BOONE — App State continued the tradition of ringing the Founders Bell during the fourth annual Founders Day Celebration on Sept. 17.
“This commitment to access, which was set forth by our founders, has guided us to be the forward-thinking university we are today,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said at the event. “Together, we are working to examine our past and our present and to make needed changes to ensure the Appalachian experience is inclusive and continues a legacy of which we can all be proud.”
Faculty, students and alumni gathered at Founders Plaza for the bell ringing ceremony at 3 p.m. Guest speakers included David Jackson, president and CEO of Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, and University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Phillip Byers.
The event’s leading speaker, Karl Campbell, invited seven new Bell Ringers Society inductees to ring the founders bell.
A new tradition at App State, 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.
Among them were Roberta Jackson and Lynn Patterson, mother and daughter representing “the service of faculty and staff to App State and the many multi-cultural mountaineers, multi-generational families,” Campbell said.
“We feel seen and that’s important for our community,” Patterson said.
Next year’s ceremony, Campbell said, will highlight the many contributions that women have made to the university.
Outside of the bell ringing ceremony, App State celebrated Founders Day with other events on campus as well.
Senior lecturer Trent Margrif placed events from the past in a current context based on information on tombstones and explained why the cemetery on campus is also known as the Boone or town cemetery. He also highlighted some of the notable names from both campus and local history that are buried there.
Students belonging to App State’s Climate Action Collaborative silently protested along the perimeter of Founders Plaza, holding signs demanding that App State divest from the fossil fuel industry.
He also gave a tour of the cemetery on campus and described certain individuals buried there and placed them in relation to Founders Day and the history of App State.
Michael Weiss, lead organizer of ClimACT said the responsibility to pursue climate justice falls on the university as a public institution, and Don Dover, class of ‘01 agreed.
“I would love to see my alma mater go carbon free,” Dover said.