By Anna Oakes
Mountaineer graduates waved to their families and friends, pumped fists into the air and even shed a few happy tears at Appalachian State University’s Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 10.
At three ceremonies held at the Holmes Convocation Center, the university conferred degrees to 1,642 graduates, including 1,286 undergraduate and 356 graduate students. Recordings of the ceremonies are available on App State’s commencement website.
Chancellor Sheri Everts presided over the ceremonies, and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Heather Hulburt Norris presented the candidates for graduation. University of North Carolina System Board of Governors member John Fraley and App State Board of Trustees member John Blackburn also shared remarks.
“Each of you came to this moment on a distinct path,” Everts said to the graduates. “All of you have earned this day, this celebration.”
“As App State students, you have learned new ways to innovate and persevere,” she added. “As graduates of App State, you will be uniquely positioned to adapt, to lead and to serve in a world that has been fundamentally changed. You will make real and powerful differences in your communities and beyond.”
“You will always be a part of App State,” Everts concluded, “as you are our most enduring legacy.”
Everts also recognized App State faculty, staff and the family and friends of graduates for their roles in helping Mountaineer students reach this achievement.
Fraley brought greetings from the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC System Office.
“You are now ambassadors of this institution and mentors to those coming behind you,” Fraley told the graduates. “These new responsibilities and myriad opportunities are beckoning you.”
Representing App State’s Board of Trustees, Blackburn offered congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2021.
“To the members of this graduating class, we are equally proud of you and of your accomplishments, which we recognize here today,” Blackburn said. “As you begin a new phase in your lives, we are confident that you are prepared for the future, no matter what it holds for you.”
In her introductions, Norris thanked the ceremonies’ macebearers and banner bearers as well as the Appalachian Brass Ensemble. She also recognized Mountaineer alumni, student veterans and military-affiliated students who were in attendance.
“We are so glad to be able to celebrate your hard work, perseverance and success,” Norris told the Class of 2021.
App State’s commencement ceremonies concluded with a special performance of the university’s alma mater, prerecorded by country music star and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Luke Combs, a former App State student.
During the ceremonies, graduates walked across the commencement stage, had their names announced — along with the Latin and/or departmental honors they received, and were professionally photographed receiving their diploma covers. The ceremonies included graduates from each of the university’s academic colleges and graduate school.