App State announces new Hickory campus (2024)

HICKORY, N.C. — Today Appalachian State University announced the purchase of a 225,800-square-foot building to establish the App State Hickory Campus in the state’s largest metro area without a public university.

“Hickory is a vibrant, growing city, just a short drive from Boone, that offers opportunities for App State to continue the mission we have had since 1899 — to increase access to education.”

App State Chancellor Sheri Everts

The former Corning Optical Communications building at 800 17th St. NW in Hickory is six stories and is larger than any building on App State’s Boone campus. The building sits on 15.7 acres of land and features large open spaces, a cafeteria and nearly 700 parking spaces.

“Hickory is a vibrant, growing city, just a short drive from Boone, that offers opportunities for App State to continue the mission we have had since 1899 — to increase access to education,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said at an event announcing the purchase.

Recognizing that App State’s growth potential in Boone is limited, the university has been looking for areas that have growth capacity and market potential for both on-campus and online programs. The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metro Area — with a population of more than 370,000 — was identified as the largest metro area in North Carolina without a state university presence.

The future App State Hickory Campus has frontage along U.S. Highway 321 and is located less than 2 miles from the Hickory Regional Airport and 4 miles from Interstate 40. The campus is close to downtown Hickory and two regional hospitals and is only a short drive from the second North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics campus, which is slated to open next fall in Morganton.

“We are extremely excited — we’re ecstatic — today that Appalachian State University is expanding its presence in Hickory and taking advantage of the former Corning headquarters building to increase educational opportunities in Hickory and to equip our workforce with the skills needed to meet the demands of today’s employers,” said City of Hickory Mayor Hank Guess, who spoke at the announcement event and presented Everts with a key to the city.

Also giving remarks at the event was Scott Millar, president of the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.

“Education plus economic development are the fundamental drivers in opportunity in today’s marketplace,” Millar said. “They’re quickly becoming synonymous. If you don’t have an educational opportunity for people, you certainly won’t have economic development.”

Positioning an App State campus in the Greater Hickory area aligns with University of North Carolina System Strategic Plan priorities and with the myFutureNC goal of ensuring that 2 million North Carolinians have a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.

“App State is a proud partner in achieving this goal for our state,” Everts said, noting that the university consistently receives national recognition for academic excellence and overall value. “For those who want an App State education but choose to live and work in the Hickory area; for those who may have begun but not completed their undergraduate degrees — App State is here for you.”

Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson and Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton are all within a 30-minute drive of the App State Hickory Campus, and all three are partners in the Aspire Appalachian Co-Admission Program, which provides a seamless pathway for students enrolled at partner community colleges to complete their degrees at App State.

Prior to the announcement, the university’s deans toured the building with the chancellor and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Heather Hulburt Norris. In the coming weeks and months, Everts will continue conversations with the Hickory community and will seek additional input from the university’s academic leaders to determine best options for program offerings and utilization of this much-needed space.

In addition, an audit of the building will be performed to assess energy and efficiency needs, as well as opportunities to advance the university’s sustainability mission.

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Appalachian’s Future: App State Hickory

Read about Appalachian State University’s Hickory, NC, campus that will offer new opportunities for students and the region.

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About Appalachian State University

As a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at

App State announces new Hickory campus (2024)


App State announces new Hickory campus? ›

HICKORY, N.C. — Appalachian State University marked a significant milestone in its 124-year history by opening the new Hickory campus on Aug. 21 — expanding higher education access in what was previously the largest metropolitan area in the state without a public university campus.

When did App State Hickory campus open? ›

The App State Hickory Campus opened in 2023 to become the Hickory region's first public university campus. In the heart of the Catawba Valley, App State Hickory offers the appeal of a small college with the prestige of the Southeast's premier public undergraduate institution.

How many students attend App State Hickory? ›

Hickory campus enrolls more than 360 students

This fall, App State's Hickory campus, which opened Aug. 21, serves a total of 363 students who are enrolled in Hickory campus courses. The Hickory student population comprises the following: 21% racially and/or ethnically underrepresented students.

Is App State a big party school? ›

Appalachian State University

#10 Top Party Schools in North Carolina.

What was App State called before? ›

Appalachian State University began as Watauga Academy, founded in 1899 by Dr. B.B. Dougherty, his brother, D.D. Dougherty, and D.D.'s wife, Lillie Shull Dougherty.

What major is Appalachian State University known for? ›

The most popular majors at Appalachian State University include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Education; Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Psychology; Social Sciences; Visual ...

How many students attend Hickory High? ›

It has 1,014 students in grades PK, 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. According to state test scores, 62% of students are at least proficient in math and 49% in reading.

What is the male to female ratio at Appalachian State University? ›

Appalachian State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,558 (fall 2022), with a gender distribution of 44% male students and 56% female students.

How hard is it to get into Appalachian State University? ›

Appalachian State University has an acceptance rate of 83%. Half the applicants admitted to Appalachian State who submitted test scores have an SAT score between 1100 and 1270 or an ACT score of 21 and 27.

How is it to live in Hickory, North Carolina? ›

Hickory is in Catawba County and is one of the best places to live in North Carolina. Living in Hickory offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Hickory there are a lot of parks. Many families and young professionals live in Hickory and residents tend to lean conservative.

How prestigious is App State? ›

Appalachian State University is ranked #3 out of 136 Regional Universities South. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Why is App State so popular? ›

Several national publications, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes magazine and The Wall Street Journal, named App State among the nation's — and the Southeast's — best higher education institutions for 2023 and 2024, recognizing the university for its academics, innovation, value, benefits for student veterans, ...

Is App State pretty? ›

I absolutely love being at App State! The campus is so beautiful, and there are so many things to do. You can go to the Student Union and hang out in the coffee shop, or if it is an exceptionally pretty day, it's great just sitting outside enjoying the amazing Boone weather.

What famous person went to Appalachian State University? ›

List below includes Franklin Graham, Eric Church and more graduates. This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Appalachian State University?” and “Which celebrities are Appalachian State University alumni?”

What percentage of App State students are full time? ›

Full-Time vs Part-Time Enrollment

The full-time enrollment at Appalachian State University is 18,223 and the part-time enrollment is 2,213. This means that 89.2% of students enrolled at Appalachian State University are enrolled full-time compared with N/A% at similar Masters Colleges and Universities.

How much is App State tuition per year? ›

When was Hickory North Carolina founded? ›

The inn was known as “Hickory Tavern.” The community of Hickory Tavern had its first Charter drawn on December 12, 1863, with the “Corporate limits to be one square mile, having its center the depot of Western North Carolina Railroad.” The Town of Hickory Tavern was established in January 1870 by Henry Robinson and " ...

When did App State become d1? ›

Division change – App State joins the Sun Belt Conference

From 1986-1971, they became independent once more until 1972 when they joined the Southern Conference, graduating them to Division I athletic competitions.

What city is home to the first public university in North Carolina? ›

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill: The Triangle is home to the first public university in America, founded in 1789. 231 years later, Carolina is home to 30,000 students.

What year did SUNY launch? ›

The nation's largest comprehensive public university system, The State University of New York (SUNY), was established in 1948. Since its founding, the SUNY system has evolved to meet the changing needs of New York's students, communities, and workforce.


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