Students wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 in College Street Parking Deck September 2020.
Students wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 in College Street Parking Deck September 2020.
Ashley Foreman

A timeline of key events that defined App State’s Class of 2024

As the graduating class of 2024 prepares to say farewell to their alma mater, many graduating students reflect and reminisce on the significant events that have shaped the past four years and their college experience. Amidst the flurry of final exams, graduation pictures, emotional farewells and the final hurrah, the moment arrives to reflect not only on one’s personal growth and journey, but also on the transformation of their home away from home for the past four years. Instead of sifting through countless memories on social media, let’s delve into a timeline of memorable moments that have defined campus life and the journey of this year’s graduating class from 2020-24.



COVID-19 hits: In March 2020, the pandemic swept across the globe and dramatically shifted life as we knew it. App State transitioned to remote learning, and students grappled with the challenges of adjusting to online classes and social distancing measures.

Renovation of University Housing: University Housing embarked on a significant overhaul of residence halls on campus, with major renovations and replacements on the west side of campus. Bowie, Coltrane, Eggers, Gardner and Justice Residence Halls were demolished and replaced by new residence halls and parking lots.

Engagement in social justice: Amidst the pandemic, the App State community joined nationwide movements advocating for social justice, participating in peaceful protests and a march against injustice to advocate for equality and systemic change. 

App State football leads peaceful protest through Boone in August 2020. (Connor Davidson)



Luke Combs performing at Kidd Brewer Stadium Sept. 4, 2021. (Max Correa)

Return to campus: With the rollout of vaccines, App State cautiously reopened its doors for in-person instruction in the fall of 2021. Students and faculty adapted to new safety protocols and hybrid learning models, navigating the complexities of a post-pandemic world.

Luke Combs’ Homecoming concert: One of App State’s most notable alumni, Luke Combs, made a highly anticipated return to Boone, performing a stadium concert attended by over 40,000 people. This marked a significant cultural event for the community after its postponement for over a year due to COVID-19 concerns.



App State senior Meredith Maiken climbs to the top of a pile of snow from the work of road scraping crews Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (Jesse Barber)

Winter Storm Izzy: The beginning of 2022 was marked by a massive winter storm that left around 12 inches of snow in Boone. In-person classes were canceled and App State students turned to their favorite snow-day activities.

Memorable football season: App State experienced one of its most memorable football seasons in 2022. Some highlight moments include the Texas A&M upset followed by the historic first visit of College GameDay in Boone and the Hail Mary win against Troy. During the season, the post football game destruction of the Baby art sculpture and vandalism of Wey Hall ignited discussions about the campus art community, serving as a memorable and contentious moment.

Adoption of land acknowledgment: In an effort to recognize Indigenous Peoples, App State adopted a Land Acknowledgement to acknowledge those who initially inhabited the land on which campus is located. These efforts sparked controversy over whether land acknowledgments are important or performative activism.

Political prominence: Politics took center stage in 2022, with significant election day outcomes in North Carolina and Watauga County. 



Marchers walking down King Street waving large pride flags. (Siri Patterson)

Boone’s first pride festival: In the summer before the Fall 2023 semester, Boone celebrated its first pride festival with a march around King Street.

Expansion to Hickory Campus: App State started a new chapter in August 2023, opening the doors to the Hickory Campus.

Legends closed its doors: App State’s staple entertainment venue closed after 20 years of operation due to issues with the building’s structural integrity.

Loss of former chancellor: The passing of beloved former Chancellor Ken Peacock Oct. 8 left a lasting impact on the campus community. Peacock grew multiple areas of the university and was well known and beloved by many.



A peaceful protest for the advocacy of students’ safety in Wey Hall assembles on the main strip of Sanford Mall on March 28. (Ashton Woodruff)

Free Expression Tunnels renovated: Former Chancellor Sheri Everts announced the renovation of the free expression tunnels to address safety concerns that removed the ability for students to spray paint the tunnels. This announcement resulted in pushback from students, faculty and alumni regarding the removal of a free expression space on campus.

Wey Hall renovations: Construction to Wey Hall began early in the school year, but reported safety concerns amidst construction sparked the sudden closure of Wey Hall and the cancellation of art classes. The sudden closure provoked upset among the art community, leading to much discussion and peaceful protests.

Pride Week Renamed: The Henderson Springs LGBTQ+ Center’s annual queer-themed programming week was renamed to Spring Fest. Following the change, students and community members participated in peaceful protests relating to concerns for the LGBTQ+ and art communities. 

Total Solar Eclipse: Millions of people across the country witnessed the 2024 solar eclipse on April 8. In Boone, people gathered to see 80-85% of the sun’s light darkened by the moon.

Hundreds of students gathered on Sanford Mall April 8 to watch the solar eclipse. The Physics and Astronomy Club handed out solar eclipse glasses for those wishing to view the eclipse. (Jenna Guzman)


Chancellor Sheri Everts stepped down: Everts announced on April 15 through an email that she stepped down from the Office of the Chancellor due to “significant health challenges.” The announcement came at a time of heavy controversy at App State, and left students and faculty wondering what’s next.


As the pages of App State’s history turn, the memories of the past four years stand as a testament to the spirit of the Mountaineer community. Congratulations to the class of 2024, may your adventures beyond the mountain be filled with success and new unforgettable memories.

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