By MARLON SCOTT | Senior Staff Writer
From the time it opened its doors as Austin Peay Normal School in September, 1929, until it evolved into Austin Peay State College and now features President Tim Hall, often spotted walking across campus graciously waving to newcomers, APSU has a long, storied history.
Intertwined in the roots of the history of APSU and telling a lot of those stories is the student newspaper, The All State.
This year, TAS is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
To celebrate, this is the first piece of an ongoing series describing the history of the student newspaper.
From its infancy as a four page bi-weekly paper to its current multimedia weekly incarnation, this series will highlight the papers evolution as well as the people responsible for keeping it coming of the presses for 80 years.
While the value of a student newspaper may be debated, it is rare to find a university without one because, ultimately, the purpose of student publications is to serve.
They serve not only as a source of information, but also as a voice for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
TAS has been serving this purpose for APSU since 1930. The first issue, then called simply “All State,” was published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1930. It was sponsored by Felix G. Woodward and Louise Jackson.
The first editor-in-chief was Malvin Utleye. He led a small staff that included sports and joke editors, two class reporters, three associate editors, two assistant sports editors, feature writers, an exchange editor, business manager and circulation manager.
This small group created the template for an 80-year tradition. The front page was all text, divided into five columns. One of the first stories was about its own creation headlined “All State” Staff Named. The first line of the story asked, “What would the world do without gossip?”
In the editorial section of the paper, a question some still ask 80 years later was answered. In an age of Posts, Tribunes, Times and Chronicles, where did the name [All State] come from?
A contest allowing people to submit names for the newspaper was held. The dean of the school at the time, Halbert Harvill, submitted the winning name.
As the 80-year old editorial explains, “The inherent rightness of AS, as a name for the school organ of the Austin Peay Normal School, should be apparent, we believe, to anyone acquainted with the purpose for which the normal school was established.
The unique function of the institution is the training of elementary teachers for the rural schools of Tennessee … Thus, for a paper which heralds the activities of an institution which serves all the state, what name more fitting could there be than AS?”
The title AS stayed for 36 years. The two words over an outline of the state of Tennessee served as the flag of the newspaper during that time. “The” was added in 1966 as part of a new flag design. Mildred Woods was the editor-in-chief at the time.
TAS has graced the top of the printed edition of the APSU student newspaper since then accompanying many flag changes and even a medium change as www.theallstate.org. TAS