Austin Peay State University capped it’s first capital campaign with an appreciation dinner for campaign donors and the APSU Foundation Board of Trustees on March 31 in the Morgan University Center Ballroom. APSU officials announced that $39,475,943 has been committed during the Changing Minds, Changing Lives Capital Campaign, which kicked off in 2003.
Half of the initial goal of $15 million was surpassed during the silent phase of the campaign—a feat, considering that former President Sherry Hoppe bucked the advice of a consultant who recommended against starting a major fundraising campaign, given the lagging economy of the time, the fiscal uncertainty of Tennessee higher education and the many other local nonprofit organizations already in the midst of fundraising efforts.
Three Clarksville leaders stepped forward to lead the campaign—Ann Ross, Don Jenkins and Billy Atkins. By the time the public phase began in September 2003, more than $10 million had been raised—with the initial goal of $15 million in sight.
At that time, the campaign got a shot in the arm when APSU alumnus Ben Kimbrough and his wife, Margaret, pledged $2 million-plus from their estate in addition to a gift of $150,000 during the campaign.
Funds raised during the Changing Minds Changing Lives Campaign have been earmarked for academic scholarships, athletics, equipment and land and facilities development.
At the campaign celebration, Dr. Phil Roe, Johnson City, chair of the APSU Foundation Board of Trustees, offered welcoming remarks. Following the invocation by Jim Holleman, Bob Welch gave an investment report.
Alumnus Larry Gates, Nashville, made special presentations to Dave Loos, head men’s basketball coach and athletics director, Rick Christophel, head football coach, and Dr. Jaime Taylor, interim dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.
After announcing the total amount of gifts committed to the University since the campaign began five years ago, President Tim Hall made presentations to the campaign co-chairs, each of whom gave brief remarks.
President-emeritus Hoppe recognized members of the Changing Minds Changing Lives Steering Committee.
Three APSU students—Bryan Huffman, Amanda Cooksey and Emilee McConkey—told how campaign funds have enhanced the learning experience of Austin Peay students.
Alumnus Hendricks Fox, Nashville, a retired high school teacher and football coach, gave a brief testimony about why he decided to give to APSU after which Roe and another alumnus, Aubrey Flagg, associate professor of geography at Columbia State Community College, discussed how to give to the University through estate planning.
Roy Gregory, executive director for University Advancement, and Roe gave closing remarks.