Dr. Plemmons

Dr. William Howard Plemmons was the second president of Appalachian, known as the "builder president." He was born June 11, 1904 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Plemmons graduated from Mars Hill College in 1926 and cum laude from Wake Forest College in 1928. He earned a master's degree in history from Duke University in 1935 and a PhD in history and educational administration from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1943. Wake Forest granted Plemmons an honorary doctorate in 1958.

Plemmons began teaching in Asheville and served as principal of two schools before returning to UNC where he served as admissions officer, registrar, and professor. He became president of Appalachian on September 1, 1955.

During his administration, Appalachian's enrollment and campus grew and the school became known throughout the South. He expanded the curriculum, constructed new buildings and formulated the institution's first long-range plan with the help of faculty, staff, community members and professional planners and architects. Plemmons rebuilt and expanded the inadequate physical plant, established a new administrative structure and developed a curriculum that provided for growth and expansion beyond the single purpose of preparing teachers.

After retirement in 1969, Plemmons served as director of Special Projects at ASU. He was active in local and regional civic organizations. Currently, the student union on campus is named in his honor and contributions to student and campus life.