Page 1

RESEARCH Birth control for the razorback set pg 17

The adventures of a one-hit wonder pg 40

PROFILE

Jim Foy, Auburn’s most spirited dean and student advocate pg 61

OBIT

BO NOW

WINTER 2010

The magic and the mystique of AU’s most famous—and elusive—athlete


Heart of glass In the Orbix Hot Glass studio atop Lookout Mountain in northeastern Alabama, former Auburn University student Cal Breed and his team transform molten crystal into works of art. Breed and his fellow glassblowers crafted vases embossed with an image of Samford Hall for more than a dozen Auburn faculty members who were honored in September for outstanding teaching and research. Story on Page 12. Photograph by Jeff Etheridge


Ginn

Society

Named for the visionary and philanthropic leadership of Samuel L. Ginn, Auburn Engineering’s Ginn Society recognizes alumni and friends whose ongoing support through cumulative giving represents a demonstrated commitment to the college’s current and future success. Names are listed according to donor preference and giving levels are as of December 31, 2009. G i n n

S o c i e t y

Visionary Circle – $5,000,000+ Dr. Samuel L. Ginn ’59 Mr. and Mrs. Dwight L. Wiggins Jr. ’62

1908 Founders Circle – $1,000,000+ Mr.* & Mrs.* Fred Birdsong ’34 Mr. William A. Boone* ’44 Mr. Dwight T. ’69 & Mrs. Mary Ellen Brown John W. ’57 & Rosemary Kopel ’57 Brown Mr. James Dozier* ’29 & Mrs. Elizabeth G. Caldwell Dr. Dwight Carlisle Jr. ’58 Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Davis ’59 Mr. C. Warren Fleming ’43 Mr.* & Mrs.* William Francis ’27 Mrs. Gwenn Smith Freeman ’73 Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Gavin III ’59 Brig. Gen. & Mrs. Bryghte D. Godbold ’36 Mr. & Mrs. Dame Scott Hamby ’46 Dr. & Mrs. John T. Hartley ’51 Mr. & Mrs. William F. Hayes ’65 Mr. & Mrs. Michael D. Holmes ’86 Maj. & Mrs. James M. Hoskins ’81 Mr.* & Mrs.* Elton Z. Huff ’32 Mr. & Mrs. Lavon F. Jordan ’62 Mr.* & Mrs. Ronald D. Kenyon Dr. Oliver D. Kingsley Jr. ’66 Mr. & Mrs. Thomas M. Lowe Jr. ’49 Mr. & Mrs. Raymond E. Loyd ’61 Dr. & Mrs. Michael B. McCartney ’57 Ms. Sheila J. McCartney Mr. James H. McDaniel ’68 Mr. & Mrs. Joe T. McMillan ’58 Mr. & Mrs.* George A. Menendez ’70 Mr. & Mrs. Leonard L. Mitchum Jr. ’51 Dr. & Mrs. J. Tracy O’Rourke Jr. ’56 Mr.* & Mrs.* Harry W. Parmer ’29 Mr. Albert M. Redd Jr. ’59 Mr. & Mrs. A. J. Ronyak Mr. & Mrs. Paul J. Spina Jr. ’63 Mrs. Susan Nolen Story ’81 Mr. John C. Totty Jr.* ’51 George ’54 & Dorothy ’54 Uthlaut Mr. J. Thomas Walter Jr. ’55 Mr. & Mrs. John H. Watson ’60 Dr. & Mrs. Earle C. Williams ’51 Walter S. ’69 & Virginia E. Woltosz

Wilmore Circle Scholar Level – $500,000+ Ms. Jennie D. Alley Mr. Thomas G. ’60 & Mrs. Janis Avant Mr. Paul C. & Mrs. Marilyn Box Dr. & Mrs. Daniel F. Breeden ’57 Mr. Daniel M. Bush ’72 Mr.* & Mrs. William E. Cannady ’42 Mr. & Mrs. James H. Carroll Jr. ’54 Mr. Philip R. Carroll ’82 Mr.* & Mrs. John B. Clopton Jr. ’47 Mr. & Mrs. Wayne J. Crews ’60

Dr. & Mrs. Julian Davidson ’50 Mr.* & Mrs.* James B. Davis ’27 Mr. George R. Dunlap Jr. ’49 Mr. Joe W. Forehand Jr. ’71 Mr. M. Miller Gorrie ’57 Mr. Cotton Hazelrig Mr.* & Mrs. John D. Jones ’47 Mr. Homer C. Lavender Jr. ’66 Mr. Francis T. Payne ’48 & Dr. Sarah H. Edwards Richard D. ’48 & Marjorie* Quina Mr. & Mrs. Edgar L. Reynolds ’70 Mr. James W. Ricks Jr.* ’61 Mr. C. Philip Saunders ’74 Mr. Wilbur C.* & Mrs. Margaret N.* Schaeffner ’46 Mr. Charles E. Sellers ’55 Mr. & Mrs. Danny G. Snow ’62 Mr. Jeffrey I. Stone ’79 Dr.* & Mrs. William F. Walker

Wilmore Circle Fellow Level – $250,000+ Mr. Clarence C. Adams Jr.* ’57 Dr.* & Mrs.* Cleburne A. Basore ’14 Mr. John P. Brandel* ’57 Ms. Hilda Girten Buck* Mr. George J. Burrus III* ’37 Mr. & Mrs.* Robert F. Bynum ’75 Mr. Timothy D. Cook ’82 Mrs. J. Fenimore Cooper Jr., formerly Mrs. John P. Brandel Dr. Ralph S. Cunningham ’62 Mr. William J. Cutts ’55 Mr. James J. Danaher Jr.* ’35 Mr.* & Mrs.* Edwin L. Davis ’50 Mr.* & Mrs.* Charles E. Doughtie Jr. ’18 Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Fowler ’47 Mr.* & Mrs. Herman Gauggel III ’37 Dr.* & Mrs.* James W. Goodwin ’27 Mr.* & Mrs. Rodney L. Grandy Jr. ’55 Mr. & Mrs. Will M. Gregory ’43 Ms. Brenda A. Hayes* Mrs. Melissa Brown Herkt ’77 Mr.* & Mrs.* Edward J. Hugensmith ’25 Mr.* & Mrs. William B. Hunt Jr.’40 Mr. William D. Johnston & Ms. Ronda Stryker Mr. & Mrs. Thomas H. Lowder ’72 Mr.* & Mrs.* James T. McMichael ’45 Mr. & Mrs. William R. McNair ’68 Mr. & Mrs. C. Phillip McWane ’80 Mr. & Mrs. John L. Rawls Jr. ’58 Mr. & Mrs. W. Allen Reed ’70 Mr. & Mrs. William B. Reed ’50 Mr. Thomas B. Sellers ’48 Mr. & Mrs. Thomas D. Senkbeil ’71 Mr. Wilbur T. Shinholser* ’17 Dr. & Mrs. R. E. Simpson ’58 Mr. & Mrs. Albert J. Smith Jr. ’47 Mr. James H. Stewart Jr. ’60 Mr. Jon Stryker

Ms. Pat Stryker Mr. William J. Ward ’55

Dunstan Circle Scholar Level – $100,000+ Mr. Sam B. Alison* ’48 Mr. James Thomas Alley* Mr. Gerald B. Andrews Sr. ’59 Mr. & Mrs. Diaco Aviki ’95 Mr. & Mrs. James O. Ballenger ’59 Dr. Kenneth J. Barr ’47 Mr. William M. Brackney ’58 Mr.* & Mrs. Rodney Bradford ’67 Mr. J. B. Braswell Mr. & Mrs. L. Owen Brown ’64 Mr. & Mrs. Henry McKenzie Burt Jr. ’58 Mr. & Mrs. Roger J. Campbell ’59 Dr. Tony J. ’84 & Mrs. Tracey H. ’83 Catanzaro Mr. Steven G. Cates ’85 Wiley M. ’62 & Jo Ann W. Cauthen Mr. J. Edward Chapman Jr. ’56 Mr. Shawn E. ’82 & Mrs. Anne M. ’82 Cleary Mr. Theron O. Collier Jr.* ’62 Dr. Jan N. Davis ’77 Col. Paul Stanton Denison* ’47 Mr. Joseph G. & Mrs. Amy Thomas ’78 Dobbs Mr. Garland H. Duncan III* ’69 Mr. Ronald M. Dykes ’69 Mr.* & Mrs. William C. Edwards ’19 Mr. Phillip A. ’81 & Mrs. Margaret Long ’81 Forsythe Mr. Maury D. Gaston ’82 Mr. & Mrs. Alfred F. Gentle Sr. ’50 Mr. H. Vince Groome III Ms. Louise K. Hall* Mr. William R. Hanlein ’47 Mr. & Mrs.* Robert H. Harris ’43 Mr. & Mrs. Roger R. Hemminghaus ’58 Mr. John S. Henley II ’63 Mr. Elmer C. ’49 & Mrs. Carolyn Hill Mr.* & Mrs.* Cary S. Hooks ’32 Mr. Duke C. Horner ’47 Mr. & Mrs. Clarence H. Hornsby Jr. ’50 Mr. N. Wayne Houston ’56 Dr. Andrew C. Hsu* Mr. & Mrs. James A. Humphrey ’70 Mr. & Mrs. Charles Mathias Jager ’56 Mr. & Mrs.* Bryan W. Johnson ’53 Mr.* & Mrs. Terry A. Kirkley ’57 Mr. David M. Kudlak ’86 Dr. Terry E. Lawler ’68 Dr. & Mrs.* Philip W. Lett ’44 Mr. Norman L. Liver Jr.* ’48 Mr. & Mrs. John A. MacFarlane ’72 Mr. & Mrs.* Charles Albert Machemehl Jr. Mr. & Mrs. James J. Mallett ’55 Mr. George Lowry Mallory* ’43 Mr.* & Mrs.* Hoyt A. McClendon ’49 Dr. & Mrs. Gerald G. McGlamery Jr. ’84 Mr. & Mrs. James D. McMillan ’61


Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Franklin Moon ’71 Mr. & Mrs. M. John Morgan ’71 Mr. Walter F. Morris ’57 Mr. David K. ’77 & Mrs. Olivia Kelley ’77 Owen Mr. Howard E. Palmes ’60 Mr. Donald J. Parke ’82 David & Jane Rankin Mr. Lee W. Richards ’88 Mr. & Mrs. Raymond T. Roser ’49 Mr. Robert H. Rountree ’49 Mr. James S. ’57 & Mrs. Margaret Roy Mr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Saiia ’69 Mr. John H.* ’43 & Mrs. Mary Wilson ’45 Sanders Mr. Edward T. Sauls* Dr. Richard T. Scott Jr. Mr. & Mrs. John M. Sikes ’60 Mr. James M. Sims* ’48 Mr. Howard Strong* Mr. & Mrs.* L. Ray Taunton ’56 Mr. Stephen F. Thornton ’63 Mrs. Mary Lou Tolar Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Tomasso Jr. ’49 Col. James S. ’72 & Dr. Suzan Curry ’71 Voss Mr. Harold P.’49 & Mrs. Wynelle* Ward Mr. & Mrs. William E. Warnock Jr. ’74 Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Wellbaum III ’93 Gary ’74 & Kathy West Lee ’59 & Nell Wetzel Mr. & Mrs. William H. Whitaker Jr. ’55 Mr.* & Mrs.* F. Erskine White ’34 Mr. George W. Whitmire Sr. ’47 Mr. & Mrs. G. Edmond Williamson II ’67

