BOONE, N.C. — For Mountaineer alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends, Appalachian State University’s Homecoming 2021 represented not only an annual return to Boone, but also a return to traditional in-person gatherings and activities.
Despite late cancellations of events such as the homecoming parade and APPtoberfest due to forecasted inclement weather, a number of in-person events were able to take place for the first time in two years, as gathering restrictions sidelined many activities in 2020.
With a nod to Halloween, Wicked Wednesday was held Oct. 27 on Sanford Mall, inviting students to make street signs, tie-dye homecoming shirts and enjoy a photo booth, inflatables and candied apples.
On Friday, Oct. 29, a reception was held at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts to honor four first-year students who have been named Dr. Willie C. Fleming Scholars. The Fleming Scholars program, which awards full tuition for up to four consecutive years, was established by App State alumni to honor Dr. Willie C. Fleming ’80 ’84, App State’s former chief diversity officer. Fleming Scholars are selected based on their desire to promote cultural diversity.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council’s Yard Show, a long-standing tradition of homecoming weekend, was moved indoors to Legends on Friday. Yard shows are performances by members of historically African American sororities and fraternities, who showcase pride for their organizations through stepping, strolling and dancing.
Alumni enjoyed music and dancing at the African American Alumni Network Homecoming Social, held from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Boone Moose Lodge.
The Alumni and Friends Breakfast returned this year at a new location, the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, on Saturday morning. Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Office of Alumni Affairs welcomed alumni for complimentary beverages and buffet-style continental breakfast items available in the building’s main lobby.
At the homecoming football game at Kidd Brewer Stadium against the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the App State classes of 1970 and 1971 were celebrated, and the Top of the Rock student — senior elementary education major Macey Barnes, from Emerald Isle — was recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions to the success of others.
From the Alumni and Friends Breakfast in Leon Levine Hall to tailgating fun in Peacock Lot, Dave is out and about once more on this App State homecoming edition of Dave by the Bell. In this episode, he asks App State alumni to share their fondest mountain memories from their time in Boone.
Dave Blanks: Hello, Troy.
Troy Tuttle Hey, how are you?
Dave Blanks: Hey, I'm good. Have you ever been on a Dave By the Bell?
Troy Tuttle No, never.
Dave Blanks: This is the first time I think for real.
Troy Tuttle No, I know. And I've been around you forever and ever. This is my first appearance.
Dave Blanks: I know. And you're constantly like, Hey Dave, go do a Dave By the Bell.
Troy Tuttle Yeah. Well, here we are.
Dave Blanks: And now here we are doing it. Hey, what's up folks. It's me, Dave Blanks, outside Leon Levine Hall, and we're getting ready to go in. It's homecoming weekend. We're going to find some alums who have come back up to Boone for homecoming weekend. We're going to ask them to share with us a fond memory of their time here on Appalachian State's campus. Let's head into Leon Levine and maybe a little bit later, we'll go tailgating too. All right. Come along with me.
Dave Blanks: Chad Leder. Class of 2001, I see.
Chad Leder: That's right. You know, I always enjoyed my time walking through campus.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Chad Leder: To be honest with you.
Dave Blanks: Okay.
Chad Leder: Going from class to class was always, probably the highlight. I enjoyed the class itself, but the travels.
Dave Blanks: Your wanderings.
Chad Leder: The wanderings. Yes. My walkabouts.
Sarah Garrow:Hey, it's Sarah Garrow. Proud grad 2016 of the Reich College of Education, the Student Affairs Master's program. I'm going to be honest. All of my stories centered around the people.
Dave Blanks: Yeah?
Sarah Garrow: I think that that's the commonality and I think that's what people come to love about App and why the high country and App State in particular is so lovable. Right?
Dave Blanks: But you couldn't have known that when you chose App.
Sarah Garrow: Yeah. See, when I came for my tour.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Sarah Garrow: I did, I had that feeling when I stepped on campus. And that was just it. I knew that I was around like-minded folks who I could be myself and would challenge me and help me grow and also kind of embrace me.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. That was a great answer. Thanks Sarah. It's like I called you in advance. I was like, hey Sarah, it's like...
