By Jesse Wood
June 27, 2014. Surrounded by family, friends and peers, outgoing ASU Chancellor Kenneth Peacock helped unveil the naming of Peacock Hall, formerly named in honor of Thelma C. Raley, on Friday afternoon on the campus of Appalachian State University.
Prior to the unveiling, ASU Board of Trustees Chair Mike Steinback noted that 31 years ago today Peacock arrived as a faculty member to the Walker College of Business, which has been housed in Raley Hall for decades. Peacock would eventually rise through the ranks of the university to dean of the Walker College of Business and on to become the university’s sixth chancellor.
“And App has never been the same since,” Steinback said during a ceremony inside the newly-named hall.
In October 2013, Steinback was quoted in release from ASU that the naming would take place once the $200 million Campaign for Appalachia was successfully completed.
With the Chancellor’s announcement this spring that he was stepping down, we are focused on surpassing the campaign goal before his tenure ends,” Steinback said at the time. “All gifts supporting any area of the university during this last year honor his legacy, and re-naming the building allows us to publicly thank Ken for the many ways he has advanced Appalachian.”
Dr. Randy Edwards, the Dean of the Walker College of Business, also had kind words to say about Peacock and his wife Rosanne. Edwards noted that the name on the building says Peacock Hall – and not Kenneth E. Peacock Hall. That is because, Edwards said, it is in honor of Rosanne as well.
“How appropriate,” Edwards declared.
Also on hand was an emotional Lindsay Raley of Lakeland, Fla., the son of Thelma Raley. He said their was no reluctance for this change and that he was actually happy it was going to be named in honor of Peacock. Thelma Raley and Ken Peacock were friends when she was still alive. She passed away in 2006.
“My mom, if she were here today, would be the first to say ‘Job well done [to Peacock],’” Raley said.
Peacock said it felt “weird” to have a building named after him – especially while still living.
“It was never a goal of mine, and I certainly thought, ‘I am still alive,’” Peacock said to laughter.
“I don’t feel like it’s deserved,” Peacock continued humbly, “but it is an honor for me and my family.”
See photos of the unveiling below. Click here to learn about another event, which takes place Friday evening at the Schaefer Center, honoring the Peacocks.