4]
Colors Black and Gold[5]
Nickname Mountaineers
Mascot Yosef
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division ISun Belt

Appalachian State University /ˌæpəˈlæən/[6] (also referred to as Appalachian, App State, App, ASU) is a comprehensive (Master's L),[7] public, coeducational university in Boone, North Carolina, United States.

Appalachian State was founded as a teacher's college in 1899 by brothers B.B. and D.D. Dougherty. It expanded to include other programs in 1967, and joined the University of North Carolina system in 1971. It is the system's sixth largest institution with about 16,000 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students.[8] It offers 174 undergraduate[9] and 37[10] graduate majors as well as a doctoral degree in educational leadership.

The university has been ranked among the top 10 Southern Master's Universities since the U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges Guide began publication in 1986.[11]


Appalachian State University began in 1899 when a group of citizens in Watauga County, under the leadership of Blanford B. Dougherty and his brother Dauphin D. Dougherty, began a movement to educate teachers in northwestern North Carolina.[12] Land was donated by Daniel B. Dougherty, father of the leaders in the enterprise, and by J. F. Hardin. On this site a wood frame building, costing $1,000, was erected by contributions from citizens of the town and county.[13] In the fall of 1899, the Dougherty brothers, acting as co-principals, began the school which was named Watauga Academy. The first year saw 53 students enrolled in three grades.[12]

In 1903, after interest in the school had spread to adjoining counties, D. D. Doughterty was convinced the state would fund institutions established to train teachers. He traveled to the state capital, Raleigh, after drafting a bill.[12] W. C. Newland of Caldwell County introduced the bill in the North Carolina Legislature to make this a state school, with an appropriation for maintenance and for building. Captain E. F. Lovill of Watauga County, R. B. White of Franklin County, Clyde Hoey of Cleveland County and E. J. Justice of McDowell County spoke in favor of the measure. On March 9, 1903, the bill became law, and the Appalachian Training School for Teachers was established. The school opened on October 5, 1903 with $2,000 from the state and 325 students.[12]

For 22 years, there was a period of steady growth, academic development, and valuable service to the state. In 1925, the legislature changed the name to the Appalachian State Normal School and appropriated additional funding for maintenance and permanent improvement. Four years later, in 1929, the school became a four-year degree granting institution and was renamed Appalachian State Teachers College. Over 1,300 students were enrolled in degree programs offered for primary grades education, physical education, math, English, science, and history.[12]

Appalachian State Teachers College Seal

Appalachian attained national standards by becoming accredited by the American Association for Teacher Education in 1939, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1942.[12] In 1948 a Graduate School was formed. Dr. Dougherty retired in 1955, after 56 years of serving the school. J. D. Rankin became interim president until Dr. William H. Plemmons was installed. Plemmons lead from 1955 to 1969, and his administration oversaw the addition of new buildings as the campus expanded and enrollment grew to nearly 5,000 students.[12]

Appalachian was transformed from a single-purpose teacher’s college into a multipurpose regional university and Appalachian State Teacher’s College became Appalachian State University in 1967. Growth continued in the 1970s to around 9,500 students and 550 faculty. Afterward, four degree granting undergraduate colleges were created: Arts and Sciences, Business, Fine and Applied Arts, and Education. Dr. Herbert Wey succeeded Plemmons as president in 1969 and was named chancellor in 1971.[12] In 1972 Appalachian State became part of the University of North Carolina system.


A view from Sanford Mall. From left to right is D.D. Dougherty Hall, Belk Library, and Plemmons Student Union

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, Appalachian State University has one of the highest elevations of any university in the United States east of the Mississippi River, at 3,333 feet (1,016 m). The university's main campus is in downtown Boone, a town of 13,328,[14] compared to an ASU enrollment of 15,871 students.[15] The campus encompasses 1,300 acres (5.3 km2), including a main campus of 410 acres (1.7 km2) with 21 residence halls, four dining facilities, 19 academic buildings, and 11 recreation/athletic facilities.[15]

The center of campus is nicknamed Sanford Mall, an open grassy quad between the student union, dining halls, and library. Sanford Hall, located on the mall's edge, is named for Terry Sanford, a former governor of the state. Rivers Street, a thoroughfare for town and university traffic, essentially divides the campus into east and west sections with underground tunnels and a pedestrian bridge connecting the two halves. The eastern half includes Sanford Mall, Plemmons Student Union, Roess Dining Hall (formerly known as Central Dining Hall), and Belk Library, along with two communities of residence halls, Eastridge and Pinnacle. The west side has Trivette Dining Hall, the Student Recreation Center (or SRC), the Quinn Recreation Center, Kidd Brewer Stadium, and Stadium Heights and Yosef Hollow, the two remaining residence hall communities. At the north end, Bodenheimer Drive crosses over Rivers Street and leads to Appalachian Heights (an apartment-style residence hall), Mountaineer Hall, the Chancellor's House, the Living Learning Center, the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, and Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. The George M. Holmes Convocation Center at the south end of Rivers Street is the gateway and entrance to campus.

