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New Women Veterans of America Endowment will support female veteran students at APSU


WVA National Commander Emeritus Yolonda Williams, APSU President Mike Licari, APSU Vice President for Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy Kris Phillips and WVA Commander and Finance Officer Mary Ross sign the gift agreement for the endowment.


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Women Veterans of America (WVA) recently made a generous donation to create the Women Veterans of American Endowment for APSU students.

“Austin Peay is proud to be a quality resource for women veterans after their time in service,” APSU Vice President for Alumni, Engagement and Philanthropy Kris Phillips said. “From accessing financial aid, to registering for classes and graduating, all areas of our campus work together to make success possible in every way for them.”

To qualify for this scholarship, students must be enrolled full-time with a 2.75 GPA in any major and be female veterans or be the children of female veterans. Recipients must visit and use the Newton Military Family Resource Center at least four times a semester. They must also volunteer 10 hours a semester with the WVA. Should the WVA no longer exist, recipients must complete their hours with another organization that supports female veterans.

“Many women veterans face barriers in their pursuit of higher education degrees, and education may be secondary in some cases upon their transition from the military,” WVA National Commander Emeritus Yolonda M. Williams said. “WVA is excited to create this opportunity, so when needed, they or their dependents will have access to aid, and this endowment may remove one obstacle they face.”

Williams served 25 years of active duty in the U.S. Army. She has completed multiple combat tours and was awarded the Bronze Star for her actions in Afghanistan. She earned an associate degree in arts and a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. In 2020, she graduated with a degree in culinary arts from APSU and is now working toward her master's in leadership and organization from Austin Peay as well.

Williams is now the WVA National Commander Emeritus. She served with distinction from 2016 to 2022. She also dedicates herself to community service with events such as the inaugural Education Summit for Women Veterans, also known as the APSU Pathways for SHEroes.” The event showcased the opportunities and benefits that Austin Peay, as well as other community partners, offers female veterans. The event will take place again this year on March 25, as the organization continues their focus on education.

“On behalf of the APSU campus community, I want to say that we appreciate the Women Veterans of America and their commitment to promoting student success,” APSU President Mike Licari said. “We are delighted that the Women Veterans of America Endowment will benefit veteran students and their families. I want to say a special thank you to Yolonda Williams for her dedication to service and her spirit of giving back to others by leading the efforts to establish this endowment.”

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 upon 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.

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