1899: Watauga Academy is founded

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. They shared the dream of helping children in North Carolina’s “lost provinces” discover educational opportunity to match the splendor of the mountains in which they lived. This tiny academy quickly evolved into a school preparing quality teachers to serve our state and beyond. Building on this strong foundation, Appalachian grew into a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community.