Auburn M A G A Z I N E / FA L L 2 0 1 5
Dream It, Do It The Dream Jobs of Michelle McKenna-Doyle, Brian FitzSimmons & Bob Sanders
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New Day Dawning The intersection at Toomer’s Corner was a work-in-progress all summer as the City of Auburn gave a facelift to Magnolia and South College. The university also replaced the new oak at the Magnolia entrance to campus after it failed to thrive. The survival rate of transplanted adult trees is tricky, so a “spare” had been brought to Auburn in case it was needed. The university is asking fans to refrain from rolling the trees again this football season to give the oaks ample time to adjust. (Photograph by Jeff Etheridge.)
See more online at www.facebook.com/AuburnUPhoto
On the way to its first-ever Women’s College World Series, the Auburn softball team put up some impressive numbers: 56 wins, a .339 team batting average, 526 runs, 606 hits, 99 home runs, 474 RBIs, 356 walks, a .460 on-base percentage, and a .572 slugging percentage. Kasey Cooper and Tiffany Howard had major roles in the team’s success and put up some pretty impressive numbers of their own this year: like a perfect 4.00 GPA in mechanical engineering and a 3.34 GPA in organismal biology, respectively.
For their efforts, both were recognized as All-Americans on the field and Academic All-Americans in the classroom — only the second and third Auburn softball players of all time to receive the academic honors. The Auburn softball team has set a new standard for teams that follow, while Kasey and Tiffany have personified excellence in what it means to be a student athlete. Outstanding work, ladies. And War Eagle!
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dreams to Reality AUBURN IS IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING PEOPLE achieve their hopes and dreams, which is why we are committed to working alongside entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials as an engine of economic opportunity. In 2014, the university’s overall contribution to the state’s economy totaled $5.1 billion and supported 23,600 jobs in addition to direct employment. And the university is currently taking steps to make the economy even stronger. Administrators and other officials from Auburn attended the Paris Air Show this summer to provide support to the economic delegation from the City of Auburn and, by extension, the delegation from Alabama’s Department of Commerce. On the opening day of the air show, Paris-based Hutchinson Corp. announced its intent to open an Aerospace Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Mobile. This center will service the region’s growing aerospace industry, including the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility located at the Mobile Aeroplex. Auburn’s presence in the delegation demonstrates our willingness to work with others in the aerospace manufacturing industry. The university will have a major role from providing an educated workforce, to materials testing, to industrialized additive manufacturing. Closer to home, two major business concerns, GE Aviation and Touchstone Precision Inc., have recently announced major expansions in the city of Auburn. Both companies will benefit from access to Auburn University expertise and students. GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft system production, recently announced plans to bring high-volume additive manufacturing to its facility in Auburn. This facility will be the first of its kind to mass-produce additive components for the jet propulsion industry and will employ more than 300 at full capacity. GE will invest $50 million in the existing 300,000-square-foot facility to prepare for the additional work. When it is completed, GE’s investment will total more than $125 million since 2011. Touchstone Precision Inc., an injection molding and stamping company that opened for business in Auburn in 2000 with an announcement of 40 jobs, celebrated the June 2015 opening of its 67,000-square-foot expansion to better serve its customers in the automotive industry. The expansion represents an additional investment of $9.55 million, creating an estimated 27 additional jobs over the next two years. TPI now employs some 90 people at its operation in the Auburn Technology Park South.
Auburn is also home to a 13,000-square-foot Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, Lab focusing on the business and technical implementation of RFID and other new technologies in retail, supply chain management and manufacturing. It is a unique private and academic partnership between major manufacturers and retailers, technology vendors, and standards organizations as well as top faculty and researchers from many disciplines. (The ribbon-cutting for the RFID Lab is shown above.) The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities recently named Auburn an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, a designation that recognizes the university’s strong commitment to economic engagement and its work with publicand private-sector partners in Alabama and the region. Auburn University will continue to seek new and innovative ways to reach out to the people it serves. As a land-grant university, our research, extension and outreach programs help to fuel our state’s economic growth.
Jay Gogue ’69 President, Auburn University email@example.com
FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ALUMNI AFFAIRS
Moving Ahead & Making Plans FIRST AND FOREMOST, please allow me to express my gratitude to the association’s life members who accepted the Auburn Alumni Association’s $1 million challenge. Thanks to your generosity, a total of 58 new scholarship endowments will be established to provide lasting support for Auburn students. Additionally, many of you have joined for the first time, renewed your membership or have chosen to become life members. THANK YOU! Your participation is appreciated and makes a difference. It has been an exciting summer for the Auburn Alumni Association. Your board of directors kicked off a new strategic planning process with a goal of developing a sound plan that positions the association for a bright future. In the coming months, we will be seeking input from all of our stakeholders to ensure we develop the most inclusive, engaging and meaningful programs possible. The alumni base also expanded in size as it welcomed 1,139 new graduates to the family during the summer commencement ceremonies. A special thank you to Mike Warren ’68, a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, who provided an inspiring message to the graduates, and to Jack Fite ’85, president of the Auburn Alumni Association, who encouraged new graduates to get involved and take advantage of the vast alumni network at their disposal. Over the previous months, I have enjoyed meeting many of you during Auburn Club events and this year’s Tiger Treks. My heartfelt appreciation goes to the most dedicated Auburn
volunteers and fans on the planet and to our Auburn athletic department partners who have trekked across the Southeast to meet with them. I continue to be inspired by the generosity and boundless energy of our Auburn family members who dedicate countless hours every year to generate annual and endowed scholarships for Auburn students. If you haven’t been engaged with one of the 92 Auburn clubs, I invite you to do so. It’s a fun way to connect with your fellow alumni, receive campus updates and celebrate being a member of the family. This time of year is also filled with anticipation with the arrival of a new academic year and all that it brings. Campus is buzzing with energy as new students arrive, veteran students return and alumni plan their trips back home to the Plains. As you make your plans, I would like to personally invite you to join fellow alumni for a new and improved Alumni Hospitality Tailgate located at the Auburn Alumni Center. Doors will open four hours before kickoff and there will be new activities including game watching in multiple viewing areas and a new “kids’ zone.” Best of all, it will be comfortable and cool! Make us your first stop during game-day weekend; you’ll be glad you did. Please visit www.aualum.org/hospitality-tailgate for additional details and updates. In the meantime, please send us your news! We are anxious to hear about your success stories and include them in our class notes section of this magazine. Your success is Auburn University’s success, and we want to share the incredible difference Auburn men and women are making in their communities and around the globe. As always, thank you for your support! War Eagle,
Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86 Vice President for Alumni Affairs &
West Georgia Auburn Club Alumni and friends heard from coach Gus Malzahn at this year’s Tiger Trek stop in LaGrange.
Executive Director, Auburn Alumni Association firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM THE EDITOR
Fields of Dreams “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Author and poet Henry David Thoreau, himself a bit of a rebel and a dreamer, published those words in 1854, two years before the doors opened at the East Alabama Male College—the first incarnation of Auburn University. Something that struck us as poignant, in talking to the three AU alumni whose stories fill the feature well of this issue, was the one commonality of their experiences. It’s not immediately evident. One has defied gender stereotypes to make it in the world of professional football, another beat the odds of fierce competition in the Big Apple to reach the pinnacle of design, and the third has stayed close to home surrounded by the sounds of time gone by in an era of hip-hop and high tech. Each, however, spoke of dreams. They spoke of attending a university that provided them with the foundation from which they were able to reach for opportunities and grab with both hands. Each sees his or her Auburn years as preparation not just to take a specific job but to recognize and reach for his or her dreams. Careers—whole industries—change rapidly in our world. The best thing a university can do is teach its students how to think, how to adapt, and how to dream big. Dream it, and do it. Because ours is a practical world, and we believe in education, which gives us the knowledge to work wisely and trains our minds and our hands to work skillfully. Another wise man wrote the original version of those words about 50 years after Thoreau wrote his. We can’t help but think George Petrie would enjoy the role
Auburn has played in the dreams of its graduates.
30 Suzanne Johnson Editor, Auburn Magazine email@example.com
It’s a Good Thing
RURAL STUDIO WAS THE THING THAT LURED BRIAN FITZSIMMONS ‘97 FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ATTEND COLLEGE AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY, BUT IT WAS THE INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROGRAM THAT ULTIMATELY WON HIS HEART AND SET HIM UP FOR HIS DREAM JOB AS A DEPUTY DESIGN DIRECTOR AT MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA. BY ASHTYNE COLE & SUZANNE JOHNSON / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF ETHERIDGE
Suzanne Johnson CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Shannon Bryant-Hankes ’84 UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER
Jeff Etheridge EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Megan Barkdull ‘15 DESIGN ASSISTANTS
Elizabeth Hildreth ’16, Amanda Sturgis ’16 IT SPECIALIST
James Hammond ’13 PRESIDENT, AUBURN UNIVERSITY
Jay Gogue ’69 VICE PRESIDENT FOR ALUMNI AFFAIRS & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86 PRESIDENT, AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Jack Fite ’85 AUBURN MAGAZINE ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIR
Neal Reynolds ’77 AUBURN MAGAZINE ADVISORY COUNCIL
DEPARTMENTS 7 From the Editor
What Auburn University does best.
Student lives and the reputation of Auburn University are benefiting from Because This is Auburn—A Campaign for Auburn University. Check out the progress report.
CONCOURSE 10 Innovation U Auburn receives a national nod for its economic impact and culture of encouraging innovation.
13 Mixed Media Auburn alumni on screen, on stage, on the page and in the gallery.
15 From the Attic Take a stroll through the past with AU Libraries’ Alabama Postcard Collection.
16 Surprise from the Skies Two alumni from different generations plan a special surprise for an Army Air Corps veteran.
THE CLASSES 54 Challenge Met! Auburn Alumni Association President Jack Fite ‘85 recognizes life members who participated in the $1 million challenge.
50 Class Notes 52 In Memoriam 64 Backchat See what your classmates are talking up on social media and remember to tag us in your Auburn pics with #AuburnAlumni!
ON THE COVER Three alumni working in very different fields all took advantage of the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and credit Auburn for helping get them there.
Maria Baugh ’87 John Carvalho ’78 Jon Cole ’88 Christian Flathman ’97 Tom Ford ’67 Kay Fuston ’84 Julie Keith ’90 Mary Lou Foy ’66 Eric Ludgood ’78 Cindy McDaniel ’80 Napo Monasterio ’02 Carol Pappas ’77 Joyce Reynolds Ringer ’59 Allen Vaughan ’75
AUBURN MAGAZINE (ISSN 1077– 8640) is published quarterly; 4X per year; spring, summer, fall, winter, for members of the Auburn Alumni Association. Periodicals-class postage paid in Auburn and additional mailing offices. Editorial offices are located in the Auburn Alumni Center, 317 South College St., Auburn University, AL 36849-5149. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contents ©2015 by the Auburn Alumni Association, all rights reserved. ADVERTISING INFORMATION Contact Jessica King at 334-844–2586 or see our media guide at aualum.org/magazine. POSTMASTER Send address changes to AU Records, 317 South College St., Auburn, AL 36849–5149.
AUBURN NEWS & VIEWS
Concourse IN THIS SECTION
Music Across the Divide 11 Poetry in Motion 12 Mixed Media 13 Archives 15
Perfect Pitch We couldnâ€™t be prouder of the Auburn University softball team for advancing to the College Softball World Series for the first time in AU history. They might not have brought home the title, but the season was still one for the record books. Read more on Page 26.
CONCOURSE > CAMPUS NEWS
NE OF THE NATION’S TOP higher education associations has recognized Auburn University for leadership in fostering economic growth, prosperity and innovation. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Auburn an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, a designation that recognizes the university’s strong commitment to economic engagement and its work with public- and private-sector partners in Alabama and the region. It is the only university in Alabama to hold this designation. Auburn began the application process for the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation in September and engaged in an extensive self-study that included, among other things, surveys and focus groups with stakeholders from around the state of Alabama. The study found Auburn had a $5.1 billion economic impact on the state economy in 2014 and supports 23,600 jobs, in addition to direct employment. “We are establishing partnerships and providing support to business and industry with an eye toward spurring growth,” said John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development. “These relationships benefit our students with learning experiences, while companies benefit from Auburn’s world-class faculty and research.” A highlight is the university’s engagement with GE Aviation to help bring high-volume additive manufacturing to the GE facility in Auburn, where it will manufacture jet engine fuel nozzles. The facility will be the first of its kind to mass-produce additive components for the jet propulsion industry. The university will collaborate on training and industrializing processes as well as developing a curriculum for engineers interested in industrialized additive manufacturing. Auburn is also home to a 13,000-square-foot Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, Lab focusing on the business and technical implementation of RFID and other new technologies in retail, supply chain management and manufacturing. It is a unique private and academic partnership between major manufacturers and retailers, technology vendors, and standards organizations as well as top faculty and researchers from many disciplines. Auburn is one of 18 universities named in APLU’s third annual class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities.
10 • 03 • 15
AUBURN VS. SAN JOSE STATE
Homecoming Parade starts at 6 p.m. The pep rally and block party will be held in the downtown Auburn area. They begin immediately after the parade’s conclusion.
Home for a Tiger AU marketing senior Josh Wetzel (shown here with his wife,
Paige, and Aubie) was recently chosen by Homes for Our Troops as the recipient of a specially built adaptive home in Auburn. A U.S. Army sergeant, Wetzel lost both legs in an IED explosion in Mushan, Afghanistan, in May 2012 while leading his weapons squad in the 1-23rd IN, 2nd Infantry Division. Homes for our Troops builds mortgage-free adaptive housing for severely injured veterans.
