Alumni awarded for service to App State

Hadasa Rivera Marin

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Time may have passed since graduation for three App State alumni, but their devotion to serving students and faculty on campus has remained. 

The Appalachian State Alumni Association awarded Avery Hall Sr. and Ronald Norwood the 2019 Outstanding Service Award, and Jonathan Kappler the 2019 Young Alumni Award. 

The OSA is awarded every year to individuals who have assisted with alumni functions, provided financial support, or have served on any board or council devoted to the advancement of App State. The Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni under 40 who have similarly granted service to the university.

Hall and Kappler said they were “humbled by the recognition” and felt they served the institution in a way any of their fellow alumni would serve.

Hall was a defensive lineman for the Mountaineers from 1989-92 and was welcomed into the Appalachian Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999. He is a former member of the Yosef Club Advisory Board and part of the board of trustees. 

Courtesy of Marie Freeman
Appalachian alumnus Avery B. Hall ’93, senior vice president/commercial banking lender at Wells Fargo in Greensboro. He is a recipient of Appalachian Alumni Association’s 2019 Outstanding Service Award.

Hall said he “really wanted to make a difference” and see if he could “help another Avery Hall.” He currently serves on the board of directors for Appalachian State University Foundation Inc.

Based on his experiences, Hall said he knew how crucial education was and how it could change the trajectory of his life.

Hall said while in school, he worked every summer. Whether it was hauling trash or interning on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., he tried to be proactive and prepare for life after graduation. 

Former president of the Appalachian Alumni Association, and current member of the College of Art and Sciences Advancement Board, Kappler said he continues to grow through his affiliation with the university.

Kappler said that in his transition from student to alumnus, he wanted to serve the university. Though his service may not have been monetary, he always wanted to help out in any way he could. 

“I’ve come back, spoken to classes and shared my experiences, so that students have a better sense of what the opportunities simply are for them post-graduation,” Kappler said. 

Hall said after he completed his undergraduate years at App State, he felt intimidated going out into the world. What made him worry less was that he knew how to work. 

He said that over time, he’s gone from a “hard-charging 22 year old” to a “seasoned corporate guy,” and he’s learned to understand and realize what he does and doesn’t know, and that’s made him a more open person. 

“Seize the day. Take care of the moments. If you take care of the moments, the days will take care of themselves. If you take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves,” Hall said.