Dunstan Circle Fellow Level – $75,000+ Col. & Mrs.* James Boykin ’39 Mr. James L. Cooper Jr. ’81 Mr.* & Mrs. C. Ware Gaston Jr. ’50 Mr. & Mrs. Ralph B. Godfrey ’64 Dr. & Mrs. Elmer B. Harris ’62 Mr.* & Mrs. Alan P. Hudgins’74 Mr. & Mrs. Joseph S. Johnson Jr. ’75 Mr. C. C. “Jack” Lee ’47 Mr. Nimrod W E Long ’43 Mr. & Mrs. Donald R. Luger ’62 Mr. George L. McGlamery ’86 Mr. John F. Meagher Jr. ’49 Mr. Charles D. Miller ’80 Mr. James B. Odom ’55 Mr.* & Mrs. James M. Smith ’43 Mr. Robert J. Sweeney Jr.* ’48 Mr.* & Mrs. Edwin P. Vaiden Jr. ’51 Ramsay Circle Scholar Level – $50,000+ Mr. Joseph E. Atchison Mr. & Mrs. Joseph F. Barth III ’71 Mr. Jack W. Boykin ’61 Dr. Brice H. Brackin ’69 Mr. Dan H. Broughton ’63 Mr. Harris D. Bynum ’58 Mr. & Mrs. James M. Chandler III ’84 Mr.* & Mrs. William W. Clark ’42 Mr.* & Mrs. James H. Corbitt ’58 Dr. Daniel W. Duncan ’37 Mr.* & Mrs. J Burl Galloway ’48 Mr. Charles Early Gavin IV ’82 Mr. & Mrs. Robert O. Haack Jr. ’83 Mr. & Mrs. W. George Hairston III ’67 Mr. & Mrs. James H. Ham III ’66 Mr. & Mrs. Frank A. Hamner ’88

Mr. John P. Helmick Jr. ’56 Mr. John K.* & Mrs. Dorothy* Hodnette Mr.* & Mrs. Charles B. Hopkins Jr. ’43 Mr. C. Fletcher Horn ’40 Mr. & Mrs. Bruce E. Imsand ’74 Mr. & Mrs. Richard I. Kearley Jr. ’49 Mr. T. Keith King Sr. ’58 Mr. Minga C. LaGrone Jr. ’51 Mr. William F. Land ’49 Mr. & Mrs. Edwin L. Lewis ’72 Mr. Ronald C. Lipham ’74 Mr. Fred W. Mace ’57 Mr. Steven John Marcereau ’65 Dr. William Gaston Martin* 1907 Mr. & Mrs. Jesse D. May ’85 Mr. & Mrs. Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller ’83 Mr. & Mrs. William B. Millis ’60 Mr.* & Mrs. Leonard A. Morgan ’53 Mr. David R. Motes ’77 Mr. Daniel J. Jr. ’64 & Mrs. Nancy Moses ’64 Paul Mr. & Mrs. Chris J. Peterson ’71 Dr. & Dr. Michael S. Pindzola Mr. Thomas L. ’69 & Mrs. Barbara Ray Mr. E. Todd Sharley Jr. ’65 Mr. Grady L. Smith ’42 Mr. Ladell M. Smith* ’39 Mr. Mark D. Vanstrum ’79 Mr. J. Ernest Warren ’65 Mr. R. Conner Warren ’67 Mr. & Mrs. D. Dale York ’76

Ramsay Circle Fellow Level – $25,000+ Gen. Jimmie V. Adams ’57 Mr. Robert B. Allan ’42 Mr. John P. ’76 & Mrs. Cynthia M. ’76 Anderson Larry ’66 & Mary Benefield Dr. J. Temple Black Mr. Edward T. Blackmon ’93 Dr. Dwight S. Bond ’56 Mr. & Mrs. Russell F. Boren ’54 Dr. David B. Bradley ’65 Mr. & Mrs. John R. Bray ’57 Mr. & Mrs. Felix C. Brendle Jr. ’73 Mr. & Mrs. Thomas D. Burson ’58 Mr. Otis William Bynum* ’30 Mr.* & Mrs. Marshal S. Caley ’33 Mr. Russell Lee Carbine ’83 Mr. & Mrs. Donald Edward Carmon ’88 Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin F. Carr Jr. ’60 Mr. & Mrs. J. Mark Chambers Jr. ’72 Mr. N. Pat ’70 & Mrs. Veronica Smith ’70 Chesnut Mr. Jing-Yau Chung Ms. Trudy Craft-Austin Dr. Malcolm J. Crocker Brig. Gen. & Mrs. Robert L. Davis ’74 Mr.* & Mrs.* Wallace Lamar Dawkins ’48 Mr. Donald E. Dennis ’54 Mr. Stanley G. DeShazo ’57 Mr. J Andrew Douglas* ’17 Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Lee Drake Jr. ’77 Mr. & Mrs. Lewis H. Eberdt Jr. ’54 Mr. & Mrs. Joe D. Edge ’70 Mr. Yndalecio J. Elizondo ’47 Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Etheridge Mr. Edwin W. Evans ’60 Mr. Jim W. Evans ’67 Mr. & Mrs. Paul R. Flowers Jr. ’66 Capt. Gordon L. Flynn ’57 Mr. Richard L. ’49 & Mrs. Jeanne E. Franklin

CAPT. & Mrs. Davis R. Gamble Jr. ’74 Mr. John W. Gibbs ’72 Mr. Vernon W. Gibson Jr. ’57 Gary ’86 & Carol Elsen ’86 Godfrey Mr. William H. Goodyear* ’71 Mr. & Mrs. Jefferson L. Grant Jr. ’69 Mr. & Mrs. Stanley L. Graves ’67 Mr. Walter W. Griffin ’47 Mr. & Mrs. Glenn H. Guthrie ’62 Dr.* & Mrs.* David R. Hart ’51 Mr. & Mrs. Lamar T. Hawkins ’63 Ms. Karen Hayes ’81 Mr. & Mrs. Dennis S. Hill ’79 Mr. E. Erskine Hopkins ’46 Mr. James Hunnicutt ’50 Carver ’52 & Martha Kennedy Mr. Ted Landers ’71 Mr. William B. Lee ’81 Mr. Lum M. Loo ’78 Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth R. Luttrell Mr. & Mrs. Harry A. Manson ’58 Mr. Charles D. McCrary ’73 Mr. Milton E. McGregor ’64 Mr. Stephen R. Miller ’72 Mr. Seth H. Mitchell Jr.* ’48 Mr. & Mrs. Max A. Mobley ’72 Mr. Charles N. Moody ’63 Brooks ’48 & Marian* Moore Mr. Larry J. Morgan ’68 Mr. Kevin ’99 & Mrs. Apryl T. ’97 Mullins Dr. Robert Mark Nelms ’80 Mr. & Mrs. William K. Newman ’69 Mr. & Mrs. Earl B. Parsons Jr. ’60 Mr. J. Norman Pease II ’55 Mr. James L. Peeler ’58 Mr. & Mrs. T. Wesley Phinney Jr. ’66 Mr. Ben M. Radcliff* ’46 Mr. Henry Frederick Rainey ’42 Mr. & Mrs. William L. Rainey ’66 Marsha Hutchinson Reardon ’73 Mr. Mack Allen Riley ’50 Mr. Ray Albert Robinson ’55 Mr. Walter H. Rudder* ’28 Mr. Yetta G. Samford Jr. ’45 Mr. Thomas Saunders Sr. ’62 Mr. & Mrs. David Scarborough ’65 Mr. David C. Sjolund ’67 Mr. & Mrs. Douglas W. Smith Mr. Randy L. Smith ’76 Mr. William J. Smith ’67 Mr. Larry E. Speaks* ’62 Mr.* & Mrs. William V. Swan ’35 Mr. John A. Taylor ’53 Dr. Mrinal Thakur Mr.* & Mrs.* Jerry J. Thomley ’59 Dr. Larry Tuggle Sr. ’57 Mr. & Mrs. William J. Turner Jr. ’57 Mr. & Mrs. John W. Turrentine ’69 Mr. Wayman E. Vanderford ’44 Mr. & Mrs. Gary W. Vaughan ’01 Mr. W. Karl Vollberg ’73 Mr. Leonard H. White Jr. ’43 Mr. & Mrs. Edward F. Williams III ’56 Mr. Richard D. Williams III ’51 Mr. Trent E. Williams ’03 Mr. & Mrs. Edward F. Williams III ’56 Mr. Richard D. Williams III ’51 Mr. Trent E. Williams ’03 * deceased


W I N T E R

2 0 1 0

From the Editor

On gifts and giving

Betsy Robertson

BETSY ROBERTSON

Suzanne Johnson

EDITOR

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Editor, Auburn Magazine

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

I’ll never forget Christmas 1977, when Santa Claus brought me my very first stereo: a stateof-the-art, all-in-one Soundesign receiver complete with eight-track tape player and a turntable protected from dust and my baby sister by a stylish faux smoked-glass lid. At last I could play the “Grease” soundtrack, along with my eclectic collection of Peter Frampton, Kiss, Barry Manilow, Linda Ronstadt and Bee Gees records, in the privacy of my own bedroom. I was 10 years old and dazzled by the prospect of dancing to disco music until dawn, beginning just after “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island” on Friday nights. More than any toy or game or other gift, that sophisticated piece of equipment marked my entry into the adolescent world of the “haves,” and even though I now listen to music through a device the size of a bookmark, I still miss those old vinyl albums with their skips and starts and promises of a dream world beyond elementary school. For those of us grown-up children who once fancied ourselves future pop stars, the story of Auburn University alumnus Elmo Shropshire (Page 40) holds particular appeal. Trained as a veterinarian, Shropshire worked the racetracks at Saratoga for awhile after graduating, then moved across the country, started an animal hospital and began moonlighting as a bluegrass singer and banjo picker just for

the fun of it. On a lark, he recorded a silly little song that turned into a runaway hit, and now Shropshire’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is as integral to holiday radio playlists as turkey-and-dressing are to Thanksgiving dinner. As temperatures in the South dip from the 90s into the 30s, seasonal excitement continues to build among the Auburn family at a pace that hasn’t been matched since the Tigers’ perfect season in 2004. Fittingly, this year marks the silver anniversary of superstar athlete Bo Jackson’s Heisman trophy win (see cover story, Page 28), and it appears the mantle may soon be passed to Auburn’s newest hopeful, quarterback Cam Newton, whose efforts on the gridiron have brought joy to Auburn fans around the globe. Will Santa reward our loyalty this year with a Southeastern Conference championship and a top berth in the Bowl Championship Series? Now that would be a nice holiday present. Speaking of gifts, Auburn Magazine has one for you: a cornucopia of stories, cool photos and other online content at AuburnMagazine.auburn.edu. It’s where we’ve begun posting “extras” that don’t appear in the print issue, including behind-the-scenes videos and other features. Happy holidays!