CONCOURSE > CAMPUS NEWS
Hearing Past the Divide
UNN, NOW AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR of English at Auburn, revisited those ingrained stereotypes when writing his recent book, Sounding the Color Line: Music and Race in the Southern Imagination. “I think we understand ourselves as products of history, as products of culture,” Nunn said. “That kind of self reflection can end up revealing something about the culture.” What began as a dissertation morphed into a 10-year study of Southern musical culture. He focused on popular music of the last century and how it was understood and changed by the public. A major misconception, he said, was that there have always been separate AfricanAmerican and white musical traditions that have resulted in segregated genres. “Certain ideas about music as a folk practice, music as folklore, have historically been invested in this racial divide,” Nunn said. “Recently, though—in the past 10 or 20
years—music histologists and cultural critics, people who think about music, have begun to reveal the way in which the narrative is just not accurate.” Take Elvis Presley, for example. Some believed Presley was “a white person appropriating African-American cultural property and exploiting it for financial gain that was not available to its African-American originators,” Nunn said. Similar accusations were cast in the early days of rock music, toward such artists as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. The reality, he said, is more complex. Presley’s musical style came after years of “whites imitating blacks imitating whites imitating blacks,” which created a circular creation process. In his book, Nunn breaks down pseudo-folkloric investments in racial differences and how the ideas developed. Bluegrass music, which some believe came from the cowboy camps of the American West, actually emerged after World War II from Appalachia. Similarly, the blues
ELVIS PRESLEY IN CONCERT AT THE FORUM IN INGLEWOOD/LOS ANGELES TIMES
Erich Nunn was 12, listening to The Beastie Boys with his friends, when he realized something was odd about his perception of music. Growing up in rural Louisiana, he had unconsciously begun to set African-American and white musical stereotypes that were not accurate.
and country music have mixed cultural origins that aren’t associated with the typically singular ethnic genres. “Blues and country music emerged as genres at the height of racial segregation,” Nunn said. “This distinction between what was called hillbilly music on the one hand and blues on the other is largely the product of record companies and not something that is more intrinsic or endemic to the music itself.” Today, African-American
artists such as Darius Rucker have attained stardom in country music, while rap and hip-hop by artists of all races is ubiquitous in teen culture. Nunn, who conducted research for his book at Berea College, the University of Texas, Emory and Auburn, said he hopes “a reader would come away from my book realizing that much of what we think of as common sense, concerning our shared culture history, is not quite right.” —Megan Barkdull
CONCOURSE > STUDENT LIFE
GRAPHIC DESIGN AND POETRY classes rarely intersect—until this year, when student designers and poets joined forces to work on “kinetic poetry.” Courtney Windham, an assistant professor in graphic design, and Keetje Kuipers, an assistant professor in English, brought their classes together for this learning experience. Design students spent nearly a month creating visual interpretations of poems written by poetry students, complete with an audio reading of the poem and typography in motion. The collaboration came near the end of the spring 2015 semester. The poetry students, who had been working on poems about contemporary America all semester, picked out poems they felt would turn out the best visually. Kuipers encouraged her students to pick lyric poems, which focus on a series of images related to a feeling or an idea, so that the graphic designer could have options of interpretation. She said working with design students and seeing a visual interpretation of their work helps get poets out of the isolation of writing.
“Doing something like this is really incredible. It opens up your own artistic experiences and makes you see how your writing can affect other people,” Kuipers said. Windham, whose class is called kinetic typography,
Kayleigh Pears, a senior in English, chose her poem “Gephyrophobia,” or the fear of bridges, which came from an earlier class project on various phobias. Pears said she immediately thought of a story her mother used to tell her about
sent bridges, so I took these big boards and spray-painted heavy splotches of paint on them. Then I got pallete knives and drew what I interpreted to be roadways from an aerial perspective.” The poets and designers kept
focuses on “bringing typography to life through motion graphics.” Poems were paired randomly with designers. Windham and Kuipers said both of their classes seemed excited about the project idea. For Windham’s students, it gave them a chance to show their artistic side. For Kuipers’, it gave them a chance to see their work in a different outlet.
her grandfather and used that as a base for her poem. Sam Reiss, a senior in graphic design who designed the “Gephryophobia” visual interpretation, spoke with Pears before choosing an approach. “It was a very abstract image I was going for,” Reiss said. “But while I was trying to represent this weird, hard to explain thing, I also wanted to repre-
in touch throughout the project, but did not see the final versions until the students presented them in a viewing in the library of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. Both students said they hoped the collaboration between classes would continue in upcoming semesters. —Megan Barkdull
See more at vimeo.com. Search by artists Eddie Carmona, Todd Durkee, Natalie Johnson, Sam Reiss, Kathryn Stalnaker, Kimberley Taylor-Duncan
MIXED MEDIA Now Playing GALLERY “Portraits.” An exhibit of needlepoint portraits by artist Leanna Leithauser-Lesley ’83 was featured at the National Civil Rights Museum through July 23. Learn more about Leithauser-Lesley’s work from the article on page 59 of this issue or by visiting her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LLLNeedlepoints.
BOOKSHELF The Redeemers: A Quinn Colson Novel, by Ace Atkins ‘94 (Putnam, 2015). In the fifth book in Atkins’ acclaimed crime series, Quinn Colson is jobless—voted out of office as sheriff of Tibbehah County, Miss., thanks to the machinations of county kingpin Johnny Stagg. He has offers in bigger and better places, but before he goes, he’s got one more job to do—bring down Stagg’s criminal operations for good. At least that’s the plan. But in the middle of the long, hot summer, a trio of criminals stage a bold, wall-smashing break-in at the home of a local lumber mill owner, making off with a million dollars in cash from his safe, which is curious, because the mill owner is wealthy— but not that wealthy. None of this has anything to do with Colson, but during the investigation, two men are killed, one of them the new sheriff. His friend, acting sheriff Lillie Virgil, and a dangerous former flame, Anna Lee Stevens, both ask him to step in, and reluctantly he does, only to discover that that safe contained more than just money—it held secrets. Secrets that could either save Colson—or destroy him once and for all.
Leanna Leithauser-Lesley, Coleman Hawkins
The Admiral’s Son, by Hank Miller ’64 (2015). A collection of stories and images about the author, Hank Miller, and his experiences growing up in the South and around the world as the son of a career Naval officer. The book also includes Miller’s experiences as a Naval aviator flying in Vietnam during the war.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL BRADLEY
Finding Joy on Your Journey Through Grief, by Debbie Bell Bradford ’83 (Enjoythejourneydesigns.com, 2014). An easy-to-understand guide through the stages of grief, the finding of peace and ways to actively deal with grief. Bradford combines her philosophy with quotes, scripture and song lyrics to help the grieving through their journey.
Daniel Bradley ‘00 enjoyed his time in the spotlight as an extra on the recent hit movie Jurrasic World. Here, Bradley can be seen examining dinosaur eggs; later, he gets chased by the dinosaurs. A political science major at Auburn, Bradley doesn’t plan a career in film; he’s perfectly happy working in the real, dino-free world as a pharmaceutical sales rep.
CONCOURSE > CAMPUS NEWS
Forget the Shark Tank; Try the Tiger Cage
NE TIGER CAGE judge boasts a net worth in excess of $400 million and the experience of being an original panelist on the hit ABC-TV investment show “Shark Tank.” Three others are successful venture capitalists. No pressure, young entrepreneurs. Hosted by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business in partnership with the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, Tiger Cage rewards the best early-stage products, business concepts or services that emerge from student entrepreneurs. The panel of industry professional judges included Kevin Harrington (in photo at right), original panelist from ABC’s “Shark Tank” and pioneer of the “As Seen on TV” product line, who made Ginsu Knives and exercise mogul Tony Little household names. Two AU seniors in mechanical engineering impressed the group so much with their concept of a parking-management system utilizing sensors and cloudbased data management that they walked away with a $10,000 grand prize in the first Tiger Cage student entrepreneurship final round on April 24. Jonathan Philip of Madison and Alex Wakefield of Huntsville created and pitched “Parking Grid Technologies,” an app-based software that alerts commuters to available parking spots on demand, in a competition that began last October with 20 teams and ended with four final-
ists at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Philip and Wakefield also walked away with $30,000 in legal funding from the Silicon Valley-based law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. Finalists were given 15 minutes to pitch their ideas, showing viability and estimated market demand for the products. Winners were announced that evening at the Auburn University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Gala, a black-tie event capping the inaugural Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Other AU student finalists included: Y Runner-up ($5,000): SimplyProse, an editing and writing platform designed by Cole Kinchler (supply chain management), Sharan Kalva (industrial and systems engineering) and Jake Wright (finance); Y Third place ($2,000): LifeLike Projections, which customizes retail stores via projection-mapping technology, created by Vincent McNeeley (information systems management); Y Fourth place ($1,000): BAUCE, a social media application created by Hunter Barriault (business administration) and Brett Townsend (engineering). “They (Parking Grid Technologies) showed us a good amount of clarity—they understood their market and the financial
aspect of the business,” said Scott Kupor, COO of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, and one of six final-round judges. “They made a strong presentation and they showed a need (for the product).” Other final-round judges included Paul McCreadie, director of Michigan-based capital firm Arboretum Ventures; Chris McCulley, founder and CEO of robotics manufacturer Deshazo Automation; Will Brooke, senior partner for Harbert Management Corp. Venture Capital; and LaKami Baker, managing director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship. Tiger Cage wasn’t the only award issued that night. The Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management offered the following prizes for the Most Innovative Products: Y First place ($2,500): Parking Grid Technologies; Y Second place ($1,500): Tennibot, formerly the Hobot, a robotic device that tracks and scoops tennis balls. It was developed by Haitham Eletrabi, Shane Tucker, Mondather Suliman and Xuemei Yuan.
The postman never rings twice.
THE ARCHIVES Found in “Auburn’s Attic”
UNLESS THE POSTMAN is bringing postcards, that is. The Auburn Digital Library contains online images of more than 300 postcards from its Alabama Postcard Collection, depicting scenes from the early 20th century. diglib.auburn.edu/collections/postcards/
CONCOURSE > CAMPUS NEWS
Surprise from the Skies When 89-year old Buford Robinson ’52 of Opelika made a recent visit to the Auburn University Regional Airport, it almost brought him to tears.
IM COOK ’96 of Auburn, a local pilot, asked Buford and his wife, Pat ’53, to come to the airport for a surprise. Cook had asked a friend, Larry Kelley ’71, to stop at the airport on his way to an air show in Beaufort, S.C. Kelley, a pharmacy alumnus, happily obliged in order to show his B-25 Mitchell aircraft to Buford, who flew the bomber with the Army Air Corps—the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force—in the Pacific during World War II. When Robinson learned the plane was arriving for him, he said to Cook, “Well Jim, I’m nobody.” Cook and Kelley knew that was not the case. Both men take great pride in sharing their warbirds with the men who operated them in battle decades ago. Cook, a veteran himself, is active in Aviation Education Outreach, or AEO, a program within the Community Foundation of East Alabama that provides educational and development programs in support of expanding aviation experiences and opportunities for the community. He flies a Yak-9, a single-engine fighter used by the Soviet Union during WWII. Kelley started collecting aviation artifacts as a young boy growing up in Enterprise. He acquired vintage airplanes as he got older and, in 2004, used his collection to start the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation in Sussex County, Del. The biggest plane in the museum’s collection is Panchito, the B-25 Mitchell bomber that he brought through Auburn. Kelley has owned it for 18 years. After earning his doctorate in pharmacy from Auburn, Kelley worked as a pharmacist
for a few years before he and a friend gave it up to start their own business, Nationwide Pharmacy Centers, in Maryland. “Pharmacy has been good to me,” he said. “I spent 30 years working nearly seven days a week. You know when you own your own business, the buck stops on your desk. At 3 a.m., when somebody 60 miles away needs a dose of Milk of Magnesia, you get out of bed and you deliver it.” Working as a consultant now, Kelley said he has the flexibility to do air shows and make spontaneous stops in Auburn. Robinson (left, with Cook) was visibly thrilled to see the B-25, but he could hardly contain his excitement when he realized the Panchito was the same plane he got to fly in for his 80th birthday in Titusville, Fla. The treat was a gift from his daughter. He undoubtedly would have gotten into the plane
again—and even attempted to take the helm from Kelley—if he could have, but his health prevented him from attempting the ladder climb he made so many times before. The B-25 might have seemed like the star attraction at the airport that afternoon, its sleek metal basking in the sunlight. But Kelley, looking at Robinson and other veterans who showed up that day, quickly noted that, “Those are the real stories right there. The airplanes were the tools; these were carpenters. Like my daddy used to say, a hammer don’t build a house, a carpenter builds a house. “These guys who volunteered day after day, getting in an airplane and going into harm’s way, they’re the ones who really changed the world.” Robinson enjoyed sharing stories about his time in the service. Some made him smile. Others—like recalling when his 19-year-old brother was killed in North Africa—brought tears to his eyes. “Those are memories that will never leave you,” he said.
THIS IS COMMUNITY. THIS IS YOUR MUSEUM. THIS IS AUBURN.
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CONCOURSE > PHILANTHROPY
Special Places & Special Spaces
TREES HOLD SPECIAL MEANING for the Auburn Family. Tree-filled campus spaces provide students with outdoor classrooms, places for respite and rallying points to celebrate success. Their differing sizes and stages of maturity contribute to a diverse landscape. Individually, they shade a few, but when planted together, they provide an enduring canopy whose shade benefits many. Similarly, trees represent the spirit of philanthropy at Auburn University. Just as the smallest acorn matures into a mighty oak, so too does the loyal annual giving by Auburn alumni and friends. Like that acorn, every gift holds great potential for the future of our institution. Generations of future Auburn students are counting on the actions we take right now through Because This is Auburn—A Campaign for Auburn University. Through the combined generosity of every member of the Auburn Family during this campaign, we know we can reach our goal. Whether you make your donation online, through the mail or in response to a telephone call from one of our students, you can designate your gift of any amount to the university unit or purpose of your choice. Most commonly, those include enhancing scholarships, supporting academic programs, bolstering the work of our faculty, or building and renovating facilities.
Following are a few examples of other opportunities that have immediate impact: • a gift of $100 will allow the Auburn University Libraries to loan a textbook to a student who cannot afford one; • a gift of $250 will feed an eagle at the Southeastern Raptor Center for almost three months; • a gift of $500 will fund a global Alternative Spring Break service experience for one student; • a yearly gift of $1,000 will provide a student in any college or school with an annual scholarship. Every gift, regardless of its size or purpose, represents a meaningful story of Auburn’s impact on our lives—and the tremendous promise in store for Auburn’s next generation. Like the gift itself, each story is unique, but when combined with other gifts, it represents the larger narrative of an Auburn Family that stands together for something greater.
NAME THE OAKS As part of the Samford Park redevelopment, 21 descendants of the original Auburn Oaks will line the new concourse extending from Toomer’s Corner to Samford Hall. These Auburn Oaks at Samford Park will be planted in February 2016 and dedicated A-Day weekend. In recognition of a $50,000 gift to Auburn, individuals, families, companies, and foundations can name a tree for themselves or someone of their choosing. Contributions will go into an endowed fund for excellence benefiting the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, which has nurtured the descendants since collecting and cultivating the acorns in 2001. Sign up online no later than Sept. 15 to be among the 21 donors randomly selected for this opportunity or learn more by visiting the following website.
Jane DiFolco Parker Vice President for Development President, Auburn University Foundation Learn more online and make your campaign gift at because.auburn.edu
CONCOURSE > PHILANTHROPY
Danville native Sarah Stephenson is a senior agriculture major at Auburn, a student leader...and a scholarship recipient.
