App State embraces new class of Mountaineers


Becca Bridges

Matias Akers (far left), Cameron Greve (middle), Charles Traill (middle right) & Thomas Castain (far right) attended their freshman Black & Gold assembly in the front row.

Hollie Moore, Associate News Editor

The Rock. Sanford Mall. Plemmons Student Union. The Duck Pond. Game days. App State engulfed new Mountaineers into these long-standing App State traditions on Friday night in the Black & Gold Traditions

The ceremony, attended by over 3,000 students, honors each first-year Mountaineer. 

Bailey Gardin, student body president, spoke to the class of 2025. (Becca Bridges )

“You all are official Mountaineers. There are more responsibilities that come with that, that come with being a member of this community,” said Bailey Gardin, the student body president. “Together, we can make Appalachian State a place that everyone is proud to call home. Together, let’s leave a legacy worth remembering.”

Students were given a black “A” pin to accompany them in their undergraduate years before receiving the gold “A” pin at graduation. 

Students picked up their black App State pins to symbolize their acceptance into the university community. (Becca Bridges )

“The Appalachian ‘A’ is a physical reminder that you have chosen to be something bigger than yourself,” said J.J. Brown, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “The Appalachian ‘A’ in black is a symbol of belonging, connecting and being inclusive.”

In the past, this tradition was performed during the Black and Gold Convocation, a similar event held in the Holmes Convocation Center but was canceled due to lack of interest and participation from staff and students. The university moved the event this year to Kidd Brewer Stadium to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. 

App State was able to hold the event in the football stadium, inviting students’ enthusiasm about their next years at App State to the stands, creating a roar of excitement.

Administrators also introduced the new Mountaineers to game day traditions by demonstrating the chants, songs and cheers.

Freshmen Olivia Milford and Macy Monteith expressed their eagerness to be part of and take pride in the App State community. Monteith said the Black and Gold Traditions ceremony was welcoming and gave her “an understanding of App State.”