Clarksville, TN – Earlier this month, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) associate provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies Dr. Chad Brooks summed up the year 2019 in a single sentence.
“It’s a very optimistic time for Austin Peay,” he said.
Brooks was talking about the University’s plan to build a new Health Professions Building on Eighth Street, but he could have been referring to any number of things, from Austin Peay State University’s historic enrollment numbers to a football season that saw the Governors reach the NCAA Division I Football Championship’s national quarterfinals.
In 2019, APSU also launched rockets into space and unveiled innovative new programs to better serve its students and the community.
As the year winds down, here’s a look at some of the major stories to come out of Austin Peay State University in 2019.
Magical season for APSU football
In late November, the Governors’ football team took down Eastern Illinois, 35-7, giving Austin Peay its first Ohio Valley Conference championship since 1977, but the story didn’t end there. A week later, the Govs hosted Furham at Fortera Stadium in the University’s first ever FCS Playoff game.
Austin Peay State University won 42-6, so it was off to Sacramento for the next round of the playoffs. Another amazing win put the Govs in the championship’s quarterfinals, where the season ultimately ended in Bozeman, Montana, with a loss to Montana State.
APSU tops 11,000 students for first time in University history
Austin Peay State University is now 11,000 strong. More so actually. During a special celebration in early December, the University unveiled its official fall 2019 enrollment numbers, and Austin Peay’s 11,048 students represent another record year for the University.
This fall, Austin Peay State University experienced a 9.7 percent increase in out-of-state students, a 30 percent increase in dual-enrollment students, a 17.5 percent increase in undergraduate international students, a 45 percent increase in graduate international students and a 6.7 percent increase in Fort Campbell Center students.
Austin Peay State University ROTC named one of the top programs in the nation
It’s official – Austin Peay State University is home to one of the best Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs in the nation. On December 16th, the U.S. Army Cadet Command announced the eight winners of the 2019-2020 MacArthur Awards, with APSU’s Governor’s Guard winning the award for the 7th Brigade.
The MacArthur Award recognizes the eight schools, selected from among the 274 ROTC units nationwide, as the top programs in the country. This marks the eighth time the APSU program has earned the award in the last 26 years.
Austin Peay State University and University of Memphis form 3+3 agreement for law degree
Austin Peay State University’s Department of Political Science and Public Management recently established an agreement with the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law to provide a six-year path to obtain a law degree. The partnership will increase the affordability and accessibility of law school for Middle Tennesseans.
APSU’s new signature study abroad program sending students to live in Victorian manor outside of London
Austin Peay recently unveils its new signature study abroad program – APSU’s British DEAL (Discovery, Exploration, Adventure, Learning) – which will send students to live in Harlaxton Manor for a week, followed by a week in London. Harlaxton is an ornate Victorian estate hidden deep in the English countryside, and the manor is often compared to fictional places like Downton Abbey and Hogwarts.
APSU approved for second doctoral degree to serve area’s citizens and soldiers
Next fall, Austin Peay will address a mental health crisis shaking military communities across the nation when it begins offering the institution’s second doctoral degree – a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in counseling psychology – with a concentration in serving military personnel, veterans and their families.
The University is converting the former Wesley Foundation Building on College Street into the clinic, which also will serve as the primary training site for the new degree program and APSU’s existing Master of Science in counseling program.
APSU raises over $10 million to achieve new second-highest giving year in University history
Austin Peay State University reached a fundraising total of $10.39 million in gifts and pledges for the 2019 fiscal year. That number illustrates a 40 percent increase in the average annual fundraising amount over the last five years. The total surpasses the $9.86 million raised in 2018, making this the second-highest giving year in University history.
More than 3,000 individuals and organizations gave to various APSU programs throughout the year, which is the largest number of donors since the 2012 fiscal year. Of those donors, more than 175 were APSU faculty and staff members.
Austin Peay State University students send payload to space for first time in school history
At about 4:30am CDT Thursday, June 20th, Austin Peay State University’s first-ever space payload launched. Austin Peay State University physics professor Dr. Justin Oelgoetz and two APSU physics students – Zach Hill and Zach Givens – built the predesigned payload during Rocket Week at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. A NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket carried the payload to space that Thursday morning.
APSU, CMCSS partner on innovative teacher residency, degree program
Last spring, the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) and Austin Peay State University launched the Early Learning Teacher Residence program, which is providing 20 recent high school graduates and 20 CMCSS teacher’s aides with an accelerated, free path to become full-time school system teachers in just three years.
The program specifically targets minority and first-generation college students, increasing diversity both within the school system and at Austin Peay State University.
Austin Peay State University introduces first helicopter in its rotor-wing fleet
Last January, Austin Peay State University officials unveiled the first of three helicopters in its new rotor-wing fleet. The helicopters bolster the state’s first and only aviation science program with a rotor-wing concentration. Charlie Weigandt, the program’s director and chief helicopter pilot, circled the plaza beside the APSU Art + Design building before lowering the Guimbal Cabri G2 – named GOV 1 – to the lawn.
The landing was GOV 1’s first on campus, touching down at 10:46am. About 150 people – including local lawmakers and Fort Campbell officials – braved that day’s chilly temperatures and gusting winds to witness the inaugural campus landing.