CAMPAIGN IMPACTS STUDENTS, REPUTATION WITH A GOAL to raise $1 billion in support, Because This is Auburn—A Campaign for Auburn University is inspiring heightened levels of philanthropic support from thousands of alumni and friends. In addition to shaping Auburn’s future, gifts ranging in size and scope are making an immediate impact on students’ experiences and the university’s reputation. More than 74,500 campaign gifts and commitments are increasing the availability of student scholarships and faculty professorships, building academic programs that equip students for their chosen careers, and maintaining and creating facilities. Since the campaign’s public launch A-Day weekend, online gifts supporting a wide variety of university priorities have averaged $185. That level of support will have ripple effects as Auburn seeks to increase its alumni participation rate. Currently at 12 percent—higher than the national average for public institutions but among the lowest in the Southeastern Conference—Auburn’s alumni participation rate factors as much into the university’s national rankings by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as it does in the campaign’s success. Because This is Auburn is the university’s largest comprehensive campaign in school history. Campaign priorities focus on propelling the university forward through a renewed commitment to students, a continued promise to the state of Alabama, and a shared responsibility to the world.
“The more involved I became, the more my worldview changed.”
On Friday, Sept. 11, the Auburn University Foundation will honor more than 270 new members of the 1856 Society at its biennial dinner and recognition ceremony. Named for the year in which the East Alabama Male College, now Auburn University, was established, the 1856 Society recognizes donors whose cumulative contributions and irrevocable planned gifts to Auburn and Auburn Montgomery reach or exceed $100,000. Four circles within the society provide additional recognition opportunities. To date, the 1856 Society includes nearly 2,000 society members and organizational donors. auburn.edu/1856
79.8% of the $1 billion goal as of July 31, 2015
LEARN MORE, TAKE ACTION & GIVE ONLINE For campaign information, news, and resources, visit because.auburn.edu
FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF.
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CONCOURSE > PHILANTHROPY
Be part of the
A unique naming opportunity for the Auburn Oaks at Samford Park As part of the Samford Park redevelopment, 21 descendants of the original Auburn Oaks will line the new concourse extending from Toomerâ€™s Corner to Samford Hall. Trees will be planted in February 2016 and dedicated A-Day weekend. In recognition of a $50,000 gift to Auburn, donors can name a tree for themselves or someone of their choosing. Contributions will go into an endowed fund for excellence benefiting the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, which has nurtured the descendants since collecting and cultivating the acorns in 2001.
Sign up online no later than September 15 to be among the 21 donors randomly selected for this opportunity or learn more by visiting www.auburn.edu/samfordoaks.
Registration for the 2015 AUktoberfest Homebrew Alley is now available online at www.auhcc.com/auktoberfest For more information please contact Adam Keeshan at email@example.com or (334) 321-3165
241 S. College Street 路 Auburn, AL 路 36830 路 (334)821-8200 路 www.auhcc.com/auktoberfest
UNVEILING ARTISTRY UNVEILING WITH A HINT OFARTISTRY TRADITION. WITH A HINT OF TRADITION. Commemorating the Auburn Oaks TheCommemorating Official Auburn University Ornament the Auburn Oaks The Official Auburn University Ornament
AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE AND AT THE UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE! AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE AND AT THE UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE!
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Why do our faculty members push for
NEW DISCOVERIES? Because we look to them to provide the world with real, practical solutions. Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University is a $1 billion fundraising effort that will endow more than 100 new chairs and professorships. Why? To ensure Auburn retains exceptional faculty members and attracts the next generation of innovative thinkers in every discipline. There is tremendous power in every gift — and within everyone who supports this cause. Each gift tells a different story. Now is the time to tell yours.
THERE’S A STORY BEHIND EVERY GIFT. GIVE TODAY AT BECAUSE.AUBURN.EDU.
by Mike Jernigan ’80
CONCOURSE > TIGER WALK
Auburn softball coach Clint Myers isn’t quite as flashy as some of his coaching colleagues on the Plains. He isn’t known for his trademark sweater vests. He doesn’t say “boom” when the Tigers make a great play. He’s never taken his shirt off, painted his body and mingled with fans in the student section. In fact, he’s a self-described “old, fat man” who rarely seems to show much emotion while ensconced down the third-base line during Auburn softball games, but who actually radiates intensity to those who know him best.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY WADE RACKLEY
THE GIRLS OF SUMMER
WHAT SETS THE SEEMINGLY UNFLAPPABLE Myers apart is his jewelry collection, for on his finger is one of his two national championship rings, won during his eight-year stint as head coach at Arizona State, where his Sun Devils teams also made seven Women’s College World Series appearances. (Myers also won both a baseball national championship and six softball national championships at the junior college level during a 19-year career at Central Arizona College). Hired in 2013 to help raise a stagnant Tigers softball program to a similar level, Myers added an eighth WCWS appearance to his remarkable record in 2015—and Auburn’s first-ever trip to Oklahoma City, home to the NCAA softball championship. The Tigers made their first trip a memorable one after an opening game loss to LSU, first defeating Tennessee in an elimination match and then outlasting UCLA in extra innings in an epic game that was one of the most-watched TV games in WCWS history. The Tigers weren’t done until they took top-ranked and eventual national champion Florida to the wire in the semifinals, finally falling 3-2 to the Gators in extra innings. For Myers, there was never any doubt Auburn would reach such unheard-of heights when he shocked the softball world two years ago and left the powerful ASU program behind to take over the Tigers. There was also no doubt in his mind that the opportunity to coach with his sons, Corey and Casey, as well as to bring the entire Myers clan together on the Plains, was too good to pass up. “I had been coaching for almost 40 years and was on the back side of my career, so coming to Auburn was a situation where I
thought maybe I could mentor my sons. Both of them are coaches, and it allowed us to get the family together in one place, because we had all gone in different directions. I talked with my sons and wife and everybody seemed to be on the same page. Coming to Auburn was something we all wanted to do—a family decision.” Myers’ son Corey was living in Birmingham with his family, coaching a club softball team, so at least one of the Myers was familiar with Auburn. Plus, the fact that the Tigers had enjoyed limited success in the brutal SEC—which has replaced the Pac12 in recent years as the nation’s premier softball league—didn’t affect the decision at all.
“We’re not going to finish in last place again. We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, we’re going to determine our own legacy, we’re not going to make excuses, and we’re going to go out and play some of the best softball in the country.” “It was an amazing opportunity for all of us to coach in the same place at the same time,” says Corey, who coaches the Tigers pitchers. “None of us saw it as a building project. When we decided to come, the biggest thing on our minds was how quickly could we turn Auburn into a softball-loving town?” Very quickly, as it turned out. The first step in that process was to make believers of the returning players, who had suffered through a dismal 2013 season, finishing 30-23 overall and 7-17 in the SEC. “The first time I met the team,” recalls Myers, “I gave them the same speech I had given at Arizona State. I told them we are here to win championships and we’re going to the College World Series. This isn’t rebuilding. We’re going to teach and we’re going
Tigers freshman Carlee Wallace tags out a player from the Florida Gators. The Gators eventually prevailed to knock the Tigers out of contention.
THE GIRLS OF SUMMER
to earn your respect. You don’t know this old fat guy standing in front of you, but I have seen all these things work. “I understand you finished in last place,” he told them. “It doesn’t matter. We’re not going to finish in last place again. We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, we’re going to determine our own legacy, we’re not going to make excuses, and we’re going to go out and play some of the best softball in the country.” For a team whose lack of success had led to questioning and self-doubt, Myers’ bold announcement was an immediate shot in the arm. “We all learned to expect the best from ourselves,” says Tiger shortstop Haley Fagan (shown at right with Myers). “We knew from day one that Coach Myers could take us to places we had never been. He told us at our first meeting we were going to Oklahoma City and we never doubted him for a second.” In fact, there’s no room for the word “doubt” in Myers’ softball vocabulary. One of his first moves was to have Auburn’s Jane B. Moore Field reconfigured with most of the same dimensions as OGE Field at Oklahoma City’s ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, home to the WCWS. His players soon found out his philosophy is fairly simple—relentless preparation is the key to success and greatness is a personal choice defined by the decisions one makes. “We work on the sense of building confidence in being totally prepared,” Myers notes. “If you truly believe in your preparation, is that not a form of confidence? We want the players thinking they’re totally prepared. Then they can handle anything that is thrown at them. “Our team motto is greatness is a way of life,” he adds. “That’s a 24/7 mentality. We want them to be great in the classroom and to have great social time, a great work ethic and great character. You can’t turn greatness on and off. Either you have it or you don’t. In order to accomplish great things you have to have one of the two, preparedness or a great mindset, and a belief system that you can get things done.” “We never get rattled because we always feel like no matter what is thrown at us, we’ve seen it before in practice,” says freshman catcher Carlee Wallace. “We talk about the importance of preparation every day and we work on every kind of situation that might come up over and over again.” With Myers’ system firmly in place, the Tigers began the road to this year’s WCWS success last season, when Auburn won 42 games, the second-best total in team history, while losing only
19. Along the way, the Tigers set new program records for runs (440), home runs (87), and RBIs (411), showcasing new power at the plate that complemented one of the nation’s top defensive fielding percentages. The 2014 season ended in a loss to Minnesota in an NCAA Regional, but not before the Tigers forced the host team into a winner-take-all third game. As the 2015 season got underway, the Tigers were all in. “I’m not one that’s going to blow smoke,” Myers says. “I just tell it like it is. And I believed fully that we would be in the College World Series. We had made great strides from the first year to the second year. I believed it; the next job was to make the team believe it.” If the team ever doubted, they didn’t show it. The pivotal point of the season for many coaches and players alike came in the third game of a home series with highly ranked Alabama, after Auburn had lost the first two games decisively. Falling behind early and faced with an embarrassing sweep, the Tigers twice came from five runs behind, then came from behind yet again in the final inning to win a game most teams would have given up on. It was a win that came to define the determination and never-say-die attitude that made this team special. “That game showed something,” Myers says, “and it was character and chemistry. It showed the girls had confidence in their belief system and philosophy. I think that game showed everybody, including the girls, what we were capable of. Because after that we did it two more times, one being in the College World Series against UCLA, and that was with 1.6 million viewers watching.” The 2015 season put Auburn softball on the national map and made thousands of Tigers fans sit up and take notice. It was a season of firsts that included Auburn’s most wins ever (56), its first SEC Tournament championship, first regional championship, and first super-regional championship. Of course the greatest first of all was the Tigers’ initial appearance in the WCWS, which both coaches and players say will be the first of many. A A “Next year,” says Myers, “we want to be the team that canAsayA A A they won the last game. And only one team can say that. A A A A A AIt has taken us two years to get there, but we’re establishing our legacy. A A A A A A It’s not a goal to make it to the College World Series; it’s an exA A A A pectation. We expect to be there from now on every year.” auburntigers.com/sports/w-softbl/aub-w-softbl-body.html
Rural Studio might have drawn Brian FitzSimmons to Auburn, but it was industrial design that kept him hereâ€”and eventually propelled him to the ultimate urban studio, putting his design chops to work in the world of Martha Stewart.
by Ashtyne Cole & Suzanne Johnson
IT’S A GOOD THING
RIAN FITZSIMMONS ’97 moved to New York City in August
2001, ready to take on the Big Apple in his position with the industrial design consulting firm of Barry David Berger + Associates. A month later, the events of 9/11 changed everything. He found himself not only designing containers and packaging for corporate clients such as Krups, Bic, Shaeffer and Rowenta, but helping to design a 9/11 memorial for Suffolk County, New York. “It was the worst-hit area outside the five boroughs,” he says, referring to the 178 county residents lost on 9/11, including 69 firefighters, police officers and paramedics. “After a few years of development they actually built it and the unveiling was about five years ago,” FitzSimmons says of the award-winning design. “A lot of people were happy to have recognition of their loss.” These days, it’s back to the work of design on a different scale as deputy design director for Martha Stewart’s furniture and home decor department. Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is a business powerhouse in the worlds of publishing, broadcasting and merchandising. She’s also earned a reputation as a taskmaster, which means FitzSimmons is skilled at his job. In the words of Stewart’s signature broadcasting tagline: It’s a good thing.
IT WAS AUBURN UNIVERSITY’S ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM,
not industrial design, that first drew FitzSimmons’ attention southward from his home in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. “When I was in high school, I was working for an architecture program when our guidance counselor gave me some information and pictures of the Rural Studio project at Auburn,” FitzSimmons said. “I thought it was a really cool program and I wanted to help build homes for those in poverty.” Moving to Auburn, however, was a bit of a culture shock. “I had been used to urban environments in Virginia so to move to Alabama and see how people lived down there was a huge change for me. I was fascinated with the rural area and the many traditions that lived and thrived at Auburn.” FitzSimmons’ mother, Holly Wills, recalls his life as a child and could already see the designer he would be someday. “Brian loved and still loves Star Wars. He had all the characters and associated toys and with his Lego sets, he would dump out all the pieces and make figures and designs from his imagination. He would always design characters and other things with aluminum foil. I was always wondering where my foil went.” Wills also fondly remembers her son working at a hardware store when he was younger and said he could always tell custom-
IT’S A GOOD THING
ers how to complete a project. When he moved on to work at an art store, the managers were impressed at how he assisted customers and knew exactly what they needed. Through early years that were filled with Orioles games and hours in arcades, his family watched him grow and were thrilled when he found his passion in life. When FitzSimmons got to Auburn, he realized that passion, ultimately, wasn’t architecture. It was product design and hands-on work as an individual that captured his heart rather than the soaring spaces and abstract form of buildings. He chose industrial design as a major and supplemented his coursework with photography. “I worked as the photo editor for The Plainsman for two years, but as I was getting closer to graduation I couldn’t work there as much as I would have liked,” he said. “I started working with Jeff Etheridge and felt really inspired by his photography and was honored to work so close with him during my time there.” Etheridge is the head of photographic services in Auburn’s Office of Communications and Marketing (and the photographic force behind Auburn Magazine). In a sea of students who’ve passed through his office over the years, FitzSimmons stands out. “Brian was one of those unusual student workers that was perfect on the quality of work he turned in,” Etheridge says. “The curriculum he was in had him working on projects all night and he would come in the next morning and work in the darkroom and complete everything we gave him. He has a unique personality that could put an interesting twist on a situation and always lightened our work with his wit.” FitzSimmons remembers the opportunities that photography led him to while at Auburn, such as photographing football games on the field, shooting a gubernatorial inauguration and witnessing the destruction of Hurricane Opal. “Auburn came at such a pivotal point in my life and The Plainsman give me a lot of different experiences like traveling with ROTC students and expressing their stories through photos,” he said. “It was interesting to see all the different departments at the university and see what they actually do.”
