January 14, 2002
At one point in its history, the institution that would become Austin Peay State University, was abandoned. Debris collected against foundations of buildings. Weeds grew where students had strolled. Gaping windows beckoned flocks of homeless pigeons. Darkness prevailed in buildings once brightly lit for evening gatherings. The local economy reflected the loss of faculty and student spending. High school graduates whose family income wouldn't allow them to incur housing expenses on top of tuition drifted aimlessly in the community. When did this happen, and what were the circumstances?
Answer: It was 1925. Southwestern Presbyterian University had closed and moved to Memphis. It wasn't until 1927 that the land was offered to the state of Tennessee and a bill to establish a normal school was signed into law by Gov. Austin Peay. The normal school, in time, became Austin Peay State University.