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APSU Governor's Traditions


The All State student newspaper

An integral part of any college or university is its student newspaper. Since 1930, The All State has served as the main source of information for student, faculty and alumni of Austin Peay. Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1930, marked the publication of the first issue of the newspaper and the university’s oldest tradition has been documenting the history ever since.

The newspaper’s name came from Halbert Harvill, then dean at Austin Peay. He submitted “All State” in a contest held to choose a name for the student newspaper. In an editorial explaining the name’s origin, it said, “The unique function of the institution is the training of elementary teachers for the rural schools of Tennessee … Thus, for a paper which heralds the activities of an institution which serves all the state, what name for fitting could there be than All State.”

The All State is available every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters, and is updated regularly at www.theallstate.org and on social media.

The "Bowls"

The karst landscape of the Clarksville area lends itself to numerous sinkholes. Austin Peay's main campus quad area is highlighted by several large sinkholes, nicknamed "the bowls." These bowls are popular hangouts for studying, lounging, frisbee games or student activities.

The MudBowl

Every fall, students form either all-male, all-female or coed teams to compete in volleyball and/or tug-of-war in the mud. The MudBowl uses tarp surrounded by bales of straw, filled with tons of murky dirt and water. The annual event, started in 2003, is sponsored by the Student Government Association.

The Big Event

A spring tradition hosted by the Student Government Association, The Big Event incorporates “hands on service” by hundreds of Austin Peay students, to benefit dozens of community agencies in the greater Clarksville and Nashville areas.  


G.H.O.S.T., or "Greater Halloween Options for Safe Trick-or-Treating," is a longstanding tradition at APSU, sponsored by Student Government Association. Although it was originally intended for the children of APSU students, faculty and staff, G.H.O.S.T. has expanded to welcome families from the local community. APSU clubs and organizations, as well as groups from the community, dress up, hand out candy and play games with children from Clarksville and the surrounding area.

Polar Plunge

Every January, members of the Austin Peay State University community display their grit and determination by willingly jumping into icy water during the annual Polar Plunge. This event, which serves as a food drive for local food pantries, takes place each January at the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center’s outdoor swimming pool, and it has grown in popularly since the first plunge took place in 2009.

Plant the Campus Red

Plant the Campus Red has become a tradition with memorable beginnings. The initial Plant the Campus Red was held in the spring after the Jan. 22, 1999, tornado denuded much of campus. With a spirit of determination and in defiance of the F-4 tornado's destruction, more than 400 faculty, staff, students, alumni and community friends united to bring the campus back to life by planting hundreds of flowers, shrubs and saplings. The event is held each spring.

Building Names

In honor of our namesake, former Tennessee governor Austin Peay, many of our campus buildings have been named after former Tennessee governors as well.

Top Outstanding Student Awards

Each year, the University recognizes the top two outstanding students at the Spring Academic Awards Day Ceremony.

The William McClure Drane Award is given to the degree candidate chosen by the faculty of the University on the basis of character, scholarship, leadership and service to the University. The award was established in 1950 by Myrtle Drane and Maud Drane Buckner in memory of their father, William McClure Drane, a prominent citizen of Clarksville and patron of education.

The Halbert Harvill Civitan Citizenship Award is given to the graduating student selected by the faculty for having made an outstanding contribution to good citizenship during his or her college career. The award is not based upon popularity, athletic prowess or scholastic achievement; rather, the award honors the student who has made the best use of his or her abilities and has worked unselfishly for the betterment of fellow students and the school community.

Miss Austin Peay and Miss Queen City scholarship pageants

Sponsored by the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, the pageant was established in 1959 to offer an undergraduate, female students the opportunity to earn scholarships through participation in the annual pageant. In 2013, the state-wide title Miss Queen City was added. Talent, interviewing skills, fitness, confidence, and stage presence are the primary tenants of the pageant. Those crowned go on to compete in the Miss Tennessee Volunteer Scholarship Pageant in Jackson, Tennessee, each June.