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Appalachian State University (ASU) is a comprehensive (Master's L), public, coeducational university located in Boonemarker, North Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker. Appalachian ( ) State, also referred to as App State or simply App, is the sixth largest institution in the University of North Carolinamarker system. The university has been ranked among the top 15 Southern Master's Universities since the U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges Guide began publication in 1986. In 2001, Appalachian was recognized by TIME Magazine as a College of the Year.


Appalachian State University began in 1899 when a group of citizens in Watauga Countymarker, under the leadership of Blanford B. Dougherty and his brother Dauphin D. Dougherty, began a movement to educate teachers in Northwest North Carolina. 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. 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.

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, Raleighmarker, after drafting a bill. 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.

For twenty-two 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.
Appalachian State Teachers College Seal

Appalachian attained national standards by becoming accredited by the American Association for Teacher Education in 1939, andthe Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1942. 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.

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


Daniel Boone sculpture
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolinamarker, Appalachian State University has one of the highest elevations of any university in the United Statesmarker east of the Mississippi River, at . The university's main campus is in downtown Boonemarker, a town that supports a population of 13,328, compared to a total ASU enrollment of 15,871 students. The campus encompasses , including a main campus of with 21 residence halls, four dining facilities, 19 academic buildings, and 11 recreation/athletic facilities.

The center of campus is considered to be Sanford Mall, an open grassy quad between the student union, dining halls, and library. Along with Sanford Hall, located on the mall's edge, it 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, and Belk Library, along with two communities of residence halls, Eastridge and Pinnacle. The campus on the west side has Trivette Dining Hall, the Quinn Recreation Center, Kidd Brewer Stadiummarker, and Stadium Heights and Yosef Hollow, the two remaining residence hall communities. At the north end of campus, Bodenheimer Drive crosses over Rivers Street and leads to Appalachian Heights (an apartment-style residence hall open only to upperclassmen), Mountaineer Apartments (housing for non-traditional students), the Chancellor's House, The Living Learning Center, the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, and Jim and Bettie Smith Stadiummarker. The George M.marker Holmes Convocation Centermarker, located at the south end of Rivers Street is the gateway and entrance to campus.

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, located 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. It displays rotating exhibits indoors and outdoors, some exhibits being culturally specific to the Appalachians, and offers community outreach programs through art courses. Farthing Auditorium, a 1,734 seat performance venue, 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 thestate. They establish university policy but delegate daily operation of Appalachian State to a chancellor. 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 Council and Student Government Association.

  • Dr. B.B. Dougherty (1899–1955)
  • Dr. J.D. Rankin (1955, Interim)
  • Dr. William H. Plemmons (1955–1969)
  • Dr. Herbert Wey (1969–1971)

  • Dr. Herbert Wey (1971–1979)
  • Dr. Cratis Williams (1975, Acting)

  • Dr. John E. Thomas (1979–1993)
  • Dr. Francis T. Borkowski (1993–2003)
  • Provost Harvey Durham (2003–2004, Interim)
  • Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock (2004–present)


Rankings and recognition

  • Recognized by TIME Magazine as a College of the Year in 2001.
  • Featured in The Princeton Review's 2008 edition of America's Best Value Colleges.
  • Ranked 5th overall among regional public comprehensive universities in the South and 10th overall among public and private universities in the South in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2008.
  • Ranked 21st in Consumers Digest magazine's 2007 edition of Top 50 Best Values for Public Colleges and Universities.
  • Ranked 27th in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's 2008 edition of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges.


In 2005, the Carol Grotnes Belk Library & Information Commons opened in a new five story building. Belk Library holds over 871,000 bound books and periodicals, 1.5 million microforms, 24,000 sound recordings, and 14,000 videos. The Library holds varying collections, including the W.L Eury Appalachian Collection for regional studies and the Stock Car Racing Collection. Besides serving university patrons, the library also serves as a public library for the local community, although circulation is available only to registered patrons.


The university comprises five colleges and schools and one graduate school that offer 99 undergraduate and 68 graduate courses of study. The average GPA for incoming freshman in 2007 was 3.68 and the average SAT score was 1124. The Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program (SD) is an interdisciplinary course of study unique to Appalachian State.


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 supports many clubs and organizations such as Greek organizations, academic and diversity clubs, and sports clubs.

ASU also offers off campus courses[38000]. 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, and Psychology.

Greek life

Greek life on Appalachian State University's campus is made up of 17 fraternities and 8 sororities and these members compose roughly 10 percent of the campus population. There are several events that the Greeks hold each year. Lots of these raise money for the surrounding community. Such events include Lip Sync which takes place during the Spring Greek Week and raises money for the Red Cross. Greek community service events are held by each fraternity and sorority on campus. Individual sororities and fraternities all have major philanthropies that hold certain events each year to raise money for the specific cause. Sororites and fraternities mix with each other at social functions and also encourage a strong Panhellenic unity. Not only do fraternities and sororities mix at social functions, but also mix to do service events like roadside clean-up.

Appalachian State has a Sorority Hall which houses members of Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Zeta, Kappa Delta, Phi Mu, Sigma Kappa, and Alpha Omicron Pi.

IFC Fraternities on campus include Alpha Sigma Phi, Delta Chi, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi. Sigma Alpha Epsilon recolonized in Fall 2008, Sigma Tau Gamma colonized in Spring 2009, and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) will colonize in Fall 2009.

NPHC Organizations on campus include Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Zeta Phi Beta and Phi Beta Sigma.


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 Southern Conference. Appalachian fields varsity teams in 20 sports, 10 for men and 10 for women. The Mountaineer football team competes in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA).

Kidd Brewer Stadiummarker is the 25,000 seat home of Appalachian football. Affectionately nicknamed "The Rock", the stadium is located at an elevation of .

The George M.marker Holmes Convocation Centermarker is the home court for Appalachian's basketball teams. The 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.


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.

In a milestone for ASU athletics, the Appalachian State football team played their season opener at the fifth-ranked University of Michiganmarker in front of the largest crowd to ever witness an ASU football game on September 1, 2007. Appalachian State beat Michigan 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.

Events and news

An Appalachian Summer Festival, hosted by the university, has been named one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeast" by the Southeast Tourism Society for more than a decade.

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.[38001] The video was never intended to promote Appalachian State to anyone but the Family Caravan, much less as a recruiting tool for prospective students.[38002] 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 show's participants also crossed a high-wire strung between Coltrane and Gardner Halls.

On July 2, 2008 The Appalachian State Football team received an ESPY nomination for the biggest upset in their 34-32 win over the Michigan Wolverines on September 1, 2007

Notable alumni


  1. Profile of the University., 2007. Retrieved on 12-23-2007.
  2. The pronunciation of Appalachian in a Southern U.S. dialect is provided. For further information on pronunciation, please view the Appalachian Mountains article.
  3. Rankings and Recognition., 2007.
  4. Distinguished Alumni Award
  5. Meet the Knights Front Office

External links

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