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Sara Charles and Randy Stevens

Leaving a legacy that will change lives
January 5, 2015

There are a multitude of universities with which Sara Charles and Randy Stevens could have developed a relationship. They aren’t from Boone. They aren’t Appalachian alumni, and they have no family ties to the area. But Appalachian welcomed them, embraced them and engaged them as friends andcollaborators.

Friends of former Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski and his wife Kay, Sara Charles and Randy became involved with the Walker College of Business and the University Library in the late 1990s. Traveling to China with the Walker College’s Holland Fellows, he spent time with soon-to-be Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock.

“When we first visited Appalachian, the only people we knew were Kay and Frank Borkowski,” Randy explains. “But we immediately noticed the warm and friendly atmosphere here. Soon, others opened up to us, and we have developed longtime, close relationships that have continued.”

Sara Charles and Randy have made a planned gift commitment to Appalachian, ensuring critical scholarship and program support for Belk Library and Information Commons. In addition to including the university in their estate, their influence and enthusiasm led a close friend, Nancy Lee McCrocklin, to leave a generous estate gift to Appalachian as well. Her gift will benefit the University Library for years to come. “Like us, Nancy had a special love for young people,” Randy says.

“We feel strongly that education is very important,” Sara Charles adds. “Appalachian offers students a lot of one-on-one interaction with faculty. The whole school really cares. Students here are not just a number.”