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Academic building at Appalachian named for the late John A. Garwood

BOONE—The four-story academic building at Appalachian State University formerly known as the CAP building on Rivers Street has been named for the late John A. Garwood of Wilkes County. The building houses the departments of chemistry, computer science and physics and astronomy.

View larger imageJohn B. Garwood, speaks during a ceremony in which an academic building at Appalachian State University was named in honor of his father, the late John A. Garwood. Also pictured is Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Steinback and Chancellor Sheri N. Everts. (Photo by Marie Freeman)View larger imageMembers of the family of the late John A. Garwood gather in front of the academic building that now bears his name. Located on Rivers Street, Garwood Hall houses the departments of chemistry, computer science and physics and astronomy. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

Garwood graduated from Appalachian in 1957. He played football at Appalachian for two years before he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

He died Nov. 30, 2010.

“Dad was a longtime supporter and very proud ASU alumnus,” his son John B. Garwood said during the dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Throughout his whole career in public service, he always had education at the forefront of his mind, particularly ASU. He knew education was a way to level the playing field (for the underprivileged). He said (ensuring that) all children had access to an affordable college education was not only the right thing but our moral duty as citizens of this great state.”

The late Garwood was a member of the UNC Board of Governors from 1985-96 and served in the N.C. General Assembly representing Stokes, Surry and Wilkes counties as a state senator from 1997-2006. He also served on Appalachian’s Board of Trustees from 1973-80 and was chairman from 1978-80.

“I did not have the good fortune of knowing Sen. Garwood, but clearly he was a dedicated public servant who always looked out for his alma mater,” Chancellor Sheri N. Everts said. This building has a tremendous impact in helping our students achieve their educational goals.”

More than 6,000 students are enrolled in courses offered in the building this semester.

Steve Metcalf of Asheville, who served with Garwood in the N.C. Senate, recommended the naming as a way to honor the late civic leader. The naming of the building was approved by Appalachian’s Board of Trustees in June.

“Throughout his life, John made service to Appalachian and higher education a priority,” Metcalf wrote. “While a member of the N.C. Senate, John aggressively advocated for higher education and consistently sponsored legislation that provided funding for major capital improvements and programs at Appalachian.”

Garwood sponsored legislation that supported the 2000 N.C. Higher Education Bonds referendum, which provided funds for the construction of Belk Library and Information Commons, and he supported legislation that provided funds for planning the new College of Education Building, renovation of Rankin Science Building, and other projects.

While a member of the state senate, Garwood was co-chair of the Education/Higher Education Committee and was a member of the Joint (House and Senate) Education Oversight Committee, the Agriculture/Environment Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Transportation Committee, the Community College Committee of the Legislative Research Commission and the Advisory Budget Commission.

Garwood received Appalachian’s Outstanding Service Award in 1997.

“From the time of his graduation until the time of his death, John gave generously of his time, his energy and his financial resources to ensure that Appalachian would forever be a home for mountain children everywhere,” Metcalf wrote.