AUBURN MAGAZINE (ISSN 1077– 8640) is published quarterly; 4X per year; spring, summer, fall, winter, for dues-paying 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. Phone (334) 844–1164. Fax (334) 844–1477. E–mail: aubmag@auburn.edu. Contents ©2010 by the Auburn Alumni Association, all rights reserved.

LETTERS Auburn Magazine welcomes readers’ comments, but reserves the right to edit letters or to refuse publication of letters judged libelous or distasteful. Space availability may prevent publication of all letters in the magazine, in which case, letters not printed will be available on the alumni association Web site at the address listed below. No writer is eligible for publication more often than once every two issues. No anonymous letters will be accepted. Auburn Magazine is available in alternative formats for persons with disabilities. For information, call (334) 844–1164. Auburn Magazine is a benefit of membership in the Auburn Alumni Association and is not available by individual subscription. To request a membership application, call the association at (334) 844–2586.

ADVERTISING INFORMATION Contact Betsy Robertson at (334) 844–1164. POSTMASTER Send address changes to 317 South College St., Auburn, AL 36849–5149.

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

Shannon Bryant-Hankes ’84 ART DIRECTOR

Stacy Wood WEBMASTER

Jeff Hall UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER

Jeff Etheridge EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS

Sarah Hansen ’11 Rebecca Lakin ’11 DESIGN ASSISTANT

Cassie Caraway ’11

PRESIDENT, AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Jay Gogue ’69 VICE PRESIDENT FOR ALUMNI AFFAIRS AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Deborah L. Shaw ’84 PRESIDENT, AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Nancy Young Fortner ’71

AUBURN MAGAZINE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR

Neal Reynolds ’77 AUBURN MAGAZINE ADVISORY BOARD

betsyrobertson@auburn.edu

Maria Baugh ’87, John Carvalho ’78, Susan Dendy ’79, Ed Dickinson ’70, Christian Flathman ’97, Tom Ford ’67, Kay Fuston ’84, Julie Keith ’90, Mary Lou Foy ’66, Eric Ludgood ’78, Cindy McDaniel ’80, Carol Pappas ’77,

Joyce Reynolds Ringer ’59, Allen Vaughan ’75


a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

5


Compton Homes

“Affordable Design & Construction of Distinctive Homes” RETIRE IN AUBURN ! Richard Compton is your Auburn retirement specialist.

334. 444. 8353 www.comptonhomes.com

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

As an architect, custom builder, and realtor, with more than twenty-five years experience, Mr. Compton is available to make your transition to Auburn worry-free. Whether it’s finding just the right piece of property, building new, or modifying an existing home, Compton Homes is your source for creating the perfect setting for your retirement lifestyle. Prices are very attractive, so this is a great time to make Auburn your home. Visit our website or give us a call anytime. We look forward to bringing new friends to the Loveliest Village on the Plains!


On the cover For the magazine’s first solely typographical cover, we chose a name you know. The Sabon typeface was invented by a German typographer in the mid-1960s.

Winter 2010 F R O N T 4 From the Editor

Join us online for everything we couldn’t pack into this issue. 8 The First Word AU swimmers make Team USA

Readers sound off about colors and Catholicism. Plus: More Drake memories.

24 Tiger Walk

Athletics director Jay Jacobs talks about what it takes to make Auburn’s sports teams the best they can be. Also: How to stop worshiping Southeastern Conference football.

10 College Street

In campus news: Draughon Library celebrates its 50th birthday, fittingly, with a brand new book. Also: pink buildings and plasma physics.

B A C K 51 Alumni Center

Your Auburn Alumni Association welcomes a new president and six board members. And be sure to check out our Cub Corner for kids. During Bo Jackson’s heyday at Auburn in the early 1980s, kids and adults alike sought autographs from the Tigers’ celebrated running back.

53 Class Notes

F E A T U R E S

54 Lifetime Achievement

Fall formal: tailgating in style

16 Research

One little piggy, two little piggies, three little piggies, none!

28

Auburn honors four graduates whose careers occasionally defied logic—as well as the law of gravity.

Bo Now

Twenty-five years after Bo Jackson’s Heisman win, a fan looks back on the fabled athlete’s career. Does he have a successor in Tigers quarterback Cam Newton? by jeremy henderson ’04

34

61 In Memoriam

Eat, Prey, Love

Alumni and faculty experts offer advice on packing light, staying married and more. by suzanne johnson Feral hogs threaten farms

18 Roundup

What’s happening in your college? Check it out. 20 Concourse

Auburn ups its number of national scholars. Plus: a soldier’s mission to help a new recruit.

40

A heartfelt farewell to retired student dean James E. Foy.

The Half-Life of a Holiday Hit

Elmo Shropshire ’64 might be the most famous household name you’ve never heard of. by candice dyer illustration by laura coyle ’91

46

The One-Legged Warrior

Missed: Dean James E. Foy

Dan Luckett ’06 explains why he remained determined to serve his country in the U.S. military—even after losing a limb in Iraq. by todd pitman

64 The Last Word

Wayne Mergler ’67 admits he’s one of those “Vegas types.”

a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

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L E T T E R S

T O

T H E

E D I T O R

The First Word THE TOPIC Auburn alumni aren’t afraid to offer their opinions, and that’s especially true when a story hits home. This quarter’s letters ran the gamut, from kudos to brickbats—and more readers sent in memories of Drake Infirmary, demolished in 2005. Auburn Magazine wants to hear from you on any topic related to your alma mater. Send e-mail to aubmag@auburn.edu, or write us at Auburn Magazine, 317 South College St., Auburn, AL 36849-5149. Color me happy

Congratulations on a fantastic article (“Made in the Shade”) in the Fall 2010 issue of Auburn Magazine. I can’t wait to show it to my wife, who is a University of Georgia grad and constantly gives me hell about our color orange! I never have liked orange and always preferred navy. I always tell her it was Tommy Tuberville’s fault. Now I have proof. —Johnny Beehner ’98, Jacksonville, Fla. Speaking the same language

I just received my Fall 2010 Auburn Magazine and read with interest the articles from Auburn University president Jay Gogue and writer Grace Henderson. My daughter, Caroline Gierke, just returned from France after studying for five months and interning for three months. Her French professor, Samia Spencer, provides her students with the critical-thinking and writing skills necessary to be successful in a foreign country. Caroline is completely fluent and hopes to be employed with a global corporation. Thank you for encouraging more students to study abroad. —Suzanne Vogler Gierke ’78, Glen Gardner, N.J. Middle man

Great article in the Tiger Walk section of the fall issue featuring the story of Paul Conner ’57 and Pat Dye Field. The man in the middle of the photo on Page 24 is my late father, Jimmy Jumper, the supervisor of all the athletic fields under Dye. He was an Auburn man through and through, and a great fan of Conner and Dye. —Jim Jumper ’70, Jackson, Miss. Church ties

I read “The Last Word” in the Fall 2010 issue a second time today, looking for what I thought I had missed. I was certain I had somehow overlooked mention of Richard Penaskovic’s remarkable contributions to his students or to the Auburn family, or mention of some noteworthy third-party recognition of his scholarly work, but there was none. Rather, the column was simply a promo for a new book by two former Catholic priests, one of

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

whom is an Auburn University faculty member, who married two former nuns three decades ago. I am a cradle Catholic and first-generation American who by the grace of God arrived at Auburn as a freshman in fall 1976. At Auburn my appreciation of and love for America and the Catholic Church were both deepened. I have since recommended Auburn to many promising young people and their parents, including those attending elite Catholic prep schools. Needless to say, I will not be sharing the most recent issue. I hold no ill will toward Dr. Penaskovic, and I am happy he feels able to act as a force for good in the world. I hope he does so and also hope your readers know that, unlike our Dr. Penaskovic, many thousands of men do so proudly wearing a Roman collar in the state of Alabama, throughout the United States and around the world.  —Rafael “Ralph” Egües Jr. ’81, Miami, Fla. Nice job

The Fall 2010 issue of Auburn Magazine was an excellent edition. I shared my copy with my husband (a Stetson University/Florida State University/University of Georgia law grad) and my father (University of Florida grad), not just to show off how fabulous this magazine is but also to share the content. It is great to be an Auburn Tiger! —Karen Sue Smith ’98, Rome, Ga. Baby boomer

My father, Thurman Jones, attended Auburn on the GI Bill. My mother, Edna, was taken to Drake Infirmary early on the morning of Oct. 23, 1946, and I was born at 9:22 a.m. When my wife, the former Frances Lee Poulsen ’67, saw that the infirmary was being demolished, she talked to one of the men in charge and asked for a brick. He gave it to her, and she had a trophy shop make a plaque for it. Now I proudly display the brick announcing that I was born in Drake. —Sidney R. Jones ’69, Gainesville, Fla. Life lesson

It was the 1957-58 academic year, and I was serving as managing editor/news for The Auburn Plainsman. There had been a horrible accident late one Saturday night in which three students were seriously injured on the highway south of campus. I went to Drake Infirmary to get details for a story. When I arrived, James Foy, Auburn’s dean of students, was already there. Shortly afterward we learned we had lost one of our students; it was Dean Foy’s very weighty responsibility to notify her parents. I was in the same hallway where he used a phone to call them. Knowing what awful news he had to present to these folks, tears were streaming

down his face, as well as mine, as he talked. I gained new respect for this gentleman, as I knew without a doubt he had had to perform this sad and difficult duty several times in the past and would no doubt have to do so again. It taught me one of the most valuable lessons I learned at Auburn—to expect heavy responsibilities in the “real world.” —Tom Baxter ’58, Haymarket, Va. Editor’s note: Retired student dean James E. Foy died Oct. 8. See obituary, Page 61. Auburn interrupted

I too was born in Auburn’s infirmary, but my story begins years earlier. My father grew up in Pennsylvania in a town so small that there was only a one-room schoolhouse. He always had a desire to learn, so when he graduated he moved to a town large enough so he could work during the day and go to college at night. When World War II broke out, he joined the Army. Having some college experience, the Army decided he should continue his education and shipped him to Auburn. He joined hundreds of other soldiers, attending classes and practicing drills. He met my mother as she was coming out of the Methodist church. Before he could graduate, he was sent to Europe, where he was wounded, captured and finally liberated. He was shipped back to a hospital in Pennsylvania, and, while there, wrote my mother and invited her up. She had graduated from Auburn and was working in Birmingham, but when she got his letter, she boarded a train and went to see him. My father got a day pass out of the hospital. They found a preacher and got married. When my father was released from the hospital and the Army, my parents returned to Auburn so my father could finish his studies. He graduated in 1947 and moved to Ames, Iowa, for graduate work. When he completed his studies in 1949, my parents returned to Auburn, and my father started his career in the School of Agriculture. I was born several months later in the infirmary, in the end room under the big pine tree. —Jean Renoll Cockrell ’72, Fairfax, Va. Correction

A letter to the editor in our Fall 2010 issue inadvertently misidentified correspondent William Lee Dennis Sr. ’54 of Decatur. NEXT TOPIC The Ralph Brown Draughon Library turns 50 this year. Do you have special memories of Auburn’s main library? Send us your story: E-mail aubmag@auburn.edu or write: Library Memories, Auburn Magazine, 317 South College St., Auburn, AL 36849-5149. We’ll run the letters in our next issue.


