Asheville is the place to be. From the great outdoors to urban adventures, we have it all, including being a thriving college town, with a public university vital to our arts and culture, innovation and technology, and community well-being.
UNC Asheville stands at the heart of Asheville, at the edge of downtown and at the gateway to the River Arts District with more than 3,800 undergrad students from about 37 states + 28 countries.
Locally known for its expertise in STEAM education, atmospheric sciences, and public health, just to name a few, UNCA is a national leader – one of the nation’s top public liberal arts universities (ranking at no. 7 in U.S. News and World Report) and has been featured in multiple rankings like The Princeton Review as one of the “Best Schools for Making an Impact.” And, UNCA sure does make an impact on Asheville – just as much as the school makes an impact on its students.
The university alone generates $450 million in total economic impact to the Asheville area. From an alumni education premium of $96.1 million – to outside visitor contributions of $15.3 million – UNC Asheville brings economic growth to both the Asheville and WNC area. In addition to what it does for the city, there are many ways the community can get involved with the university.
Here are 5 university programs that welcome community involvement. A.k.a. the best way to be involved both on and off campus. ⬇️
- Events + conferences – With national leaders, such as attorney, author and activist Bryan Stevenson, speaking on campus, along with concerts, author readings, and annual events, UNC Asheville brings the community together in thought, conversation and action. See what events are coming up next and mark your calendar – most are free.
- OLLI | The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCA is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed learning community for those who want to learn + thrive in “life’s second half.” Most members are over the age of 55 (some are younger), and find new passions in an array of programs like arts and humanities, the natural world, civic engagement, wellness + more. Classes have included cooking for two, fine art photography, how to solve sudoku puzzles, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, East Coast swing, yoga, crime fiction books + more. Talk about fun college classes. 👌
- Career opportunities | UNC Asheville is one of Asheville’s top 20 employers, with amazing opportunities for careers, and an on-campus Career Center serving students and alumni. Hire a Bulldog to build your business and become part of the UNC Asheville family. And if family business is your thing, check out the Family Business Forum at UNC Asheville, the only ongoing professional development program specifically designed to provide professional learning opportunities to help family-owned businesses in WNC.
- Tree Campus / Bee Campus | By hosting a Bee Hotel on campus, the university has been deemed an official Bee Campus USA for this 10x10x6’ structure that is a safe space for pollinators. Additionally, UNCA has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the care + management of its urban forest.
- NCAA Division I / Big South Conference | There are 16 NCAA Division I teams as part of Bulldog athletics. Fans can support UNCA by cheering on the Bulldogs during men + women’s basketball, men + women’s soccer, volleyball, baseball, cross country, track and field, men + women’s tennis, swimming and diving, and women’s golf. Alumni: don’t forget, homecoming is this weekend.
If you need an excuse to visit campus, the Botanical Gardens of Asheville (151 W.T. Weaver Blvd.), is a great way to get outdoors + check out the thriving community just up the road.
Or if you or a family you know is starting to look at college options, put Junior Preview Day on your calendar for Saturday, March 23. It’s when UNCA invites high school juniors to visit and have different hands-on experiences + conversations to take the anxiety out of what to expect at college.
Share with the biggest Bulldog fan you know here.⬇️
As a UNC Asheville alumna (representing Class of 2017), I still try to stay connected with the campus. You’ll always catch me at sporting events. The university offers so much to those who live in Asheville, and is involved in many community events as it is.
Do you find community involvement opportunities with UNC Asheville? Share your story here.