As we embark on a new academic year, I am filled with excitement for new opportunities. The month of August on our campus allows you to hear the echoes of the Marching Mountaineers hard at work, new students and staff finding their way around campus, and those returning reacquainting themselves with old and new friends. This is one of the special moments being a part of the Appalachian community allows us to enjoy. During the hustle and bustle over the next few weeks, take time to enjoy the sounds, and these moments. Take the time to get connected or re-connected to the things that are important to YOU, those things that make a difference to you and others around you.
Appalachian has a long tradition of making a difference in this community. The Dougherty brothers founded this institution to make a difference here in the High Country, and their way of doing so recognized the value of education. Fortunately, 115 years later, that tradition continues through the daily efforts of our faculty, staff and students who give so much to so many.
In the spirit of honoring the traditions of our community, I challenge you to do great things this year: academically, in our community, with the groups in which you are involved, and most importantly within yourself.
I am reminded of a poem that I saw many years ago when I was a student in 1991. It was an advertisement in the campus newspaper for Macintosh and was entitled “Think Big.” The last stanza of the poem is:
The start of something new
brings the hope of something great.
Anything is possible. There is only one you.
And you will pass this way only once.
Do it right.
Enjoy this moment and the ride that comes with it. I am proud to serve you and others here at Appalachian and look forward to the year ahead.
Your Dean of Students,