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Happy Birthday to Appalachian State University PDF Print
Written by Adam Hicks   
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 08:55

Yesterday was a special day in the history of Watauga County and especially Appalachian State University.


On July 13, 1899, an announcement about the founding of Watauga Academy first appeared in the Watauga Democrat.  The Watauga Academy, which was a college preparatory school, was founded and taught by brothers Blanford Barnard Dougherty and Dauphin Disco Dougherty.


According to university archives, Watauga Academy began its first term later that year on September 5.


Watauga Academy became Appalachian Training School for Teachers in 1903, after D.D. Dougherty was able to receive funding from the North Carolina Legislature in Raleigh.


In 1925, Appalachian Training School for Teachers became Appalachian State Normal School, and then in 1929 was called Appalachian State Teachers College.


The school was officially named Appalachian State University in 1967 and became a part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972.


When Watauga Academy began over 100 years ago, 53 students were enrolled.  The first school year was free, but students had to pay a $25 tuition fee for additional classes.  Now, ASU has an enrolment of nearly 16,000 and in-state students pay around $2,300 per semester after tuition and fees.


Appalachian State also currently employs over 2,700 faculty and staff.


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