» By Phillip Swanson
1) Campus construction
The past year had many major events and changes not only on campus but around the region and country, as well. APSU also underwent significant change for the campus as a whole in 2013.
The campus scenery changed when the demolition of the old football stadium began after the last home game of the 2013 season. Currently, construction is underway and is slated to be finished before the start of the 2014 fall semester.
Before the football stadium had been demolished, work had been ongoing on the Governors Terrace Hall and Dining Complex and the Martha Dickerson Eriksson Hall, both of which took the place of the old residence halls Killebrew, Cross and Rawlins. The total time spent on the housing project was two years.
Construction of the new Maynard Mathematics and Computer Science building was also recently finished, meaning that along with more room for students to live in, more classrooms will be available.
In spring of 2013, Lars Eriksson, husband of the late APSU alumna Martha Dickerson Eriksson, donated $10 million to APSU, the largest gift in the university’s history.
The donation set up an endowment which will fund scholarships for students in mathematics and science for the rest of the university’s existence. Because of his large donation, the Martha Dickerson Eriksson Residence Hall was named in honor of Eriksson’s wife.
3) New athletic director and football coach
In 2013, APSU hired Derek van der Merwe as the new athletics director and Kirby Cannon as the head coach of the football team. At an SGA meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, van der Merwe said he is excited for the changes happening at APSU and that it is “an honor and a privilege” to work for the university.
“I love working with students and also student athletes” and that his duty is “to build a pride in what APSU stands for,” van der Merwe said.
4) D. C. and Degree Compass
President Tim Hall went to Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, and met with other school leaders from across the country to discuss the ideas and innovations schools were taking to help low-income students not only earn degrees, but get them in a timely manner. The meeting was held as Congress decided whether or not to renew higher education funding.
5) Government Shutdown
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, the government shut down due to controversy on whether or not the Affordable Care Act should be delayed. The shutdown left thousands without jobs, but Congress voted to pay back employees once it was over. The Affordable Care Act went into effect and could pose problems for college students, as they will be required to have health insurance.
6) Hankook Tires
Hankook Tires, the seventh largest tire production company in the world, will bring 1,800 jobs to Clarksville. The factory’s construction is planned to start in 2014, and production should begin in 2016.
The Military Times published its annual “Best for Vets” list and named APSU as the best four-year university in Tennessee for supporting military veterans. Out of 86 four-year schools listed, APSU ranked at 57 and had a four-star rating for academic support.
8) Tristan Denley leaves APSU
Tristan Denley, former APSU provost, left in 2013, and has since taken a position as vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents. While at APSU he created Degree Compass, a program that has received national attention in helping students finish school in a timely manner.
9) Baseball team wins OVC
APSU baseball ended the 2013 season by winning 12 matches in a row and 16 of 17 games to finish 42-13 overall and 22-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference. APSU won its third straight and sixth overall OVC Tournament title, the other championships being won in 1996, 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012.
10) Growth in Clarksville
In 2011 to 2012, Clarksville was credited as the second fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical Area in the Nation.
Now in 2014, that growth is continuing. A new YMCA opened on Needmore Road in December 2013 and a $4 million renovation to The Clarksville Athletic Club on Dunlop Lane is set to begin in February. TAS