Appalachian State University is a public university located in Boone, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
It originated as Watuaga Academy, founded in 1899 by a citizen group determined to provide education for local teachers. Beginning with 53 students, it grew steadily over the following decades, expanding student numbers, powers, and facilities, and undergoing various name changes.
In 1967, it transformed from a single-purpose college for teachers to a recognised regional university, Appalachian State University.
In the 1970s, four undergraduate colleges were founded, in order to teach arts and science, business, fine and applied arts, and education. The university now offers more than 170 undergraduate and 37 graduate programs, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. The courses are taught by eight colleges and a graduate school, the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School.
Its mission is to help its students lead ‘purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all’.
the university leadership claims that for Appalachian State University, sustainability is ‘not a trend, it is a tradition’. The university has its own wind turbine, many energy efficient buildings, and an ‘Environment-Economy-Ecology’ House (E3 House) which is used to test new, environmentally-friend building techniques.
Its campus – more than 1km above sea level - has picturesque surroundings, and students may snowboard, ski, fish and hike in the surrounding mountains. There are 21 halls of residence, and Appalachian State University students outnumber permanent residents in Boone.
Appalachian State University has dedicated centres for visual and performing arts, which hosts international artists. Every summer, students celebrate visual and performing arts across the university campus in the Appalachian Summer Festival.