Sarah Garrow: We did not set this up beforehand. At all.
Dave Blanks: I swear that came off the top of her head.
Donna Fiori: Donna Fiori, class of '80. Well, my family is from West Jefferson. My parents were from West Jefferson, and coming back to the mountains was always special. But I also joined a sorority my freshman year and the bond that we have to this day, we still get together. We go through our good times and our bad times together. So we always go back to fun, memories, fun, some kind of got in a little trouble, not too bad trouble!
Dave Blanks: Just a little mischief, right?
Donna Fiori: Just a little Blowing Rock. You know?
Dave Blanks: See, people don't know what that means.
Donna Fiori: I know they don't understand what we had to go through. Do they?
Dave Blanks: I know.
Tenae Howard: Tenae Howard. So homecoming 2009, I was crowned homecoming queen for Appalachian State. So it's always a special time for me to just come back and just be a part of a place that I love so much.
Dave Blanks: Aw. So cool.
Dave Blanks: This is your husband?
Tenae Howard: This is my fiance.
Dave Blanks: Your fiance. Congratulations. Y'all.
Both: Thank you.
Dave Blanks: So who are you? What's your name?
Darryl Clodfelter: Darryl Clodfelter.
Dave Blanks: Darryl, it's nice to meet you. So has she brought you here to App before?
Darryl Clodfelter: Yes. We've come down a few times just to look at the leaves and the campus. I'm from North Carolina, but I've never been to App State or Boone, so I'm loving it so far.
Dave Blanks: Nice.
Darryl Clodfelter: Everybody's welcoming. I love the scenery. Campus is beautiful.
Dave Blanks: Cool.
Darryl Clodfelter: I'm almost ashamed. I didn't come here.
Dave Blanks: I know. Hey, there's still time. Here's somebody who's picking out food.
Mark: Mark and Kathy.
Dave Blanks: Mark what's up.
Mark: App State '78. The ASU marching band. I played the trumpet in the band and it was the greatest thing. Traveled to Wake Forest, traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to play the Game Cocks, which we beat in 1975. And of course, two years ago. We traveled to East Carolina University and the friendships up here were great. Between 1974 and '78, there were only like 8,000 students. (App was) More like a college then, but it's a great university today and I'm proud to be an alumni.
Angela Johnson: Angela Johnson, I graduated in 1985. One of my best friends, young lady from India, her mother owned a hotel here or motel here and we became best friends. And my last semester I quit work and I took 21 credit hours so I could graduate. I was dying and she would be over at my apartment every morning. "Angela, we must get up. Oh, you must go to class."
Dave Blanks: You were so lucky to have her.
Angela Johnson: Oh, she was awesome. Yeah. And I just found her actually. She's in California.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. Well, give a shout out to her.
Angela Johnson: Hi, Vyomini, its Angela! I loved my time here. I live in New Mexico now.
Dave Blanks: Oh wow.
Angela Johnson: This is actually my first time back.
Dave Blanks: So, you found the place?
Angela Johnson: Oh yeah. I found it. It was easy. I told my sister, I said, "This feels like home to me."
Dave Blanks: Aw.
Ellen Carter: My name is Ellen Carter and I am class of 2015. I think it's just the feel of the town, and it feels like family to us and it feels like home. And so when we drive back into town, it's like this feeling of nostalgia just comes over us and we love going to the football games and being a part of everything that was going on on campus. I think that was the most fun for us being in here.
Dave Blanks: Thank y'all for your answers. I really appreciate it. I didn't talk to you because you're holding a little baby. Is this a future mountaineer here potentially?
Dad: Nothing like traditions. Oh yeah.
Dave Blanks: Hey Charlie. How's it going? He looks like he might be like maybe I'll sleep. Maybe I'll eat. I don't know.
Ellen Carter: It's about nap time.
Dave Blanks: Oh, well he's being pretty cool and calm about it. Well y'all have a good homecoming.
Ellen Carter: Thank you so much.
