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Austin Peay State University students to benefit from Riley C. Darnell Legislative Intern Scholarship Endowment

APSU Advancement LogoClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) Foundation recently received a gift from Steve R. Darnell (’88), Jacqueline Darnell Cox (’87), Stephanie Darnell Hoban (’87) and their families to create the Riley C. Darnell Legislative Intern Scholarship Endowment.

Riley C. Darnell
Riley C. Darnell

To qualify, students must be juniors or seniors enrolled full-time at Austin Peay with a political science or public administration major and a 3.0 GPA.

Eligible applicants must also be accepted into the legislative internship program in the Tennessee General Assembly.

To renew this scholarship, recipients must apply each year.

Riley C. Darnell (’62) is a Clarksville native who graduated from Clarksville High School in 1958. In 1962, Darnell earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Austin Peay State University. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1965 and went on to serve as a captain in the United States Air Force.

He later returned to Clarksville and practiced law in association with attorney Paul Welker. Riley served 22 years in the Tennessee Legislature and was elected Tennessee Secretary of State in 1993. He served in that position until 2009. His children, Whit Darnell (‘90), Dr. Eddie Darnell (‘92), Dr. Mary Eve Rice (‘97), Joy Bumpus (‘98) and Dawson Darnell (‘05) all attended APSU as well.

Over the years, he has supported Austin Peay through contributions to the Woodward Library Society, the Candlelight Ball and several other endowed scholarships.

“Riley has been such a blessing to our families over the years that we wanted to do something to recognize him,” Steve Darnell said. “Riley is not only an alumnus of Austin Peay, but while serving as Tennessee’s Secretary of State, he was the University’s leading advocate on the Higher Education Commission.”

“The legislative intern scholarship is a great fit given his many years in the Tennessee legislature. This is a small token on our part to commend Riley on his lifetime of public service and particularly his contributions to the Clarksville community and the University,” Darnell stated.

Endowments are permanently restricted funds managed by the Austin Peay State University Foundation. The amount of each scholarship award may vary and will be determined based upon the value of the endowment and the Foundation spending plan.

To support APSU fundraising initiatives, contact the Austin Peay Office of University Advancement at 931.221.7127.


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