AFTER GRADUATION, FitzSimmons took his first position as a
designer at Anista Fairclough, a merchandising design firm in Atlanta. While there, he worked on projects that designed gas stations and convenience stores for companies such as British Petroleum (BP) and design for Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. “In that first job, where I got to work with Coca-Cola, I got to work on so many diverse products, from actual bottle development to Coca-Cola coolers. I loved working in Atlanta and really began to understand and focus on the Coke message of ‘enjoy.’” Next, FitzSimmons moved on in 2000 to work with oil and gas giant BP. At the time, BP was the largest company in the world and FitzSimmons still sees the products he designed and the stations he remodeled 15 years later. “For a product or design to last 15 years is interesting for the type of design that I get to do. I’m more on the commercial side of things and what we design has a shelf life of about three to five years. For the gas stations I worked on they are redesigned every seven years so seeing that my designs are still in place speaks volumes.” At BP, FitzSimmons focused his designs on attracting female customers. “Focusing on what women want was something huge that I learned while working at BP. It’s now an important part of my career. I have to try to think from a woman’s perspective to see
IT’S A GOOD THING
what kind of products they want and need and how they interact with certain products. “Women make up more than 50 percent of the population. Since their needs aren’t always met, I feel I should focus on them more. Working at Martha Stewart has helped me appreciate that.” Moving to New York was not as much of a culture shock to FitzSimmons as Auburn since he grew up in the suburbs of D.C. The only thing he had to adjust to was living space. “I had always been attracted to New York and after I fell in love, we moved from the midtown area of Atlanta to a 450-square-foot apartment. It was me, my husband, Nader, and our cat, all learning how to live in such a small space. In New York you move things in vertically. Everything needs to have its space and a dual purpose. It was great for me because I had to be a little more creative as a designer when confronted with all of these urban life issues.” FitzSimmons believes living in New York energizes him and gives him a great perspective as a designer. After his initial work at Barry David Berger + Associates, he moved on to The Nanz Co. in 2008, developing custom high-end door and cabinetry as well as bath hardware. After the economic bust that same year, he moved on first to the Innovation Lab for the Arnell Group and then to his dream job at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
“I feel like a little kid half the time because I get to do what I love and draw all day long,” FitzSimmons said. “That’s the coolest thing about my job and I’m able to see these beautiful pieces of furniture and have a different outlook on the marketplace. Auburn helped give me that opportunity.” At Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, FitzSimmons develops consumer products, furniture décor, kitchen cabinetry and bath hardware and vanities. The Home Decorators Collection, a subsidiary of Home Depot, features many of the lines offered by MSLO. A recent introduction to the collection was the new Martha Stewart closet line. MSLO products also are sold at Staples and Macy’s. “I work on the concepts of furniture within the ‘furniture team’ and develop technical drawings for vendors to produce,” he said. “A lot of the projects I’m working on right now I can’t talk about until they are in the marketplace.” FitzSimmons describes the “Martha Moment” that Stewart and their team continually search for. “We try to look for things that are practical and innovative so we put a lot of thought into everything,” he said. “It’s helpful to have an inspirational figure like Martha in the design process. “She’s a big influence on the way America understands home cooking and decorating in the home, and she creates an inspiring place to work.” Currently, FitzSimmons is working again with Staples, which will feature MSLO organization products in-store. “Staples is a great place for our products to be in. We do a lot of things with organization and bring a lot of that Martha aesthetic and solution to a broader range of customers. We don’t just focus on home areas, but on the office as well. Some people don’t feel like they can find the right office products so we want to cater to people who really appreciate that we think about the little details.” FitzSimmons credits his time at Auburn for his understanding of the profession and the job opportunities his education created. “I didn’t really know what an industrial A AtoA A AI came designer wasAbefore Auburn and I was able to be exposed to different A A A A A A opportunities in the profession,” FitzSimmons said. A A A A A A “It was really impactful for me to find my A A A A place at Auburn.”
ITâ€™S A GOOD THING
Deputy Design Director Integrating proven methodology with inventive ideas & techniques.
BALL by Ashtyne Cole & Suzanne Johnson
An online search to fill a fantasy-league roster led Michelle McKenna-Doyle to the job of a lifetime as senior vice president and CIO for the National Football League. It was karma.
ON THE BALL
Just as she’s mentored young women in her own career in the “man’s world” of professional sports, she wanted to inspire the AU graduates and help them understand that finding their true self is one of the most important aspects of life. “You listen to your parents, teachers, coaches and bosses, but the one voice that matters most is your own. I’ve learned to not get so busy that I don’t give myself those quiet moments of real reflection. Knowing in my heart that I’m doing the right thing and trusting it is something I’ve learned over the years and something I hoped to pass on to this year’s graduating class.”
ICHELLE MCKENNA-DOYLE ’87 is accustomed to speaking in front of large crowds around the country on a regular basis in her position as senior vice president and chief information officer for the National Football League. Yet standing before thousands of young soon-to-be graduates of Auburn University at the 2015 commencement ceremonies brought on a bit of trepidation—until she remembered one thing. She was home. When she was first asked to be the commencement speaker, her reaction was to be surprised, then honored, then humbled. What does one say to a room of young people at such a critical juncture in their lives? She tried to remember what she was thinking of at her own graduation. “I remember I kept thinking about when I had to be out of my apartment and hoping that I didn’t get stuck in traffic on 280 when I left the ceremony,” McKenna-Doyle recalls. “Just minute things were running in my head. I don’t even remember who spoke at my graduation, but I remember I was so excited to join the real world, and I was a little afraid. My speech was all about realizing what you have learned so far and that you don’t have to have everything figured out right now. I wanted them to be excited for where they are heading next.”
A native of Enterprise, McKenna-Doyle’s Southern accent has dimmed over the years she’s spent in New York, but Auburn still feels like home. She was even able to attend four Auburn football games last season and happily roots for the Carolina Panthers and their quarterback Cam Newton—part of the 2015 graduating class. She’s a major Tigers fan these days, but when McKennaDoyle was considering Auburn, she had to go against something her family strongly believed in: University of Alabama football. “I really got to know Auburn because my brother was being recruited by Pat Dye at the time,” McKenna-Doyle said. “It kind of went against our family plan when I visited, but Auburn stuck out for me as a very inclusive and diverse student body compared to the student body at Alabama at the time.” She saw Auburn as a place where she could fulfill her educational goals while also getting that “coming home” feeling every time she steps back onto the Plains. One reason it felt so much like home was the level to which she became involved in campus life. “I’ve always loved football so that led me to becoming an Auburn Tigerette and getting very involved with the athletic department,” McKenna-Doyle said. “It was during the heyday of Bo Jackson and was just an awesome time for learning and growing for athletics.”
ON THE BALL
McKenna-Doyle juggled working with Auburn athletes on and off the field by volunteering as an athletic tutor to assist athletes with their academic work. She also pursued a rigorous academic major in business— after math requirements cooled her interest in engineering. “I thought engineering was the right career for me until the math got to be a little too much,” McKenna-Doyle adds with a laugh. “I picked accounting as my major and that’s when I started to get involved in the school of business.” After enrolling in the Harbert College of Business, McKennaDoyle met accounting professor Gary Waters. “I remember when Michelle came from Enterprise to pursue her degree,” Waters recalls. “Even as a student, she had a vision about her future in the business world. She is a very bright business leader who combines intellect with remarkable interpersonal skills. While all of her personal attributes have played a major role in her success, there is one trait that stands out to me the most. Michelle has the unique ability to work with and lead others.” McKenna-Doyle credits Waters as the one who pushed her to become more active in the college, which led to her becoming president of the accounting honor society, Beta Alpha Psi. “Working in that position helped me learn responsibility and
eventually helped me land my first job out of college,” she said. “I learned the value of being very involved and connected and that you get as much out of something as what you put into it.” McKenna-Doyle also credits much of her success to the athletics department, which ended up steering her toward an eventual career in sports after her time at Auburn. “The department served me so well and opened so many doors for me,” she added. “Auburn is a special place that feels like a real meritocracy. I learned that if you do well and work hard, things will come to you. I didn’t have the background connections that were needed to succeed in other schools, but at Auburn it’s all about what you do and how much effort you put forth.” As the first in her family to attend college, she said her parents were still proud of her achievements even if she graduated from the rival university. McKenna-Doyle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in accountancy and went on to earn a master’s from Rollins College a few years later.
McKenna-Doyle’s dream job might be with the NFL, but it began at Disney and ended with karma.
ON THE BALL
Over the years, she has worked in senior management and information technology positions at various Fortune 500 corporations. She served as senior vice president and chief information officer for Universal Studios and Centex Homes and also as a vice president of information technology for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts before working at Constellation Energy in Baltimore as a CIO. Her jobs led her across the country and eventually to a job she only dreamed of having. “It’s all about timing. While working for the Walt Disney Co., I was mainly working in accounting and finance, looking at a lot of financial models when it put a bug in me that reminded me of why I liked engineering so much. I would be shadowing information technology and complaining about not having all the data that I need and that some of the systems weren’t working the way I would like. Disney was big about ‘being part of the solution’ and it led me to working on a multi-year series of projects that helped me move from finance to IT.” That was in 1999 and McKenna-Doyle has been working with information technology ever since. She credits this switch in career emphasis to the timing of the Internet’s boom. “The Internet was exploding at the time and needed people to emerge that understood business and technology. I had that
background so I gave it a shot.” One ordinary day, McKenna-Doyle was researching players online for her fantasy draft when she stumbled upon the job button featured on the NFL website. She clicked on it, telling herself it was just to look. She saw there was a position open that fit her qualifications. “I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll put my name in.’” she recalls. “Later, the recruiter assigned to filling that same position found me and contacted me. It was so strange and like karma in a way since I had already applied. I consider this job a lifetime goal and I’m so lucky to do this at this point in my career.” As the NFL’s senior vice president and chief information officer, McKenna-Doyle is responsible for all of the league’s technology strategy implications, game-day activities, presentation of the game’s statistical systems, instant replays and coaching communication systems on the sidelines. Which all means her game days are different from the experience she used to have watching them at home. She also has responsibilities for the NFL’s business, corporate and human resources systems while working on supporting events like the Super Bowl. “I have a great team of engineers, developers, analysts
ON THE BALL
Game Day The NFL game-day experience for McKenna-Doyle is fast-paced but fulfilling .
and project managers that help manage everything we are responsible for. I love being able to work in such a large corporate environment. Coupled with my love of sports and football, this job is like a dream for me. At this time in the NFL, there is so much growth and reshaping and it’s all happening right now. It’s amazing to leave a legacy like that.” For McKenna-Doyle, bringing professional football forward in a world of evolving technology is not the only rewarding aspect of her job. There is a steady rise in the number of women working in the NFL, and she is proud to help blaze the trail for the women that will come after her. “I find it so rewarding to mentor young women professionals that are joining the work force and listen to them trying to find a way to balance a family and a career,” she says. “When someone is comfortable enough to talk to me about A A A AforA A rewarding those issues in her life, it’s me. I really believe in the human connection with each other A A A A A Aand while the topic is usually taboo in the work force, trying to plan a life around A A A A A A work and a family is a big deal for women and they should A A A A it.” feel open to talking about operations.nfl.com/the-game/technology/michelle-mckenna-doyle/
the Voice By George Littleton ’79
Bob Sanders and WAUD have been a part of life for generations of Auburn men and women since 1955— complete with barnyard animals, helicopter sound effects and music. Lots of music.
ON APRIL 1, 1955, change was challenging tradition in sleepy Auburn, Ala. Two separate singers had radio hits with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” but a few weeks later Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” hit No. 1 and changed everything. On the silver screen, James Dean and Marlon Brando were mumbling menacing messages. Shug Jordan’s Tigers were preparing for a four-year run of 34 wins against just five losses and two ties, including a national championship and four in a row over rivals Georgia and Alabama. It was also on that April Fools Day in 1955 that WAUD radio station general manager Elmer Salter, a traditionalist who had served as Auburn’s sports publicist since 1918, hired Bob Sanders to join his broadcast team. Sanders is entering his 60th year of doing his wildly original morning show “dream job,” replete with the sounds effects: barnyard animals, frying bacon, train whistles and what must be the most eclectic, comprehensive and unpredictable mix of music in American radio.
‘The Greenest Freshman Ever’ “I CAME TO AUBURN straight out of high school from our family farm near Vernon, in Lamar County, Ala., in the summer of 1949, surely the greenest freshman ever,” Sanders recalled. “I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a senior I took a few electives in broadcasting. Our equipment was a tape recorder.” Following graduation, Sanders took a job at WCRI outside of Scottsboro. He didn’t have a car so he walked to the station every day. “I was terrible,” he said. “I got my draft notice and they used that as an excuse to fire me. I came back home and was hired by a little station in Columbus, Miss. I used Daddy’s pickup to get back and forth from work. Still, I think, that was the most fun time ever. It was a daytime-only station. There were exactly two of us. We’d each work a half day, morning or afternoon. He was a jazz fan, like I was. We rotated shifts. I’d take my girl down there sometimes at night, just sit in the studio and play records. But six months later I was drafted.” Coming out of the Army two years later, Sanders was married and looking for work. He found it at WAUD.
A Family Background of Music & Mules LIKE PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE ELSE in the hill country of northwest Alabama, Sanders’ family worked on the land. “We were farmers,” Sanders said of his boyhood in Lamar County. “It was hilly and the soil wasn’t very good. In fact, the old Soil Survey described Lamar County as ‘so rough and hilly as to be poorly suited for agricultural purposes.’ We would gin a few bales of cotton for cash, and raise enough corn to keep the cows and the mules fed. Daddy and his brother went out now and then to work as posters, putting up big billboards along the highway. But mostly we just worked on the farm. I think what mattered most to us was religion and music.” It was only shortly before this that electricity had come to Lamar County and the Sanders family purchased a radio. “That was in 1937,” Sanders said. “We loved the Grand Ole Opry. I mean we just loved Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff more than I can say. I remember as a little boy trying to stay up and hear the entire program.”
Sanders’ show on WAUD is known for its humor, wide variety of sophisticated and obscure music, and expert commentary on the musicians and composers. Based primarily in jazz, but embracing most musical genres at one time or another, many people wonder how someone from “Frontier Country,” as Sanders calls his boyhood home, became a jazz afficionado. “As much as we loved country, we also listened to other programs,” Sanders said. “We didn’t miss the Suppertime Frolics out of Chicago. And a songwriter knew he had made it big when Guy Lombardo played one of his songs. But what really made the difference to me was learning about music in the Big Band era, especially the music that was made in the decade starting about 1935. Overall, that is my favorite period of music. It was in that period that good music and popular music coincided in a way that has never happened again.”
