A MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR | May 8, 2019
How quickly this academic year has passed! The year began with the opening of the Levine Hall of Health Sciences, our newest and largest academic facility to date. In its state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, more than 2,300 Beaver College of Health Sciences students learn together each day, preparing to become leaders in a changing and dynamic workforce with increasing demand, and one that has been identified as a critical workforce area for our state.
During fall semester, we celebrated Founders Day, Homecoming and the ribbon-cutting and unveiling ceremony of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Plots and Garden. We managed campus flooding and dug out from a beautiful, if challenging snowstorm that blanketed the campus.
In December, we traveled to New Orleans to support our student-athletes and left victorious as the Sun Belt Conference Champion, securing our fourth win in four straight bowl appearances for an undefeated bowl record. Our women’s basketball team also excelled, with their success culminating in being named the Women’s Basketball Invitational Champion. I’m also proud to report Mountaineer student-athletes posted a 3.10 semester GPA in fall 2018, contributing to a cumulative GPA of 3.14 — a new record. I expect the same excellent performance when spring semester grades are posted.
The Appalachian Academy at Middle Fork welcomed its first group of mini-Mountaineers, and as the end of their academic year approaches, we are thrilled with their academic progress. The academy’s fifth graders achieved an 81% increase from their fourth grade scores on their "winter check-in" pre-assessments for the North Carolina End-of-Grade Reading Comprehension Test, but test scores tell only part of the story. This video tells more about the “learning together” model between Reich College of Education faculty and students and the administrators and teachers at Middle Fork.
In March, a pivotal visit from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors gave us the opportunity to show the exciting construction and concepts developing on our campus, and illustrate the many ways we are helping shape education in our state — from kindergarten through college.
The May 2 #iBackApp success is testimony to the lifelong support and commitment our alumni have for Appalachian: Preliminary totals show the drive generated more than $180,000, with 2,536 donors contributing. These funds provide direct support to our students.
Nearly 4,000 students will cross the stage this Friday and Saturday at commencement and join the 127,000 graduates of North Carolina’s premier, public undergraduate institution. This is a momentous occasion for the students who will cross the stage, a proud milestone for their families and a very special celebration for the faculty and staff who have taught, mentored and supported them along the way. An Appalachian degree is both respected and rewarded well beyond graduation.
Whatever the summer brings for our students — summer studies, internships, new jobs or new landscapes — I wish them, and you, the very best. We are all so proud of our students’ achievements, and so appreciative of the support you provide to them as we conclude yet another successful year.
At Appalachian, we put students first, always, and together we are building a bright future. Ultimately, the reason Appalachian’s stellar faculty and staff come to work every day is to realize this vision.