Our annual fall celebration honors our founders and the first day of classes held in 1899 at Watauga Academy — the small school that flourished into the App State we know today.
A new tradition at Appalachian State University — the ringing of the Founders Bell, an iconic symbol of Appalachian’s history — was established Sept. 5, 2019, as the university celebrated its second annual Founders Day. Twelve members of the Appalachian Community were selected to ring the bell 10 times each to signify the university’s 120th anniversary as an innovator and leader in higher education. These 12 bell ringers are the inaugural members of Appalachian’s Bell Ringers Society. New members are inducted into the society each year to ring the bell on Founders Day.
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The 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 to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.