Other Interests Come Alive on the Air IN ADDITION TO THE MUSIC, longtime listeners also know that Sanders is an expert in World War II aviation. In his morning “helicopter flyover and traffic report,” he will discuss fine points of the Allison P38 engine while his crew members enjoy “possum and grits and soggy collard sandwiches” in the galley. Sanders also is an expert on classic American cinema. On-air music such as “The Third Man Theme” brings out stories he hasn’t thought of in years. The 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz recently brought forth a story about his third-grade class going to see the movie in the Lamar County seat of Sulligent. “When those apple trees reached out and grabbed Dorothy, it scared Sarah Kate Colvin so badly that she climbed right up into Miss Hamil’s lap.” His live show is set in Auburn’s distant past. The station’s physical location has changed three or four times during Sanders’ career, but certain streets and businesses keep the names they had when he was a student. For the required FCC station identification, listeners might hear: “This is WAUD, 1230 on your AM dial, located on the scenic Tuskegee Turnpike, just down the road from Pop Raines Beverage Shack, and next to the Beauty Rest Inn, rates by the night or by the hour.” That might be followed by a slick taped advertisement, in Sanders’ perfect radio voice, for the 1953 Studebaker Starliner: “Automatic transmission. No clutch!” The one thing that never changes is the music. He knows it all and plays it all: bluegrass, piano and vibes, Gospel, country,
Latin, Caribbean, Hawaiian, cowboy, black blues, country blues, show tunes, standards, folk, soul, movie music, novelties, “anything that could reasonably be called good, by my standards.” He once played a weekly Classical Hour. Ask him who he likes and the names tumble out: Woody Herman, Woody Guthrie, Artie Shaw, Miles Davis, Merle Haggard, Helen O’Connell, Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Dave Brubeck, Eddie Heywood, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Flip Phillips, Earl Scruggs, Billie Holiday, Jimmy Rodgers, Erroll Garner, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Anita O’Day. In spite of being born within 40 months and 40 miles of the so-called King of Rock-n-Roll, Sanders “despises everything about Elvis.” He believes The Beatles wrote many songs that will last, “but I do not like their singing.” A week after he said that, Sanders played an entire side of the raucous but revolutionary 1973 concept album Quadrophenia, by bad-boy British rockers The Who. And this was at 8:15 on Wednesday. He followed it up with the sequel to the 1952 Patti Page hit, “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window,” and came next with the cowboy classic “Little Joe the Wrangler.” You just never know.
Method in the Music SANDERS PLAYS 43 SIDES every morning, six days a week. If you’re keeping score at home, that means he has played approximately 750,000 tracks so far in his WAUD career.
After each show he goes through the record racks to select his music for the next day. He claims to have culled the collection down to where everything he pulls out is “the good stuff.” This culling has left him with approximately 30,000 or more 45s, 15,000 or more LPs, and more CDs than you could fit in the bomb turret of an Avro Lancaster dam buster. It’s probably the strongest music collection in the South. “I go down the racks after every show and pick up eight 45s, four LPs and two CDs,” he explained. “The next day I’ll return those to their respective places and move on to the next records in order. I have friends who ask me to play all Latin, or all bluegrass on a particular show, but I’ll never do that. You’re not likely to ever hear the same version of the same song twice. I just go rack by rack, room by room, aiming to play everything in the library. But I’ll never do that. I’d have to live to be 1,000 years old.” He used to read the Farmers Almanac on the air more than he does now, but macular degeneration has left Sanders legally blind. He does his show with the aid of a magnifying glass, and simply has a sixth sense for when it’s time to change the record. His wife, Peggy—“Frosty” to his radio listeners—drives him to the station every morning before his 5:30 sign-on. He still states the Indian name of every full moon in its lunar cycle (Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Buck Moon, Harvest Moon) and reads moving passages of literature at a given season’s solstice or equinox: the eighth chapter of the original English translation of Bambi in the winter, “Injun Summer” in the fall, and the best outdoor story ever written, Corey Ford’s “The Road to Tinkhamtown,” whenever he feels like it. These passages all have “that eternal note of sadness,” as Arnold writes in “Dover Beach.” Most of the people Sanders has known are gone now. He says it’s hard when one of his longtime helicopter crew members or coffee clubbers passes on. He never mentions them again after that. His mother died this year at the age of 106. But the stories and memories of Frontier Country remain fresh and funny and happy. Sanders came on the air when WAUD was still running The Lone Ranger every day, along with John McNeal’s Breakfast Club and the soap opera My True Story. Auburn had a population of maybe 8,000 people, including the students. Paul Harvey called him up and quizzed him about a particular segment of his show. Eisenhower was still in his first term as president. “People say that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” Sanders said. “I suppose that’s true. I don’t know how long I’ll stay on the air. It’s more difficult when you can’t see. But I still have all those records to play.” It’s almost 10:00, time to switch over to the national sports feed that has replaced most local broadcasts. Sanders leans into his mike to say goodbye: “As you go down the road of life, drive reckly.” A A A A A A “Keep the cows out of the bitterweed and alwaysAdrink upstream from the herd.” A A A A A “Be ruth, today, and give the world a smile.” A A A A A A “There will be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover … A A A A … and Jimmy will sleep in his own little room again.”
For more on Bob Sanders, including an essay by Taylor Littleton ‘51, please visit auburnmagazine. auburn.edu. To hear a live stream of The Bob Sanders Show on WAUD AM 1230, Google WAUD Radio and hit the link for the show, which airs Monday-Saturday from 5:30 to 10 a.m., CDT/CST.
By Rheta Grimsley Johnson ’77
Of All the Offices In All the World, He Walked Into Mine. Like the U.S. government, my Auburn education had three branches: the classroom, The Plainsman and Bob Sanders. IT WAS 1974. I was The Plainsman editor and occupied a fine new office in the Student Union. One morning this tall, bespectacled stranger stuck his head in my door, told me his name was Bob Sanders and in a remarkable, sonorous voice complimented me on some column I’d written. I wish I could remember which one. Most of the time when “grownups” dropped by The Plainsman office, it was bad news. They were there to complain about something. The whining would begin at the faculty advisor’s office, who that year was David Housel. Housel would listen sympathetically to the plaintiff, shrug and explain how it wasn’t his job to censor. I was up next. We got frequent visits from nervous university relations hon-
chos, irate athletic department bigwigs, angry professors who felt their disciplines slighted and merchants whose businesses we’d managed to “dis.” Part of the student editor’s job was to stop the buck. This visitor, thank goodness, was different. He was smiling. I sensed a kindred spirit and made a fast friend. The first of many things Bob Sanders taught me was that not all grown men were ranting reactionaries. Already I knew of Bob Sanders from his AM radio morning show on WAUD and his column in the Alumnews. After his visit, I became his devout reader and listener. Why, he might let me open the birthday book or sing in the choir. The musical trivia he shared astounded me, as well as the variety of songs he played and the smooth persona he adopted to entertain a legion of early-morning listeners. He could slide effortlessly from erudite and suave to cornpone and pleasantly silly. He could transform a routine Cooperative Extension release into a sophisticated comedy routine simply by his inflection: Hold a
hammer by its handle…. If he’d been a stage actor, Bob could have given Richard Burton a run for his money. As it was, he used only that dimensional voice, expert pauses, perfect words. Back then I was abysmally ignorant in most areas. Listening to Bob Sanders, and reading his beautifully crafted newspaper column, taught me lots of important things, nuggets I might not otherwise have found. His essays introduced me, for instance, to the authors Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and John Le Carre, none of whom were on academia’s required reading lists. In another essay Sanders eloquently verified the godlike status of Hank Williams. I had always loved Hank but considered him a guilty pleasure. As sage and effortless as E.B. White or Bailey White, Bob Sanders elevated the ordinary. He made me crave Devil’s Food cookies and trips to the Sipsey Swamp. He made me laugh, though never by poking fun at easy targets. His was classy, classic humor, about icemakers that lay again and again and dogs so smart they play second-chair clarinet. Bob insisted I go to the Langdon free movie to see Casablanca and the Coliseum to hear Count Basie. He knew all about good movies and jazz. He knew about baseball and football and playing bridge. He knew Gene Pitney and Melba Montgomery, Chopin and Liszt. There were unforgiveable gaps in my liberal arts education. He did his best to help. I left Auburn, before graduating, green as Shug’s grass, determined to start a weekly newspaper on St. Simons Island, Ga. Bob wrote a column about my pluck and luck. Local editor
Millard Grimes had agreed to finance the venture, which was the luck part. Bob’s column remains the most charitable assessment of that failed enterprise anyone could muster. After the St. Simons weekly was history, I soon returned, tail between my legs, to work for The Opelika-Auburn News and later The Auburn Bulletin. My path constantly crossed with Bob Sanders’. One of the many hats he wore at WAUD was a reporter’s. For a time we both covered the ridiculously long-winded Auburn City Council meetings. It wasn’t unusual for members to enjoy hearing themselves talk till 9 and 10 p.m. When Bob used his serious newscaster voice the morning after to read his cut-to-the-chase account of those boring, marathon sessions, I was in awe. He taught me the value of narrative economy. I moved with my husband to Mississippi. It was hard to keep up with Auburn news. Whenever I needed to understand what was going on in Auburn, especially byzantine university politics, I phoned Bob. I trusted him implicitly to be on the right side of things. He was. Bob Sanders, by example, continues to teach me. Outlive your enemies. Trust your friends. Go to work every day and do your best no matter how trivial or odious the task. Choose your battles. Listen to life’s music. Choose your words. Make them sing. He has convinced me there is honor and even glory on small A Awisdom A A and A in knowing when you’ve arrived home. A true stages, He at home A A A A in Auburn and on WAUD for almost 60 A been Ahas years. And for 40 of those years—how can that be?—I’ve been A A A A A A privileged, delighted, damn lucky to call him my mentor and A A A A friend.
Rheta Grimsley Johnson is an award-winning journalist, memoirist and columnist for King Features Syndicate. kingfeatures.com/features/columns-a-z/rheta-grimsley-johnson/
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u aa ll u um m .. oo rr gg Auburn Auburn Magazine Magazine aa u 59AuburnMag_Fall08.indd 59
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A Million Thank Yous The Auburn Alumni Association proudly recognizes these life members for their commitment and dedication toward Auburn by participating in our $1 Million Alumni Endowed Student Scholarship Matching Funds Program that will establish 58 new student scholarships. Please contact us at (334) 844-2995 for opportunities or programs to increase alumni participation as a part of the $1 billion Because this is Auburn—A Campaign for Auburn University. Mr. William J. Barrow ‘00 Dr. S. Dwayne ‘59 & Mrs. Doris B. ‘56 Beckett Mr. William B. & Mrs. Susan K. Black ‘77 Mr. & Mrs. Anthony B. Blankenship ‘66 Mr. & Mrs. Isaac R. Britton ‘82 Mr. John R. ‘70 & Dr. Elizabeth D. ‘65 Burgess Mr. & Mrs. William C. Byrd II ‘89 Mr. & Mrs. R. David Byrum ‘76 Mrs. Deborah H. Carter ‘72 Dr. Darrel L. ‘69 & Mrs. Susan K. ‘68 Chenoweth Mr. Walton T. Conn Jr. ‘84 Mr. & Mrs. Gene C. Crane ‘61 Mr. & Mrs. James M. Cravey ‘70 BG Robert L. ‘74 & Mrs. Barbara B. ‘72 Davis Mr. Ronald D. Dyson ‘01 Dr. Lemore T. Ealy 83 Mr. & Mrs. William Jackson Fite Sr. ‘85 Mr. & Mrs. Clifford B. Foster ‘60 Mrs. Betty Haisten ‘72
Mr. & Mrs. Holbert L. Hale Jr. ‘64 Dr. & Mrs. Elmer B. Harris ‘62 Mr. Kevin N ‘91 & Mrs. Stacie S. ‘90 Haynes Mrs. Ann B. Hemphill ‘77 Mr. & Mrs. M. Van Henley ‘80 Mr. & Mrs. Steve Inabinet ‘78 Mrs. Virginia Ray Johnson ’88 Mr. & Mrs. Robert Roy Jones III ‘74 Dr. Charles L. Jr. ‘89 & Mrs. Kimberly R. ‘87 Ledbetter Mr. James E. ‘73 & Mrs. Mary N. ‘74 Lester Mr. Elon W. ‘73 & Mrs. Pamela T. ‘74 Maddox Mr. & Mrs. Roger Masterson Mr. Douglas L. McCrary ‘52 Mr. James L. McAlarney III ’81 Mr. & Mrs. James N. McGowen, Jr. ‘73 Dr. Kathleen Ramsey McGowen ‘75 Mr. Robert W. McMillian ‘51 Ms. Dawn LaTasha Oliver ‘97 Ms. Lisa Denise Page
Mrs. Kathleen R. Ray ’88 Dr. & Mrs. Bo Rivera ‘98 Mr. Richard Saliba Mrs. Marilyn R. Seier ‘62 Mr. & Mrs. William B. Stone II ‘85 Mr & Mrs. Thomas J. Tate Jr. ‘54 Mr. John T. Thomas Mr. & Mrs. Miguel A. Trivino ‘00 Mr. Terry L. ‘98 & Mrs. Mary H. ‘97 Tucker Mr. & Mrs. Joseph G. Van Matre ‘63 Mr. John Craig ‘82 & Mrs. Gretchen ‘86 VanValkenburg Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Wellbaum III ‘93 Mr. & Mrs. Rick Eugene Westbrook ‘82 Dr. W. Wes Williams & Ms. Sara I. Doornbos
ALUMNI CLASSNOTES > IN MEMORIAM
the Classes IN THIS SECTION
Exclusive Member Tailgates
56 In Memoriam
Tasteful Tailgating Just because it’s game day, there’s no need to hide the good china (and silver and candelabras) to make way for disposable dining implements. These Tigers fans from the 1960s were not only stylish, they were being environmentally responsible before their time. Recognize the tailgaters? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it on our website at auburnmagazine.auburn.edu.
FROM THE AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Strategic Moves GREETINGS, FROM THE PLAINS! Summer has been busy for your alumni association and clubs across the country. As the club season comes to an end, I would like to extend a big thank you to all club presidents, club committee members, national board members and, most of all, to our great staff for another wonderful alumni meeting season. I want to also thank the athletic department and the many coaches and staff that make each meeting a success.
