BOONE — On Sept. 3, Appalachian State honored the university’s founders and commemorated 121 years of classes with a virtual Founders Day celebration. The celebration which aired via livestream on AppTV, featured a ribbon-cutting at the newly completed Thunder Hill and Raven Rocks Residence Halls and a bell ringing ceremony at Founders Plaza located on the university’s campus.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks from Senior Vice President of RISE real estate company Jeremy Doss, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs J.J. Brown and Chancellor Sheri Everts.

“As you look at this building, be assured it is far more than brick and mortar. It is a home for our students, a place where they will make memories, build a community and discover what it means to live and learn like a Mountaineer,” said Everts.

The new residence halls, which are named after the Blue Ridge Parkway’s popular Thunder Hill and Raven Rock overlooks, opened in August 2020 and features 912 beds in a mix of suites and apartment-style units.

Later that afternoon, the celebration shifted focus to Founders Plaza, where the 2020 class of Appalachian’s Bell Ringers’ Society were inducted.

This year’s inductees included Baker Perry, the great-great-grandson of founder D.D. Dougherty and professor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning, and Karl Campbell, associate professor in the university’s Department of History, chair of the school’s History Committee and advisor for Founders Day historical activities. Both inductees received Bell Ringer’s pins from Everts and had the honor of ringing the founders bell seven times.

Comments at the event were made by Appalachian Council President Donna Fiori, SGA President Michael Davis, and Everts, who said, “This past year has presented unimaginable challenges for this university. Yet, in spite of the uncertainties of the global pandemic, the Appalachian community has rallied together to find every opportunity to create a positive experience for our students and move our university forward. Mountaineer spirit continues to prevail.”

To watch the archived livestream of both events, visit

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