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Appalachian’s past leaders honored

BOONE—A display honoring Appalachian State University’s former leaders was unveiled Thursday in the lobby of B.B. Dougherty Administration Building on campus. The display, “A Legacy of Leadership,” depicts the six individuals who led the university from its founding as Watauga Academy in 1899 to its evolution as a state university and nationally recognized institution.

View larger imageFormer chancellors John E. Thomas, left, Francis T. Borkowski and Kenneth E. Peacock pose in front of a display honoring Appalachian’s past leaders. The display is a gift to the university from Appalachian Regional Healthcare System president and CEO and Appalachian alumnus Richard Sparks. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

The display was donated by Appalachian alumnus Richard Sparks, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System president and CEO. Sparks spoke of his time as a student at Appalachian and his encounters with five of the university’s past presidents or chancellors, beginning with Dr. W.H. Plemmons.

“It is a life-consuming job,” Sparks said of the responsibilities each of the leaders has faced during the university’s history. “The pictures that were on the brick wall in this building were not enough. What these people have gone through deserves more recognition, so that when prospective students take their tours (of campus), their parents, current students and alumni can see who created Appalachian State University. I am pleased to do a little something so that others visiting campus and this building will understand how we got here.”

Depicted on the wall are:

  • Dr. B.B. Dougherty, 1899-1955
  • Dr. William H. Plemmons, 1955-69
  • Dr. Herbert W. Wey, 1969-79
  • Dr. John E. Thomas, 1979-93
  • Dr. Francis T. Borkowski, 1993-2003
  • Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock, 2004-2014