Chancellor Anne Ponder stands in front of Pisgah House
Professor Lei Han works with a student in a computer lab


January, 2014

Chancellor Anne Ponder announces her retirement from UNC Asheville, effective in the summer of 2014. “I’m so proud of what we have built together here, and I have confidence that this successful trajectory will continue, but it is time to make room for the next generation in higher education leadership. As I said at my installation in 2006, ‘What we need is here.’ It was true then, and it is even more true now.”

January, 2014

UNC Asheville implements revised curriculum, the “Liberal Arts Core.”

The new Liberal Arts Core is designed to ensure the continuation of the university’s academic hallmarks – the interdisciplinary approach, the Humanities Program, and intensive instruction in certain areas – while giving students greater flexibility in course selection so they can explore diverse topics and still graduate in four years.

“…(Chancellor Ponder) has served us admirably during what has been a difficult economic time for all of higher education. She has championed diversity, strategic planning and public service, and she leaves UNC Asheville in a better place than when she arrived…”
~N. King Prather, chair, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, senior vice president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C.

Graphic displaying an image on North Carolina with the following text “For every $1 the state of North Carolina appropriates to UNC Asheville, total economic output in the Asheville metropolitan area increases by $7.52.
Student writes in Chinese during a faculty led trip to China.


April, 2013

Economic impact study shows that UNC Asheville’s annual economic impact on the region is $268 million.

Compared to the last economic impact study in 1995 (while adjusting for inflation), UNC Asheville's total impact has increased by over $100 million to a total. Local jobs supported amount to 2,592 individuals.

April, 2013

Chancellor Ponder received the inaugural Van Ummersen Presidential Leadership Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators

The award recognizes her demonstrated leadership and promotion of women's opportunities in athletics administration and coaching.

April, 2013

Leah Greden Mathews is selected as the first Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professor of the Mountain South

The endowed professorship made possible by the C. D. Spangler Foundation, matching funds from the North Carolina General Assembly, and the UNC Asheville Foundation. With its support, Mathews will continue her interdisciplinary “place-based, applied, policy-relevant” scholarship focused on the region.

May, 2013

UNC Asheville engages in the first faculty-led trip to China

As part of the Asian Studies and International Studies Programs’ efforts to globalize the UNC Asheville campus, the experience gave students the opportunity to learn aspects of Chinese language, culture and society that they can apply to their academics and careers. It’s one of UNC Asheville’s study abroad programs in more than two dozen countries.

Students and professors play Jazz music onstage.
Incoming Freshmen follow the tradition of rubbing the head of the Rocky statue.

July, 2013

UNC Asheville purchases acreage and existing health care building on W.T. Weaver Blvd.

The facility now will house and expanded Student Health and Counseling Center and offices for Advancement and Alumni Affairs.

July, 2013

UNC Asheville adds two new majors.

The Bachelor of Arts in Art History and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music offer students unique classes and practical experience.

August, 2013

UNC Asheville Welcomes Largest Freshman Class in Four Years

Some 600 freshmen and 375 transfer students become Bulldogs. For the 2013-14 academic year, UNC Asheville has roughly doubled the size of its merit-based Laurels Scholarship program. The average combined SAT score for the freshman class also surpasses the prior year.

November, 2013

Travel + Leisure magazine ranks Asheville No. 8 on their list of America’s Best College Towns

UNC Asheville’s hometown also earned recognition in The Princeton Review's The Best 378 Colleges - 2014 Edition, coming in at No. 13 on the “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list. According to surveys, students “love the fact that they are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains” and praised the university's outdoors program, including rock-climbing, caving, hiking and kayaking.

“…Anne Ponder has led the university to become Asheville's University. She is the consummate educator, engaged in community activities, a true community leader and is a spokesperson for higher education in our state and nation….”
~K. Ray Bailey, president emeritus, AB Tech

UNC Asheville basketball player JC Primm dribbles past a defending Syracuse player.
Chancellor Anne Ponder and five other individuals pose with shovels during the groundbreaking for Overlook hall.


