Appalachian State, Boone, and the High Country

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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.

Boone, N.C., is a college town in the best sense – a place where people say hello on the street and with a vibrant downtown a block from campus. Its eclectic hub, known as King Street, features specialty shops, restaurants and cultural attractions that appeal to students, parents, residents and tourists. Whether in town for a weekend or a four-year education, many people find it difficult to leave Boone.

Boone’s accolades include Southern Living’s “South’s Best College Towns,” National Geographic Adventure magazine’s “Best Places to Live and Play,” Outside magazine’s top 10 “Best Towns in America,” USA Today’s “10 Great Small Towns with Huge Backyards,” U.S. News and World Report’s “10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.” and TripAdvisor’s “Hidden Gems: 13 U.S. Towns That Are Diamonds in the Rough.”

The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains attract outdoors enthusiasts year-round for hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing and other activities. The Blue Ridge Parkway, which draws some 20 million visitors a year, and a section of the Appalachian Trail that runs from Virginia through western North Carolina are both just minutes from campus.

Preserving these mountains is essential to Appalachian’s character. An ethic of sustainability resounds through the campus and local community, as evident through an on-campus electricity-generating wind turbine, a commitment to making new buildings efficiently designed and LEED® certified, a biodiesel-powered public transportation system and research and academic degree programs that focus on issues related to energy, economics and the environment. Many sustainability projects on campus are funded by a Renewable Energy Initiative fee, which students overwhelmingly supported as a way to ensure a better future for all.