GIVE THE GIFT OF TRADITION Auburn University’s Photographic Services provides classic prints perfect for holiday gifts. Give a piece of Auburn tradition to your friends and family this holiday season. Available images include campus buildings, coaches and past players, Toomer’s Corner, Samford Hall, Aubie, historic Auburn traditions, and much more. Images can be ordered on photographic paper, canvas, greeting cards, etc. and will ship within two to three weeks from order date. Auburn coffee table books are also available.

Purchase images at www.auburn.edu/photo or call 334-844-4560.

a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

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C A M P U S

N E W S

COLLEGE STREET Q and A WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THREAT FACING GULF COAST BUSINESSES NOW THAT THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL HAS BEEN CONTAINED?

The Gulf brand has to be rehabilitated, because anything that has “Gulf” in it has a challenge. We’ve got to talk to the people about why they should feel comfortable eating seafood from the Gulf. It’s something that’s going to bring people back together.

Christopher Nelson

Vice president, Bon Secour Fisheries Inc., during Auburn University’s “Road to Restoration” conference in October

Birthing better mollusks If caps and luck hold, the onslaught of oil surging from the Deepwater Horizon into the Gulf of Mexico will remain under control—but uncertainty remains about the BP spill’s long-term effects. As residents of the Gulf Coast wait for news and answers, Auburn’s College of Agriculture faculty and staff are working on possible plans, one of which may help Alabama’s oyster industry recover from the mess. Bill Walton, assistant professor of fisheries and allied aquacultures, argues that now’s the time to potentially reconsider oystering as it’s been done for decades here. “No one had a plan for an oil spill, but developing a plan for a post-spill future is vital,” says Walton, who is stationed at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory on Dauphin Island. Walton studies intensive oyster farming, which involves growing oysters in bags suspended or anchored in the Gulf. The method is common among New England
oyster growers but less so in Alabama, where oystermen generally stock wild-caught oysters. Walton’s goal is to help the state’s oystermen produce premium oysters for the half-shell market— which can be sold at a higher price than

10

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

wild-caught oysters—in order to supplement their incomes. “We are looking for a consistently beautiful oyster that will bring a higher price than oysters intended for the shucked market,” says Walton. “My thinking before the oil spill was that aquaculture may offer an opportunity in the Gulf that some people may want to take advantage of.” He’s been fielding lots of questions about how the oil, dispersants and even booms will affect wild oyster populations, and right now there are no clear answers. In the meantime, Walton and other Auburn faculty are helping document the day-to-day impact of the spill and thinking ahead to the future. Walton operates three research sites off the Alabama coast in Mobile and Baldwin counties where he’s testing various bagging and growing systems. Because none of the oysters produced at the sites can be sold or consumed due to the spill, he’s using them to gauge the polluted water’s effects.
 “We have a miniature canary in the coal mine project to see what is happening to them,” he says of the sites.
“We need to document impacts but also need to think about what our options are.”—Katie Jackson

Money talk A midnight-hour, proration-

due to the national

fueled cut of 2 percent in

economic recession.

state allocations from last

year’s university budget

approved a $937 million

complicated the picture

university budget for the

for Auburn trustees during

upcoming fiscal year,

their review of a proposed

broken down as follows:

2010-11 budget that went

$744 million for Auburn’s

into effect Oct. 1. Last

main campus, $55 million

year’s budget had been

for Auburn University

slashed 7.5 percent earlier

Montgomery, $77 mil-

in the year as well.

lion for the Alabama

Agricultural Experiment

Auburn executive vice

The board of trustees

president Don Large ’75

Station and $61 million for

said the university had,

the Alabama Cooperative

from the beginning of

Extension System.

the last budget cycle,

recognized the possibility

increases were put on hold

of an additional cut and

for a third consecutive

had held funds in reserve

year, the board did agree

just in case. The university

to offer faculty and staff

has sustained $94 million

one-time merit bonuses of

in reductions to state

up to 6 percent, to be paid

appropriations since 2008

out in December.

While employee salary


C A M P U S

N E W S

Flashback 100 years ago 75 years ago

50 years ago

25 years ago

10 years ago

Winter 1910

Winter 1935

Winter 1960

Winter 1985

Winter 2000

The 1910 Glomerata was dedicated to Alabama Polytechnic Institute math professor and institutional fixture Bolling Hall Crenshaw, who graduated from Auburn in 1890. According to the Glom, Crenshaw was a “chivalrous Southern gentleman … whose loyal and untiring devotion to the interests of all connected with this institution has won him universal love, honor and esteem.”

Luther N. Duncan, API president from 1935 to 1947, reported that his inaugural year marked “the most difficult period” in school history. The university suffered a decline in state appropriations due to the Great Depression: Faculty lost $300,000 in salaries; the administration had “practically no funds available for necessary teaching equipment”; and funding-perstudent dropped from $208 to $56.

Auburn’s electrical and mechanical engineering departments gained reaccreditation from the Engineering Council for Professional Development, which also accredited the aeronautical engineering department for the first time. Auburn officials and alumni helped by ramping up donations, increasing teaching staff and establishing an engineering experiment station for research in the field.

In a game known simply as “The Kick,” the University of Alabama spoiled the Iron Bowl for Auburn with a 52-yard field goal in the last 37 seconds to win the game 25-23. On the upside, the Tigers’ Bo Jackson won the Heisman just days later— and Auburn came back to win its next four consecutive matchups against Alabama.

The University Program Council hosted “Tigermania” on campus during homecoming week, featuring comedian Jeff Dunham, a cookout, an outdoor showing of the Quentin Tarantino film “Pulp Fiction” and a performance by altrockers Sister Hazel at Bibb-Graves Amphitheater. The crowd count totaled 6,500.

Above: Auburn students gather for a downtown parade and vow to “Flush the Wave”—which explains the outhouse—prior to the Tigers’ 1950 home game against Tulane University. Tulane’s Green Wave left the Southeastern Conference in 1966. That’s Biggin Hall under construction in the background; it opened in 1951.

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S T R E E T

They’ll cut a witch What began as a European tradition continues on Auburn’s campus every year in October when more than 400 jack-o-lanterns light up the Dudley Hall courtyard. The university chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students has been holding its annual Pumpkin Carve for more than two decades; students sculpt scenes ranging from classic witches and bats to intricate portraits of politicians.

Faculty Stars Excellence Awards;

sity honors outstanding

• Chris Correia, associate

faculty in a ceremony that

professor of psychology,

recognizes research and

John Drew Hamilton,

teaching achievements

professor of computer

across all disciplines. This

science and software

year’s winners include:

engineering, Jay M.

• Malcolm Crocker,

Khodadadi, professor of

Distinguished University

mechanical engineering,

Professor of mechanical

Tin-Man Lau, professor

engineering, Distinguished

of industrial design, and

Graduate Faculty Lecturer;

Kenneth W. Noe, Draughon professor of history, Alumni Professors;

Carla Jackson Bell,

director of multicultural affairs for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Minority Achievement Award;

• Donna Bohanan, Joseph Foshee

A. Kicklighter Endowed Professor of history, and Elizabeth Guertal, Alumni Professor of agronomy and soils, the Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching;

• Paula Backscheider, Philpott/West Point Ste-

McCormick

vens Eminent Scholar in English, and Geoffrey Hill, professor of biological sciences, Creative Research and Scholarship Award;

• David Hinson ’82, associate professor of architecture and head of the School of Architecture,

Wentworth

Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach;

• Wheeler Foshee ’84,

• Joshua Inwood, assistant

associate professor of

professor of geology and

horticulture, Theresa

geography, and Donald

McCormick, associate

R. Wehrs, professor of

professor of curricu-

English, Distinguished

lum and teaching, and

Diversity Researchers;

Stuart Wentworth ’82,

• and Levent Yilmaz, as-

associate professor of

sociate professor of com-

electrical and computer

puter science, External

engineering, Alumni

Consulting Award.

Undergraduate Teaching

12

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

Moths and milestones Nineteenth-century English naturalist Philip Henry Gosse published 40 books and 270 articles on science and religion during his long career studying plants, animals and insects, and still found time to invent the first saltwater aquarium. What he didn’t do was publish his sketchbook of watercolor paintings depicting southern Alabama’s insects and wildflowers, which he compiled during the late 1830s while working as a tutor for the children of a plantation owner near present-day Pleasant Hill north of Troy. For more than 170 years, Gosse’s Entomologia Alabamensis gathered dust in a British museum—until a team of librarians, museum curators, professors and editors decided it was time Gosse’s paintings and sketches saw daylight. The result, Philip Henry Gosse: Science and Art in Letters from Alabama and Entomologia Alabamensis (Auburn University/University of Alabama Press, 2010) was published this fall. The book not only brings Gosse’s portraiture of the state’s flora and fauna into the public realm but commemorates the 50th birthday of Auburn’s main campus book repository, the Ralph Brown Draughon Library. “We are quite proud to have been a part of making Gosse’s book available for study by today’s readers,” said Auburn Libraries dean Bonnie MacEwan. “The acquisition of this book—the three-millionth volume of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library—makes it very special to us.” Gosse learned to paint from his father, who specialized in detailed miniatures.

During his eight months in Dallas County, Gosse extensively studied the region’s wildlife, took copious notes and painted watercolors of insects and plants. After returning to England, Gosse published his notes as a series of articles in a scientific journal and separately as Letters From Alabama in 1859. The accompanying sketchbook of watercolors, however, remained largely unnoticed. After Gosse’s death in 1888, his family loaned the sketchbook to the British Library in London. It remained there until retired Auburn entomology professor Gary Mullen persuaded library officials to allow a series of transparencies of the book’s pages to be created and subsequently housed at Auburn. When attempts to buy the actual sketchbook from the Gosse family were declined, MacEwan and colleague Marilyn Laufer, director of Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, began putting together a museum exhibit of reproductions made from Mullen’s color transparencies. They also pursued the idea of publishing a book that would bring the images to the people of Alabama. Prompted by Auburn’s attempt to purchase the original sketchbook, the Gosse family decided instead to give the collection of paintings to the British Library. In turn, the British Library permitted Auburn officials to publish its compilation of the paintings using the previously made transparencies. The book also features an essay by Mullen and retired Auburn art historian Taylor D. Littleton.

British Library

Each fall, Auburn Univer-


C O L L E G E

Campus pioneer Twenty-five years ago, Mobile County educator Bessie Mae Holloway ’83 became Auburn University’s first black trustee. Appointed by then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace to fill an unexpired term in 1985, Holloway was reappointed to a full 12-year term in 1987. She earned a doctoral degree in education from Auburn.

