Polartec announced Appalachian State University as the winner of its Made Possible College Challenge this week. The contest, which began in early October, was aimed at promoting collegiate outdoor programs, with the winner receiving a $10,000 grant and Polartec apparel.

After accepting submissions from around the country in early October, and narrowing the finalists to four on November 1st, the results were then left up to the public. After three weeks and over 28,000 votes, Appalachian State University officially won the contest, coming out just ahead of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Idaho, and Middlebury College, respectively.

“We can't express enough how generous it is of Polartec to support university outdoor programs in this way,” said Rich Campbell, Associate Director of Outdoor Programs at Appalachian State. “Each of the finalists offer outstanding opportunities for students and presented inspiring ideas for this award. We at Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs are thrilled to win the award and we are blown away by all the support we have received from so many people. It is a tribute to the spirit we have at Appalachian State University and is a testament to the value of outdoor adventures and programs.”

Backbone Media, Polartec's media agency, created the Final Four-style Facebook application for this contest, with help from developers at Friend2Friend. The app resulted in over 9,000 installations, over 8,000 new fans and approximately 1000 comments on Polartec's fanpage, as students rallied their friends and families to support their alma mater.

“We were blown away by the submissions that we received for this contest,” said Polartec Global Director of Marketing, Nate Simmons. “Every one of our finalists came up with an inspiring idea that we would have been proud to sponsor. Appalachian State absolutely deserves this donation due to their incredible submission idea and for the hard work that they put into rounding up almost 11,000 votes. We are thrilled to watch their program grow as a result of this grant and all of the buzz they created on campus.”