Etter Hall is named after American Public University System's (APUS) founder, Major James P. Etter. Major Etter served in the United States Marines for twenty-one years. He served two tours in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts. Major Etter founded APUS' flagship university, American Military University (AMU), in 1991. AMU admitted its first students in 1993. Mr. Etter continued to expand the university's course offerings and programs until his retirement in 2004. During his tenure, he successfully established APUS' second university, American Public University (APU), and greatly expanded the university system's student body. In May 2009, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded Mr. Etter a Doctorate of Business Administration, Honoris Causa.