Columbia State Receives Scholarship Endowment In Memory Of Retired Professor

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – June 21, 2017) - - - The Columbia State Community College Foundation recently received a scholarship endowment in memoriam of Dr. Marvin “Mart” F. Austin Jr., retired professor of English and humanities division chair.

“Dr. Austin was a vital member of this community and the college,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “During his tenure at the college, and even now after his passing, he and his family support the college’s mission.”

Austin was a first-generation college student and began his academic career at Austin Peay State University where he earned bachelor’s degrees in English and mathematics, and a master’s degree in English. Austin continued his education at the University of Tennessee where he earned a doctorate in English.

While at Columbia State, Austin impacted the lives of many students including Columbia State alumna Trish Maskew, who was also a first-generation student. Austin’s wife Ginny, the Maskew family and other friends wanted to endow this scholarship in honor of Austin to benefit first-generation college students that have demonstrated academic success and have a financial need.

“We are pleased that his wife, Ginny, wanted to honor his memory by establishing an endowed scholarship,” said Bethany Lay, Columbia State executive for advancement and executive director of the Columbia State Foundation. “It is evident, by the number of people that contributed to the endowment and attended the gathering on campus to celebrate his life and his work, that during his time at Columbia State Dr. Austin positively impacted many lives.”

Austin, a Lawrenceburg native, started his tenure at Columbia State in 1976 and retired in 2008. During that time, he taught English, humanities and philosophy. Following his retirement, Austin continued to teach online classes for Columbia State.

Dr. Marvin 'Mart' Austin
Photo Caption:
Dr. Marvin “Mart” F. Austin Jr., retired professor of English and humanities division chair.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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