Alumnus Ron Woods donates scholarships to support 5 students at App State Hickory campus

HICKORY, N.C. — Appalachian State University alumnus Ron Woods, a Class of 1968 App State graduate and Hickory native, has funded scholarships for five students at the university’s Hickory campus, who were selected for their academic achievements.

The recipients were recognized during halftime of the App State men’s basketball game on Dec. 21, held at Catawba Valley Community College’s Tarlton Complex in Hickory as part of the university’s inaugural Hickory Hoops Classic.

The recipients will begin classes at the Hickory campus in January and will each receive a one-time scholarship of $1,000. The students are:

  • Jude Blochaviak, a first-year student from Taylorsville intending to major in computer information systems.
  • Peyton Martin, a first-year student from Hudson intending to major in health care management.
  • Martin Mason, a transfer student and junior from Hickory intending to major in professional studies.
  • Collin Stanford, a transfer student and junior from Gerton intending to major in anthropology.
  • Sierra Williams, a transfer student and sophomore from Hickory intending to major in criminal justice.

“Scholarships like these remove financial barriers for our students and help us continue to fulfill our mission of increasing access to an App State education,” said Jane Barghothi, App State’s vice chancellor of university advancement. “We are grateful to Ron for his generous investment in our students.”

Supporting students in Catawba Valley and beyond

Woods, who now lives in Houston, Texas, grew up in the Catawba Valley. He graduated from Hickory High School and Lenoir-Rhyne University and earned a master’s degree in economics and business from App State. He also completed post-graduate studies at UNC–Chapel Hill before becoming a Certified Public Accountant and embarking on a successful career in accounting.

In addition to donating these five scholarships, he has also worked with App State on what he described as his legacy project — the establishment of the Ron N. Woods Endowment for Business Innovations and Creative Business Solutions.

This endowment, which aims to expand entrepreneurial opportunities in Catawba County and Western North Carolina, will provide financial resources in perpetuity for App State’s Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship. Housed within the Walker College of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship is committed to uplifting new business concepts and promoting creative thinking by providing mentorship and other crucial resources for budding entrepreneurs.

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Alumnus Ron Woods donates scholarships to support 5 students at App State Hickory campus

About University Advancement

Appalachian State University’s Division of University Advancement supports and encourages the university’s mission by engaging alumni, friends and the greater community. University Advancement staff help connect these constituents with Appalachian through one-on-one contact and special programming, thereby securing the resources necessary to create the best possible learning environment for Appalachian students and to positively impact the community, region and state. The division incorporates the offices of Alumni Affairs, Development and the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc. Learn more at

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and more than 180 graduate students in three master’s programs, Walker College has the highest enrollment of full-time undergraduate students in the University of North Carolina System. Walker College is accredited by AACSB International — the premier global accrediting body for business schools. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University

As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, 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 alumnus Ron Woods, a Class of 1968 App State graduate and Hickory native, has donated five scholarships to support students at the App State Hickory campus. Jude Blochaviak, a first-year student from Taylorsville intending to major in computer information systems, center, represented the five recipients of the Ron Woods Scholarship during a recognition at halftime of the inaugural Hickory Hoops Classic game, held Dec. 21 at Catawba Valley Community College’s Tarlton Complex in Hickory.
Published: Jan 10, 2024 3:02pm