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Five Appalachian legacy first-year students earn Alumni Memorial Scholarships

By Ken Keuffel

BOONE, N.C.—Five first-year students at Appalachian State University have received an Alumni Memorial Scholarship (AMS), awarded by the Appalachian Alumni Association to children of the university’s graduates.

View larger imageThe Alumni Memorial Scholarship winners for 2017 are, from left, Amanda Fields of Burlington, Michael Williams of Matthews, Ethan Hahn of Hildebran, and Hannah Dalness of Cary. Not pictured, Alexander McGuire of Sugar Grove. Photo by Marie Freeman

The recipients are Hannah Marie Dalness of Cary, Amanda Fields of Burlington, Ethan Hahn of Hildebran, Alexander McGuire of Sugar Grove and Michael Williams of Matthews.

The Alumni Memorial, an endowed scholarship, reduces yearly tuition by $2,000. Recipients must demonstrate academic success in high school, score high on the SAT or ACT, participate in high school and community activities and show leadership potential. The scholarship renews if a student is at Appalachian full time, maintains a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and remains in good standing with the university.

About the 2017 recipients

Dalness graduated from Cary High School. She is the daughter of Stacey Corey Dalness ’88. She is majoring in English, secondary education.

A Cary High School staff member who recommended Dalness for an AMS described her as “a natural leader who aims to empower others to experience success. She seeks a deep understanding of the big picture … while being intrigued by the small details.”

Fields, who is majoring in biology, graduated from Western Alamance High School. She is the daughter of Phyllis Leach Fields ’87.

In a letter recommending her for an AMS, one of Fields’ teachers wrote that she “has thrived in demanding environments under teachers with different philosophies,” and another teacher said he was impressed with Fields’ “integrity, work ethic, intelligence and maturity.”

Hahn graduated from East Burke High School. A teacher who recommended him for an AMS called him “an absolute pleasure to teach, as he exhibits some of the best qualities a student can possess.” Hahn, who is majoring in computer science at Appalachian, is the son of two Appalachian graduates: Mark Lewis Hahn ’93 and Holly Sain Hahn ’94.

Williams, whose major is undecided, graduated from Providence Senior High School, where he took several advanced placement courses. A teacher who recommended him for an AMS called him “naturally bright and, when interested, purely brilliant.” Another teacher also praised his contributions to the Pride of Providence marching band. Williams is the son of Michael Sterling Williams ’85.

McGuire, a graduate of Watauga High School, is majoring in athletic training. A teacher who recommended McGuire praised his ability to juggle studies with numerous extracurricular activities, including baseball. “All of Alex’s commitments take time, but he is an outstanding student,” the teacher wrote. McGuire is the son of Janet Poole McGuire ’86.

The first AMS at Appalachian was awarded in 1988. Since then, more than 101 students have received the AMS. The scholarship’s funding comes from contributions from alumni and friends of the university and from proceeds of Appalachian’s license tag program.

For more information about the AMS, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 828-262-2038 or visit

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.