Appalachian State University (ASU) is a comprehensive (Master's L), public, coeducational university located in Boone, North Carolina, United States. Appalachian ( /ˌæpəˈlætʃən/) State, also referred to as Appalachian, App State, or simply App, is the sixth largest institution in the University of North Carolina system with about 15,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. The university has been ranked among the top 10 Southern Master's Universities since the U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges Guide began publication in 1986. Appalachian State University began in 1809 when a group of citizens in Watauga County, under the leadership of Blanford B. Dougherty and his brother Dauphin D. Dougherty, began a movement to educate teachers in Northwest North Carolina. Land was donated by Daniel B. Dougherty, father of the leaders in the enterprise, and by J. F. Hardin. On this site a wood frame building, costing $1,000, was erected by contributions from citizens of the town and county. In the fall of 1899, the Dougherty brothers, acting as co-principals, began the school which was named Watauga Academy. The first year saw 53 students enrolled in three grades.
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