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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Best of Boone 2024: Best for Alumni

Best City for Alumni: Charlotte

By Emily Escobedo Ramirez

Max Sanborn

With a population of nearly 800,000 people, the city of Charlotte is no match for the App State graduate community. Ranked by U.S. News as the eighth-best place to live in the U.S., 20th in best cities for job growth by Forbes and surrounded by countless activities, App State alumni have spoken: Charlotte is the Best City for Alumni in this year’s Best of Boone.

Charlotte is home to corporations Bank of America, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Lowe’s and other reputable businesses. It welcomes start-up companies and has been ranked by Lending Trees as the second-best place to start a company, close behind Raleigh.

Charlotte is favored due to its business-friendly tax climate and a strong start-up survival rate. With the ability to create a business or join strong foundations, it is a beacon of light for alumni.

It is sports galore for fans of all games, as this city is home to Bank of America Stadium, Truist Stadium, Spectrum Center and Charlotte Motor Speedway. With consistent matches all year round, it proves to be one of the best cities to watch a game live. Charlotte FC, the Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Knights are teams that ooze excitement and entertainment, all mere minutes inside the city. 

Alumnus Patrick McRee, a communications specialist, mentioned what exactly makes the “Queen City” similar to Boone. 

“In Charlotte, there is always some kind of activity or event happening,” McRee said. “Just like Boone with all of the clubs and organizations hosting events for the community to participate in. You can always make a new friend wherever you go.” 

How do Mountaineers keep their pride ongoing? Fellow alum Gracie Small answers the question. 

“I keep my mountaineer pride alive by repping App State gear, telling others about my experiences there, and making sure to keep up with all the sports,” Small said.

The Charlotte Alumni Center churns out event after event of watch parties, networking socials and volunteering services that make sure the App State spirit is strong. 

With its skyline supposedly visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Charlotte has proven time and time again it is a home away from home for all Mountaineers. Its strong job growth, embracement of entrepreneurship and ideal location to other major cities in North Carolina all make its case as the Best City for Alumni.

Best Thing to do While Visiting as an Alumni: Football Games

By Madison Nance

Yosef sits on the student section wall with fans before the home opener versus Gardner Webb on Sept. 9. (Ashton Woodruff)

After graduating from App State, all graduates earn the privilege of calling themselves App State alumni. There are dozens of ways to remain engaged after graduating, including alumni events in surrounding cities and connecting with the large numbers of alumni across the globe. 

Alumni consistently remain intertwined with one another despite decades of graduation years and return to campus for a variety of reasons, primarily for attending football games.

Football games were voted the Best Thing About Visiting as an Alumni, and there are certainly a wide range of reasons why. 

Whether it is to visit an old friend, a family trip to Boone or just for a walk down memory lane, many will agree one of the best things to do when visiting campus as an alumnus is to show some never-ending school spirit by attending App State football games. 

Football season is a huge magnet not only for students and fans, but also for graduates who have remained loyal to their university. Alumni have had their fair share of memories made, and returning to App State gives them the chance to make even more.

Games draw people back not only for team spirit, but also for reunions with old classmates and friends. Football presents itself as an incredible opportunity to spend time with others at tailgates, have a few drinks and bring in food and fun to share with family and friends. 

Alumni have the chance to see the growth and changes of the team over the years, and bear to witness the successes achieved with new up and coming players. Iconic moments such as App State’s victory against Troy University with a last second Hail Mary and visits from College GameDay acts as major magnets for alumni, once again letting them see the development of App State football. 

The university continues to welcome fans, students and alumni alike to campus for a variety of events, but football games will always take the cake for allowing thousands to let loose and get loud while cheering on their favorite team. 

Alumni continue returning to campus for a reason; there will always be a more than welcoming atmosphere here to invite alumni back to their roots, whether it is for a fun visit, events for alumni or simply for a good time at a football game. Either way, sporting events remain an amazing way to stay connected with App State.

Best Alumni Chapter: Charlotte

By Courtney Quinton

The sunset view of the uptown Charlotte skyline can be seen from Truist Field on June 5, 2022, home of the Charlotte Knights Minor League Baseball team. (Ashton Woodruff)

The App State Alumni Association is deeply committed to creating connections between graduates and the university, ensuring a chance of opportunities well beyond graduation. The Charlotte Alumni Chapter — winner of this year’s Best Alumni Chapter — stands out, creating a vibrant community for Charlotte-based alumni through different App State-themed events. 

Emphasizing their dedication to the Alumni Association’s mission, the chapter’s website highlights their commitment to lifelong and beneficial relationships between the university and alumni. They strive to inspire pride among current and future graduates.

From different hAPPy hours at local venues for networking opportunities to gathering at hockey games and cheering on any and all Mountaineer sporting events, the Charlotte Alumni Chapter ensures there is something for everyone. Their engagement does not stop there. The chapter actively participates in community support initiatives, including volunteer cleanups, especially for their adopted street Poindexter Drive and school supply drives, demonstrating a commitment to making a meaningful impact beyond their alumni circle.

Their online presence, especially on Instagram @appstatecltalumni, serves as a platform for regular members and newcomers to connect and engage with one another, allowing for a sense of belonging. 

Through their website, the chapter extends an open invitation to alumni to partake in a wide variety of events and activities throughout the year, with a strong emphasis on inclusivity and continuous engagement.

In addition to organizing social and community events, the chapter offers a diverse range of programs and services aimed at facilitating alumni’s reconnection with App State. With over 8,882 alumni in the Charlotte area alone and a global alumni network exceeding 142,000, the chapter shows the power of community and connection.

For the Charlotte chapter, the primary objective is to unite App State alumni, solidifying their reputation as the Best Alumni Chapter and a premier destination for recent graduates and seasoned alumni seeking connection within a familiar community.

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About the Contributors
Emily Escobedo Ramirez
Emily Escobedo Ramirez, Opinion Writer
Emily Escobedo Ramirez (she/they) is a sophomore from Durham, NC. She is a Communication Studies major. This is her second year writing with the Appalachian.
Madison Nance
Madison Nance, Opinion Writer
Madison Nance (she/her) is a sophomore English major. This is her second year with The Appalachian
Courtney Quinton
Courtney Quinton, Opinion Writer
Courtney Quinton is a junior biology major from Sanford, NC. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Max Sanborn
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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