Dave Blanks: All right, thank you so much.
Terrance Thompson: Terrance Thompson class of 2004. When I first arrived on campus, I had got this advice from another student when I left my dorm to make sure I had enough books in my backpack, so I don't stumble down the stairs. It was, I thought it was the weirdest thing. Whatever. And so I can remember like it was yesterday, I was coming out the back of the hall, down the stairs and it was maybe January, February when it was snowing real bad. It was just really windy out. And so I'm coming down the hill and before you know it, I was rolling around on the ground.
Dave Blanks: Oh no.
Terrance Thompson: Just like they said, yeah. That's one of the funniest memories I can remember.
Dave Blanks: Are you for real? You really rolled down the hill?
Terrance Thompson: I really rolled down the hill. Justice Hall. Yep.
Dave Blanks: Well I'm glad you survived. I'm glad you made it and it's nice to talk to you, and have a good homecoming.
Terrance Thompson: Thank you.
Don Kennedy: All right. My name is Don Kennedy. I was on the first ASU cross country team in track and field. I eventually made All American as a marathon runner for Appalachian State.
Dave Blanks: Wow.
Don Kennedy: I went into the Army as a graduate. I was here in the Vietnam era. And after all that I was assigned to Ranger department and trained the Rangers as an Appalachian graduate. I'm a Health PE major with a Master's in what you consider exercise physiology. But my life was changed. I went to Texas to study at a seminary. I met this wife of mine for 45 years.
Dave Blanks: Well hello.
Edith Kennedy: Hi.
Dave Blanks: 45 years.
Edith Kennedy: 45 years.
Dave Blanks: Hi. Congratulations and, what is your name ma'am?
Edith Kennedy: Edith. Edith Kennedy.
Dave Blanks: Very nice to meet you.
Don Kennedy: And then we went to Mexico to work together as missionaries for 31 years.
Dave Blanks: Wow.
Don Kennedy: And we just retired 10 years ago and came back to the United States and loved to come Boone and Appalachian State.
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah.
Don Kennedy: Good place.
Dave Blanks: Well we love to have y'all here. So then what class were you?
Don Kennedy: 1970.
Dave Blanks: So it sounds like you had a ton of great memories here at Appalachian State.
Don Kennedy: Oh, the overall experience in Appalachian prepared me through the academic and the sports to go on and do these pretty important things the rest of my life.
Edith Kennedy: So when they were here, there were five or six guys from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Don Kennedy: Oh yes.
Edith Kennedy: That's where he is from it was the 71st High School and they all lived in a house on Hill Street that is still there.
Don Kennedy: 319 Hill Street up behind Holmes.
Dave Blanks: The house is still there?
Edith Kennedy: The house is still there.
Don Kennedy: Yeah, 319 Hill Street, behind Holmes Center.
Dave Blanks: What a impact those folks had! Well, Charlie, the baby is asleep. Maybe it's time for me to head out of here. We could head to the tailgate situation. We could see that's shaping up. They're already out there now. I'm sure.
Dave Blanks: We're here at Peacock Lot. So I think we're going to see if we can find some alums among the tents here.
Robert: This is Robert, 1982. We had some friends that took a tour of the steam tunnels underneath the campus.
Dave Blanks: No way really?
Robert: We sure did. And the old Bavarian Inn used to be here.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. not Bavarian Village, but the Bavarian Inn.
Robert: We would actually go through the steam tunnels and we could go right into the kitchen of the Bavarian Inn.
Dave Blanks: Are you serious?
Robert: We sure could.
Dave Blanks: Man.
KA member: We was part of fraternity called Kappa Alpha.
Dave Blanks: Okay.
KA member: We had the only fraternity house ever over there. It was right off of Howard Street.
Robert: At Howard.
Dave Blanks: Okay. Walking distance down here.
KA member: We had letters on the house, or at least we got by the law because the person who bought it, an alum, was named Keith Allison. K A.
Dave Blanks: K. A. Ah, clever.
Robert: The only way we were able to keep our letters on the house.
