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APSU honors Harvill, Ross with dedications

September 17, 2003


Austin Peay honored the contributions of two outstanding women during todays rededication of the Catherine Evans Harvill Building and the dedication of the Ann R. Ross Book and Supply Store.

The ceremony commenced with greetings from APSU President, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, and APSU alum Dr. Bob Adams, vice chancellor for business and finance for the Tennessee Board of Regents.
September 17, 2003


Austin Peay honored the contributions of two outstanding women during today's rededication of the Catherine Evans Harvill Building and the dedication of the Ann R. Ross Book and Supply Store.

The ceremony commenced with greetings from APSU President, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, and APSU alum Dr. Bob Adams, vice chancellor for business and finance for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

In his remarks on Harvill, APSU alum Dr. Ken Tidwell recalled the love that the former first lady inspired in students, faculty and staff. “She made me feel like I could win a Nobel Prize, be governor, be president, anything,” he said. “She had that magic. I don't know how she did it, but I promise you, she did.”

Tidwell's comments were followed by an emotional tribute by Harvill's son, Evans Harvill, Clarksville, and granddaughter, Catherine Evans Harvill, Maumelle, Ark.

Hoppe introduced Ross as someone whose “small acts of kindness brightened the days of many here,” adding, “She not only shared her life with the institution but her financial well-being.”

Hoppe then announced Ross's gift of $500,000 to the University, which will establish the Ross Family Scholarships.

Ed Irwin, professor emeritus of languages and literature, paid tribute to Ross as a woman of strength, equanimity, humor, generosity, faith and love. Irwin and Ross began their careers at APSU in fall 1962. Of his longtime friend, Irwin said that she was the “exact right choice” as namesake of the bookstore.
Ross's trademark sense of humor flashed as she announced, “I am absolutely delighted that I finally made it above ground,” referring to the bookstore's traditional location in the basements of other building. She added, “I'm grateful that I'm still kicking, I'm not six feet under, and I can enjoy this day.”

Harvill served as the University's first lady during the tenure of her husband, APSU President Halbert Harvill. An alumna of Martin College, Pulaski, Harvill was embraced by APSU students, who referred to her as “a great Christian character, an enthusiastic worker, a leader in civic and church activities, a woman with a warmth of friendship and personality” in the 1954 edition of “Farewell and Hail,” dedicated to her memory.

Ross retired from APSU after 30 years as manager of the Book & Supply Store, which now bears her name. She continues to serve the University as chair of APSU's first capital campaign. An alumna of Rhodes College, Memphis, and Vanderbilt University, Ross is a member of the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church and clerk/treasurer of Grace Chapel Church, Rossview. She also is president of the Episcopal Church Women, Diocese of Tennessee, a member of the steering committee for Women's Services of Gateway Hospital and is on the board of directors of the Lisa Ross Birth and Women's Center in Knoxville.