Ever to conquer JAY GOGUE ’69

President, Auburn University The recent release of the 2010-11 college rankings by U.S. News & World Report brings up an interesting point: For the more than 4,000 freshmen beginning their college careers on the Plains this fall, Auburn University has always been one of America’s top 50 public universities. Auburn has earned that honor for 18 consecutive years based on indicators that prospective college students value, such as reputation and quality of faculty. A critical component of recruiting quality students and maintaining an exceptional student body is the availability of scholarships, which is why we’ve begun the Auburn Scholarship Campaign. For universities around the nation, recruiting top students is becoming just as competitive as recruiting top student-athletes these days. The scholarship campaign is dedicated to generating the necessary funding to support current students and compete for top future scholars. The campaign comprises Spirit of Auburn scholarships for in-state students and academic scholarships for out-of-state students; both are making profound differences in the lives of recipients. David Harris of Hoover is one example. David is a Spirit of Auburn Presidential Scholar majoring in chemical engineering. He says his scholarships helped him take

advantage of Auburn’s many resources, including providing him with the funds for a summer program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Endowed funds are paired with current scholarships and given in the donor’s name. This is one very personal way our donors can have a lasting impact on the quality of education provided at Auburn. You can learn more about this initiative at www.auburn.edu/scholarshipcampaign. Another reason future students will choose Auburn is the quality of our faculty members, who play a vital role in the future of this university. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment provide a foundation for all learning central to Auburn students’ success. In August, Auburn selected 50 of our faculty to be named endowed professors as part of a strategic initiative to recognize exceptional merit among the existing faculty. Endowed professorships acknowledge the important roles our professors play in helping Auburn retain faculty of the highest caliber. During a targeted oneyear campaign, the goal to fund 81 professorships was exceeded by more than 17 percent, with a total of 95 professorships being funded. Above all, an Auburn education remains an exceptional value: strong quality with tuition that remains below regional and national averages. When it comes to maintaining that value, competing for quality students and enhancing our academic standing, I believe we should all adopt the philosophy found in the university’s famed fight song: “ever to conquer, never to yield.”

jgogue@auburn.edu

S T R E E T

Growing up Fall is numbers time at Auburn University, and the news this year is good: more students, better first-year test scores and higher quality rankings. For the 18th year in a row, Auburn ranked among the top 50 public universities in the nation, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. The university moved up a spot from last year to rank 38th among public universities nationwide. Among both public and private institutions, Auburn ranked 85th nationally, up from 88 last year. Other U.S. News rankings: • Auburn ranked 19th nationally among

land-grant institutions.

• Auburn’s undergraduate program in the College of Business ranked 24th among public schools and 42nd nationally among all universities, up from 57th last year. • The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s undergraduate program ranked 56th nationally, up from 64th in 2009, and 32nd among public universities that offer engineering Ph.D. programs.

“The U.S. News ratings are based on indicators that some prospective college students may value, such as general reputation or selectivity,” says Drew Clark, director of Auburn’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. “But Auburn also uses assessments that provide direct information on equally important indicators of quality—such as how much students are actually learning and what kind of college experience they have.” Auburn also recorded its highest fallsemester enrollment in history, boasting a record number of National Merit Scholars and the highest-ever average ACT scores among its freshman class. Fall enrollment totaled 25,078, up 4 percent from 24,602 last fall; the number of first-year students (freshmen and transfers from other colleges) stood at 4,204, up 7 percent from last year. The freshman class boasted an average ACT score of 26.9, up from last year’s record of 26.2.

a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

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Meet the Prof Edward Thomas ’96 Professor of physics, College of Sciences and Mathematics BACKSTORY In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate physics classes, Thomas explores the world of plasma physics—particularly “dusty” or “complex” plasma—as coordinator of Auburn’s plasma sciences lab. He’s also a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, the University Fusion Association’s Executive Committee and several international research teams. DUST BUSTERS “My main research is in the area

BLUSH, not bashful: Pink floodlights illuminated Cater Hall in October in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More than 207,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women

of laboratory plasma physics, which means that we do lab simulations of space environments and things with fusion,” Thomas says. “More or less at random, we came across this crazy idea of floating little microparticles in plasmas. We tried a test experiment on the floating particles about 15 years ago, and it worked. For almost 15 years now, we’ve been working in the ‘dusty plasma’ field. It’s a lot of fun.” Thomas’ team developed a diagnostic technique called particle image velocimetry, which is a way of measuring velocity and other properties of fluids.

this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sponsors the awareness project each year.

Education with seoul

14

As more Korean compa-

Auburn faculty on a trip

culture because they get

nies establish locations

to Korea to learn about

frustrated when they feel

Ewha Womans University

along the I-85 corridor,

the country’s culture and

unsure how to effectively

in Seoul is scheduled

Auburn’s College of Edu-

educational system.

meet the educational

for June 26-July 12. The

cation is taking steps to

needs of Korean stu-

project is supported in

help the children of new

born and Korean-Amer-

dents,” he says. “Once

part by AJIN USA, a

residents feel at home

ican students are now

the teachers get a better

metal stamping

in local classrooms.

enrolled in Auburn and

knowledge of the Korean

company that

The college’s Global

Opelika city schools, ac-

school system, culture

supplies

Initiative on Education

cording to Suhyun Suh,

and lifestyles, they can

parts for

project will enable local

associate professor of

teach that content not

Kia and

teachers to learn how

special education, reha-

only to Korean students,

Hyun-

to better serve their

bilitation and counsel-

but all students. They

dai.

Korean-born students.

ing/school psychology at

can better understand

Beginning in June, more

Auburn.

why Korean students

than a dozen Auburn,

behave in certain ways

Opelika and Loachapoka

need for teachers to

and better serve their

educators will join

know more about Korean

needs.”

About 300 Korean-

“We identified the

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

The 17-day trip to

GAS WITH A KICK Remember when your junior

high science teacher told you that solids, liquids and gases form the three states of matter? There’s actually a fourth: plasma. Plasma, an ionized gas, is actually the most common form of matter in the physical universe. The sun itself, for example, is a huge ball of plasma. “Dusty” plasmas contain charged dust grains as small as half the width of a hair (think Saturn’s rings). These particles modify the properties of plasma, which makes them interesting to those studying space science, microelectronics and fusion energy.


Fly like an eagle Campus officials in September dedicated a $5.5 million, 26,000-square-foot flight terminal at the Auburn University Regional Airport. During football season as many as 200 planes land at the airport on home-game weekends.

C O L L E G E

S T R E E T

AN AUBURN

TRADITION Situated on the charming campus of Auburn University, just a short walk from quaint, historic downtown Auburn.

Learning skills from cartoons

Graphic novels are hot stuff in publishing these days as authors adapt works of fiction as “comics for grownups” and original bound comics are made into box-office hits such as “Sin City” and “V for Vendetta.” They’re infamous for explicit violence and sex, but can the form be employed by faculty to help college students learn? Textbook, meet the graphic novel. Auburn management professor Dave Ketchen and his writing partner, Texas Tech professor Jeremy Short, have published a pair of graphic novels designed to teach principles of management and entrepreneurship. “We wanted to make classroom activities more interesting,” says Ketchen, who heads the Lowry Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship on cam-

pus. “If people are interested in what they’re learning, they are more likely to retain the information.” The first book, Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed (Flat World Knowledge, 2009), follows the title character and sidekick David Chan during their final semester of college as Black attempts to start a business. The second book in the series, Atlas Black: Management Guru?, published this year, picks up the storyline as Black and Chan attempt to open a restaurant. Ketchen and Short hope to publish a third graphic novel introducing a new cast of characters: the Garcóns, a family whose members want to expand their successful hotel business. The new installment will focus on family-business management and franchising, Ketchen says.—Sarah Hansen

241 South College Street Auburn, Alabama 36830 Direct: 334-821-8200 Fax: 334-826-8755 reservations@auhcc.com www.auhcc.com

a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

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C O L L E G E

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Research

Sick of flying? It’s happened to all of

cold when I fly on an

us—sitting on a plane,

airplane,’ need to be

waiting for the feverish

thoroughly investigated

toddler or coughing

and understood within

businessman to squeeze

the context of aircraft

into the adjacent seat

engineering design,”

and treat us to a close

Overfelt says.

encounter with a herd

of germs. But are our

pathogens in confined

concerns valid?

spaces has become a

growing concern among

That’s the ques-

The transmission of

tion being examined

travelers and flight

by Auburn engineers

crews, particularly in

and scientists as they

light of several out-

study how different

breaks of SARS, H1N1

microorganisms survive

and other communicable

in airplane cabins and

diseases in recent years.

on frequently touched

surfaces. Biologist

ers are testing for the

James Barbaree and

survival and release of

mechanical engineer

different pathogenic

Tony Overfelt are work-

bacteria and a virus on

ing on a Federal Aviation

various materials found

Administration project

in airline cabins.

to better understand

disease transmission in

gist Kirby Farrington—an

airline cabins and how

expert on “clean rooms”

potential microorgan-

and risk-based ap-

isms can be quickly

proaches to contamina-

detected.

tion control—is helping

craft the methodology to

“A number of com-

Auburn research-

Auburn microbiolo-

monly held ideas, such

be used by researchers

as, ‘I often catch a

for the study.

On the Horizon

The number of oil-coated pelicans might be dwindling, but scientists, public health officials and others are still trying to decipher the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. More than 60 percent of Mobile and Baldwin county residents are now eating less seafood, for example, says Donald Williamson, state health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health. Auburn University researchers have garnered several National Science Foundation grants to study environmental damage caused by the spill as well: •Engineering faculty Prabhakar Clement, Clifford Lange, Ah Jeong Son and Dongye Zhao are examining dispersantmixed crude-oil contaminants in various soil and water environments. •Biologists Anthony Moss, Kennedy Halanych and Mark Liles are teaming with limnologist Alan Wilson to fund a laser-based, portable microscopy system to examine how long oil droplets persist in water, to what degree organisms accumulate oil and the effects of oil

16

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

on invertebrate larvae. “Oiled plankton endanger large food fish, which concentrate plankton-derived petroleum in their tissues, thereby becoming toxic to humans,” Moss says. “We will follow changes in the plankton as the oil disperses and will establish a timeline that reveals when shellfish and game fish are once again fit for consumption by humans.” Halanych also is studying the effect of the spill on creatures that live on the ocean floor. •Geologist Ming-Kuo Lee and geochemist James Saunders will investigate the spill’s effects on coastal wetlands. “Coastal wetlands are efficient traps of trace metals derived from atmospheric deposition and crude oil,” Lee explains. “Crude oil could contain varying levels of toxic metals like mercury and arsenic. Those metals are not biodegradable— thus they can remain in ecosystems longer than oil.” •Parasitologist Stephen “Ash” Bullard is studying fish parasites to learn how the spill has affected certain environments.


OUTLAND surfing The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded Auburn University a $4.6 million grant to expand the availability of high-speed Internet access among Alabama’s rural libraries and schools. The initiative will deploy 1,000 new computer workstations and replace nearly 500 more at 94 libraries and 21 public schools statewide.

