Clarksville, TN – A new year is quickly approaching, bringing with it the promise of a new decade at Austin Peay State University (APSU). Here’s a look back at some of the milestones that took place on the APSU campus during the last 10 years.
Eriksson donates 8-figure gift to APSU
In April 2013, Lars Eriksson, owner of Crankshaft Rebuilders, presented Austin Peay State University with an 8-figure gift in honor of his late wife, APSU alumna and teacher Martha Dickerson Eriksson. The donation remains the largest single gift in APSU history. In recognition of this unprecedented generosity, the University officially changed the name of its College of Education to the “Martha Dickerson Eriksson College of Education.”
One of the three new residence halls that opened that August was also be named for her. And the College of Education’s STEM Center was renamed the Jack Hunt STEM Center, in honor of her late brother-in-law and a local teacher.
Maynard Mathematics and Computer Science Building opens
On November 18th, 2013, Austin Peay opened its new Maynard Mathematics and Computer Science Building. The two-story facility was named for APSU alumnus and local businessman James Maynard because of his unwavering support of the University over the years.
The building’s courtyard was named in honor of Ken and Amy Landrum, and the building’s atrium was named in honor of Barry and Maggie Kulback.
APSU unveils new athletics logo
In April 2014, the Austin Peay State University’s Athletics Department unveiled its new Governor Peay logo, created by Pennsylvania-based graphic design firm Joe Bosack and Co. A committee of University staff members, local business leaders and alumni spent months working on the effort to enhance the visual identity of APSU Athletics.
The new, more competitive-looking logo is now a staple on the APSU campus and within the Clarksville community.
University opens renovated stadium
On September 13th, 2014, the new $19 million stadium, now known as Fortera Stadium, officially opened. Thousands of eager APSU fans packed into the new facility for the season’s first home football game against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The new stadium, with its brick and synthetic stucco façade, features an 8,000-square-foot club level section, 13 luxury skyboxes and a seating capacity for 10,000 fans.
Alisa White inaugurated as 10th University president
On March 23rd, 2015, former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and other dignitaries visited Clarksville to watch Dr. Alisa White officially become the University’s tenth president. “I have been given an astonishing gift,” White said during her Presidential Address, “and my pledge to you is to do whatever is in my power to advance this institution, to work alongside you to build upon the wonderful work that you have done with others and to realize our collective vision.”
APSU moves from TBR to Board of Trustees
On October 11th, 2016, former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed eight individuals to the newly created institutional governing board at Austin Peay State University.
The initial board included Dr. Nell Rayburn, the trustee selected by APSU’s faculty, and appointees Billy Atkins, Katherine Cannata, Larry Carroll, Don Jenkins, Gary Luck, Valencia May, Robin Mealer and Mike O’Malley.
APSU purchases former Jenkins and Wynne property
In January 2016, the University purchased 11 acres along College Street from the Jenkins and Wynne auto dealership. The $8.8 million purchase marked one of the largest expansions in the University’s history, finally connecting campus with Downtown Clarksville.
New Art + Design Building opens on campus
On September 12th, 2017, Austin Peay State University officially opened the new APSU Art + Design Building — a $21.3 million, 46,000-square-foot facility.
Spaces in the building are named in honor of Judge Sam and Dee Boaz, June Love Heydel, Tom Malone and Charlsie Malone Halliburton, Marlon and Linda Crow, Barbara Beach, Jim and Dottie Mann and US Bank, honoring retired vice president Joyce Taylor Norris.
APSU hosts PeayClipse event
Around 1:25pm on Monday, August 21st, 2017, hundreds of people cheered in the near-dark inside Austin Peay State University’s Fortera Stadium. At that moment, the moon passed over the sun during a total solar eclipse, and people from as far away as France and Finland came to APSU’s PeayClipse Celebration to experience the celestial event.
New engineering program transforms college
In June 2017, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved Austin Peay’s first engineering program, allowing the University to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree, with a major in engineering physics. A few months later, the University’s College of Science and Mathematics was renamed the APSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), making it the only College of STEM in the state.
APSU now doctoral-level institution
In July 2018, the University launched its first-ever doctoral program – a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership for K-12 professionals. The move also raised Austin Peay State University to a doctoral-level classification with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.