BOONE, N.C.—A total of 1,475 students graduated from Appalachian State University Saturday, Dec. 16, during commencement in Holmes Convocation Center.
Appalachian hosted two ceremonies, one at 10 a.m. for Hayes School of Music, College of Arts and Sciences, and Walker College of Business, and one at 2 p.m. for the Reich College of Education, Beaver College of Health Sciences and College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Degrees were conferred on 1,123 undergraduates and 352 graduate students.
“Today we celebrate as our students leave Appalachian prepared to make real and powerful differences in their communities and beyond,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “A university campus is an amazing place of confluence where great leaders and ideas emerge for the betterment of society, and Appalachian is a shining example of this work.”
Student leaders, exciting futures
Appalachian engages students in its commencement ceremonies, selecting one bachelor’s candidate and one master’s degree candidate to give remarks and another graduating student to welcome everyone in attendance.
Selected for the 10 a.m. commencement were Patrick G. Campbell, who earned a Bachelor of Science in physics, secondary education and graduated magna cum laude, and Talana J. Bell ’86, who returned to Appalachian to earn a Master of Science in accounting. Giving welcoming remarks was Emily G. Arbour, who earned a Bachelor of Music in music performance.
Campbell is from Charlotte and plans to teach physics at a private boarding school in Suzhou, China, after graduation. Bell, originally from Statesville, had a career in health care accounting and retired as CFO with Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama, before coming to Appalachian. She was recently named executive assistant to the dean in Appalachian’s Walker College of Business. Arbour plans to pursue a master’s degree and develop a career as both a performer and teacher.
Those selected for the 2 p.m. ceremony were Dayne O. Shelor, who earned a Bachelor of Science in communication, public relations with a minor in music, and Monica B. Gudger, who earned a Master of School Administration. Welcoming the audience was Jill Kocsis, who earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and foods.
Shelor is from Cary and was involved in Boone’s local music scene while a student. He plans to pursue music professionally in Durham while building a tiny house. Gudger is from Denver, North Carolina, and works as an exceptional children program specialist with plans to become a director of exceptional children in a school setting. Kocsis is from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and transferred to Appalachian in 2015. As a student, she collaborated with scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. She plans to continue following her passion for food research in graduate school.
"I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences, and the civic and community responsibilities, of any job or career I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."
Graduates who take the pledge at Appalachian are honored by a green ribbon on their gowns during graduation.
Are you the kind of student who seeks to live and learn with a community of scholars, to derive learning from every experience, and to catalyze lasting, sustainable changes in communities across the world?
If this sounds like you, then get ready to Live Like a Mountaineer. Learn Like a Mountaineer.
A celebration of achievement, great expectations for the future
Congratulations are in order for the 1,123 undergraduate students and 352 graduate students who will move on from their Appalachian Experience to make real and powerful differences in their communities and beyond.
The rich and rewarding relationships they have forged with friends, faculty and staff will sustain them for years to come. And the values they have embraced, their ability to think critically and the desire to live sustainably will have exponential impact on the lives they touch every day.
With great expectations for their futures, I wish the newest Appalachian alumni the very best.
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.