C O L L E G E

S T R E E T

Hogs gone wild Auburn University researchers hope to put Alabama’s feral hogs on birth control in an effort to halt the state’s steadily growing razorback population. Wild swine pose a menace to farmers around the country, who sustain about $1.5 billion annually in property damage from the rooting, rutting porkers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Feral hogs roam the land in 44 states, plowing gardens, munching on sorghum, corn, peanuts and other food crops, and, occasionally, even killing and eating small farm animals such as calves and goats. Porcine pregnancy is the problem. Mature feral pigs can bear as many as a dozen piglets a year, while other wild mammals mature more slowly and rarely produce entire litters of babies. The common white-tailed deer, for example, produces only one or two fawns annually. Forestry and wildlife sciences associate professor Steve Ditchkoff is the point man for Auburn’s pig population-control project. He’s working with veterinarymedicine researchers to patent a process for making oral contraceptives that work on wild hogs without affecting other animals. The Alabama Farmers Federation and Auburn’s Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station are funding the research. Hunters and trappers can no longer keep the number of wild hogs in Alabama under control—and these swine need to be stopped, Ditchkoff says. “They damage farm equipment (and) sea turtle nests; they’ve been caught eating white-tailed deer fawns and even breaking into homes in Hawaii,” he explains. “They also spread diseases to domestic animals and are a potential biohazard threat for disease transmission.” Researchers are trying to create a contraceptive that can be dispersed in pig bait and remain effective for up to nine

months or maybe even permanently. “Essentially, (the contraceptive) develops an immune response in the reproductive process,” Ditchkoff says. “The belief is the egg will develop an immune response that blocks the sperm-to-egg bonding process. Our hope is to have something for testing in three to five years.”—Sarah Hansen

Good egg? The egg’s reputation as

eggs and food contain-

“one of nature’s most

ing eggs.

perfect foods”—as described by the American

• Cook eggs until both

Egg Board—took a hit

the yolk and the albu-

over the summer when a

men (egg white) are

widespread salmonella

firm; scrambled eggs

scare prompted the U.S.

should not be runny.

Food and Drug Administration to recall millions

• Cook casseroles, des-

of cartons. To keep rot-

serts and other dishes

ten eggs from spoiling

with eggs to at least

your meals, follow these

160 degrees Fahren-

expert tips from the

heit. Use a food ther-

USDA and poultry sci-

mometer to measure

ence professor Patricia

internal temperature.

Curtis, director of the Auburn-based National

• For dishes requiring

Egg Processing Center:

raw or coddled eggs, use only pasteurized

• Buy eggs only from

eggs or egg products.

refrigerated cases, and check inside the

• Serve eggs immedi-

carton to be sure eggs

ately after cooking, or

are clean and free of

reheat to at least 165

cracks.

degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

• Refrigerate eggs at 45 degrees or below.

• Never allow cooked

Store them in their

eggs or dishes contain-

original carton and use

ing eggs to remain

within three weeks for

unrefrigerated for more

best quality.

than two hours.

• Wash hands, utensils,

• For transporting, pack

kitchen equipment and

cooked eggs on ice in

work surfaces with

an insulated cooler

hot, soapy water both

and store inside the

before and after they

air-conditioned area of

come into contact with

your car.

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Religious icon Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will host an exhibition of work by the late Georgia folk artist Howard Finster from Dec. 11 through March 12. The popularity of Finster—an evangelistic Baptist preacher whose 46,000 paintings and other works began taking the mainstream art world by storm in the late 1970s— marked the emergence of the “self-taught” movement in American art history. For details, see www.jcsm.auburn.edu.

Roundup ideas will be on display Dec. 1-4 at city hall. COLLEGE OF

Business

COLLEGE OF

Agriculture Autism advocate and renowned animal scientist Temple Grandin, whose life story was depicted earlier this year in an Emmywinning HBO film, is scheduled to visit Auburn next spring as part of the College of Agriculture’s E.T. York Distinguished Lecture Series. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 31 in the Student Center ballroom on campus. Despite having been diagnosed with autism as a child, Grandin, 63, earned a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and is now one of the world’s foremost experts on humane slaughter and livestock facilities. In part due to her self-described ability to “think visually,” Grandin has said she feels a kinship with animals, which tend to panic at certain visual

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cues. She has designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Swift and others, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2010. COLLEGE OF

Architecture, Design and Construction Auburn’s industrial and graphic design majors are trying to help emergency responders come up with better ways to save lives. Under the direction of professor Shu-Wen Tzeng, students are working with Alexander City Fire and Rescue to seek design solutions to a series of problems, from how to better communicate inside burning buildings to different ways of transporting obese patients through narrow hallways. An exhibition of the students’

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

Auburn’s business undergraduate program jumped 15 places to 42nd overall and tied for 24th among public institutions in this year’s rankings of business schools by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings were based on the results of a spring survey of deans and senior faculty at each undergraduate business program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Participants were asked to rate the quality of programs with which they were familiar on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished).

Wilson

COLLEGE OF

Education Music-education alumnus Phil Wilson ’07, a teacher at Auburn’s Ogletree Elementary School, was named Alabama Teacher of the Year in May. State and local

education officials commended Wilson for his singular ability to integrate music into various areas of the elementary curriculum. “Mr. Wilson teaches far more than music,” said Cristen Herring ’93, director of elementary curriculum and professional development for Auburn City Schools. “Whatever the lesson—Pi, insects, U.S. presidents, state names—Mr. Wilson has a song that will connect to the curriculum.” Wilson has taught band and chorus for eight years. … Education alumna Joyce Ringer ’59 of Auburn, retired executive director of the Atlanta-based Georgia Advocacy Office Inc., received Auburn’s 2010 Pamela Sheffield Award in September. Ringer served on the AU College of Education National Advisory Council from 1997-2009; is a past president of the Auburn Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Club; and is a member of the Auburn Magazine Advisory Council and the athletics department’s WINGS: Women Inspiring and Nurturing Greatness in StudentAthletes program. SAMUEL GINN COLLEGE OF

Engineering The National Science Foundation recently awarded Auburn a $4.6 million grant

to renovate research labs designed to enhance the university’s biological engineering programs. The Department of Biosystems Engineering will use the money to upgrade the circa-1948 Tom Corley Building Annex throughout the next two years. The renovated 23,000-squarefoot facility will allow scientists to ramp up their research into bioenergy and bioproducts engineering, ecological engineering, food-safety engineering, biosystems automation, and best management technologies. The renovation is also expected to pave the way for the College of Engineering to expand its new graduate-degree programs in biosystems engineering. The Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station will provide an additional $1.4 million, bringing the total renovation cost to $6 million. SCHOOL OF

Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Beware of coyotes: The wild canine species has moved into and is now thriving in the Southeast, and, because of the animal’s incredible ability to adapt to new habitats, populations appear to be increasing even in cities and towns.

Coyotes originated in the mountains and plains of the West but now can be found in every state in the continental U.S., plus Alaska and southern Canada. Wildlife expert and AU professor Jim Armstrong and his graduate students are monitoring the presence of coyotes in urban, suburban and rural areas of eastern Alabama, as well as surveying residents to better understand their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about the species. To help keep coyotes out of your yard, experts advise keeping small pets indoors or within an enclosure, particularly at night; securing pet food and outdoor trashcans; and keeping your barbecue grill free of grease and leftover bits of food. COLLEGE OF

Human Sciences The college will present its International Quality of Life Award in December to the Public Broadcasting Service during a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York. With nearly 360 member stations, the private, nonprofit broadcast network reaches more than 141 million people on television and the Internet with programming designed to expose Americans to the worlds of sci-


C O L L E G E

ence, history, nature, public affairs and the arts. Founded in 1969, the organization has birthed such classic TV shows as “Sesame Street,” “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “Masterpiece Theatre,” “Frontline,” “The French Chef” with Julia Child and more. PBS president and chief executive officer Paula Kerger will accept the award on behalf of the network.

Ledbetter had waited too long to file her claim—even though she hadn’t known of the inequity until near the end of her career with the company. The new Ledbetter law, which was the first piece of legislation signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, is designed to widen the time frame in which workers may successfully allege wage discrimination.

College Of

Sciences and Mathematics

standout and National Basketball Association All-Star Charles Barkley ’84. Associate professor of nursing Barbara Wilder was named East Alabama Medical Center/Dr. Bill Lazenby Endowed Professor.

COLLEGE OF

Liberal Arts Equal-pay activist Lilly Ledbetter, whose gender-discrimination lawsuit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. prompted the passage of a 2009 federal law designed to aid workers seeking redress against their employers for unequal pay, gave a lecture at Auburn in October as part of the college’s celebration of Arts and Humanities Month. Ledbetter worked at Goodyear’s Gadsden plant for 19 years, earning performance awards yet being paid significantly less than her male colleagues. After someone anonymously tipped her off to the salary inequity, she embarked on an eight-year quest for equal compensation. The case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which sided with Goodyear on a technicality, ruling that

HARRISON SCHOOL of

Pharmacy

Hendricks

Wilder

SCHOOL OF

Nursing Two of the school’s faculty members received endowed professorships in August. The Auburn University provost’s office named nursing professor Constance Smith Hendricks as a Charles W. Barkley Professor, one of two faculty positions established by basketball

The Auburn Pharmacy Alumni Association this year recognized two graduates for outstanding acts of community service. The group presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to Danny Cottrell ’79, owner of Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewton. Cottrell made national headlines last year when he came up with a plan to stimulate businesses struggling to survive the economic downturn in his hometown. He decided to give his 24 employees a bonus—$700 for full-time workers and $350 for part-timers. The catch: They had to give 15 percent of the

money to charity or someone in need, and the rest had to be spent locally. Cottrell specialordered $16,000 worth of $2 bills from his bank and distributed them to his workers; as word started to spread about the “two-buck stimulus plan,” the idea caught on around the nation, prompting dozens of businesses from New Hampshire to Alaska to do the same. Harold Harmon ’69, owner of H & M Drug Co., received the school’s Distinguished Service Award for establishing scholarship funds for graduating high-school seniors in Randolph County as well as student pharmacists at Auburn, and traveling on missions to provide medical care for impoverished children and families. He also was cited for his commitment to patients.

