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APSU President Tim Hall Reflects On Life And Austin Peay’s Future

 
Tim Hall has been the president of Austin Peay State University since August 2007

APSU President Tim Hall

Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University President Timothy L. Hall has been with the university since August 2007, and the school has grown by 20% since he arrived. In fact, APSU has become the fastest growing university in Tennessee since the year 2000.

Hall says he’d never set foot in Clarksville before taking the job, but had read great things about the area and was eager to get involved. “Clarksville is the furthest north that my wife and I have ever been,” he said.

Before succeeding Dr. Sherry Hoppe as APSU president, Hall had accomplished other tasks in his life. Born on October 28th, 1955, Hall grew up in Texas City, Texas. After graduating from Texas City High School, he attended The University of Houston where he majored in Philosophy. In 1977, he married his high school sweetheart Lee Nicholson.

The following year, he graduated from The University of Houston and attended Rice University. “I went to Rice University for a couple of years majoring in religious studies, thinking that I would be a professor in that area, but I discovered there weren’t many jobs.”

Not discouraged, he decided to go The University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas. He graduated in 1983 and worked for a federal judge for one year. Not long after, he became a Litigation Attorney with Hughes and Luce. In 1989, he moved on and settled in Mississippi where he started work at the University of Mississippi, a job he held for 18 years. During his time there, he published several books, including a christian book about marriage called “The Labor of Love,” and another informative book called “Religion in America.” A devout christian, Hall is a baptist but has fellowshipped with all kinds of religions during his lifetime.

He says his faith in God helped him overcome a frightening battle with prostate cancer. “My father died of prostate cancer when he was 62 years old,” Hall explained. After his father’s death, Hall made sure to get himself tested each year. Two years ago, doctors discovered that Hall had a feeble case of the cancer. “It was relatively mild,” Hall said. “They performed a surgery to wipe the prostate out.”

The cancer scare didn’t stop Hall from being himself. The current APSU president has always been social with everyone on the campus. He can be spotted almost anywhere at the university with his smiling wife by his side. It’s easy to catch Hall chatting with students, faculty, or anyone within reach. He’s just as approachable on his Facebook page as he is in person. “I don’t think I would make a good ‘desk president’ who sits behind a desk that pushes papers,” he said. “I much prefer to talk to our students, staff and alumni. I do what I like to do, and I think it helps the university.”

The growth of Clarksville and the popularity of APSU has resulted in more and more students each year. “Clarksville itself is growing,” said Hall. “Austin Peay used to be relatively unknown outside of Tennessee. The school is becoming more known, and students are increasingly understanding that this is a great place to come to school.”

In recent years, APSU has added Starbucks, Papa John’s Pizza, and Subway to their food options.

“I think we’ll continue to grow because modest growth is going to offer more opportunities for our students and allow us to create more programs for them. We really focus on helping our students to graduate and get a college degree. We’re focusing on excellence and being a great university. We’ve got faculty doing some amazing things all over the university.”

As Hall and his wife, Lee, stroll casually around the campus, they enjoy the atmosphere and often wish that they had attended a school like APSU, where the faculty is open and available. “We’re really engaged in the students,” he said. “We wish we could have been to a school where you can see the president and the staff out in the open. This is that kind of place, and I consider it a great privilege to be able to work here.”


About A.J. Dugger III

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