Clarksville, TN – On Wednesday afternoon, Austin Peay State University President Tim Hall stood before a small group of about 50 students and said they were one of the main reasons he loves going to work each morning.
“It makes us proud that we get the chance to work with heroes,” he said.The students, sitting on a stage in the campus’ Mabry Concert Hall, were all either veterans, reservists or active duty military personnel. In less than 48 hours, they would receive degrees from APSU, and the University hosted a special ceremony Wednesday to recognize all their hard work.
As part of the Spring 2013 Military and Veteran Graduate Recognition Ceremony, each student received one of the University’s special military coins. About 20 percent of APSU students have a military connection, and the coin, designed by the APSU Office of Public Relations and Marketing, was created to honor those individuals.
During this year’s ceremony, the University also presented a coin to Joe Winn, a 1963 APSU graduate and a World War II and a Korean War veteran. Winn spent much of his career as a flight engineer on the Navy version of the B-24 bomber.
The 94-year-old, dressed in a dark blazer with his medals pinned to his chest, was greeted by a standing ovation as he went on stage to receive his coin.
When Wednesday’s ceremony ended, the APSU students made sure to stop and shake Winn’s hand as they processed out to meet with their families and friends.