As the Appalachian Student Ambassadors, we strive to improve the quality of our university through professionalism, dedicated service and a direct partnership with the Alumni Association, University Admissions, and the Office of the Chancellor.
The Appalachian Student Ambassadors were founded in 1977 by Fred Robinette along with 12 dedicated students. Their responsibilities consisted of offering campus tours and assisting with alumni programs as hosts and hostesses. Although the group was small in number, they possessed a great deal of spirit and enjoyed doing things together outside of Ambassador events.
In 1981, Mr. Robinette took the position of development officer for the College of Business. In the next ten years, the Ambassador program had four different advisors (Barbara Burgin, Mark Driebelbis, Tom Lawson, and Todd Campbell). The program had little structure and loosely defined responsibilities.
In July of 1988, under the leadership of Brad Edwards, President, and Patrick Henderson, Advisor, the Ambassador program began to take shape. Regular weekly meeting times were scheduled and the group's responsibilities began to grow. Information was gathered to serve as an orientation of correct tour information, and an emphasis was placed on first impressions.
In 1989, the Appalachian Ambassadors attended their second-ever District Conference in Tampa, Florida. The Ambassador program continued to grow under the leadership of Tracey Ford. 12 students grew into 38 dedicated members with over 33 leadership positions assigned each year. This was beyond the primary focus of giving informative tours that "sell" Appalachian State University. The group continued to be actively involved in the The Association of Student Advancement Programs. Appalachian Ambassadors were known throughout District III and the Network as being spirited. The Network also looked to Appalachian for professional and informative workshops at various conferences and conventions. In 1993, the Ambassadors gained a second advisor, Patrick Setzer, who represented the Office of Admissions.
In July of 1995, the Student Ambassador office moved into the McKinney Alumni Center where they continued to strengthen the relationship between alumni and their alma mater.
In the fall of 1996, Ambassadors relocated their office to the John E. Thomas Building, which houses the Office of Admissions and the Visitors Center. The Ambassadors continued to receive stable advising roles from Patrick Setzer with the Office of Admissions and Tracey Ford from the Office of Alumni Affairs. After the move to the John E. Thomas Building, the Ambassadors continued to serve the university through various roles and expanded their responsibilities throughout campus.
In 1997, the Ambassadors added home high school visits and Chancellor-For-A-Day to its list of activities. In 2002, the Ambassadors celebrated 25 years of dedicated service to the university. A 25th Reunion Celebration was held during Homecoming Weekend for current and past Ambassadors. In the fall of 2004, one of the longtime co-advisors, Tracey Ford, turned over her role to Kindsay Greene when she was appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs.
In 2007, Patrick Setzer accepted a new position as Director of University Marketing Communications and Morgann Greene and Amanda Griggs became the advisors of the Student Ambassadors. Under their guidance, the Ambassadors celebrated their 30th anniversary. Over 200 past Ambassadors gathered to celebrate the organization that began in 1977. In the summer of 2008, Morgann and Amanda turned their roles over to Kimberly Stark from the Office of Alumni Affairs and Joshua Moll from the Office of Admissions. The fall of 2011 brought some familiar changes to the Ambassador family as two alumni of the organization, Sarah-Davis Cagle from the Office of Admissions and Jordan Lewis from the Office of Alumni Affairs, became the next advisors. In July of 2013, Summer Wisdom became the advisor from the Office of Alumni Affairs and Beth Holcomb became the advisor from the Office of Admissions in August of 2014. Finally, in January of 2017, Sarah Garrow joined Summer Wisdom by becoming the advisor from the Office of Admissions.
The group has come a long way since 1977, and continues to stand behind their mission of supporting the Appalachian Family through a tradition of excellence.