APSU honors former TBR chancellor with John Morgan Walk of History
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – When John Morgan says he grew up on the Austin Peay State University campus, he’s not talking metaphorically. His father, Joe Morgan, served as the University’s fourth president, and during those years, the family lived in the historic Archwood Home on College Street. John literally grew up at Austin Peay, and after earning his degree from the University, he continued to think of the campus as his home.
On Oct. 20, Morgan returned to Austin Peay during the school’s Homecoming celebration for a special ceremony honoring his long career as a public servant and his unwavering support of his alma mater. That afternoon, APSU President Alisa White officially designated a heavily traveled campus walkway as the John Morgan Walk of History.
“Today, I say thanks for allowing us to forever connect your name to this University,” she said.
In October 2010, Morgan was named chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents—the state’s university and community college system. He retired from that post in January of 2016 after having led the system’s transformation to become more comprehensive and student-focused. During his time as chancellor, the number of degrees awarded from the TBR’s six universities rose about 3.6 percent, and the number of associate degrees and certificates awarded by community colleges increased more than 40 percent. Before his retirement, Morgan spent nearly 40 years of service with the state in various roles, including a time as Comptroller of the Treasury for the State of Tennessee.
The Morgan University Center, in the center of campus, is named after Morgan’s father, Joe. The new John Morgan Walk of History will eventually connect with the university center’s plaza.
“John Morgan is an important part of the history of Austin Peay; the Morgan family is an important part of the history of Austin Peay,” Derek van der Merwe, APSU vice president for advancement, communication and strategic initiatives, said. “They have fought for Austin Peay, they have stood by Austin Peay, they have helped create momentum that has propelled Austin Peay where it is today.”
The new John Morgan Walk of History features a brick gateway along Marion Street, across from Fortera Stadium, and the path continues between Blount Hall and the Marks and Harned buildings. The sidewalk features a section with engraved bricks, honoring individuals associated with the University. Bricks will be added to the walkway every year, and anyone can purchase a brick with their name, or a loved one’s name, through Austin Peay’s Pave the Way campaign.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Morgan expressed his appreciation for the honor. He also said he hopes it “encourages individuals to support Austin Peay,” both through financial contributions and through service to the institution.
For information on the John Morgan Walk of History or the University’s Pave the Way campaign, visit the APSU Office of Advancement.