With Gretchen VanValkenburg’s leadership as vice president for alumni affairs, we are developing a new strategic plan to better serve our alumni and our university. This summer, we will be organizing a strategic planning committee composed of alumni board members, alumni office staff, and representatives from university academic units, the athletic department, office of development and administration. We look forward to getting the perspective from these stakeholders and developing a plan that will make us a more effective organization going forward. Football season is drawing near, and the Jumbo-Tron is almost completed! Often what brings us back to Auburn as alumni is football in the fall, but if you ask alumni who have connected back to Auburn with their time and resources, you will find that what draws them back is an appreciation for what Auburn has done for them. Please join me and many of your fellow alumni by supporting the university’s campaign, Because This is Auburn. By doing so, you will help another generation of young people discover Auburn and the benefits that will last a lifetime.
Best wishes for the remainder of your summer, and I look forward to seeing you this fall for some Auburn football! You’ll see mention elsewhere in this issue, and perhaps have seen on social media, that the Auburn Hospitality Tent is transitioning this fall to the Alumni Hospitality Tailgate. We’ll be moving from the tent on the Wallace Center lawn to the Auburn Alumni Center at 317 South College St. By taking advantage of our great facilities at the Auburn Alumni Center, the new tailgate will allow us to open up our game-day experience to all alumni and friends, offer a climate-controlled environment, provide multiple game-viewing experiences for those who want to catch other SEC games before heading to the stadium, and provide such amenities as a “kids’ zone” and access to more sponsors of interest to Auburn alumni. We’re looking at ways to address parking and mobility issues that might arise from the change. We realize any change to a program as popular as the Alumni Hospitality Tent won’t please everyone initially. We’re convinced, however, that in the long run this move will provide the bestpossible game-day experience for all alumni and friends. We’ll open four hours before kickoff for each home game, so I hope you’ll join us! You can find the latest information by visiting www.aualum.org/hospitality-tailgate. God bless and War Eagle,
Jack Fite ’85 President, Auburn Alumni Association email@example.com
S H A R E YO U R N E W S W I T H U S AT AU B M AG @AU B U R N . E D U
TIME FOR TAILGATING
LET US DO THE WORK FOR YOU!
The Alumni Hospitality Tailgate might be moving to the Auburn Alumni Center this season (see the ad at right), but we’re still offering Exclusive Member Tailgates on the Wallace Center Lawn across from Jordan-Hare Stadium. Association members can enjoy their own personal tailgate without the worries of setting up or taking down a tent.
Make our hospitality tailgate your first stop.
Everyone is welcome! Preregister for the Express Lane! Questions? Call (334) 844-1145 or visit
with cooler. You only need to bring the food, the drinks, the Tigers fans, and the fun! Exclusive Member Tailgate packages are still available for several of the Auburn Tigers’ 2015 home football games. For additional information, contact Mary Evelyn Jordan at (334) 844-1145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reserve yours today!
SCHOLARSHIP PARKING LOT
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y A prime location on the Wallace Center lawn; y The setup and take-down of tent, tables and chairs; y A 10-by-10-foot tent; y Two 6-foot banquet tables; y Navy table linens; y Ten chairs; and y One 40-pound bag of ice
Front Patio tables
S. COLLEGE STREET
The Auburn Hospitality Tailgate is located at the Auburn Alumni Center on College Street, cattycorner from the RDB library.
aualum.org/tailgate FALL 2015
THE CLASSES > CLASSNOTES
Send your classnotes and other
included the development of a
focuses on advances in
updates to Auburn Magazine
master plan for renovations and
several fields of rapid-
317 S. College St. Auburn
infrastructure improvements, and
University, AL 36849 or
the redesign of the annual Magic
notably wireless networks,
Christmas in Lights attraction. He
social networks and smart
also has been honored with the
CHEW ON THIS
Outstanding Alumni Award from
ROBERT R. (ROBBIE) ROBERSON
DAVID G. SEROTA ’69 has been
Academy in Auburn, was
’62 has been elected chairman of
appointed director of research at
voted into the Alabama
DID YOU KNOW that three past-presidents of
the board of directors of Farm
MPI Research, based in Mattawan,
the American Academy of Pediatric
Credit of Central Florida. He is a
Mich. The company provides
Association Hall of Fame
Dentistry, the recognized authority on
nurseryman who has lived and
safety evaluation, discovery,
in early June. In May,
children’s oral health, have been Auburn
grown plants in the Apopka, Fla.,
bioanalytical, analytical and
Roberts completed his
University alumni? The 2014-15 president
area for more than 40 years. He
phase-one clinical services to the
45th year in education
was Ed Moody ’79 (left); his predecessors
has served on the FCCF board
biopharmaceutical, medical device,
and 15th at Lee-Scott. The
were Rhea Haugseth ’72 (center) and Bill
since 1997. Farm Credit of Central
animal health and chemical
AISA Hall of Fame honors
Vann ’70 (right).
Florida is a member-owned
industries. As director of research,
leaders in academics and
cooperative serving 13 central
Serota is responsible for providing
athletics for their work in
school at Tennessee and a residency in the
leadership for all scientific areas of
specialty at Virginia Commonwealth. He has
the Auburn College of Agriculture.
DON ROBERTS ’73,
headmaster of Lee-Scott
After Auburn, Moody completed dental
been in practice in Morristown, Tenn., for 30
the company, including drug safety HANK MILLER JR. ’64 in April
and surgery, in addition to the
LT. GEN. RONALD L. BUR-
years. Haugseth completed dental school at
accepted the Congressional Gold
in-life and post-life operational
GESS JR. ’74 (U.S. Army
Louisville and a residency at Case Western
Medal on behalf of his father, Navy
groups. Serota has more than 30
Ret.) was, on May 16,
Reserve, and has been in practice for 34
Rear Adm. Henry Miller, an
years’ experience managing
awarded the degree of
years in Marietta, Ga. Vann completed
honorary member of the Doolittle
toxicology laboratories. Prior
Doctor of Laws, Honoris
dental school at Alabama-Birmingham and
Tokyo Raiders, who taught the
positions include director of
Causa, from LaGrange
did a residency at North Carolina-Chapel
World War II Army pilots how to
laboratory operations at Hazleton
College in LaGrange, Ga.
Hill. Currently a research professor at
take off from the deck of an
Laboratories and director of the
A 38-year Army veteran
UNC-Chapel Hill, he is a former distin-
aircraft carrier. The award was
toxicology department at Southern
who spent much of his
guished professor and department chair.
presented aboard the U.S.S.
Research Institute. He has been a
career in the upper levels
Thanks to Bill Vann for letting us know!
Hornet in Alameda, Calif.
member of the Society of
of military intelligence
Toxicology for more than 30 years
and security, Burgess
WILLIAM E. BARRICK ’68,
and is a longstanding member of
currently serves as senior
executive director of Bellingrath
the American College of Toxicol-
counsel for national
Gardens and Home, received the
ogy, for which he served as
security and military affairs for
consulting business, providing
American Horticultural Society’s
president in 2012.
the Auburn University Cyber
financial institutions and ATM
resellers with project-management
most prestigious honor, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, in a June 4 ceremony at River Farm,
the AHS’ headquarters in
services. KATHY WAGER EWING ’76 has
been appointed to Pi Beta Phi
GORDON ISBELL ’76 received the
Alexandria, Va. Bellingrath’s execu-
H. VINCENT POOR ’72 is dean of
Foundation’s board of trustees for
2015 Distinguished Service Award
tive director since 1999, Barrick
the School of Engineering and
a three-year term. Ewing has spent
by the Academy of General
manages the 65-acre historic
Applied Science at Princeton
35 years in banking technology,
Dentistry. Since the award’s
estate and serves as a trustee for
University, where he also serves as
focusing on sales, systems and
inception in 1986, only 31 of
the Bellingrath Morse Foundation,
the Michael Henry Strater
project management, self-service
AGD’s 39,000 members have
the estate of Walter and Bessie
University Professor of Electrical
banking and transaction process-
received the honor. Isbell, who
Bellingrath. His initiatives have
Engineering. His current research
ing. She also owned her own
practices dentistry in Gadsden, is
S H A R E YO U R N E W S W I T H U S AT AU B M AG @AU B U R N . E D U
THE CLASSES > CLASSNOTES
Cheers for Chutney
ANDER DOWN THE CONDIMENTS AISLE of your local supermarket and the variety of toppings and jams and jellies can be overwhelming. Rebecca Williamson ’00 thinks something is missing: chutney, a fruit or vegetable relish mixture often associated in the U.S. with Indian or South Asian cuisine. Williamson knows it’s much, much more. She started Holmstead Fines in 2013, infusing her skills from training at Le Cordon Bleu in London and her Southern roots to create a twist on a foreign favorite. Chutney is a condiment composed of vinegar, fruit, sugar and spices that have been slow cooked for several hours. It can be added as a topping to sandwiches or small snacks. “Chutney is a staple in the English household where the short growing season creates a plethora of green tomatoes,” Williamson said. “They don’t fry them like we do here in the South so they expanded upon the Indian recipe and created a tangy preserve.” Originally from Georgia, Williamson attended Auburn after her first visit instilled that feeling of home. After graduating in psychology, she began philanthropy work in Birmingham. This led her to England in pursuit of mission work, where she uncovered her passion for cooking. After returning to the states and meeting her husband, John Williamson ’99, through mutual Auburn friends, Williamson searched for years for the perfect chutney to no avail. “I couldn’t find a chutney I liked so I started making my own in my kitchen and giving it as Christmas gifts,” Williamson said. “It was a good staple that everyone liked and encouraged me to start producing more and more.”
Williamson named her company and designed her logo after Holmstead Manor, an aging house she lived in while mission training in England. To her, the most important feature of the business is its small size and quality. A small orchard in Georgia grows all of the produce used for the chutney recipes and Williamson packages and ships from her dining room. The three main chutneys for sale are Green Tomato, Peach and Balsamic Red Onion, and have been shipped globally as far as Israel and The Netherlands. “I spend my days packaging orders, playing with new recipes and being a mom,” Williamson said. “I try to promote at stores a few times a week and familiarize the community with chutney.” Before meeting Rebecca, John was not familiar with chutney, but now enjoys the peach flavor. “I never thought, ‘Oh, I really want some chutney today,’ until she started making it around the house every now and then,” he said. “It’s surprisingly versatile and a lot of people aren’t aware of it.” He helps with the finances of Holmstead Fines while Rebecca
handles the culinary and pubic relations aspect, which has led to the company’s availability in 23 Alabama locations and multiple locations in 15 other states. The business donates 10 percent of its profits to International Justice Mission to fight human rights abuse and Neverthirst, which helps build wells. As for future plans, Williamson has a spicy chutney she has been working on and plans to expand in a year or two. Learn more at www. holmstedfines.com. —Ashtyne Cole
THE CLASSES > CLASSNOTES
an active member of the Dean’s
MARY LESLIE REYNOLDS
2002 and has played a key role in
KinectUs, an on-demand mobile
Leadership Council for the AU
HOLLIDAY ’81 retired on Aug. 31,
the company’s success. He also has
app he says could be a useful
College of Sciences and Mathemat-
2014, from First South Farm Credit in
served on various Associated
platform for students and alumni to
ics. He is a member of numerous
Northport. She worked for the Farm
Builders & Contractors of Alabama
connect for social activities like
dental societies and committees
Credit system for 33 years. Now, she
committees and boards and took on
meeting for coffee, grabbing a drink
and has received various awards,
writes that she is enjoying life and
the position of chairman of the
or going for a run. “Think ‘Tinder’
including AGD’s Mastership Award,
her first grandchild.
board this year.
for your daily life,” he writes. Learn
LISA MARTIN MILLER ’82,
ANDY S. HUGGINS ’87 has recently
manager of communications and
accepted a position as vice
WILLIAM “ACE” ATKINS ’94,
marketing for the Alabama
president of operations for Stone
journalist and best-selling author of
Municipal Electric Authority, has
Equipment Co. in Montgomery.
17 crime novels, visited the Auburn
the association’s highest honor.
more at www.kinectus.net.
MARK FORCHETTE ’81, CEO of
been appointed to the board of
Delphinus Medical Technologies,
advisors for the Economic and
SCOTT RICHBURG ’89, an engineer
graduate school’s New Horizons
was one of three alumni recognized
Community Development Institute
and entrepreneur in Little Rock,
Lecture at the Foy Hall ballroom.
by the Harbert College of Business
at Auburn University. ECDI
Ark., received the Veteran Entrepre-
“You can never take for granted
as Entrepreneur of the Year. He
provides leadership for economic
neurship Award at the April
that people out in the field are
earned Innovator of the Year in
and community development
Multi-Unit Franchising Conference
looking for you,” he told the crowd
2014 at the Ophthalmology
outreach for both Auburn Univer-
in Las Vegas. The conference is
of students. “You have to be
Innovation Summit for his work
sity and the Alabama Cooperative
hosted by Multi-Unit Franchisee
aggressive and prepared and know
defining and developing the laser
Extension System. She lives in
Magazine. Richburg has 15
what you are doing. At the same
cateract surgery market. Delphinus
Prattville with her husband, Mike.
SportClips Haircuts locations in 10
time, don’t expect people to be
calling you. Always be moving and
Medical Technologies Inc., based in
campus on April 1 to deliver the
Plymouth, Mich., conceptualized
ROBIN SAVAGE ’82 has been
and developed SoftVue, a first-of-its-
named president of Robins &
always think about that next step.”
kind whole breast ultrasound
Morton, a construction company
system. Before joining Delphinus,
based in Birmingham. He has been
he served seven years as president
with the company for 33 years and
DALE KATECHIS ’92, owner of
Hayes, on March 8. He joins two
and CEO of Optimedica Corp.
has served in many roles; he was
Oskar Blues Brewery based in
older sisters, Avery and Abby. The
named chief operating officer in
Colorado, was one of three alumni
family lives in Marietta, Ga.
DOUG SAWYER ’94 and his wife,
Molly, announce the birth of a son,
recognized by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at
BILLY TROUTMAN ’94 is the new
Auburn University as Entrepreneur
principal at the Cullman Area
of the Year. Oskar Blues is the
24th-largest craft brewer in America and the nation’s first craft
LAURA CUNNINGHAM ’94 married
brewery to hand-can its own beer.
