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APSU announces endowed fund to honor the late Cathi Maynard, support female student-athletes

By: Payton Baggett December 6, 2023

The late Cathi Maynard with her husband, Joe Maynard.
The late Cathi Maynard with her husband, Joe Maynard.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On Dec. 6, 2023, the date of her birthday, Austin Peay State University (APSU) announced that an endowed fund has been established to benefit the APSU Department of Athletics in honor of the late philanthropist Cathi Maynard.

The University has received a substantial number of gifts since Maynard’s passing on June 23, 2023, and the Cathi Maynard LeadHer Fund of Excellence Endowment will include gifts from her husband Joe Maynard, as well as the many community members who appreciate the impact she made on Austin Peay’s campus and the Clarksville area.

“Cathi passionately supported our University,” APSU President Mike Licari said. “Some of the ways were quite noticeable, but many of the things she did for Austin Peay flew under the radar. She would often help fund and feed the cheer and dance teams. She ensured the campus food pantry was well stocked. She provided resources for students with disabilities and supported academic programs across the University. She and Joe did more than talk about leaving a legacy, they invested their time, talents and treasures to establish one that will be maintained in perpetuity through all their gifts to Austin Peay, including this latest investment.”

The endowed fund will be used to support the LeadHer initiative, which invests in women's athletics at Austin Peay with the mission to enhance the experience of female student-athletes through leadership development, advocacy and service during and beyond their time in college. To accomplish this, the APSU Department of Athletics seeks to engage, equip and empower current and former Austin Peay female student-athletes and the individuals who support them.

“Cathi and I have always been intentional in the ways we wanted to make a difference in the lives of others,” Joe Maynard said. “I know she would be proud that her memory and legacy will live on through the current and future female student-athletes who will benefit from the LeadHer initiative. I want to thank everyone who made gifts to APSU in her honor, gifts that made this endowed fund possible.”

Named Austin Peay's 2020 Philanthropists of the Year, Cathi and Joe Maynard began their generous legacy of giving to the University in 2017. Their contributions include naming the Echo Power Club Level of Fortera Stadium and supporting improvements to the baseball field – now named Joe Maynard Field – and the softball park – known as Cathi Maynard Park.

Cathi and her family could always be seen at many University and athletics events, and they have been active members of the Clarksville community. Cathi and Joe have provided APSU with sponsorship opportunities personally and through their businesses, JCM Management and its subsidiaries. In 2020, they committed a seven-figure gift to create the Joe and Cathi Maynard Fund of Excellence. This fund was designed to provide yearly grants to fund requests from APSU’s academic colleges in support of creative and innovative ideas to enhance the student experience. Projects such as Women in STEM, the APSU GIS Makerspace, the APSU College of Business 15K Entrepreneurship Challenge, the APSU Food Pantry and Adaptive Student Support have benefited from that fund.

Over the years, the Maynards assisted the APSU Department of Athletics with financial needs for student nutrition, the APSU Dance and Cheer Teams, APSU Men’s and Women’s Basketball, APSU Football and the APSU Life Skills Advisory Council. They have also made significant gifts to create the Dr. Joe E. Maynard, Sr. Education Endowment, the George J. Reed, Sr. Veterans Scholarship Endowment and the JoAnn and Frank Hindsley Veterans Endowment.

In 2022, the Maynards pledged $15 million to the APSU Department of Athletics, helping to secure the department’s move to the ASUN Conference. In recognition of this transformational gift, the APSU Board of Trustees named the campus’s athletics facilities as the Joe and Cathi Maynard Athletics Complex. Licari awarded Cathi and Joe the Presidential Medal of Excellence in 2023. Their overall giving to the University totals nearly $19 million, an impressive commitment to student success.

Cathi met Joe while in the military. They both served their country, as did several other family members. Cathi and Joe were co-owners of the Top Fuel NHRA JCM Racing Team, CraftPoint Concepts custom millwork, Shelby’s Trio Restaurants, Queen City Restaurant Equipment and the Trio Hospitality Group at the time of her passing. Joe still owns these companies, along with a partnership in Leatherwood Distillery.

“Mrs. Cathi Maynard was a beloved member of our Governor family,” APSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison said. “She was a tireless philanthropist who, along with her husband Joe, impacted more people than we may ever realize. Austin Peay Athletics has been able to level up because of her passion and love for this school, and we cannot wait to see how the LeadHer initiative grows with the help of her fund.”

Endowments are permanently restricted funds managed by the Austin Peay State University Foundation. The amount of each scholarship award may vary and will be determined based on the value of the endowment and the Foundation spending plan.

To support APSU fundraising initiatives, contact the APSU Office of Philanthropy at 931-221-7127.