Peacock Hall, Home To The Walker College of Business
The Walker College of Business is located within Kenneth E. Peacock Hall (formerly Raley Hall). Opened in 1990, the 130,000 square-foot, four-story building is in the middle of the Appalachian State University campus. It was named and dedicated in honor of Thelma C. Raley in 1993. In June 2014, Raley Hall was renamed Peacock Hall in honor of Appalachian's sixth Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. Peacock, who views his legacy as developing and supporting future leaders, accepted the naming recognition after the Raley family, together with members of university leadership boards, recommended the change to Appalachian's Board of Trustees.
At the time of its completion, Peacock Hall received the 1990 Architectural Brick Award from the Brick Association of North Carolina. The building was cited for the use of different colors of brick, for a design that breaks up the mass of the building without dwarfing neighboring buildings, its curved glass block wall and its pedestrian access.
In April 2004 the second-floor Howard Street entrance lobby of Peacock Hall was renovated and dedicated in memory of former State Treasurer Harlan E. Boyles. Custom-made display cases highlighted memorabilia from Treasurer Boyles' career and personal life. Comfortable chairs and study tables were added, and a built-in media center enhanced various college functions.
The need for more collaborative spaces prompted further renovations in the summer of 2015 including a redesigned lobby area and the Broyhill "Living Room," a large open area that serves as a comfortable networking space for students, faculty, staff and visitors. These improved areas feature built-in charging stations, new display cabinets, writeable and display surfaces and several other modernized upgrades. A highlight of these upgrades is the built-in counter and mini-kitchen that is home to Beans 2 Brew, the student-run coffee shop that offers students from all majors the opportunity to be involved in a real business.
Other summer 2015 improvements include more flexible learning environments in selected existing classrooms, new "break-out" areas to facilitate group learning, and renovated career services, student advising and graduate program areas to add office space and improve functionality.
Peacock Hall houses the dean's suite, offices for graduate and undergraduate advising, and facilities for the six departments in the college: accounting; computer information systems & supply chain management; economics; finance, banking and insurance; marketing; and management. There are also separate suites for the Richard S. Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Marshall Croom Student Services Center, which houses the BB&T Student Leadership Center. Instructional areas consist of two auditoriums, three lecture halls, twenty-four classrooms standard classrooms of varying sizes, two computer classrooms, one computer classroom/student computer lab, and eight conference rooms.
The Walker College of Business shares Peacock Hall with the university's Information Technology Services on the first and second floors.
History Of The College
The college had its beginning as a department in the College of Fine and Applied Arts and was located on the top floor of Smith-Wright Hall. In 1971, the College of Business was established.
In 1976, the College of Business was relocated to a new 55,000 square-foot, three-story building and both the building and college were named for John A. Walker. At the time, the college included 53 faculty members and 1,600 undergraduate students, the largest undergraduate enrollment in the state of North Carolina. The building was utilized at full capacity, and between 1976 and 1983, the number of business degrees awarded increased by 71 percent and the number of faculty nearly doubled.
In 1985, funds for the initial design and planning of a new building for the college were appropriated by the North Carolina legislature. The groundbreaking was in April of 1988 and the building was completed in the summer of 1990.
John A. Walker
John Walker was a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Northwestern University. He was a businessman, philanthropist, and civic and community leader from North Wilkesboro, NC. Walker had served as president and was one of the founding directors of Lowe's Companies.
At the time of the naming of the college and building, Walker was Executive Vice-President for Sales and Profits of Lowe's Companies. In 1976, he donated $250,000 as the first major gift in the "Investment for Merit" campaign to raise $1.5 million for the college. This gift represented only the beginning of his long association with and enthusiastic commitment to the college. He remained active with fund-raising, assisted with faculty and student recruitment efforts and, at the time of his death in 1984, served as the chairperson of the college's Business Advisory Council.
Kenneth E. Peacock
Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock served as Appalachian State University's sixth chancellor from 2004 to 2014. During his tenure, Appalachian experienced significant growth in the overall quality of its academic programs and launched new or enhanced initiatives in the areas of healthcare and the intersection of energy, the environment and economics.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Chancellor Peacock served at Appalachian as interim provost and executive vice chancellor. He joined the faculty in the Walker College of Business Department of Accounting in 1983, was appointed assistant dean of the Walker College in 1987, associate dean in 1989, and served as dean of the college from 1992-2003.
Chancellor Peacock was instrumental in creating the Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture Series in 1988, and through this series has brought industry experience to campus which has allowed our students first-hand exposure to influential leaders of business.
Thelma C. Raley
Thelma Raley, a resident of Winter Haven, Fla. and Blowing Rock, N.C., was a successful businesswoman, civic leader and pioneer in the Florida citrus industry. As the owner of Raley Grove Properties for more than 50 years, she was recognized as one of the top women citrus growers in the South.
Raley graduated from Messer Business College and attended Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University). A mother of three, she realized a lifelong ambition when she completed her studies and received a Bachelor's degree in English from Appalachian in December 1992 at the age of 80. She made a substantial financial commitment to the Walker College of Business.