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Mayor earns degree; soldier awarded 1st M.A. in Military History

For the past six months, Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper took two online courses offered at Austin Peay State University to complete a college degree he nearly finished 30 years ago.

On Friday, Dec. 14, Piper received a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies, one of 537 candidates for degrees in APSU's Winter Commencement. He left APSU in 1978, just two courses short of completing his degree, after he married and began supporting his family.
For the past six months, Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper took two online courses offered at Austin Peay State University to complete a college degree he nearly finished 30 years ago.

On Friday, Dec. 14, Piper received a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies, one of 537 candidates for degrees in APSU's Winter Commencement. He left APSU in 1978, just two courses short of completing his degree, after he married and began supporting his family.

Accompanied by his daughters, Heather and Sarah, and wife, Donitaall APSU graduatesPiper told The Leaf-Chronicle that the attainment of this long-shelved goal pleased him on many levels.

Heather Piper is a semester shy of a law degree from Cumberland School of Law. Her younger sister has been accepted to veterinary school at Ross University on Saint Kitts Island in the Caribbean. His wife is working on her thesis to finish her Education Specialist degree at APSU.

"Not only have I encouraged and been willing to support them in their continuing education, now I have completed my education as well," Piper stated in the Dec. 15, 2007, edition of The Leaf-Chronicle. "I believe education is the key to success. It's one thing in life that's forever yours."

Meanwhile, U.S. Army Capt. Joseph Harrison became the first APSU graduate awarded the Master of Arts in Military History, launched in 2006. He also earned a Certificate in Security Studies.

Harrison, a native of Medford, Ore., and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., reports next to Fort Knox, Ky., where he will complete additional coursework related to his duties as captain. -- Melony A. Jones