Brandon H. Ball on May 2. She
The company includes brewing
works as the database administra-
operations in Colorado and North
tor for the development office of the
Carolina as well as five restaurant
Archdiocese of Mobile.
locations, three restaurant concepts,
Olli Turns 25 Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed a commendation for the Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute’s 25 years serving those 50 and older. Joining Bentley were, L-R, member William White, coordinator Barbara Daron, director Linda Shook, founding director Mary Burkhart, charter member Erlene Lingle, anniversary chair Susan Stanley, president Emily Kling, and committee member Dennis Drake ’69.
in-house bicycle brand REEB Cycles,
JEFFREY H. COATS ’97 began work
the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch
on July 1 as the associate provost and
champion and mountain-biking
dean of students at Eureka College in
resort in Henderson County, N.C.,
Eureka, Ill. His wife, REBECCA BALL
and the CAN’d Aid Foundation.
COATS ’01, received her Ed.D. in
higher education administration CHRIS NORDSTROM ’93 is
from the University of Alabama in
cofounder of Boston-based
S H A R E YO U R N E W S W I T H U S AT AU B M AG @AU B U R N . E D U
Stitches in Time F
ROM CANVAS SCRAPS AND LOOSE YARN, Leanna Leithauser-Lesley has threaded her way into the world of art, creating work that has taken needlepoint from the hobby room into the realm of museum exhibitions. Leithauser-Lesley ’83 began doing needlepoint as a child after watching her mother and grandmother practice the painstaking work of counted-thread embroidery, stitching intricate patterns by working yarn or thread into a stiff loosewoven canvas. Once her grandmother realized how much she loved the art form, she made her grandchild a deal: Every time the youngster finished a canvas her grandmother would buy another, a great bargain since needlepoint canvases can cost hundreds of dollars. Her dedication to needlepoint kept her going after she came to Auburn University and no longer had the canvas deal. Her grandmother believed she should focus on her studies rather than needlepoint and would no longer buy them for her, forcing Leithauser-Lesley to look for another way to satisfy her needlepoint “addiction.” When she’d return home for Christmas break she would grab all of the canvas scraps and spare yarn she could find and returned to Auburn to try her skills working freehand. She started with such simple things as her boyfriend’s Volkswagen convertible and album covers, a step that became important years later. After graduating from Auburn, Leithauser-Lesley’s needlepoint time was replaced
with work, marriage and motherhood. She returned to her first love by accident. Her mother brought her a canvas she thought looked like Leithauser-Lesley’s youngest daughter, but Leithauser-Lesley disagreed. Consumed by thoughts of how she could improve the threaded portrait of her daughter, she drove straight to the craft shop and got to work. She said she was amazed by how quickly the portrait came to life. “I really couldn’t believe it,” LeithauserLesley said. “I kept working on it and it fell into place as though I was drawing a still life.”
likeness threaded into the back. Although she does sell her needlepoint portraits, she prefers to have them in museums to further education about needlepoint art. Her portraits of jazz and blues musicians recently enjoyed an eight-week exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum. The public response has been “just incredible.” Leithauser-Lesley said she hopes to expand knowledge about the craft in future museum exhibitions and will always look to create unique and interesting work.
“I never wanted to do the same art that everyone else was doing.” She went on to fine-tune her needlepoint portraits, crafting each of her daughters before moving on to musicians. Needlepoint portraits were a perfect fit for her artistic abilities, she said, because they were unique and stood out. “I never wanted to do the same art that everyone else was doing,” Leithauser-Lesley said. “I think all artists try to make their art stand out. When I did these needlepoints I thought ‘My God, no one else is doing this.’” To attract a larger audience, LeithauserLesley has sought unique ways to display her art. She has made framed needlepoint portraits, purses decorated with various celebrities and notable figures, and a reupholstered chair with Billie Holiday’s
THE CLASSES > CLASSNOTES
serves on the Hampton Cove
enhance the performance of
Homeowner’s Association Board of
four-wheel-drive, all-terrain and
Directors. Bridgeworth is one of the
largest groups of certified financial planner professionals in Alabama.
DAWN ADAMS TIFFIN ’02 and JOHN MICHAEL TIFFIN ’02
RICHARD W. KROON ’02 is working
announce the birth of a daughter,
with Happy Planet Productions to
Abigail Wright, on April 11. The
produce Green Hawaii, an IMAX 3D
family lives in Tampa, Fla.
feature documentary and educa-
All-In Auburn Family Auburn is all about family—just ask William Allen “Bill”
Thomas ’62, who recently joined a few of his own Auburn family members for this photo. Back row (L-R): Bill Thomas ’62, William Randall “Randy” Thomas ’86 and Connie Brooks Thomas ’82. Front row (L-R): Robert James “Rob” Thomas ’90, Ginger Thomas Carlon ’90 and Amelie Thomas ’15. Need more? Ginger’s son, William Harry Carlon, is attending Auburn this fall.
tional program that looks at
DONTAVIOUS “DONTE” LITTLE
environmental sustainability using
’04 has been named director of the
Hawaii as a parable for the world:
Talladega Regional Center of the
Hawaii used to be entirely
Alabama Institute for Deaf and
self-sustaining, but a lifestyle of
Blind. He worked in AIDB’s E.H.
modern conveniences has made the
Gentry Technical Facility in the
state one of the least-sustainable
biodiesel program in 2010 before
places on earth. The Green Hawaii
taking a position teaching business
project includes a full educational
education. In addition to his
curriculum for grades K-12,
master’s in business administration
including extensive video assets so
from Troy, Little holds a master’s in
COURTNEY MCCLURE DEFEO ’98
alumni recognized by the Raymond
students can produce their own
business education and a master’s
of Orlando, Fla., is the author of In
J. Harbert College of Business at
in special education with visual
This House We Will Giggle: Making
Auburn University as Entrepreneur
impairment certification from
Virtues, Love & Laughter a Daily
of the Year. A former AU cheerlead-
Part of Your Family Life. She is a
er, he started Iron Tribe Fitness in
popular blogger at courtneydefeo.
2009 in his garage before opening
Clackamas, Ore., has been named
ASHLIE GRILLS WALKER ’04 has
com and creator of ABC Scripture
its first storefront in 2010. The
vice president of marketing for
opened Precious Pieces, a consign-
Cards, sold nationwide. She and her
business now has 37 locations with
Warn Industries Inc. She was most
ment store for children’s items in
husband, Ron, have two daughters.
plans to expand to 50 by the end of
MEGAN F. O’NEILL ’98, a science
Auburn. LAUREL R. SMITH ’02 of
teacher at Spanish Fort High
TONYA KEENE ’99 has been named
Smith & Wesson,
School, has been awarded a
assistant principal at Charles
Fulbright Distinguished Awards in
Henderson High School in Troy. She
Teaching Grant to New Zealand by
previously served two years as assis-
Baseball Bats and
the U.S. Department of State and
tant principal of South Smiths
the J. William Fulbright Foreign
Station Elementary School in Lee
Scholarship Board. She is one of
County. She has worked in Lee
about 49 U.S. citizens who will
County since 2002.
Beretta USA. She
travel abroad through the Fulbright program in 2015-16. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic
also has worked
and professional achievement, as well as leadership potential.
at Adidas America. Warn designs,
JONATHAN HORNSBY ’02 has
joined the staff of Bridgeworth in
FORREST WALDEN ’98, founder
Birmingham. He attained his
and CEO of Iron Tribe Fitness in
Chartered Retirement Planning
Birmingham, was one of three
Counselor designation in 2012 and
S H A R E YO U R N E W S W I T H U S AT AU B M AG @AU B U R N . E D U
THE CLASSES > IN MEMORIAM
Bluff Park Village in the Birming-
May 9 at Kiesel Park in Auburn.
SARA LEE REDMOND ’40 of
PAUL T. PERSONS ’48 of Lafayette,
ham area, combining her fashion-
They currently live in Dallas, Texas.
Eugene, Ore., died on May 17.
Calif., died on May 11.
WILLARD KYLE ROBERSON ’41 of
FRANK RICHARDSON ’48 of
merchandising experience with her passion for children with autism.
DENISE DUNCAN ’12 and WALLIS
Brundidge died on April 4.
Desloge, Mo., died on May 3.
She donates a portion of her
SALTERS ’12 were married on Sept.
HENDRIX “HANK” DELONEY ’42 of
HENRY WILLIAM ARNOLD ’49 of
monthly profits to Milestones
28, 2013, at the Haybarn in
Moultrie, Ga., died on March 25.
Columbus, Ga., died on July 9, 2014.
Behavior Group’s therapy scholar-
Collinsville. They currently live in
EDNA EARL MILLER ’42 of
WILSON PARKER CHILDRESS ’49
ships for Birmingham children with
Warner Robbins, Ga. Wallis is a
Hartford died on April 24.
of Roanoke died on May 13.
autism. Find her online at
fourth-generation AU graduate
NICHOLAS RICHARDSON NICHOLS
WILLIAM B. COX ’49 of Richmond,
whose grandfather, WALLIS PERRY
’42 of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.,
Va., died on May 11.
SCHUESSLER ’60, and late
died on May 2.
WILLIAM “BILL” LELAND HOLLIS
NICOLE KLEIN ’05 recently changed
great-grandfather, PERRY BROWN
HENRY FREDERICK RAINEY SR.
’49 of Cullman died on May 17.
jobs and is now manager, family
SCHUESSLER ’33, have been
’42 of Duluth, Ga., died on April 4.
STEVE FRANK MITCHELL JR. ’49
entertainment and performing arts,
Golden Eagles. His parents are TOM
MADRID DAVIS BENSON BAILEY
of Tifton, Ga., died on March 23.
for The Madison Square Garden Co.
SALTERS ’86 and SUZANNE
’43 of Auburn died on April 17.
LEONARD RAY SMITH ’49 of
She oversees all the booking,
SCHUESSLER SALTERS ’83.
CECIL C. “CHICK” CARLTON ’43 of
Seattle, Wash., died on April 8.
Clanton died on April 6.
BRYCEON J. SUMNER SR. ’49 of
marketing and ticketing for performances across the company’s
BEAU MICHAEL BRADY ’14 has
DORRIS WILLIAMS SWINDALL ’43
Tucker, Ga., died on May 25.
seven venues in New York, Boston,
joined the design-services team at
of Alexandria died on April 18.
JAMES P. WOOTEN ’49 of
Chicago and Los Angeles.
Nashville, Tenn.-based commercial
GORDON C. VARN ’43 of Albany,
Knoxville, Tenn., died on March 19.
real estate and design firm Southeast
Ga., died on April 21.
HAZEL RILEY “TRIJ” BRIETZKE
JESSIE ELLEFSON WILLIAMS ’05
Venture as a graduate architect. He
FRED ALLISON JR. ’44 of
’50 of Columbia, Mo., died on April 18.
and her husband, John, announce
previously interned for Lathan
Nashville, Tenn., died on May 8.
JOHN LAURIE DALE JR. ’50 of
the birth of a son, Colton Douglas,
Associates. Southeast Venture is an
MARY JO VENTRESS ’44 of
Oak Hill died on May 16.
on June 15. The family lives in
integrated real estate services
Montgomery died on April 11.
GEORGE L. GIBSON ’50 of Hoover
company with multiple disciplines in
BENJAMIN JERRY “B.J.” BROWN
died on May 11.
brokerage, development and design.
JR. ’45 of DeFuniak Springs, Fla.,
DANIEL BANKHEAD GILMORE JR.
KELLY DOWNS CAMPBELL ’06 and
died on April 19.
’50 of Birmingham died on May 24.
her husband, Paul, announce the birth
JAKE RAY ’14 is working in the
JESSE DAVID DERRICK ’45 of
WILLIAM ASHLEY GRISSETT SR.
of a daughter, Mackenzie Savannah,
cardiovascular intensive care unit
Montgomery died on April 7.
’50 of Albany, Ga., died on May 16.
on Dec. 12, 2014, in Richmond, Va. She
at Princeton Baptist Medical Center
WILTON B. PERSONS JR. ’45 of
JOHN HENRY ’50 of Augusta, Ga.,
is the granddaughter of MICHAEL
Savannah, Ga., died on April 3.
died on April 17.
WILLIAM A. BOONE JR. ’46 of
CLARENCE HOOD HORNSBY JR.
CARSON STALNAKER ’15 and AU
Nashville, Tenn., died on May 13.
’50 of Rock Hill, S.C., died on
student Ryan Johnson, both of
WAUNITA GILLESPIE CLANTON
EMILY GUTHRIE FARRELL ’07 and
Hoover, recently traveled to
’46 of Birmingham died on May 2.
TIMOTHY B. LAGRONE JR. ’50 of
WALT FARRELL ’08 announce the
Phoenix, Ariz., with three former
LEROL EPPERSON JR. ’46 of
Alexander City died on April 22.
birth of a daughter, Harper Lewis,
Hoover classmates to shoot a
Atlanta, Ga., died on May 14.
JAMES “JIM” SATTERTHWAITE
on April 30. The family lives in
basketball trick-shot video by their
CLARENCE “PINKY” SIMMONS JR.
LARKIN ’50 of Birmingham died
team, Legendary Shots. The video
’47 of Jefferson died on May 2.
on April 27.
was shot in the U.S. Airways Center,
EDALLEEN “EDDIE” MORGAN
GEORGE FELTON LUCK ’50 of
ASHLEY HUNTER ’09 and KELLY
home of the Phoenix Suns NBA
BRUSH ’48 of Richmond, Va., died
Alachua, Fla., died on May 1.
COLBURN ’13 are among the first 36
team, in conjunction with the
on May 8.
JAMES DEWEY OTT JR. ’50 of
Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching
Phoenix Mercury WNBA team.
DOWNS ’78 and STEPHANIE PRESSON DOWNS ’78.
THOMAS ROY BUSH ’48 of
Birmingham died on May 7.
Fellows. Both are on the faculty at
Cordele, Ga., died on May 4.
H. MARION “FUZZY” PERRITT ’50
Columbus State University.
HELEN TRIPPE LANDRESS ’48 of
of Florence died on May 11.
Old Spring Hill died on April 2.
JOE MARION WILLIAMS ’50 of
KAYLA REBECCA GOMILLION ’11
For more complete obituaries, visit
RICHARD “MAC” MCCLURE ’48 of
Pasadena, Texas, died on April 12.
married Wesley Richard Byrd on
Peachtree City, Ga., died on March 21.
JOSEPH WILLIAM “JOE” WILSON
THE CLASSES > IN MEMORIAM
’50 of Lawrenceville, Ga., died on
of Houston, Texas, died on April 4.
STEWART DOUGLAS LANGDON ’60
JANE WOOD PETERSON ’62 of
PAUL BOZEMAN ’57 of Papillion,
of Mobile died on April 14.
Roanoke, Va., died on April 30.
ERNEST L. BELL ’51 of Scottsboro
Neb., died on May 3.