The campus seen from the summit of Howard Knob

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on the edge of main campus is the university's visual art center. The Turchin Center is the largest visual arts center in northwestern North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia.[16] It displays rotating exhibits indoors and outdoors, some exhibits being culturally specific to the Appalachians, and offers community outreach programs through art courses. The newly renovated Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, a 1,635 seat performance venue,[17] hosts artists from around the world.


The University of North Carolina's Board of Governors plans and develops the coordinated system of higher education with the state. They set university policy but delegate Appalachian State's daily operations to a chancellor.[18] The chancellor likewise delegates some duties to the provost, several vice-chancellors, and other administrative offices. These administrative offices are advised by several university committees on the needs of campus constituents, as represented by a Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Graduate Student Association Senate, and the Student Government Association.



Academic Profile

Rankings and recognition


Belk Library rotunda

In 2005, the Carol Grotnes Belk Library & Information Commons opened in a new 165,000-square-foot (15,300 m2) five-story building. Belk Library holds over 1,871,000 bound books and periodicals, 1.5 million microforms, 24,000 sound recordings, and 14,000 videos.[24] The Library holds varying collections, including the W.L Eury Appalachian Collection for regional studies and the Stock Car Racing Collection. With the opening of the new library building in 2005, Bill and Maureen Rhinehart of Long Island, New York, donated a large collection of rare books in English history, spanning from the 16th to the 19th centuries.The university created a special collections room for this valuable donation which includes some 900 volumes comprising nearly 450 titles.The entire collection was published in two volumes of an annotated bibliography, comprised by retired English professor Dr. M. John Higby. Both volumes comprise almost 240 pages and are excellent in both scholarship and thoroughness.It was the last major endeavor of his distinguished career in education. Besides serving university patrons, the library also serves the local community with circulation available to registered patrons.


Appalachian State offers 174 undergraduate and 37 graduate majors.[25] The average GPA for incoming freshmen in 2015 was 4.14.[26] Courses at Appalachian are organized into eight colleges and one graduate school:[27]

The College of Arts and Sciences houses 15 programs in the humanities, social sciences, math, and natural science. The departments in the college are:

The College of Fine and Applied Arts has five departments:

The College of Health Sciences trains healthcare workers in areas such as nursing, nutrition, communication disorders, exercise science, and health care management.[30]

The Honors College accepts both incoming freshmen and qualified students already attending the University. Students live in one of two Honors residence halls and take at least one honors class per semester. The college also helps students with career or graduate school planning, and connects students with study abroad trips or fellowships.[31]

The Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music offers the following undergraduate programs in music performance and industry:

In addition, graduate degrees are offered in Music Therapy and Music Education, and there is a certificate in Jazz Music.[32]

The Reich College of Education trains preschool, primary, and secondary school teachers and educational specialists through six departments:

The college also houses the University's only doctorate program, which is in Educational Leadership[33]

University College is the home of Appalachian State's first-year seminar, learning assistance program, and the Watauga Global Community. University College also offers five degrees.

The Walker College of Business trains students through academic departments in:

In addition, the college houses an MBA program and Master of Science in Accounting program.[35]

The Cratis D. Williams Graduate School administers graduate degrees and certificates through several programs.

Distance education

Appalachian State University offers off-campus courses through three off-campus centers. These centers are:

Off-campus programs offer students the ability to maintain family and careers while working toward a degree. Full-time undergraduate programs are available in Elementary Education, Advertising, Criminal Justice, Management, Social Work and Psychology. Appalachian provides a variety of off-campus, part-time undergraduate and graduate programs.


The university publishes or holds copyrights to several periodicals, including:

The University's faculty contribute to a variety of peer reviewed journals as listed by the Belk Library's faculty publications database, and members of its Department of Physics and Astronomy serve as editors for the nationally distinguished journal The Physics Teacher.

Centers and institutes

The university houses several academic centers and institutes related to its mission. These include:

Student life

Students at ASU enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. The mountains offer snowboarding, skiing, tubing, rock climbing, hiking, rafting, camping, and fishing on and around the Blue Ridge Parkway. ASU also has over 400 clubs and organizations run by the McCaskey Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, such as Greek organizations, academic and diversity clubs, and sports clubs.[38] The university also has volunteer centers including the Multicultural Center, the LGBT Center, and the Women's Center (which is the only completely volunteer run Women's Center in the state of North Carolina).[39] All three centers are under the supervision of the Multicultural Student Development Office.[40]

Appalachian Popular Programming Society (A.P.P.S.) is a university funded organization that exists to plan and provide diverse educational, enriching, and entertaining events for the community and student body of Appalachian State. Through its seven programming councils, A.P.P.S. members select, plan, promote, and present a diverse variety of popular entertainment programs and films which enhance the social and cultural life for Appalachian students.[41] A.P.P.S. was founded in 1985 to help with the student nightlife and to support retention. APPS plays a vital role in fostering and developing an inclusive Appalachian State University community.[42] The seven councils include: Appalachian heritage, club shows, concerts, cultural awareness and student engagement (CASE), films, special events, and stage shows.