September, 2012

UNC Asheville honored former chancellor David G. Brown, renaming the former University Hall as Brown Hall

The ceremony was attended by some 250 people on the university campus, and Brown's wife, Lin, also an educator, was awarded the Chancellor's Medallion for her role as founding director of the College for Seniors.

March, 2012

UNC Asheville’s Men’s Basketball wins their second consecutive Big South Conference men’s championship and return to the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The Bulldogs broke in the new Kimmel Arena in style, setting a school record of 24 victories. And in their return trip to NCAA March Madness tournament, the team came within six minutes of becoming the first 16-seeded team in NCAA Tournament history to beat the top seed.

August, 2012

Overlook Hall opens

The new residence hall, designed with student input, has four- and six-person suites that combine single and double rooms with a shared living area and bathroom. Students will also have a food court, kitchenettes, laundry rooms, study areas, meeting space and a rooftop study area and lounge with views of campus and Mount Pisgah.

March, 2012

UNC Asheville administrators received official notification from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) confirming the recertification of the university's athletic program.

Primary components of UNC Asheville's athletics program: governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender/diversity issues and student-athlete well-being.

David and Lin Brown pose in front of a sign reading “Brown Hall Admissions”
A logo reading “Inquiry ARC enhancing critical thinking UNC Asheville

September, 2012

UNC Asheville ranked 7th among nation's Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report

The university moved up one place from its ranking the previous year. Once again, UNC Asheville was recognized by the rankings for affordability as measured by student debt.

February, 2012

UNC Asheville purchases 525 Broadway Property

The additional acreage will link the campus with Asheville’s greenway and the downtown area, enabling students and community residents to walk and bike along the creek, removed from traffic on nearby Broadway Avenue

December, 2012

Chancellor Ponder named a fellow by the National Collegiate Honors Council, a national professional association of colleges and universities with honors programs.

Roughly 300 students (just under 10% of UNC Asheville’s student population) take part in the Honors Program each year.

December, 2012

10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, with praise for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), known on campus as Inquiry ARC

"This is a very gratifying moment for us," said Economics Professor Bruce Larson, who chaired UNC Asheville's working group on reaccreditation. "We saw the reaffirmation process as a chance to put plans in place to further develop the critical thinking skills of our students. This will make UNC Asheville's already excellent academic experience an even better one in the coming decade, and we're glad the SACS commission approves of our strategy."

“(Anne Ponder’s) arrival as our chancellor came with a promise of a strategic plan which she promptly led our campus and community to develop. This plan has provided the footprint for UNC Asheville to gain respect and support from across our state and throughout the nation…. We have been extremely fortunate to have had her full attention for 9 years.”
~Sue McClinton, UNC Asheville trustee, owner, William S. Hein & Co. Inc.

Wilma Sherrill posing in front of the Wilma M. Sherrill Center sign
Chancellor Anne Ponder and Mission Hospitals CEO Ron Paulus signing documents


February, 2011

Wachovia contributes $100,000 to UNC Asheville to fund scholarships and the Sherrill Center

The funding will support a $25,000 Wachovia-Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship for Future Teachers and provides $75,000 in unrestricted support to the new Wilma M. Sherrill Center, which houses the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness and Kimmel Arena.

August, 2011

Wilma M. Sherrill Center opens.

The Sherrill Center is a multi-purpose facility that houses academic and outreach programs focused on disease prevention and healthy living, as well as the 3,800-seat Kimmel Arena. It is the largest construction project ever undertaken at UNC Asheville, and since its opening, more than a quarter of a million people have attended events, conferences, lectures and performances at the facility.

August, 2011

UNC Asheville and Mission Health System signed a new affiliation agreement

The two institutions plan to develop new undergraduate research opportunities for UNC Asheville students by connecting with Mission's research projects in areas such as cancer, genetics, integrative health, kinesiology and geriatrics. The agreement also provides opportunities to develop additional health and science courses, and increase the number of health care internships, thereby supporting student careers in these important fields.

