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2021-22 Student Handbook & Calendar

About APSU

Section photo for handbook

The About APSU section includes the following:


Letter from the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Fellow Govs:

The entire APSU community is beyond excited to see you on campus for 2021-2022.  We are diligently planning exceptionally engaging fall and spring semesters with all of our traditional events like Mudbowl, G.H.O.S.T, and Homecoming, music and theater events, and of course our Athletic teams are preparing for successful seasons. I encourage you to take advantage of all our resources, visit our updated centers, and get to know your advisers and professors. It is my hope that you fully leverage the vast services available and the assistance and guidance of our dedicated faculty and staff. We are all committed to your success and can effectively guide and support you through your journey here at APSU.  Welcome back!  Lets Go Peay!

Eric Norman, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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The Basics

Gov. Austin Peay: Austin Peay was governor of Tennessee and a favorite son of Clarksville. Peay signed a law establishing Austin Peay Normal School on April 26, 1927. Although Austin Peay State University has a 94-year history, institutions of higher learning have occupied the campus since 1806.

Campus and enrollment: Austin Peay State University consists of more than 75 buildings on three sites occupying 637 acres. These sites include the Clarksville campus downtown, the Fort Campbell campus and the Environmental Education Center.

Austin Peay continues to be a leader in growth among public universities in Tennessee. We serve students from every region of Tennessee, many of the 50 states and several foreign countries.

The Govs: In the infant years of intercollegiate competition, Austin Peay’s athletic representatives were often called “Normalites” or “Warriors.” The present “Governors” tag surfaced around 1937, probably as a tribute to Gov. Austin Peay.

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Austin Peay State University is located on an urban campus that, for more than 215 years, has been used for educational purposes, and on which the buildings of seven colleges have stood:

Rural Academy
Mount Pleasant Academy
Clarksville Academy
Masonic College
Montgomery Co. Masonic College
Stewart College
Southwestern Presbyterian University         
Austin Peay Normal School
Austin Peay State College
Austin Peay State University

Harned Hall, pictured top middle, is the only building still standing from this aerial image circa 1935.

The University began as Austin Peay Normal School when it was created as a two-year junior college and teacher-training institution by Act of the General Assembly of 1927 and named in honor of Gov. Austin Peay, who was serving his third term of office when the school was established. 

In 1939, the state board of education authorized the school to inaugurate a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. The degree was first conferred on the graduating class at the 1942 Spring Commencement. By Act of the Tennessee Legislature of Feb. 4, 1943, the name of the school was changed to Austin Peay State College. In 1951, the state board authorized the College to confer the Bachelor of Arts degree and, in 1952, to offer graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Education. It evolved over the decades into a college before eventually becoming a university in 1967. Today, Austin Peay has transformed into a major regional provider of higher education, with the University now offering two doctoral degrees – a Doctor in Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in counseling psychology.

During its history, 11 presidents and four acting presidents have served the institution:

John S. Ziegler                                                
Philander P. Claxton
Halbert Harvill
Earl E. Sexton (Acting)
September-December 1962
Joe Morgan
Robert O. Riggs
Oscar C. Page
Richard G. Rhoda (Interim)
July-October 1994
Sal D. Rinella
Sherry L. Hoppe (Interim)
Sherry L. Hoppe
Timothy L. Hall
Alisa R. White
Dannelle F.W. Whiteside (Interim)
Michael J. Licari
2021- present
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Mission Statement

Austin Peay State University is a comprehensive university committed to raising the educational attainment of the citizenry, developing programs and services that address regional needs, and providing collaborative opportunities that connect university expertise with private and public resources. Collectively, these endeavors contribute significantly to the intellectual, economic, social, physical and cultural development of the region. APSU prepares students to be engaged and productive citizens, while recognizing that society and the marketplace require global awareness and continuous learning. This mission will be accomplished by:

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Vision Statement

APSU’s vision is to create a collaborative, integrative learning community, instilling in students habits of critical inquiry as they gain knowledge, skills and values for life and work in a global society.

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Alma Mater: “All Hail to Austin Peay”

All Hail our Alma Mater,

All Hail to Austin Peay,

Forever faithful to thy standards will we ever be,

We love thy campus beauty, serene in dignity,

And so we proudly sing this song in praise of thee,

All Hail, All Hail,

We sing in praise of thee,

We love our Alma Mater,

All Hail to Austin Peay.

Words and Music by Dr. Aaron Schmidt, professor of music and band director, 1956-87

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Fight Song: “Smash! Bang!”

Smash! Bang! To victory

Go the Governors of Austin Peay

Clash! Clang! It’s misery

For the minions of the Enemy

Fight on and

Smash! Bang! to Score Again

For it’s ready, set 1, 2, 3!

Smash Bang! Biff Bam! Clash Clang! Rim Ram!

Dash along to Victory!

Let’s Go Peay!  

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Govs Creed

“As a member of the Austin Peay State University community, I will agree to act with personal and academic integrity while interacting with my fellow students, faculty and staff members. I will charge myself to be accountable in all phases of interaction. I will respect the dignity of all persons and will appreciate and celebrate a climate of diversity. I will contribute to the greater good of the community. I will take pride in Austin Peay State University.”

— Established by the SGA Student Tribunal in 2008

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