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Appalachian’s Commencement Rescheduled to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10

BOONE — Appalachian State University Provost Stan Aeschleman announced today that this Saturday’s (Dec. 10) commencement will be rescheduled from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. to allow the campus and the town to handle attendees for both commencement and the NCAA Division 1-AA semi-final football game between Appalachian and Furman at noon.

“Commencement is a very special time for our students, their families and the whole campus community. Having both events occur within hours of each other presents a significant logistical challenge for the university and for Boone,” Aeschleman said.

To address this challenge, members of the university community — including the president of the Student Government Association, chair of the Staff Council, representatives from the Council of Chairs, the Faculty Senate, the chancellor, vice chancellors, registrar, campus police chief, director of university parking and traffic, and representatives from several academic departments – were consulted to discuss options.

According to Alan Hauser, Appalachian faculty representative to the NCAA, the NCAA determines the kick-off time. In addition, the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. “So, Appalachian has no control over the time of the football game,” Hauser said.

Aeschleman noted that keeping commencement at 1 p.m. was not an option because students involved with the game (e.g., student athletes, cheerleaders, band members, student Ambassadors, ROTC members) and students who wish to attend the game, including new graduates, would be faced with a choice between commencement and the game, and because of traffic and parking concerns.

“We felt the least disruptive alternative for the commencement participants and audience was to move that event to 6 p.m.,” he said. “Holding commencement then will allow parents, family members and friends attending the ceremony to have access to parking and other town and campus amenities.”

Robert G. Fox, Jr., chairman of the Appalachian Board of Trustees, said he understood the reasons for the time change and supports the decision. “I fully support the chancellor and his senior administrative team in rescheduling commencement to 6 p.m. to enable all those who plan to attend one or both of these events to get in and out of Boone more easily,” Fox said. “I certainly plan to be at both and want to be able to fully attend each event.”

Also today, the university surveyed area hotels and motels and determined there are more than 500 rooms available Saturday night, Dec. 10, for family and friends who would like to spend the night in Boone following commencement. For more information on hotel availability, contact the High Country Host at 800-438-7500, or the Blowing Rock Visitors Center at 877-750-4636.

“We regret any inconvenience the change may cause, but we could not ask for a more exciting weekend,” Aeschleman said. “We look forward to seeing everyone here on our campus to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of Appalachian’s students.”

Additional information regarding the December commencement event can be found at