John Gibbs: John Gibbs, class of '86. Well, I would probably be in trouble if I didn't mention that I met the love of my life, and my future wife...
Dave Blanks: Okay. Yeah.
John Gibbs: ...here at Appalachian state. She was my next door neighbor. She was a waitress at The Red Onion Cafe. She used to help a poor college student out with pitchers of beer.
Dave Blanks: What a gal. Is she still helping you out?
John Gibbs: She's tailgating with me with today.
Dave Blanks: Aw.
Mac: I'm Mac class of 1972. My freshman year in '68. Coming back in January, swimming across the duck pond.
Dave Blanks: You swam the duck pond?
Mac: Ugh. We're idiots.
George Ratchford: George Ratchford. I graduated in '75. 1975. I was a cheerleader.
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah?
George Ratchford: And we had some great times. We didn't win as many games as now.
Dave Blanks: All right.
George Ratchford: And it won't as big a crowd.
Dave Blanks: What did Yosef look like back then? How has Yosef changed? It was just a dude. Right?
George Ratchford: I did it some.
Dave Blanks: Oh you got to be Yosef?
George Ratchford: Where some people wasn't there. We had to switch off.
Dave Blanks: So you got to dress up as this...
George Ratchford: Old hat.
Dave Blanks: Did you have a big beard?
George Ratchford: I did not have a beard.
Dave Blanks: All right.
George Ratchford: Let's see. We were at one basketball game.
Dave Blanks: Yep.
George Ratchford: And I shot the gun off in the gym and I did get in trouble. The whole gym was full of smoke.
Dave Blanks: Oh wow. That's a big memory.
George Ratchford: We had the old Model T, whatever it was that old car, hot rod car.
Dave Blanks: Right.
George Ratchford: We'd ride around the stadium on it.
Dave Blanks: Sweet.
George Ratchford: And that, that was cool.
Dave Blanks: We got to bring that thing back, right?
George Ratchford: Oh yeah. I, what happened to it?
Dave Blanks: That's pretty cool. I have no idea.
George Ratchford: It was great.
Matt Cline: My name's Matt Cline. I graduated in 2010.
Dave Blanks: What did you do at App State, Matt?
Matt Cline: Not a lot.
Dave Blanks: No. Didn't get too busy?
Matt Cline: Kind of hung around. Played on the football team. 2006 through 2010.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. What is it that you go back to when you think about App State?
Matt Cline: A big memory I go back to of course is football. It's 2009, the Richmond win. Being fortunate enough to catch the game winning pass against Richmond in the quarter finals.
Audreyanna Sanchez: Audreyanna Sanchez, 2021. When COVID, wasn't a thing, we went to a football game and it just started snowing. We just stayed there. My feet were so cold and we just ran back up to my dorm.
Dave Blanks: Was this a good memory?
Audreyanna Sanchez: Yes. It was a good memory. I thought it was pretty fun. Yeah it was actually...
Jim Macholz: Jim Macholz, graduated 1991. Well, I'm building memories every day, so.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely you haven't stopped, right?
Jim Macholz: I haven't stopped. I was in Gardner my freshman year.
Dave Blanks: I'm sorry for your loss.
Jim Macholz: It's all good man. Build better!
Dave Blanks: Fantastic atmosphere for homecoming 2021. Thanks to everyone who let me bug them. Thanks to Troy for hanging out with me and driving me around in our cool golf cart, The Danger Cart. I had a great time. We'll do it again. I'm Dave Blanks. This has been Dave by the Bell!
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About Alumni Affairs
The Office of Alumni Affairs provides networking opportunities, affinity program discounts, alumni chapter gatherings and special events, merchandise and travel tour options to Appalachian State University alumni.
The Appalachian State University Alumni Association consists of nearly 146,000 living App State alumni. Membership is free and open to all graduates of App State. The association’s mission is to help alumni remember their App State Experience and stay connected with current Mountaineers, and to work to ensure that those experiences are available for future App State alumni by raising support for the Alumni Memorial Scholarship and The Appalachian Fund.
About Appalachian State University
As a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.