Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University is the sixth-largest university in the University of North Carolina system. It is a public, comprehensive university offering a special environment for learning and scholarship for students, faculty, staff, and others across the region and the nation, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The history of the university started in the summer of 1899, when a group of citizens of Watauga County began a movement to establish a good school in Boone.
The movement was led by D.D. Dougherty and B.B. Dougherty. In the fall of the same year, a school named Watauga Academy was started on 1.5 acres of land donated by D.B. Dougherty, father of the leaders in the enterprise, and by Mr. J.F. Hardin.
On this site, a wood frame school building was erected and D.D. Dougherty and B.B. Dougherty became its first co-principals. They together operated the school for four years.
The institution has changed its name and status several times in its 100+year history. It became a state institution under the enactment of a bill which was passed in the North Carolina House of the General Assembly, in 1903.
In March 1903, the Appalachian Training School for Teachers was established.
Between 1903 and 1925, the school attained steady growth and academic development. In 1925, the General Assembly made the school into a normal school and junior college under the new name, Appalachian State Normal School.
Again in 1929, the institution became a four-year institution known as Appalachian State Teachers College. In 1930, the first four-year class was graduated.
The college was recognized at national levels by becoming accredited by the American Association for Teacher Education in 1939, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1942.
In December 1966, a fire destroyed its administration building. This event marked the demise of the old institution.
In 1967, the college officially became Appalachian State University. When it was transformed to a multipurpose regional university, three degree granting undergraduate colleges for Arts and Sciences; Fine and Applied Arts; and Education were created. The University became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972.
Today, the university offers 95 undergraduate majors, 81 graduate majors, and a doctorate in educational leadership. Its total enrollment is more than 14,000 students, including off-campus programs.