Robertson retires after 29 years of serving Appalachian


Jessica Eley

After 29 years as the director of student programs and the director of Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University, Dave Robertson is set to retire in December.

Dave Robertson will retire this December after serving Appalachian State University for 29 years as the director of student programs and Plemmons Student Union. Photo by Paul Heckert | The Appalachian

“Dave came in here with a vision,” said Brad Vest, associate director of student programs. “His vision was to create a fun environment for students and to have a student union that this campus could be proud of.”

In Robertson’s first major project at Appalachian, he started the group APPS, or Appalachian Popular Programming Society. The students on the board pick the entertainment that they want to see perform at Appalachian.

“Students were leaving Appalachian because there was nothing to do up here,” Robertson said. “I really wanted to change that.”

In 2001, APPS won an Association of College Unions International, or ACUI, award. The ACUI named them as one of the top 17 student unions in the world. The ACUI supports its members in the development of community through education, advocacy and the delivery of services.

Robertson was also with the union through several renovations from 1991 up until the most recent expansions in 2012.

The changes Roberson saw include the additions of Cascades and Student Programs and APPS offices in the 1990s, the transformation of what was a bowling alley into the Blue Ridge Ballroom in 2001, and later the additions of Greenbriar Theater, the bookstore and the solarium.

Among Robertson’s proudest achievements he said is the staff that he has built. He hired everyone that works in student programs.

“I’ve gotten to work with an incredible group of people who are committed to students,” said Robertson. “This building is one of his proudest achievements.”

Vest said that he has learned a lot from the time he has worked with Robertson.

“Dave taught me that whatever you do, make it your best.” Vest said. “Appalachian has definitely gained because of him.”

CORRECTION: The original version of the story misspelled Dave Robertson’s name as Roberson. The Appalachian apologizes for the error.

Story: Jessica Eley, Intern News Reporter
Photo: Paul Heckert, Photo Editor