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The Evolution of the APSU William E. & Sadako S. Newton Military Family Resource Center


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – What was once a 700-square-foot office space behind Austin Peay State University’s post office, is now the largest military student center in Tennessee, measuring 5,200-square-feet. Today, the William E. & Sadako S. Newton Military Family Resource Center provides support to the military-affiliated population at APSU and the Fort Campbell community, providing an environment where students can find comfort and bond over shared experiences.

“My vision was to grow the center, not only with attendance but with space,” Jasmin Linares, Newton Center director, said. “The center currently aims to provide services to our military-affiliated students like a one-stop shop. We strive to provide services from other departments and from the community to students and community members.”

In January 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Newton Military Family Resource Center silently opened its doors. The center quickly became a hub for the social, financial, and academic needs of APSU’s military community. With a generous donation from APSU alumna Wilma Newton (’73), the physical evolution allowed a programmatic evolution that supports and provides services such as Veterans Upward Bound, VetSuccess on Campus, Career Services, Student Success, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Veterans Education Benefits, and the reorganization of the Student Veterans of America chapter.

Alongside the expansion of programs offered, the Newton Center has established lasting partnerships with the Stephen A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, Montgomery County Veteran Service Organization, VA Health, American Red Cross, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, and several other organizations that provide further assistance to the students and soldiers of Austin Peay.

“It is because of the staff we have here.  Our community partners and staff saw ways to use this space as a place for our military-affiliated students to receive resources,” Retired Maj. Gen. Walt Lord, APSU military advisor-in-residence, said. “For us, we do it because it’s the right thing.”

The newly renovated Newton Center is a dream realized for staff and students. The facility steadily maintains a footprint in the APSU military community. In turn, students and faculty can continue to build the comradery and connections made from serving. Additionally, through a Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Veteran Reconnect Research grant, the Newton Center will have embedded counselors offering career vocational assessment and mental health counseling.

“For the future, we're looking to add an outdoor space for students to utilize, originating from our routine potlucks and bonding,” Linares said. “We are hoping it can grow into something bigger than that.”

The Newton Military Family Resource Center is located at 426 College Street. For more information on the services, the Center offers, visit https://www.apsu.edu/nmfrc/.

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