Austin Peay State University (APSU)
Clarksville, TN – On October 5th, 2018 Doug Downey (’79), a former Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball player and team captain, returned to campus to throw out the first pitch during the program’s annual reunion and fall scrimmage.
For the last few years, the former student-athlete has worked to help the baseball program succeed through several financial gifts, and during Saturday’s festivities, Downey and his wife, Linda, received the APSU Board of Trustees’ inaugural Philanthropist of the Year award.
Earlier this year, the University’s board voted to create three new awards — the APSU Philanthropist of the Year Award, the Govs Who Lead Through Military Service Award and the Govs Who Lead Through Service Award. The awards are being presented to recipients at different events throughout the fall.
The Downeys were honored because they recently gave a major gift to the University’s baseball program, and they supported the athletics department’s newly created Victory Fund. In April, the couple contributed the lead gift to that department during the University’s annual #GovsGive Campaign.
In 2014, the couple committed themselves to supporting Downey’s old team.
“I asked if (Linda) would support us, together, focusing our philanthropy so we could make a more significant contribution to Austin Peay State University baseball,” Downey said in 2016. “And Linda could pick a single charity to support also (Open Door Pregnancy Center in Springfield).”
In the late 1970s, Downey was an MVP for the Govs, and he and Linda were also newlyweds, living in married housing on the APSU campus. In the decades after graduating, he focused on his career, becoming vice president of Treasury Services for HCA—the nation’s leading provider of health care services.
Now, the couple is helping provide more opportunities for Austin Peay’s student-athletes through their continued generosity.