App State’s Fall 2023 Commencement Spotlight

Appalachian State University recognized more than 1,500 Mountaineer graduates during its Fall 2023 Commencement ceremonies, held Dec. 15 at the Holmes Convocation Center.

During three ceremonies, the university conferred degrees to 1,531 graduates — 1,379 undergraduate students from seven colleges and schools and 152 graduate students from the Williams School of Graduate Studies, including eight doctoral students and three students who earned education specialist degrees.

Read complete details of the ceremony at

Every commencement and every graduate has a unique and special story. Rachel Rabideau exemplifies the Mountaineer spirit of diligence and perseverance.

Rachel Rabideau

Rachel Rabideau, of Dexter, Michigan, graduated from App State’s Walker College of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in marketing, with a concentration in sales.

Rabideau came to App State as a transfer student in the 2021–22 academic year. Two weeks before she was to begin classes at Michigan State University, she visited her aunt and uncle in Waynesville and took a day trip to Boone, where she was able to join a tour of the App State campus.

“The scenery and the atmosphere immediately drew me in,” she said of her time in Boone, adding, “I found that the App State faculty and staff were so accessible and friendly.”

The next day, Rabideau contacted App State Admissions, whose team helped her enroll at App State and register for classes — within an hour, she was a Mountaineer.

Dr. Bonnie Guy, professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, described Rabideau as a “dynamic student.” Guy served as Rabideau’s coach for the National Shore Sales Challenge in spring 2023 — a two-day role-play and speed-selling competition for college students across the country. Rabideau was named a finalist in the role-play competition.

While at App State, Rabideau served as executive vice president of the university’s Collegiate Sales Society chapter and earned an Outstanding Marketing Scholar Award from Walker College. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Sophia Walsh Memorial Scholarship; established by the family of the late App State alumna and Walker College student Sophia Leigh Walsh, the scholarship provides support to students pursuing the field of sales.

Rabideau shared that she plans to travel abroad before beginning her new sales role at DIGI America in Raleigh — a supplier of cutting-edge products and solutions for the food industry. She will assume her new role this spring, with a sales territory concentrated in the eastern regions of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

In this video, transfer student and App State graduate Rachel Rabideau discusses how she found App State and how its faculty and staff made her feel comfortable from the very beginning. She also talks about how her App State Experience has helped prepare her for a future career in sales. “Being a Mountaineer is about community,” she shared. “It’s great to be a Mountaineer!” Video by App State University Communications

See more graduate features 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

Rachel Rabideau at Peacock Hall
Published: Dec 21, 2023 12:00am