August, 2011

Forbes magazine ranks UNC Asheville 26th in the nation in its "Top 100 Best Buy Colleges" roster.

Forbes based its rankings of best undergraduate colleges on the quality of teaching, career prospects, graduation rates, and student debt levels.

Professor Ted Miegs and a student working in a lab.
Portrait of professor Richard Chess

August, 2011

Ted Meigs is named the inaugural GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Molecular and Chemical Biology

Meigs’ efforts accelerate UNC Asheville’s movement toward national prominence in undergraduate teaching and research training in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and chemical biology.


Richard Chess is named the inaugural Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts and Sciences.

During his three-year term, Chess will refine and advance the mission of the Honors Program and implement a scholarly project in the area of Contemplative Studies.

September, 2011

UNC Asheville hosts first Well-a-Bration

Held in collaboration with the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness (NCCHW), the event features a very full schedule of walking tours, fitness assessments and instruction, meetings for health professionals, cooking demonstrations, sports and wellness expos, demonstrations, and numerous guest speakers

October, 2011

UNC Asheville reinstates the women's swimming program for competition in the 2012-13 academic year.

The new team is the eight women’s sport and brings university’s total to 15 Division I athletic teams.

August, 2011

Brian Butler named Thomas H. Howerton Distinguished Professor in Humanities

Supported by a gift from Helen Howerton Lineberry and her husband Al Lineberry in memory of her father, Thomas Howerton, and a grant from the C. D. Spangler Foundation, the Howerton Professorship is awarded to a tenured full professor who has demonstrated exemplary teaching across the liberal arts curriculum and made substantive contributions to the University and its mission.

December, 2011

UNC Asheville celebrates its first Commencement ceremony in the new Kimmel Arena.

With some 2,000 family and friends of the graduates in attendance, UNC Asheville celebrated its first Commencement ceremony at the new Kimmel Arena, awarding degrees to 222 graduates.

December, 2011

UNC Asheville's North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR) announces a $2 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation

By becoming part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes network, we secure our place in the national conversation about learning in the second half of life. We will preserve what is unique about the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, which are our life transition and civic programs, and we will be able to strengthen our College for Seniors, which has been so vital to so many Asheville retirees," said Catherine Frank, NCCCR executive director.

“(Chancellor Ponder) has built strong relationships with the Legislature, the Board of Governors, donors and the local community. Most importantly, she has sustained the mission of the university and tirelessly made the case for our dedication to high quality liberal education.”
~Merritt Moseley, professor of literature and language

Chancellor Anne Ponder and guests pose in front o a sign reading The Janice W Brumit Pisgah House
Pharmacy student measures medicine with a beaker


February, 2010

UNC Asheville launches a new website

The website offers a new look and a whole new way of looking at UNC Asheville, with easier navigation, appealing design, and tons of new content and photographs.

February, 2010

UNC Asheville opens the Janice W. Brumit Pisgah House.

The multi-purpose building, required of all UNC campuses, was funded by private donations and serves as a location for university-sponsored events, meetings receptions and dinners. It also is the Chancellor’s residence.

March, 2010

Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine names the university one of the top green colleges in the Southeast.

UNC Asheville has the lowest energy consumption (based on BTU’s per square foot) among all 16 campuses in the University of North Carolina system.

April, 2010

UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy expands satellite program to UNC Asheville

The close working partnership among UNC Asheville, Mission Health System, and UNC-Chapel Hill contributed to the foundation of the program, with $2.5 million fund-raising initiative spearheaded by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners pledged $600,000 toward that goal, and the City of Asheville pledged $100,000.

Engineering students huddle around a computer monitor.
Portrait of Adam Reagan standing under a tree.

July, 2010

Kennametal Foundation donates $40,000 to benefit programs and equipment in Zeis Hall.

"Whether it be chemistry, engineering, material sciences or mechatronics, it is where disciplines intersect in a facility such as this that innovation and breakthroughs occur," said David W. Greenfield, former vice president, secretary and general counsel of Kennametal Inc., at the lobby naming event.

