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Coopers, Maness receive Honorary Alumni Awards at Appalachian State University

Standing left to right, John and Faye Cooper, Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri N. Everts and Mayor Roy James Maness. The Coopers and Maness were recently named honorary alumni by the university’s alumni association. Photo by Marie Freeman

Appalachian State University presented the Alumni Association’s Honorary Alumni Award to Faye and John Cooper of Valle Crucis and The Honorable Roy James Maness of Troy during a Sept. 30 celebration at the university’s Appalachian House.

The Honorary Alumni Award was established in 1992 to recognize individuals who have given unselfishly of themselves to Appalachian but never graduated from nor attended the university. In order to be considered for the Honorary Alumni Award, individuals must show a strong commitment to the university’s mission and exemplify outstanding service to the university.

Faye and John Cooper

Faye and John Cooper, owners of Mast General Store and 2001 recipients of the Appalachian Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award, have supported Appalachian’s academics, performing arts and athletics programs. Their volunteer service and financial support for Appalachian extend well over two decades.

Through both individual and corporate support, the couple has ensured the success of An Appalachian Summer Festival and a Mast Store Endowed Scholarship for Business. Additionally, they support student-athletes through the Yosef Club and share their expertise and talent as guest lecturers for Appalachian’s Walker College of Business and Hayes School of Music.

The couple has been primary sponsors of the Department of Theatre and Dance Main Stage Season for the last five years. They have also underwritten the department’s Community Education and Outreach program, which provides daytime performances for area school students. The Coopers also have provided ticket subsidies for future Mountaineers considering theatre and dance programs during college. The couple’s legacy in both the community and the university is wide-reaching, and their continued support of university, area nonprofit and charitable organizations in the region is well recognized.

Mayor Roy James Maness

Maness, mayor of the Town of Troy for the past 37 years, has advised dozens of Appalachian’s student interns and recent graduates. A collaboration between the university’s public administration degree programs and the Town of Troy allowed more than 50 students over the last two decades to complete local government internships there. Maness has for decades provided mentorship and advocacy to Appalachian students, offering sage wisdom and extensive knowledge to enhance their internship experience.

A 2010 recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Maness has been recognized as a person of exemplary service to the state of North Carolina. He credits the knowledge gained from his public service as essential to his ability to mentor student interns and recent graduates. Many of his mentees now work in government agencies throughout the state, including a few who continue to work in Troy.

In 2006, friends of Maness, along with members of the Appalachian State University Local Government Alumni Association, established the Mayor Roy Maness Local Government Endowed Scholarship. To date, this scholarship has supported nine Appalachian students pursuing careers in town administration and city and county management.

During the Sept. 30 ceremony, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving Patrick Setzer lauded the caliber of the recipients of the 2016 Honorary Alumni Awards. “The Appalachian State University Alumni Association is thrilled to recognize these three individuals with honorary alumni status,” he said. “The Coopers and Mayor Maness have demonstrated so often and so generously their commitment to Appalachian State University, and we are a stronger institution because of their loyalty and their affinity. It is only fitting the alumni association and the university bestow this honor upon these outstanding friends of Appalachian.”

About Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving at Appalachian

The Office of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving provides networking opportunities, affinity program discounts, alumni chapter gatherings and special events, merchandise and travel tour options to Appalachian alumni.

The Appalachian State University Alumni Association consists of over 119,400 living Appalachian alumni. Membership is free and open to all graduates of Appalachian. The association’s mission is to help alumni remember their Appalachian Experience and stay connected with current Mountaineers, and to work to ensure that those experiences are available for future Appalachian alumni by raising support for The Appalachian Fund.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.