Appalachian State University leads in creating a world where environmental, societal, and economic qualities exist in balance to meet the resource needs of today and of future generations.

Appalachian has made many sustainable strides in recent years such as:


Appalachian's sports teams are nicknamed the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and are members of the Sun Belt Conference. Appalachian fields varsity teams in 20 sports, 10 for men and 10 for women.[51] The Mountaineer football team competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision starting in the 2014–2015 academic year.

Kidd Brewer Stadium

Kidd Brewer Stadium is the 30,000 seat home of Appalachian football. Affectionately nicknamed "The Rock", the stadium is located at an elevation of 3,333 feet (1,016 m).

Holmes Convocation Center

The George M. Holmes Convocation Center is the home court for Appalachian's basketball teams. The 200,840-square-foot (18,659 m2) arena, with seating for 8,325, is also the home for volleyball and indoor track and field.

University Recreation (UREC) also offers 19 club sports that compete with other regional institutions on a non-varsity level. They are: lacrosse (men's and women's), rugby (men's and women's), soccer (men's and women's), ultimate frisbee (men's and women's), volleyball (men's and women's), climbing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, ice hockey, skiing, racquetball, snowboarding, swimming, and triathlon.

The university's cycling team has had success at the regional and national level, they compete within the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference. The team competes in every discipline of bicycle racing that is acknowledged by National Collegiate Cycling Association within USA Cycling. This includes road bicycle racing, Mountain bike racing and Cyclocross. The team won the Division 2, as established by USA Cycling, collegiate team mountain bike national championships in 2008. They won the Division 2 collegiate team cyclocross national championships in 2008 and 2009.[52] The team is now recognized as a Division 1 team.

On February 19, 2011, the Appalachian State Mountaineer Women's Basketball Team won the 2011 Southern Conference regular season title, the last time they had won the title was 1996. This is a first for Head Coach Darcie Vincent. On May 18, 2012, the Appalachian State Baseball team beat Western Carolina University, becoming Southern Conference baseball champions for the first time since 1985.[53]


Appalachian won three consecutive Division I FCS (I-AA) national championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007, over the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Delaware, respectively. The Mountaineers are the first FCS team to win three straight national championships since the playoffs began in 1978. They are also the first Division I program to win three consecutive national championships since Army accomplished the feat in 1944, 1945, and 1946.[54]

In a milestone for ASU athletics, on September 1, 2007, the Appalachian State football team played their season opener at the fifth-ranked University of Michigan in front of the largest crowd to ever witness an ASU football game. Appalachian State beat Michigan in the game that would become known as the "Alltime Upset" by Sports Illustrated with a final score of 34–32 and became the first Division I FCS (I-AA) football team to defeat a Division I FBS (I-A) team ranked in the AP poll.[55]

Athletic Bands

The Hayes School of Music provides support for the Mountaineers at all home football games with the Marching Mountaineers, and at all home basketball games with the Appalachian Pep Band. The Marching Mountaineers travel to a select few away games each football season. The director of the Athletic Bands is Dr. Kevin Richardson. In addition to supporting the athletic department, the Marching Mountaineers have assisted the Rho Tau Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in hosting the Appalachian Marching Band Festival annually.[56]

In media

In 2004, a committee for the Appalachian Family Caravan tour created a promotional video titled "Hot Hot Hot," shown throughout the area by Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. The video became an inadvertent internet phenomenon and was featured on VH1’s Web Junk 20 program in early 2006.[57] The video was never intended to promote Appalachian State to anyone but the Family Caravan, much less as a recruiting tool for prospective students. The video is no longer used by the university, due to student and alumni protests.

In 2002, MTV's program Road Rules visited ASU to produce an episode called Campus Crawl, aired on-campus during an annual, winter student swimming event called the "Polar Plunge". The shows participants also crossed a high-wire strung between Coltrane and Gardner Halls.

On March 16, 2012, Appalachian State placed a tenured sociology professor on administrative leave for a variety of charges, which included showing an anti-pornography documentary, The Price of Pleasure. This move gained national attention from the academic community.[58]

Notable alumni

Arts and entertainment


Economics and finance

Government and law

Ministry and religion



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External links

Coordinates: 36°12′50″N 81°40′43″W / 36.213843°N 81.678621°W / 36.213843; -81.678621

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