August, 2010

Progress Energy donates $25,000 to support UNC Asheville’s joint engineering programs with NC State.

“We have seen first-hand the tremendous renewable energy projects designed by the senior class at UNC Asheville,” said Martha Thompson, Community Relations and Economic Development manager for Progress Energy. “The equipment purchased with this grant will be used to further advance these projects and stimulate the students to think about energy usage and consumption for our future. Progress Energy is proud to partner with UNC Asheville to continue the long-standing tradition of excellence in education here in Western North Carolina.”

October, 2010

Adam Reagan wins first Erskine Bowles Service Award presented by UNC Staff Assembly

The UNC Asheville Information Technology Services applications analyst (now Associate Chief Information Officer) has made philanthropy central in his life, despite a cardiac diagnosis that would sideline most people.

“Anne Ponder has been a phenomenal leader for UNC Asheville. She knows and loves the region; she has always fully embraced UNC Asheville’s unique role as North Carolina’s public liberal arts university; and she understands its vast potential for even greater service to the state.”
~UNC President Tom Ross

Logo reading “The Princeton Review”
Portrait of the university’s live mascot, Rocky in front of Ramsey Library.


January, 2009

UNC Asheville named one of 50 "Best Value" Public Colleges in the U.S. by Princeton Review

According to the Princeton Review, the schools that made the "Best Value" list "retain similar qualities – they're able to provide stellar academics with a modest price tag. Indeed, students who attend these universities don't feel as though they have to mortgage their future just to enroll."

January, 2009

UNC Asheville chosen as the first national headquarters for the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

"As one of the eight founding members of COPLAC, and as a focus of our strategic plan, hosting COPLAC's headquarters on our campus assures our central role in leading the national conversation about interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the 21st century," said UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder.

February, 2009

Rocky I joins the Bulldogs as the first live mascot in 20 years.

Born on Sept. 12, 2006, Rocky was transferred from a canine rescue organization in Georgia, where UNC Asheville Mathematics Lecturer Ed Johnson found and adopted him. Johnson (’96) and wife Alexis (’97) share caretaking responsibilities of Rocky, who is known almost as much for his drool as his school spirit.

May, 2009

The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville receives a $3 million grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation

The grant will be used to address the challenges of childhood obesity, healthy aging and workplace wellness

Chancellor Ponder with Steve and Frosene Zeis examining examining equipment in a science lab.
Mayor Terry Bellame and Anne Ponder sign an agreement in front of onlookers.

June, 2009

Chancellor Ponder writes the chapter on strategic planning in the American Council on Education’s book Leading America’s Branch Campuses.

August, 2009

U.S. News & World Report ranks UNC Asheville 9th among all liberal arts colleges as a “Top Up-and-Coming School”

UNC Asheville was the only public liberal arts college named to this list, and U.S. News & World Report singled out the university as one of 80 colleges and universities where “the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”

September, 2009

UNC Asheville dedicates Zeis Hall

The 86,000-square-foot building features 44 teaching and research labs, allowing students to learn in small group settings that mirror leading science and research workplaces.

October, 2009

UNC Asheville signs agreement for future partnerships with City of Asheville.

The memo of understanding provides a framework for further collaborations in a number of areas important to the city and the region: environmental sustainability, health and wellness, culture and recreation, economic development and technology, and public safety.

“Chancellor Ponder's vision, leadership skills, team building and ideal fit have coalesced to make the university and community a much better place, and hers is an indelible legacy to build upon.”
~Doug Orr, vice chair, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, and Warren Wilson College President Emeritus

Image of flowers and text reading “UNC Asheville Strategic Plan” followed by a university logo
Image of Chancellor Ponder with Professor Joe Sulock.


April, 2008

UNC Asheville’s strategic plan, Aspire Higher, approved.

