Austin Peay business major named Student Veteran of the Year finalist
Clarksville, TN (01/30/2024) — Austin Peay State University business management major Brian Meredith, who previously served as a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army, was named a finalist for the prestigious Student Veteran of the Year Award during the 16th Annual Student Veterans of America National Conference.
A 23-year Army veteran and former Airborne Ranger infantryman, Meredith made a strategic decision to attend Austin Peay and said the choice paid off in several ways.
"I chose Austin Peay State University because of its location in Clarksville, the degree programs and the vicinity to Fort Campbell military post," he said. "The campus is great to navigate and has a wonderful College of Business [it's] small enough to get individual attention from the professors for self-improvement but large enough to offer a variety of clubs to be a part of on campus and [has] a great sports program to support."
In addition to his studies, Meredith has dedicated himself to enhancing the university experience for other military-affiliated students. He is the chapter vice president of Govs Vet, the president of the National Society for Leadership and Success and a member of the APSU Circle of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. His influence further extends into the community, where he serves as president of Friends of Dunbar Cave and mentors veterans through the Veterans Treatment Court.
Originally from Kansas, Meredith traveled extensively during his military career but has called Clarksville home since 1998. At Austin Peay, he has found a network of support tailored to veterans.
"Our Military and Veterans Affairs Division is dedicated to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment," Meredith said, adding that the Newton Military Family Resource Center (NMFRC) has been especially helpful. The facility is the largest military student center in Tennessee and offers a range of resources, from Veterans Upward Bound to the Texts for Vets book loan program.
Retired Maj. Gen. Walt Lord, Austin Peay's vice president for Military and Veterans Affairs, said the division is proud to support students like Meredith as they achieve their personal and educational goals.
"Brian's commitment to service and leadership is truly outstanding," Lord said. "He exemplifies the kind of character and dedication we hope to see in our student veterans. His recognition as a finalist is a well-deserved honor for both him and the entire Austin Peay community."
Meredith's continued efforts and leadership have earned him national recognition as a finalist for the Student Veteran of the Year Award, setting a high bar for student veterans across the country. With next year's national convention on the horizon, Meredith's story continues to inspire others and demonstrates the significant impact veterans have within academic institutions and their communities.