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First Federal funds new APSU history book, scholarships

April 22, 2002

Thanks to the generosity of First Federal Savings Bank of Clarksville and its president, James T. Mann, a new history book about Austin Peay State University has been written and is being published.

Beyond funding the book's publication, officials and the board of directors of First Federal also established a significant scholarship endowment.

Titled "A History of Austin Peay State University, 1927-2002, and Its Predecessors, 1806-1926," the book was written by Dr. Richard Gildrie and Dr. Howard Winn, professors of history at Austin Peay. The publisher is JM Press, Nashville, whose president, John Ishee, is an APSU alumnus.

Mann said, "First Federal and the higher education institution on College Street, dating to 1806, are partners in developing a community valuable to all. First Federal Savings Bank proudly invests in our University's past and future."

The history book is the cornerstone of APSU's 75th Anniversary celebration, which began in Fall 2001 and concludes at the end of Spring Semester 2002.

"Our bank has been supported by the community from its conception in 1953, and the bank's officers and board were clear that First Federal would only be as strong as the community it served," Mann said. "Education is the heart of any community's future."

Mann draws a parallel between a community's support of education and its prosperity, saying a higher-education institution in the community creates "an economic base of educated and adaptive workers, forward-looking leaders and a sure view of the need to enhance all phases of life of the community… to improve the life of all.

"It is for this reason that First Federal Savings Bank has underwritten this project."

In addition to donating $50,000 to fund the publication of the history book, First Federal Savings Bank gave APSU an additional $50,000 for a scholarship endowment.

"Along with future generations of scholarship recipients, the Austin Peay faculty, staff and students sincerely thank Jim Mann and First Federal for this gift," said Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president. "Jim has a deep and abiding appreciation of how much a community is enhanced -culturally, intellectually, socially and economically-when it has a college or university in its midst, especially one with the quality of Austin Peay.

"Economic development and industrial expansion often hinge on whether city officials can promise higher education for its workforce and their families. A booming economy translates into stronger financial institutions, too. So it's a win-win situation."