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 2021 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!


  • Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story,” The first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail

    A documentary film followed by Q&A with filmmaker/producer Ms. Bette Lou Higgins 

    When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 6:00pm  -

    Q&A after the film at 7:00 pm: -  

    Grandma Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse. Before she died in 1973 she had hiked the AT several times, completed hikes in Oregon, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. A documentary film followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Bette Lou Higgins.

    Trailer -

  • NEWS

Award-winning 'Trail Magic' added to BOONE DOCS series

  • 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: Terri Lockwood (
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

University Forum Committee Current Membership

2021-2022 Roster:

Alice Wright
College of Arts and Sciences
Term: 2021-2024

Joy James
Recreation, Management, and Physical Education
College of Health Sciences
Term: 2021-2024

Shanan Fitts
Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
Term: 2021-2024

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

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

Felicia Arriaga
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Term: 2019-2022

Chris Yang
Department of Communication
Fine and Applied Arts
Term: 2019-2022