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APSU forms new Military and Veterans Affairs division, appoints Lord as VP

Retired Maj. Gen. Walt Lord at the Newton Military Family Resource Center.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Walt Lord speaks at the Governors Military Hall of Fame unveiling.

(Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023)

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Austin Peay State University (APSU) has formed a new division to unify its military-affiliated student efforts. The Military and Veterans Affairs division is a reorganization to bring the University’s military focus under one umbrella, establishing a new vice president position that will be assumed by retired Army Maj. Gen. Walt Lord, who has served as the University’s military advisor in residence for the last two years.

“We provide nearly all of our services to military-affiliated students from two locations: the Newton Military Family Resource Center and the Austin Peay Center at Fort Campbell,” Lord said. “Previously, there was no direct linkage between those two centers. This reorganization will fix that, bringing both centers into a single division and ensuring seamless coordination between them.”

Lord will directly oversee the division’s assistant vice president, the Newton Military Family Resource Center and the APSU Center at Fort Campbell. He will also lead the University’s military-focused recruitment and marketing efforts.

“We see this as the logical next step in our evolution as the state’s leader in providing higher education options for military-affiliated students,” Lord said.

While APSU has been a longstanding anchor in the state as the largest provider of education to military-affiliated students, this restructuring makes APSU one of the largest unified university staffs in the nation that focuses on serving its military-affiliated populations.

“Austin Peay has long set the standard for serving and educating military-affiliated students, but we are not resting on our laurels,” said Dr. Mike Licari, president of APSU. “This new division will ensure we have a unified, efficient and strong unit on campus to remain among the best in the nation. I know Walt will provide excellent leadership, and the dedicated professionals in the division will be a tight-knit team serving our military-affiliated students.”

Lord, a Philadelphia native, enlisted as a 17-year-old and was commissioned as an officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard two years later. He entered active duty in 1990, and has led at the platoon, company, squadron and coalition headquarters levels throughout his career as an armored cavalryman. In June 2012, he took command of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he has held other critical Army and joint staff positions, including allied coalition positions in the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Afghanistan.

In his previous role leading the Pentagon’s Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) staff, Lord and the chairman of the RFPB provided advice directly to the U.S. Secretary of Defense on policy issues that impact the nation’s seven military Reserve Components.

Lord attended the Senior Executive Seminar at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the General/Flag Officers and Ambassadors Course at the NATO Defense College. He is a National Security Fellow of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College and a master’s in strategic studies from the Army War College.

Austin Peay is the state’s largest higher education provider to military-affiliated students, with more than 25% of enrolled students having a military connection. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission previously honored the university’s support of this population by naming Austin Peay a Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Campus, and last year APSU opened the Newton Military Family Resource Center to provide seamless support to military-affiliated students, from applying for admission to securing employment after graduation.

For more information on how Austin Peay serves the military community, visit https://www.apsu.edu/military.