University Forum Lecture Series

The University Forum Committee (UFC) is responsible for bringing external speakers to the campus of Appalachian State University.

The University Forum Lecture series is one of the longest-running such series at Appalachian State University and it provides opportunities for the students, faculty, and staff at the university and for people in the surrounding region to hear some of the most stimulating speakers in the country.

Spring 2020 speakers

Appalachian Celebrates the 19th Amendment Centennial - Women's Right to Vote

The University Forum Speaker Series is excited to celebrate the 19th Amendment Centennial - Women’s Right to Vote! Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, the University Forum Committee will host a series of lectures and films to help celebrate this milestone as well as its impact on American democracy. Our 2019 Fall semester lineup of speakers and film include:

  • Bette Lou Higgins: “Madam President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull”
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 11 a.m.
    417 Plemmons Student Union (Beacon Heights)
    The first woman to run for President of the United States.
  • Bette Lou Higgins: “Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story”
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
    114 Belk Library and Information Commons
    The first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail.
  • Film: “Suffragette”
    Sunday, March 22, 2020, 3 – 6 p.m.
    The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, 559 W. King St., Boone, NC
    Co-sponsored by the Humanities Council and the University Forum Lecture Series for Women's History Month as part of our "Building A Just World" film series
  • Shatema Threadcraft: “Redistributing Narrative Capital: Lynching, Rape and Stories of Black Peoplehood”
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
    114 Belk Library and Information Commons

For information on specific events, please reach out to the faculty contact for a specific speaker or film.

View our previous speakers

University Forum Committee mission

The mission of the University Forum Committee is to bring distinguished speakers to the campus of Appalachian State University for the purpose of enlightening and educating the university community about issues of interest. The goal of an active and engaging speaker series should be to promote the exchange of ideas through the process of civil discourse. Invited speakers play an integral role in the educational experience by exposing students, staff and faculty to new ideas, and they help advance the learning process by challenging people with new and perhaps controversial ideas. Exposure to such ideas helps to prepare students to be the leaders of tomorrow, to develop an awareness of the role that ideas play in a democratic society, and to think critically about issues of concern to themselves and society.

The committee also administers the External Scholars Grant Program. This program is designed to facilitate bringing in distinguished academics and scholars from across all fields of inquiry for the purpose of enhancing the scholarship and/or pedagogy of the faculty.


For more information please contact:

University Forum Committee
c/o: Sonya Long (
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

University Forum Committee members

Joy James (Exiting Chair)
Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education
Term: 2016-2019

Pia Albinsson
Department of Marketing
Term: 2018-2021

Felicia Arriaga
Department of Sociology
Term: 2019-2022

Beth Davison (Chair)
Department of Sociology
Term: 2018-2021

Adam Hege
Department of Health and Exercise Science
Term: 2019-2022

Alexander Hellenbrand
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Term: 2019-2022

Martha McCaughey
First Year Seminar/Common Reading Program
Term: 2018-2021

Denise Ringler
Arts and Cultural Programs
Ex-Officio, Unlimited

Chris Yang
Department of Communication
Term: 2019-2022