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Austin Peay State University announces Janie, Joe Couch create Smith Family Education Endowment for APSU students

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) alumna Janie Couch (’61) and her husband Joe Couch recently made a generous donation to establish the Smith Family Education Endowment for Austin Peay State University students.

The couple also donated additional funds so at least one scholarship can be granted for the next three years until the endowment funds can be awarded to students.

“I am proud to say that the Eriksson College of Education is now rapidly expanding its reach,” Dr. Prentice Chandler, dean of the APSU Eriksson College of Education, said. “Support from alumni and friends like Janie and Joe Couch enables us to continue our work of preparing skilled future teachers who will make a difference in the lives of students in our community and our region. We thank them for their important contribution for this new scholarship.”

Samuel G. Smith (’50), father of Janie L. Couch, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Austin Peay and a master’s degree from Peabody College. He served as a teacher, an elementary school principal, and as superintendent of Houston County Schools for many years.

Lucille Parchman Smith, Janie’s mother, taught first grade at Yellow Creek and Erin Elementary School for 40 years. Janie and her late brother, Sammy Neal Smith, both graduated from Austin Peay State University. Janie’s parents’ support of education inspired her and Joe to create an education endowment in their memory. Their $60,000 contribution also commemorates their 60th wedding anniversary and the 60th anniversary of Janie’s graduation.

To be eligible, students must have graduated from a high school in Houston County and be enrolled in a teacher licensure program at APSU. Incoming freshman applicants must have a high school GPA of 2.75. It is preferred that the recipients of this scholarship be enrolled in the APSU Eriksson College of Education Rural Education Scholarship Program. This scholarship is renewable if funds are available and if the recipients have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

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 Office of University Advancement at 931.221.7127.

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