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A Legacy of Academic Excellence

Whitney in the Honnors Commons

Our History:

The Honors Program at Austin Peay State University, has a rich history that began in the early 1980s. Officially established in 1982, it stands as one of the oldest honors programs in the state of Tennessee, setting a precedent for academic distinction and growth.

The genesis of this program can be attributed to a dedicated group of faculty members and administrators at APSU who recognized the importance of providing enhanced educational opportunities for academically talented and motivated students. Their vision was to create a challenging and stimulating academic environment that encouraged critical thinking, creativity, and interdisciplinary learning.

The establishment of the Honors Program was a response to the growing interest in honors education and the recognition of the benefits it could provide to both students and the university community. It aimed to attract and retain high-achieving students, offering them a unique curriculum, smaller class sizes, faculty mentorship, research opportunities, and a close-knit academic community.

A Journey of Leadership and Growth

Visionary Founding Director: Dr. Edward Irwin

The Honors Program's roots trace back to the visionary efforts of Dr. Edward Irwin, an esteemed English professor at APSU. Dr. Irwin's commitment and dedication led to the establishment of the program in 1982, marking a significant milestone in APSU's academic landscape.

In honor of Dr. Irwin's pioneering contributions, a classroom in the Honors Commons stands as a testament to his enduring legacy within the Honors Program.

Continuing the Legacy: Dedicated Program Directors

Following Dr. Irwin's exemplary leadership, the Honors Program has been guided by esteemed directors who have furthered its mission and elevated its standards of academic excellence:

Serving as the second director for approximately 20 years until 2016, Dr. Crenshaw, an English professor, left an indelible mark on the program, shaping its trajectory and fostering growth.

A political science professor, Dr. Kenny directed the President's Emerging Leaders Program and also played a crucial role as the Interim Director of Honors, contributing significantly to the program's development.

Dr. Mills took the helm as the program director, overseeing both the President's Emerging Leaders Program and the Honors Program, showcasing his dedication to student leadership and academic advancement.

Currently serving as the program director, Dr. Winters, a Greek and Classics professor, continues to uphold the legacy of academic excellence, leading both the Honors Program and the President's Emerging Leaders Program.

Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders: Our Legacy of Excellence

Over the years, the Honors Program at APSU has continued to evolve, offering a wide array of honors courses, seminars, and extracurricular activities. This evolution has cemented the program as an integral part of APSU's commitment to academic excellence, contributing to the university's reputation for providing a high-quality education and nurturing future leaders.

Join us on this academic journey, become a part of our rich history, and embrace the opportunities for growth and excellence that the Honors Program at APSU offers!