A national expert on strategic planning in higher education, Chancellor Anne Ponder was the driving force behind the plan, which identifies nine university-wide goals in the overarching areas of our public responsibility, our liberal arts mission and long-term sustainability. The strategic plan defines ways to achieve each goal, with specific benchmarks to provide evidence of success in every area

May, 2008

Joseph M. Sulock is named the university's first Cary Caperton Owen Distinguished Professor in Economics.

Sulock focuses his work on the development of courses and research in the area of American poverty. The professorship is the first of five new endowed distinguished professorships that have been established at UNC Asheville. The endowed professorships are made possible through initiatives of the C.D. Spangler Foundation.

November, 2008

UNC Asheville Magazine launches.

The vibrant, 36-page magazine, which is funded through private sources, is published twice each year to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs and initiatives.

December, 2008

UNC Asheville purchases 10-acre Rhoades Property

The $3 million purchase came with a $3 million Rhoades family gift, one of the largest the university has ever received. It also came with a promise from the university to preserve a green corridor along Merrimon Avenue and W.T. Weaver Boulevard for the community for generations to come.

“…Anne Ponder brought to UNC Asheville an enormous capacity to listen to everyone and transform what she heard into action. She came to the university with a process, not a plan, and she was able to evoke from the faculty, staff, and students, as well as members of the greater community, a strategic plan that captured their aspirations, could be acted upon, and has continuously guided subsequent action….”
~Bruce Larson, professor of economics

Image of Sam Millar building


February, 2007

Kiplinger’s ranks UNC Asheville 36th in the nation as a best value for in-state students

It’s the university’s first inclusion on the annual list, published since 1998. UNC Asheville had already earned a “best buy” ranking from the Fiske Guide to Colleges and The Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report ranks UNC Asheville as the fifth best public liberal arts college in the nation.

September, 2007

UNC Asheville opens and dedicates Sam Millar Facilities Complex.

The sustainable building features solar panels, a gray water cistern, bioretention ponds, recycled cotton batt insulation and pervious pavements. The complex is also equipped with geothermal heating and cooling.

“Higher education is in the middle of extraordinary change, and (Anne Ponder) has beautifully positioned the university to continue to thrive in the educational model of the future. Periodically throughout history, institutions have the right leader at the right time, and Chancellor Ponder has proven to be such a leader.”
~Michael Andry, chair, UNC Asheville Foundation Board of Directors, wealth advisor, Wells Fargo Wealth Management

Image of New Hall
Image of Anne Ponder being sworn in as Chancellor


February, 2006

UNC Asheville opens New Hall

The classroom building has not only a geothermal system but also a “green” roof, as well as extensive daylighting. As a result, New Hall uses just 20 percent of the energy used in a nearby classroom building constructed in 1966.

September, 2006

UNC Asheville installs Anne Ponder as sixth Chancellor

“… from these very steps of our library… we can see Pisgah, a beloved mountain landmark … a biblical symbol of promise and possibility—for our students, now and in the future. For our city, Asheville, and the distinctive destiny which blesses all who come here. We claim this destiny and this place for our university. ‘What we need is here.’”

Chancellor Anne Ponder has put Asheville back into UNC Asheville… It is a campus where the faculty and staff have been challenged to reach out and meet the needs of our community. It has become a university that is willing to share the “brain trust” to make our community and citizens better informed and prepared to meet the needs of our students…”
~Bruce Peterson, former UNC Asheville trustee and Carol Peterson, community leader

Image of Anne Ponder at the podium while onlookers applaud
Image of Anne Ponder standing in front of a group of people who are applauding.


May, 2005

Anne Ponder named sixth Chancellor of UNC Asheville by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors

September, 2005

UNC Asheville celebrates Founders Day, with Anne Ponder giving the annual State of the University Address. Chancellor Ponder takes office as the sixth Chancellor of UNC Asheville on October 1.

“We are all founders here … and part of what we will be celebrating next year and in 10 and 20 and 50 and 100 years. We have all the right ingredients, the right people, the right ideas, the right philosophy to do some transformationally profound work together. Our sphere of influence will be wider and deeper tomorrow than it is today.”