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Austin Peay State University (APSU)
Clarksville, TN – November isn’t a typical month at Austin Peay State University (APSU). As the state’s leader in higher education for military-affiliated students, the institution traditionally recognizes the entire month, with its connection to Veterans Day, as an extended salute to all veterans and active-duty military personnel.
Military Appreciation Football Game
This November, the University will continue this tradition by spotlighting student veterans on billboards around Clarksville and by hosting a special Military Appreciation football game at 4:00pm on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 at Austin Peay’s Fortera Stadium.
One thousand tickets for free admission to the game against Murray State are available to military service members, veterans, and family members who are ID card holders, thanks to a generous gift by retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joe Maynard and his wife, Andrea. A pregame exhibit will feature two Humvees, and a flyover will occur after the national anthem.
Austin Peay alumnus and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Sidney Brown (’85), who deployed with the 101st Airborne Division in 1957 to Arkansas to help desegregate Little Rock Central High School, will conduct the coin toss, and a large American flag will be displayed on the field to honor the men and women who serve in the U.S. military.
During the first half, the University will dedicate a POW/MIA Chair of Honor, with the unoccupied seat honoring the men and women who made the greatest sacrifice while serving their country. At halftime, the Governors’ Own Marching Band will perform patriotic-themed music, and the ROTC program will swear in new cadets.
To promote the game within the Clarksville community, the University is unveiling billboards around town that spotlight four student veterans enrolled at Austin Peay State University.
“Austin Peay has been real welcoming,” Albert Wiley, an education major and former member of the 5th Special Forces Group, said. “I’ve never had any issues here. Every time, if I had a problem and spoke to a professor, right on the spot they’d help me out.”
William Cody, a history major and veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, originally attended Austin Peay State University as a veteran back in 1987. Thirty years later, he said the school has completely changed how it welcomes students who formerly served in the military.
Erica Harris, a New York City native and theatre major, left the military to raise her siblings, and her own child, after her mother passed away. She goes every day to the University’s Military Student Center, which she calls her “comfort zone.”
“When I was struggling in some of my classes, like biology, (the Military Student Center) had people there who were majoring in that type of thing, and they helped me,” she said.
Zelda Olesen, a former military police specialist, enrolled at Austin Peay in 2017 to study photography. Like Harris, she’s a staple at the Military Student Center.
“I feel more comfortable there, for sure,” she said.
State’s Leader in Military-Affiliated Students
Austin Peay State University is the state’s largest provider of higher education to military-affiliated students, with at least 2,329 enrolled students having a military connection in the fall of 2017.
In September, the University’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to create the APSU Military Family Resource Center, which will have the potential to house several of the University’s existing academic and support programs in one location, including the Military Student Center, Veterans Upward Bound, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ VetSuccess on Campus office, and enrollment management support offices.
The center is being developed to “provide seamless support to students completing a variety of activities, such as applying for admission, accessing financial aid, selecting a program of study, registering for courses, progressing toward graduation, and securing employment after graduation.”
In 2015, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) honored the University’s support of this population by naming Austin Peay a Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Campus. According to THEC, VETS Campus certification is awarded to higher education institutions that “not only prioritize outreach to veterans, but successfully deliver the services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.”
The University also offers academic programs and classes at its Austin Peay Center at Fort Campbell. Active duty military service members, veterans and civilians can earn an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree through 7 1/2-week courses at the center, allowing them to achieve their academic objectives faster than during traditional 16-week semesters.
For more information on how Austin Peay is the state’s No. 1 leader in higher education for military-connected students, visit www.apsu.edu/military/index.php
Topics101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group, Albert Wiley, Andrea Maynard, APSU, APSU Board of Trustees, APSU Center at Fort Campbell, APSU Football, APSU Fortera Stadium, APSU Governors Own Marching Band, APSU Men's Football, APSU Military Family Resource Center, APSU Military Student Center, APSU ROTC, Arkansas, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville TN, Joe Maynard, Military Appreciation, Murray State, Ronald Bailey, Sidney Brown, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, THEC, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, Veterans, Veterans Day, Veterans Education Transition Support Campus, VetSuccess on Campus, William Cody, Zelda Olesen
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