DONALD LYNN MAY ’60 of
JAMES “JIMMY” ROBERTS ’62 of
died on Sept. 27, 2014.
MILDRED JEANETTE KERLEY ’57
Pensacola, Fla., died on April 2.
Deatsville died on March 14.
RALPH ROGERS HARRIS ’51 of
of Tampa, Fla., died on April 17.
ROBERT LESLIE PARKMAN ’60 of
CLAUDE MANRING WALTON ’62 of
Auburn died on April 16.
DONALD “DON” G. NEWSOME SR.
Opelika died on April 10.
Thomaston, Ga., died on April 28.
ROY EUGENE “GENE” STEVENSON
’57 of Thomson, Ga., died on May 30.
WILLIAM (BILL) M. VOIGT ’60 of
BOBBY EUGENE BREWER ’63 of
’51 of Auburn died on April 30.
JOHNNIE VANCE ROBERTSON ’57
Birmingham died on March 31.
Columbus, Ga., died on May 10.
RUSSELL NETTLES BURSON ’52 of
of Birmingham died on May 22.
JOSEPH “JOE” WILBUR WALKER
CHARLES LAMAR DAVIS ’63 of
Waynesville, N.C., died on April 29.
PATRICIA ANN STANFIELD
JR. ’60 of Fayetteville, N.C., died on
Columbus, Ga., died on April 28.
ROBERT C. CARTER ’52 of Helena
INGRAM ’57 of Lilburn, Ga., died
BARBARA PUCKETT ’63 of Pinson
died on April 29.
on June 5.
KENNETH EDWARD WHIPPLE ’60
died on April 9.
CARL L. COMPTON ’52 of Florence
BERTRAM “BERT” BARNARD
of Staunton, Va., died on March 30.
TERRANCE “TERRY” C. CREIGH-
died on April 27.
BURNETT ’58 of Waycross, Ga.,
JAMES W. BUSHEY ’61 of
TON ’64 of Tampa, Fla., died on
EDGAR FRANKLIN HARLIN JR. ’52
died on April 12.
Anderson, S.C., died on May 5.
of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., died on
JACK BRADFORD COLQUITT ’58 of
JAMES CARROLL ’61 of Kings
KATHERINE YEAGER NELSON ’64
May 23, 2014.
Daphne died on April 26.
Mountain, N.C., died on April 20.
of Homewood died on May 26.
WALKER S. “TINKER” THOMPSON
WILTON T. HATAWAY ’58 of
MARY LOUISE FLANAGAN ’61 of
RICHARD NIELSSON ’64 of Lugoff,
’52 of Harrisonburg, Va., died on
Belleville, Ill., died on June 11.
Montgomery died on April 3.
S.C., died on April 3.
BEVERLY MCLEMORE JONES ’58 of
MELVIN WAYNE FLOYD ’61 of
MARY ANNE LOWERY ROBINSON
RALPH LAW ’52 of Columbus, Ga.,
Martinsville, Va., died on March 28.
Forest Grove, Ore., died April 15.
’64 of Pell City died April 13.
died on April 26.
KNOWELL TOMAS MCCLUSKEY ’58
BILLY H. HENSON ’61 of Daphne
DAVID ROBERT WHITE ’64 of
ROBERT EUGENE LINDER ’52 of
of Florence died on April 6.
died on April 11.
Hoover died on April 17.
Andalusia died on May 2.
JAMES JACKSON “JIMMY RED”
ANITA HAMNER JENKINS ’61 of
CAROLYN PATRICIA ORR
ANN ARDELIA POPE BULLOCK ’53
PHILLIPS SR. ’58 of Auburn died
Auburn died on March 27.
BARTLETT ’65 of Opelika died on
of Pensacola, Fla., died on April 7.
on March 25.
PETER “SONNY” ROBERTSON JR.
EDWARD LEWIS CARPENTER ’53
WILEY SALTER ’58 of Evergreen
’61 of Andover, Mass., died on
JOHN LOUIS HARTMAN ’65 of
of Macclenny, Fla., died on May 13.
died on May 8.
Birmingham died on March 27.
WILSON J. “JIM” COCHRAN JR.
NEWTON JOSEPH BELL ’59 of
GRANT L. SMITH ’61 of Town Creek
MICHAEL WILLIAM HUBER ’65 of
’53 of Phenix City died on April 16.
Montgomery died on May 21.
died on May 7.
Lady Lake, Fla., died on March 31.
THOMAS DAVID DEAN SR. ’53 of
NEIL ANDERSON CARTER ’59 of
JOHN “JACK” STERLING COMBS
SANDRA MOSTELLAR ’65 of
Waco, Texas, died on April 2, 2014.
Columbus, Ga., died on April 18. .
’62 of West Point, Ga., died on May 2.
Shelby County died on May 22.
TRAVIS JACKSON HAGLER ’54 of
WILLIAM “BILL” HENRY GREGORY
RICHARD “RICK” RUSSELL
CAROLYN DALE BOYLES ’66 of
Huntsville died on April 9.
’59 of Gold Hill died on March 30.
CURTIS ’62 of Newland, N.C., died
Greensboro, N.C., died on March 12.
BILLY GEORGE OSWALT ’54 of
ELEANOR JUNE POWELL ’59 of
on May 18.
DOUG BROWNING ’66 of Gaines-
Montgomery died on April 14.
Birmingham died on April 2.
GEORGE FRANKLIN DUCK JR. ’62
ville, Fla., died on Feb. 4.
LILLIAN “LIL” GOODNER PYBURN
WILLIAM A. PURYEAR JR. ’59 of
of Southport, Fla., died on April 10.
BRENDA DEAN EDWARDS ’66 of
’54 of Verbena died on April 24.
Franklin, Tenn., died Dec. 27, 2014.
ROBERT “BOBBY” ALLEN FORET
Ridgeland, Miss., died on May 10.
WILLIAM H. “BUCK” BORDERS JR.
MALCOLM RICHARD “DICK” WOOD
’62 of Metairie, La., died on March 25.
OLIVER RIPLEY “RIP” HEAD JR.
’55 of Fort Payne died on April 28.
’59 of Atlanta, Ga., died on April 4.
WILBURN “BUDDY” F. GRIFFIN ’62
’66 of Pawleys Island, S.C., died on
CARL MCCLENDON ’55 of
THOMAS L. HATCHETT ’59 of
of Opelika died on March 29.
Birmingham died on May 21.
Dublin, Ga., died on May 4.
THOMAS “TOMMY” F. HUDSON ’62
BOYCE JOSEPH WHITE JR. ’66 of
JOE LAGRANGE RAWLS ’55 of
DONALD HOPSON ASKINS ’60 of
of Lineville died on May 9.
Gadsden died on May 29.
Andalusia died on April 2.
Clintwood, Va., died on March 30.
DON KEENE ’62 of Port Orange,
SHERRY SCOTT ARRINGTON ’67 of
WILLIAM “BILL” EARL ELLIS ’56
BARBARA ELIZABETH GREER
Fla., died on April 22.
Midland, Ga., died on March 30.
of McCalla died on May 8.
HILL ’60 of Alexander City died on
FRANCIS D. LANGSTON ’62 of
JOHN CLARK DONALDSON ‘67 of
PHILIP “PHIL” DOUGLAS GEIL ’56
Baker, Fla., died on May 8.
Celina, Tenn., died on May 20.
of Boulder, Colo., died on May 15.
ALAN GOODMAN KOCH ’60 of
JAMES CLYDE MURPHY ’62 of
LARRY THOMAS GABLE ’67 of
ROBERTA “BOBBIE” SINGLEY ’56
Prattville died on May 22.
Indianola, Miss., died on March 21.
Lady Lake, Fla., died on May 27.
S H A R E YO U R N E W S W I T H U S AT AU B M AG @AU B U R N . E D U
THE CLASSES > IN MEMORIAM
THOMAS “TOM” H. HOGAN ’67
of Opelika died on May 6.
of Jeffersonville, Ga., died on May 10.
JAMES LANSON ESTEP ’72 of
EVAN JOSEPH ORMOND ’67 of
Jonas Ridge, N.C., died on May 9.
Maumelle. Ark., died March 23.
KENNETH “KEN” CHUPP
PERCY FRANK SANDERFORD
ROBERTSON ’72 of Brunswick,
’67 of Gautier, Miss., died on May 17.
Ga., died on April 29.
WILLIAM “BILL” WILKES
ROBERT LEA CARSON JR. ’73
SELMAN ’67 of Phenix City died
of Waverly died on March 21.
on May 18.
JAMES L. FLYNT ’73 of
RICHARD LAMAR CATES ’68 of
Niceville, Fla., died on May 11.
Gulf Shores died on April 13.
MARIANNE HOWELL LEE ’73 of
JAN COLCORD ’68 of Panama
Monroeville died on April 12.
City, Fla., died on April 24.
JOHN MICHAEL “MIKE”
JIM FISHER ’68 of Lake Bowen,
CHRISTIAN ’74 of Katy, Texas,
S.C., died on April 28.
died on April 30.
RESA FANT ISON ’68 of
JOSEPH FRAMBLES DICKS ’74
LaFayette died on April 17.
of Decatur died on April 24.
ROBERT E. NELMS ’68 of Fort
THOMAS “TOM” STEVENS ’74 of
Walton Beach, Fla., died on April 17.
Suwanne, Ga., died on Nov. 7, 2012.
LARRY M. OWENS ’68 of
NAOMI B. GOLD ’75 of Atlanta,
Fairhope died on April 12.
Ga., died on Nov. 29, 2012.
DONALD R. SCHMITZ ’68 of
DEWITT “JACKIE” REYNOLDS
Rainbow City died on March 31.
’75 of Valley died on March 18.
SANDRA MITCHELL JOHNSON
TOMMY LYNN ROBINSON ’75 of
’69 of Atmore died on May 3.
Opelika died on April 17.
LAWRENCE “LARRY” FLOURN-
SHEILA KELLEY BOOTH ’76 of
OY MOSLEY ’69 of Columbus,
Powder Springs, Ga., died on
Ga., died on May 25.
April 15, 2012.
CHARLES DONOVAN PETERS
GARY LEE UTZ ’76 of Gadsden
’69 of Kinsey died on May 15.
died on May 28.
LARRY BERT STONE ’69 of
PAUL RICHARD PARKER ’77 of
Birmingham died on May 1.
Fairhope died on April 9.
BETTY L. DURHAM ’70 of
LUELLA WALKER SLAGH ’77 of
Birmingham died on April 6.
Auburn died on May 1.
LENTON “KEN” HARRIS ’70 of
WILLIAM LEE SMALLWOOD ’77
Crestview, Fla., died on May 9.
of Eufaula died on May 23.
TIMOTHY CARROLL LYLE ’70 of
JOHN TERRY BOATWRIGHT ’78
Oneonta died on March 25.
of Opelika died on April 7.
TERRY LENN MCWHORTER ’70
TIMOTHY WAYNE STANSELL ’78
of Glencoe died on May 16.
of North Augusta, S.C., died on
ALBERTO EDGARDO CHIESA ’71
of Birmingham died on March 30.
WILLIAM BOYD RAY PASS ’71 of
THRASHER ’78 of Honolulu,
Andalusia died on April 13.
Hawaii, died on April 30.
DELORIS WATKINS WALLER ’71
FRANK C. TURNER JR. ’78 of
of Opelika died on April 17.
Bay Minette died on May 26.
JAMES LANSON ESTEP ’72 of
TYRE C. WEAVER ’78 of St.
Jonas Ridge, N.C., died on May 9.
Augustine, Fla., died on April 13.
An Artistic Legacy JULIA “JULE” COLLINS SMITH ’99, namesake and benefactor of Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, died June 13 in Houston. “Jule meant so much to those who knew her, and she influenced countless individuals through the museum that bears her name,” said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family and friends.” Jule Collins Smith was born in 1929 in Auburn and grew up in Lowndesboro and Montgomery, where her father, Albert Hamilton Collins, a former Auburn faculty member, was Alabama State Superintendent of Education. Enrolling at Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1946, she met and married engineering graduate Albert J. Smith Jr. two years later without completing her degree. The couple raised a family and eventually settled in Houston. Keeping a promise to her mother that she would finish, Smith graduated from Auburn in 1999 with a degree in sociology. When museum staff profiled the Smiths for the museum’s 10th anniversary in 2013, Albert Smith revealed he first had the idea to gift funds in his wife’s honor as a 50th anniversary present when he found her clipping sweepstakes coupons as a way to build a museum for Auburn. He made many trips to Auburn before finally letting her in on his plan. The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University opened its doors to the public in 2003. The couple became actively involved in site selection and influenced the building’s modern design. Their activity continued from groundbreaking to collections building to service on the museum’s advisory board. “Jule was not only the museum’s namesake, she was a driving force that helped us early on form our mission to serve both campus and community,” said museum director Marilyn Laufer. “Her spirit will continue with every child who experiences their personal capacity for creative expression and with every adult and Auburn student that has that ah-ha moment which makes their experience with art so life changing and meaningful at our museum.” Today, the museum offers more than 200 programs and events annually and welcomes more than 30,000 visitors a year to experience touring exhibitions and ones organized from a permanent collection of more than 2,000 objects.
WILLIAM BARRY FARR SR. ’72
BACKCHAT Online Speak
FACEBOOK Anne Womack ‘07 and Will Sanford ‘09 share that special touch of Auburn from their wedding, including shakers, shouts of “War Eagle” and the Auburn fight song “as we made our way to our getaway tractor (my husband is a farmer),” Anne wrote. BO KNOWS CHICAGO After second-graders from Chicago’s New Schmid Elementary adopted Auburn as a school project and went viral with an
All-Auburn video, university officials and local hero Bo Jackson visited the school. See the video at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?t=11&v=OYVdqVBSL4U. We guarantee you’ll shout “War Eagle”! FLAT AUBIE Kirk Galbreath shared his trip to the ruins at Pompeii in sunny Italy with our own “flat Aubie.” Where can you take Flat Aubie? Post a photo on our Facebook page: facebook.com/ AuburnAlumniAssociation.
Why do our students
Because they know the entire Auburn Family is with them every step of the way. Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University is a $1 billion fundraising effort that will create thousands of new scholarships. Why? To ensure qualified students who aspire to an Auburn education will have access to it. There is tremendous power in every gift — and within everyone who supports this cause. Each gift tells a different story. Now is the time to tell yours.
THERE’S A STORY BEHIND EVERY GIFT. GIVE TODAY AT BECAUSE.AUBURN.EDU.
Auburn Alumni Center 317 South College Street Auburn, AL 36849-5149 www.aualum.org
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