Auburn researcher Mark Liles is bringing microbes out of solitary confinement. By studying the genetic makeup of natural microbial communities—as opposed to discrete microbial species—Liles hopes to help identify new antibiotics, enzymes and other products. The emerging scientific field, known as metagenomics, is perhaps the most important development in the study of tiny living things since the invention of the microscope, according to the U.S. National Research Council. Less than 1 percent of the millions of microbial species on Earth have been cultured in a lab to date. “Many of the antibiotics in our clinical arsenal were discovered from microorganisms isolated from natural environments,” Liles says, “but we have to be smarter about how we discover new antibiotics.” In metagenomics, the power

S T R E E T

of genomic analysis is applied to entire communities of microbes, bypassing the need to isolate and culture individual microbial species. Liles’ lab is working on two federally funded projects, one designed to characterize and develop a collection of recently discovered antibiotics, and a second which involves creating new metagenomic libraries. COLLEGE OF

Veterinary Medicine The Society for Theriogenology honored Robert L. Carson ’73 in September with its David E. Bartlett Award for important contributions to the field of theriogenology, a branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction. A diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, Carson is a food-animal professor at Auburn whose classroom instruction in theriogenology and reproductive systems has influenced students for more than 30 years.

a u a l u m . o r g Auburn Magazine

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S T U D E N T

L I F E

CONCOURSE

From Kosovo, with love

Interview Will Wright Freshman, agriculture THE 4-1-1 A freshman from Rogersville, Wright

is the first college student in Alabama to serve as an officer of the state chapter of Future Farmers of America. Until this year, the organization only allowed high school juniors and seniors to hold state-leadership positions; a rule change opened the appointments to include first-year college undergraduates. As state sentinel, Wright will present workshops throughout the year, serve as a delegate to the national FFA conference and help plan a state convention that attracts more than 2,000 attendees. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK Founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers, FFA continues to promote agricultural education as a career path— but has broadened its outreach to include students interested in chemistry, biology, veterinary science, engineering, biotechnology, international marketing, communications, finance, wildlife management and more. Involvement in the organization is a tradition for Wright’s family: his parents were involved in FFA as teenagers, and his sister is a former state officer. “The leadership and maturity you gain through life experiences are way more beneficial than what you could find in a book,” he says. TRAVELING MAN Wright travels the state attending

local FFA chapter meetings. “I make sure that, on at least three of five days during the week, I am able to reach any place in the state by 3:15 p.m. That’s the time chapter meetings usually start.” FUTURE PLANS “I believe biosystems engineering

is a growing industry. Biosystems basically means agriculture, which we all know is vital to everyone’s life. I believe I can use my passion for agriculture and knowledge of agriculture to help benefit the population at large.”

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Animal sciences major Josiah Greene never cared much about the hype surrounding college-football recruiting until he found himself far from home, trying to follow his beloved Auburn Tigers. From his U.S. Army Reserve quarters at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, Greene cruised the Internet almost daily in the months and weeks leading up to national signing day this year, keeping up with the latest rumors about which high school football standouts were leaning toward Auburn University. “It was a way for me to connect to home,” says Greene, who, as a soldier in the Battle Group Med Falcon unit, was stationed a good 5,500 miles from campus on a nine-month peacekeeping mission. During that time Greene started following five-star recruit Shon Coleman of Olive Branch, Miss. The 6-foot-7-inch, 285-pound Coleman—rated by collegefootball-recruiting authorities at Rivals.com as the top recruit from Mississippi and the third-best offensive tackle in the nation—had verbally committed to Auburn in April 2009, but a stellar senior season as a lineman for the Olive Branch Conquistadors upped his stock significantly. As national signing day approached on Feb. 3, the sports world was abuzz with reports that Coleman was ditching Auburn for another school, possibly the University of Alabama. When, on the big day, Coleman honored his commitment and officially signed with Auburn, Greene let go a mighty battle cry. By the time Coleman and the rest of Auburn’s highly ranked class of signees made their debut at Jordan-Hare Stadium, he’d be among the spectators. What came next broke Greene’s heart. Two weeks after signing, doctors diagnosed Coleman with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and sent the promising player to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., for chemotherapy.

Thousands of miles away in Kosovo, Greene was stunned when he ran across the news online. He wanted to do something to let Coleman know members of his newly acquired Auburn family were behind him. His first move was to honor Coleman by sporting an Auburn patch and carrying an orange-and-blue AU flag emblazoned with Coleman’s name during a 26-kilometer, Royal Danish Army-sponsored unity march through the Kosovo countryside. Next he established a tribute fund for cancer research at St. Jude. “I felt like it would be a small gesture of support for a brother in need,” Greene says. “And I hoped it would be a way to get the Auburn family back home involved.” It worked. By the end of the first day, the fund had already topped $2,000. Greene sent a note about it to ESPN The Magazine writer Bruce Feldman, who publicized the effort, and, by the time Greene returned to the U.S. in July, the fund topped $16,000. It has now grown to more than $20,000. Meanwhile, Coleman is in his third round of chemotherapy and has tested cancer-free. He is expected to start classes at Auburn in January. Coleman finally met his benefactor at Auburn’s Sept. 18 home football game. Greene gave Coleman and his family the U.S. flag that flew over Kosovo’s Camp Bondsteel. “It was just a like a little family reunion right there outside the stadium,” Greene recalls. “They are such good people and positive people, and that rubs right off on you when you’re around them.”


C O N C O U R S E

Freshman wave Colleges around the nation are attracting record numbers of new students as more Hispanics finish high school and a stagnant economy prompts others to apply for admission rather than join the job market. Freshman enrollment surged 6 percent in 2008 to 2.6 million, mostly due to rising minority enrollment, according to the Pew Research Center. It was the highest increase since 1968, when young adults could enroll in college to avoid being drafted to serve in the Vietnam War.

More Merit Scholars Choose Auburn Over 130 National Merit scholars enrolled at Auburn University this year, more than double the number of high school graduates with that distinction who chose to attend the university in 2009, officials reported. The upswing is due in part to the university’s commitment to attracting the nation’s brightest teenagers with substantial scholarship packages that include housing. Auburn’s National Merit scholars also are automatically admitted to the university’s Honors College and may meet eligibility requirements to receive a four-year stipend to help with college expenses. “That, along with the quality of Auburn’s faculty and nationally ranked programs, has allowed us to attract a number of National Merit scholars that

few institutions can match,” says Velda Rooker, Auburn’s director of university scholarships. Auburn enrolled 133 new scholars during summer and fall, compared to 64 last year. Only six other public institutions in the United States boasted more enrolled merit scholars, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp.’s annual report issued for the 2009 fiscal year. “This important achievement is a result of Auburn’s strategic plan, which specifically targets students who excel academically,” says AU provost Mary Ellen Mazey. “We want to continue attracting the nation’s top students to Auburn.” The National Merit Scholarship Corp. is an independent, not-for-profit

organization based in Evanston, Ill., that conducts the National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship programs as annual competitions for recognition and undergraduate scholarships. Winners are chosen based on their academic records, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities and essay writing, among other factors. Of the 1.5 million students who enter the competitions each year, about 50,000 of them qualify for recognition. About 94 percent of these students go on to become scholarship finalists, with about half receiving the coveted National Merit scholarships that are underwritten by corporations and business organizations, colleges and universities, and through National Merit Scholarship Corp. funds.

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Testing, testing Auburn’s faculty senate in September agreed to allow students to reschedule individual final exams to avoid having to take more than two a day during finals week. Students must make faculty aware of the need to move a final exam no later than the midpoint of the semester.

JEFF ETHERIDGE

C O N C O U R S E

Syllabus COURSE NAME ENGL 4730 “The Fairy Tale” INSTRUCTOR Dan Latimer, professor of English, College of Liberal Arts THE SCOOP The course follows the evolution

and meaning of fairy tales from their earliest known origins around the second century A.D. through the 19th-century versions familiar to readers of Western literature today. Some stories evolved from Roman philosopher Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, about the adventures of a boy who magically transforms into a donkey. Fairy tales gained popularity in Western culture beginning in the early 19th century, when German academicians Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began collecting and publishing modern versions of folktales such as “Hansel and Gretel,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Although we traditionally think of fairy tales as a type of children’s literature, such stories originally were told and written for adult audiences, Latimer says.

Mapping the Gulf If you remember the phrase “latitude is fatitude” from grammar school geography, you’re well on the way to understanding the basics of geospatial mapping. Three years ago, Auburn University management professor Chetan Sankar began taking a small team of students to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to map the geospatial coordinates—the latitude and longitude as marked by GPS systems—of fire hydrants, gas pumps, water meters, manhole covers and other key elements of the community’s infrastructure. The goal is to make it easier for the elements to be found in the event of a natural disaster. Such elements may be covered with debris or otherwise rendered unrecog-

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

nizable by a hurricane or other calamity. Cleanup crews may pile trash on top of the elements and destroy them, Sankar says. The students also sought to devise a system that would compile the elements’ geospatial information in one location accessible by each of the various companies and government entities responsible for them. A grant from the Auburn Economic Development Administration allowed the team to return to the area last year and again in September to continue their work. “The idea is to map the complete coastal areas of Alabama,” Sankar says. “Most of the infrastructure facilities throughout the country have not been mapped geospatially.”—Sarah Hansen

DARK ROOTS “A fairy tale is usually understood to be an escape from reality—a flight into fantasy from a world too harsh to be borne. Walt Disney is usually evoked at this point,” says Latimer, referring to darker subtextual messages woven through the original stories. “But ‘Pinocchio’ (1940) is one of the most terrifying films of all time. It’s clear that the fantasy of the fairy tale is also reality.” Suggested reading Marina Warner’s classic

From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996) is a feminist study of the genre, while Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (Vintage, 2010) examines the genre’s influence on child development from a Freudian perspective.


REWARD YOURSELF AND AUBURN STUDENTS

Angel Pendleton

Auburn Spirit Foundation Scholarship Recipient Auburn Sophomore Ramsay High School 2009 Graduate Birmingham, Alabama

Welcome to the Auburn Family, Angel.

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A National Honor Society member and in the top 15 percent of her high school graduating class, Angel chose Auburn because she was drawn to the beautiful campus and family-oriented atmosphere. Auburn’s School of Nursing was a perfect fit for her as she works toward a nursing degree to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist.

To apply for the card, simply call 1.800.932.2775 and mention priority code UABFHV. Or to apply online, visit www.auburn.edu/spiritcard.

“I love Auburn and the family atmosphere, so I’m appreciative that the Auburn Spirit Foundation Scholarship gave me the opportunity to study here,” said Angel. Angel is active in the Student Government Association, volunteers for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and is a member of the Black Leaders of Tomorrow, an organization that shares the importance of a college education with minority students throughout the state.

The Spirit of Auburn credit card is made possible by the Auburn Spirit Foundation for Scholarships (ASFS), which is affiliated with Auburn University. This advertisement was paid for by the ASFS. For information about the rates, fees, other costs, and benefits associated with the use of this card or to apply, call the number above or visit www.auburn.edu/spiritcard and refer to the disclosures accompanying the online credit card application. This credit card program is issued and administered by FIA Card Services, N.A. Bank of America and the Bank of America logo are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association and is used by the issuer pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Platinum Plus and WorldPoints are registered trademarks of FIA Card Services, N.A. ARF0T4F6 9/23/2010 © 2010 Bank of America Corporation

Thank you for supporting Auburn scholarships – and students like Angel – through your use of the Spirit of Auburn credit card. Your efforts are instrumental in welcoming new students to the Auburn Family.

The Spirit of Auburn credit card, featuring the WorldPoints® program, contributes to Auburn’s scholarship fund while building rewards for you, too. This program has generated more than $4.5 million for freshman scholarships. By using this card for all your everyday purchases, you share the Auburn spirit by benefiting students who most deserve academic scholarships – at no additional cost to you – and you ultimately help shape the future of Auburn. Even more reason to enjoy redeeming all the points you earn for cash rewards, travel, or merchandise. One good turn deserves another.

