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Fraternity alumni endow new scholarship at APSU

Alumni members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Forty years before Leonard Hamilton became Florida State University’s winningest head basketball coach, he was a young graduate assistant on the coaching staff at Austin Peay State University. Prior to his arrival, he’d been initiated into the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, and while on campus, Hamilton encouraged a group of motivated young men to establish a chapter at Austin Peay.

On May 5, 1975, the Theta Beta Chapter was chartered at APSU, with the national Kappa Alpha Psi organization mandating the new members to inspire “service in the public interest.”

“We set out to provide support to Austin Peay and the communities that surrounded it,” James Greenlee (’93) said. “Our undergraduates planned and executed numerous community service projects, served as leaders in student government and joined with alumni members to provide scholarships to new students. These efforts proved very important in our ability to attract men of good character for the fraternity and good ambassadors for the University.”

Once they graduated, those “men of good character” continued to support their alma mater through gifts and informal scholarships. About five years ago, Greenlee decided it was time to formalize their efforts through Austin Peay’s Endowed Scholarship program.

“The Brothers, they were initially a little hesitant,” he said. “Many of them were already annual givers to the University, but a $25,000 minimum investment seemed a daunting task. I enlisted the help of fellow former chapter president James Dukes, and with the help of the University’s advancement team, we were able to convince a ‘faithful few’ that the money would fund a scholarship at our alma mater, while also honoring our fraternity’s legacy of service.”

Last fall, alumni members of Theta Beta Chapter partnered with the Austin Peay State University Foundation to establish the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity/Theta Beta Endowed Scholarship for the benefit of students attending Austin Peay.

“During the halftime festivities at Homecoming 2017, we presented APSU President Alisa White with a $25,000 check to begin the process,” Greenlee said. “We are continuing to raise funds in an effort to expand the scholarship.”

Recipients must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, submit a 500-word essay on why they should receive the award and complete 40 hours of volunteer work. For information on the scholarship, contact the Office of University Advancement at advancement@apsu.edu.