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Hoppe, TBR chancellor present philanthropy award to Ann Ross

During Austin Peay State Universitys recent Annual Donor Dinner, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, and Dr. Charles Manning, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, honored a local woman for her generosity to APSU.

Hoppe presented Ann Ross, Clarksville, with the coveted Chancellors Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for 2006 during this special evening that recognizes University donors and the scholarship recipients they support with their financial gifts.
During Austin Peay State University's recent Annual Donor Dinner, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, and Dr. Charles Manning, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, honored a local woman for her generosity to APSU.

Hoppe presented Ann Ross, Clarksville, with the coveted Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for 2006 during this special evening that recognizes University donors and the scholarship recipients they support with their financial gifts.

The manager of APSU's book and supply store for 30 years, Ross was a leader in her profession, as indicated by her numerous terms as president of the Tennessee Association of College Stores (TACS) and her repeated selection as TACS Manager of the Year.

After her retirement, Ross received a significant amount of money from the sale of the family farman occurrence that could have afforded her a life of luxury wherever she chose to live. However, she chose to continue living in Clarksville and helping others rather than herself.

She remains active on behalf of the University and her community, and it was her support of APSU that garnered her the honor of being selected to receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

In 2002 when Hoppeagainst the recommendation of a financial consultantdecided to launch Austin Peay's first capital campaign, it was Ross who stepped up to serve as chair. Under her leadership, the original goal of $15 million was surpassed almost before the campaign was announced to the public.

To date, Ross and the rest of the Changing Minds, Changing Lives Campaign Committee have raised more than $28 million toward the new goal of $30 million.

Not only has Ross led the fundraising efforts, she was among the first to make a generous gift to APSU. Besides including the University in her estate plan, Ross made a gift to APSU that enabled her to name a lecture room and laboratory in the Sundquist Science Complex in memory of her daughter, Evelyn Ross Hinson, who passed away in 2000.

The endowed scholarships Ross established in memory of Evelyn and Ross' late husband, Neil, are enabling mathematics and biology students to attend APSU. Neil Ross was a longtime member of the mathematics faculty at APSU prior to retirement.

During the ceremony, besides being recognized for her generosity to APSU in financial resources and in volunteer time, Ross also was applauded for the impact she has had on the lives of hundreds of APSU students, faculty and staff through her words of encouragement.

Hoppe noted Ross' determination to turn tragedy into triumph. In 1998, when her daughter, Lisa, died, Ross channeled her grief into positive action, creating The Lisa Ross Birth and Women's Center in Knoxvillea center to train women who want to become midwives.

Then when her remaining daughter, Evelyn, died, Ross again found comfort in creating perpetual memorials to honor her loved ones through math and biology scholarships.

Hoppe called Ross' positive outlook on lifedespite great personal tragedynothing short of “inspirational.” — Dennie B. Burke