Wilma Newton contributes generous gift to new APSU Military Family Resource Center
(Posted Jan. 16, 2019)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Work will soon begin converting a former car dealership building into Austin Peay State University’s new Military Family Resource Center, thanks to a generous contribution from alumna Wilma Newton (’73) in honor of her late parents.
Newton, along with her late husband Raymond Vares, previously decided to contribute to the University because of their appreciation for education and their family connection to the military. Newton’s late father, husband, brother and several uncles all served in the military.
“My parents encouraged us to obtain a college degree and worked hard to afford it,” she said. “My siblings and I were the first grandchildren to earn a college degree.”
Pending approval by the APSU Board of Trustees, the proposed name for the center will be the William E. & Sadako S. Newton Military Family Resource Center. Newton’s father, William, met her mother, Sadako, in Japan when he was stationed there as part of the military efforts to reconstruct the country following the end of World War II.
“Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Newton, this incredible gift will allow our military-related students to receive specialized support from University professionals who have experience with specific needs and concerns of military-connected students in an environment where they can build community and rapport with students in similar circumstances,” APSU President Alisa White said. “Austin Peay has the largest number of military-related students in the state and we want our students to know we appreciate their service to our country and are here to help them succeed.”
The facility, located at 426 College St., will provide seamless support to military-related students as they apply for admission, access financial aid, select their programs of study, register for their courses, progress toward graduation and secure employment after graduation.
At APSU, about one in four students has a military connection, with more than 2,500 in attendance in each of the last three years. Assistance from staff with specialized knowledge and close attention to detail will help students stay on track with degree planning and maximizing their use of educational benefits. The center will house existing academic and support programs, which could include Veterans Upward Bound, VetSuccess on Campus, the Military Student Center, the Office of Career Services, Admissions, the Office of the Registrar and Student Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs.
“The staff and faculty at APSU already do a great job of working with our military-affiliated students,” retired Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, APSU military adviser in residence, said. “With the addition of the Military Family Resource Center, we believe APSU can increase and improve collaboration and the sharing of information and opportunities to assist this population of students, which will increase their chances of success both here and in the job market once they graduate.”
To support APSU fundraising initiatives, contact the Office of University Advancement at 931-221-7127.