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Alumni Wayne and Bobbi Pace increase gift to more than $1 million

3/11/2002
March 11, 2002

Four Austin Peay faculty and emeritus faculty were recognized Saturday night when APSU president Dr. Sherry Hoppe announced that alumni Bobbi and Wayne Pace, Atlanta and New York City, have given $400,000 to endow a $100,000 scholarship in each one's honor.

The honorees are Lawrence Baggett, associate professor of accounting; Dr. William Ellis, professor of biology; Glenn Gentry, professor emeritus of accounting; and Charles Waters, professor emeritus of English.

The announcement, which was made at the Candlelight Ball, APSU's annual black-tie fundraiser, came as a surprise to the men, who had been invited to the ball as special guests of Hoppe. (Gentry was unable to attend.)

"What is important about Wayne's gift is that he wanted to honor his former professors because they helped make his success possible," said Hoppe. "Wayne told me he might not be where he is today had it not been for the faculty who encouraged him and nurtured his ability."

These four endowments increase the Paces' recent donation to APSU to more than $1 million. In April 1999, the couple gave $650,000 for the much-needed renovation and expansion of the Pace Alumni Center at Emerald Hill. The antebellum mansion, slated to reopen this spring, will be home to the APSU National Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni and Annual Giving.

Last November Wayne Pace was named executive vice president and chief financial officer for AOL Time Warner, the world's first Internet-powered media and communication company with businesses that include interactive services, cable systems, publishing, music, television networks and filmed entertainment.

Hoppe said, "Wayne and Bobbi have been faithful supporters of Austin Peay for years and years. They are generous with both their time and money. In addition to financial support, the Paces have sponsored events for Atlanta alumni. And despite Wayne's extremely busy schedule, he returns to campus often to talk with students."

In addition to speaking to classes and student organizations, he gave the December 1997 Commencement address. During his talk, he reminded graduates of the importance of giving back to their alma mater.

"Wayne and Bobbi practice what they preach," said Hoppe. "They continually demonstrate their appreciation for the role Austin Peay played in their lives."