Martha Guy Summer Institute

Martha Guy Summer Institute for Future Business Leaders

Rising high school seniors come to Appalachian State University's campus during the summer to learn about business and developing professional skills. Among the activities is a group project that involves developing a business plan. Each group presents its plan to a panel of business professionals at the conclusion of the program. The experience may include exploratory travel to various business and cultural sites. Participants:

  • Learn about basic business principles, entrepreneurship and major business subjects in Discovery Series sessions taught by outstanding faculty.
  • Participate in leadership development and team-building activities.
  • Explore professional and career opportunities.
  • Meet and interact with business leaders.
  • Enjoy activities such as outdoor courses, cultural events and other social interactions.
  • Gain insight into how business affects their lives and futures.
  • Build executive skills through resume development, interview and etiquette workshops.
  • Develop meaningful friendships with their leaders and fellow participants.
  • Experience individual academic, personal and professional growth.

Martha Guy

Dr. Martha Guy (1922 - 2019) was an icon and pioneer for women in the banking industry. A native of Newland, Guy served and led Avery County Bank for more than 60 years in every capacity from assistant cashier to president. She was inducted into the North Carolina Banking Hall of Fame in 2010 and has been honored by the North Carolina Bankers Association with its Legends in Banking Award. In 2011, Guy received Appalachian's Honorary Alumni Award.

Guy earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill and an associate degree from Lees-McRae College. After firmly establishing her banking career, Guy emerged as a community leader and benefactor. She served on the board of the Crossnore School since 1956 and received a governor’s appointment to the Avery County Board of Education during the turbulent period of school integration. Guy’s leadership of and service to higher education has reached throughout the North Carolina Mountains. She served as a founding trustee of Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine. She also served on boards of directors and visitors at Appalachian State University, Lees-McRae College, Mars Hill College, Montreat College and Warren Wilson College. She has received honorary degrees from Appalachian and Montreat.

In addition to her time and wisdom, Guy also gave generously of her resources to higher education. She was the founder of Appalachian's Martha Guy Summer Institute for Future Business Leaders. Since 2004, the Martha Guy Summer Institute has brought some of the top high school juniors to Appalachian for an unparalleled opportunity to learn about business and develop leadership skills.


“Martha Guy has created an opportunity that fosters the development of future business professionals, and is an unparalleled experience throughout the NC education system.”

– John Granzow (2009 Cohort)

“MGSI taught us the value of connections, leadership, and education in the world of business. MGSI has remained in our lives over the years through great friendships that will stay with us for a lifetime.”

– Liz Hartman, Sam Utesch, and Grant Jared (2010 Cohort)

“Martha Guy helped me build so many relationships that have made my time at Appalachian amazing!”

– Meredith Jonkers (2011 Cohort)

“MGSI pushed me out of my comfort zone, taught me many important life lessons, and blessed me with memories that will last a lifetime.”

– Vance Langdon (2012 Cohort)

“The Martha Guy Summer Institute gave me 27 lifelong friends and allowed me the chance to learn more about myself, Appalachian, and the Walker College of Business! My happiest moments are when I get a text or call from an MGSI-er!”

– Emily Haas (2014 Program Leader)

"I am pleased to say that the three weeksI spent at APP for Martha Guy were the best three weeks of my life."

- Lauren Frazier (2017 Cohort)