Angel’s parents, Carla and Gaius, are thrilled their daughter is attending Auburn. “We had the normal anxieties of Angel being away from home for the first time, but what we feared most was if financially we wouldn’t be able to afford her the opportunity to attend a four-year college,” noted Carla.


S P O R T S

Jeff Etheridge

TIGER WALK

Leader of the pack

The Tigers have claimed eight national championships and 14 SEC titles under athletics director Jay Jacobs.

For Auburn’s athletics director, winning isn’t everything

Jay Jacobs ’85 was born 20 miles from Auburn, played offensive tackle for the Tigers and has worked in Auburn University’s athletics department for 25 years, beginning as an assistant strength-and-conditioning coach in 1985. More recently he oversaw athletics’ fundraising arm, Tigers Unlimited, from 2001-05, spearheading a $90 million capital campaign, the largest in Auburn athletics history. You have said the vision of Auburn athletics is to become the preeminent athletics department in the nation. How do you define that? JJ: First of all, great organizations need a big vision to accomplish great things.

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That is why our vision statement is so ambitious. Second, a vision statement should capture what it is an organization wants to become and what it wants to accomplish. Our vision statement by itself was a little ambiguous at first, so we came back and defined five strategic goals that we could measure to guide us toward being the preeminent athletics department: winning, graduating our student-athletes, managing our fiscal affairs, abiding by the rules, and growing and improving the game-day experience. We talk about those goals every day, and we focus our energy and resources on achieving them. If we can be successful in all five of those areas, we will be the

preeminent athletics department in the nation. That’s how I define success in terms of our vision. How would you assess the athletics department’s progress on the goal of winning? JJ: We have finished in the top 10 percent of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Directors’ Cup for six consecutive years. That is one of the objective ways we measure our success when it comes to winning. The Directors’ Cup compares every NCAA institution across 10 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports and looks at how they finish the season. Of course, we want to do well in what


Here’s sauce in your eye Tuscaloosa’s famous Dreamland Barbecue moved into “enemy territory” this fall, selling its saucy menu items in Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. “Dreamland is a product of Alabama, not just Tuscaloosa,” said chief executive officer Betsy McAtee. “Why not Auburn?” Sorry, rib lovers—the restaurant’s signature fare is off limits at Jordan-Hare. Officials deemed flying bones a potential crowd hazard.

many consider the major sports—football, basketball and baseball—but we also want to be a well-balanced program that is successful in all of our 21 sports. We’ve done that here with sports such as swimming and diving, track, and golf. Winning championships is also obviously a big way that we measure our success. Auburn has won 23 Southeastern Conference championships over the past decade. Only three schools in the SEC have won more during that time.

There have been a lot of facility projects over the past five or six years. How would you rate Auburn’s athletic facilities compared to others? JJ: Once we complete this next initiative, which is building a 120-yard multipurpose practice facility and getting a new weighttraining and sports-medicine place for our Olympic sports, nobody in the country will have better facilities across the board. When we finish those projects, all of our facilities will have been updated in the past six years, and they will be second to none.

Football scheduling is one of the most important jobs for an athletics director. What is your philosophy, and what can we expect in the future? JJ: We know that the SEC is the toughest conference in the nation, and that if you can win your eight SEC games and get to Atlanta, you generally have a chance to compete for the national championship. Getting to Atlanta is our goal. We play four non-conference games in addition to our league games every year, and our goal is to play one non-conference Bowl Championship Series opponent each season. Of the past seven SEC teams to win national championships, only one played two BCS non-conference opponents. We have scheduled some great games, including West Virginia and Clemson. We go to Clemson next year and then open the season with them in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta in 2012. That is a great game for us because of the exposure, our alumni presence in Atlanta, the proximity to Auburn and the chance to get in the Georgia Dome early in the season. That will really help you if you return to play for an SEC title, because playing in a dome is a different experience. Neutral-site games (such as those played in Atlanta) have become much more attractive, and the financial model works now that those games have contin-

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ued to grow. We want to be selective— having eight games in Auburn is great for us, the university and the community. But neutral-site games are much more attractive now than a few years ago. What do you enjoy doing during your time away from work? JJ: I really enjoy attending our athletic events and watching our student-athletes compete. I enjoy spending time with my family and our girls. We’re a foster family, so right now our children range from my oldest daughter, who is 19 and a freshman here at Auburn, to a 1-year-old little boy that we are fostering. Being a foster family is something that my wife, Angie, my girls and I feel like is a calling for us. I would encourage anybody who has a heart for foster care to consider it, because there is a tremendous need for it in Alabama and here in Lee County. You can even get involved by helping foster families with what’s called respite care, where you help out with foster children for a week or a weekend to give foster families a break. We just feel like it is a ministry for us. Stay abreast of team schedules, buy game tickets, view videos and download podcasts at auburntigers.com. Jeff Etheridge

What about the progress toward the goal of graduation and the academic success of Auburn student-athletes? JJ: We have made tremendous strides academically. Last spring, we honored a record 207 student-athletes at our Tiger Torch ceremony for making at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the previous year. We had 51 percent of our studentathletes make a 3.0 or higher during the spring semester. Our graduation rate is the same as the general student population, which is strong when you consider that all of our 500-plus student-athletes essentially have two full-time jobs. Our Academic Progress Rate numbers (established by the NCAA to measure the success or failure of collegiate sports teams in moving athletes toward graduation) are trending upward, and we know that nearly 90 percent of our student-athletes who exhaust their athletic eligibility here graduate. It is an area of ongoing emphasis and focus, but we are really proud of the student-athletes our coaches recruit and develop at Auburn. Their academic success is a credit to them, to the faculty and to our academic support team.

Of course we have an unbelievable facility for men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics now with the Auburn Arena. We are also really proud of the new facilities we have opened for tennis, golf, soccer and track, in addition to the renovations and improvements we continue to do at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Everyone is always interested in future plans at Jordan-Hare, and we are nearing the completion of a master plan that will address all of the future needs of the stadium, from possible expansion at the right time, to the amenities that our fans want, to aesthetics. We are also doing some master planning for baseball. The main thing is we continue to be proactive in meeting our facility needs instead of being reactive. We’ve been able to do that thanks to the support of the president, the board of trustees and the Auburn people.

T I G E R

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T I G E R

W A L K

Dribbling with the stars Former Auburn hoops star Charles Barkley ’86 and the Harlem Globetrotters were among the glitterati at the grand opening of the Tigers’ new $85.4 million basketball arena in October. Among the amenities: a 6,500-squarefoot Hall of Honor, which offers visitors an interactive walk through the history of Auburn athletics.

Sports roundup Basketball

Cross country

Softball

A new era of men’s

The men’s cross-country

The Auburn softball

basketball featuring

team was picked fifth

team finished its 2010

first-year head coach

and the women were

season with a 31-26

Tony Barbee tipped off

picked seventh in this

overall record and an

Nov. 12 against North

year’s SEC cross-country

11-17 record in SEC

Carolina-Asheville in the

coaches’ preseason poll.

play. The Tigers

new Auburn Arena.

The University of

advanced to the SEC

“We have the always-

Alabama finished first in

Tournament for the 11th

challenging SEC

the men’s poll after

time in program history

schedule as well as some

collecting seven

and earned their

quality non-conference

first-place votes, while

seventh trip to the NCAA

games,” Barbee said of

Arkansas had four

Tournament. The team

the upcoming season. “It

first-place votes to rank

hit 44 home runs this

provides a difficult

second. Florida was

season, marking the

challenge for our young

tabbed third, followed by

fourth-best single-sea-

team, and one that we

Georgia in fourth;

son total in team

can grow from. The

Tennessee was tied with

history.

inaugural game in the

the Tigers for fifth. In the

Auburn Arena was

women’s poll, Florida

Swimming & diving

special as well as hosting

was unanimously

Six current and former

a three-day tournament

selected to win the

Auburn swimmers have

the second weekend of

conference, with

been named to the USA

the season.” Auburn,

Arkansas and Georgia

Swimming 2010-11

which played LSU in

picked second and third,

national team.

Beard-Eaves-Memorial

respectively. There was a

Swimmers were chosen

Coliseum’s inaugural

three-way tie for fourth

based on their times in

game on Jan. 11, 1969,

place between Alabama,

Olympic events at the

plays its league opener

Tennessee and

2010 ConocoPhillips

against LSU in the first

Vanderbilt. Auburn cross

USA Swimming National

SEC game in Auburn

country began its 2010

Championships and the

Arena on Jan. 8 and will

season Sept. 4 at the

2010 Mutual of Omaha

end its regular season

Troy Invitational.

Pan Pacific Championships. Swimmers with

against LSU in Baton Soccer

the top six times in each

The Auburn soccer team

event make the national

ment returns to Atlanta’s

kicked off its 2010

team. Junior Micah

Georgia Dome March

season ranked No. 25 in

Lawrence and senior

10-13. Every men’s SEC

the nation and had

Adam Klein each earned

regular season game and

amassed a 6-2 record in

spots for their efforts in

tournament game will be

early play—its best start

the breaststroke events

televised this year. The

since 2006. Auburn

during the summer.

women’s basketball team

leads the SEC in assists

Lawrence was selected

will appear on television

(24); is fifth in goals

in the 100- and

at least six times during

(16); is tied for fifth in

200-meter breaststrokes

the upcoming season as

shots (140); has won its

after she won the “B”

part of its SEC TV

SEC opener in two of the

final in the 200 in an

package. The women’s

past three years; and is

Auburn-record time of

team opened its season

5-4-2 under head coach

2:25.19 at the 2010 Pan

Nov. 12 against Mercer

Karen Hoppa in SEC

Pacs. She also finished

University.

openers.

second in the “B” final

Rouge on March 5. This year’s SEC Tourna-

of the 100 in 1:07.85, another school record.

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Football’s altar call Chad Gibbs ’04 learned a startling thing last fall: the world would not end, and the Auburn Tigers would not fail to play with fire in their bellies, if he was not in his seat at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Not only that: On any given Saturday last year, Gibbs could be found sitting among the purple and gold of Death Valley; wearing the wrong shade of blue in Gainesville; or engaging in an apocalyptic event—sitting among crimson-clad Tide fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (although he did secretly pray that Mark Ingram would catch swine flu). Gibbs was on a mission to separate fanaticism from faith, which required foregoing a season of Auburn football to attend games at other schools. The resulting book, God & Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC (Zondervan, 2010), hit stores in August. Gibbs realized he was taking football way too seriously when he became depressed after the Tigers closed their 2008 season with a coaching void and a 5-7 record. The former philosophy major subsequently embarked on a yearlong quest to find out how he might support SEC football without resorting to pigskin worship. He wanted to attend Auburn games to celebrate and commiserate sans wishing death or illness on rival teams and their fans or becoming physically ill after a loss. “I learned there were people far worse than me, and it made me feel better,” he says with a laugh. “I learned that I was looking to football for more than it could give.” He also had a very enlightening conversation one afternoon with David Nasser, a Birmingham-based author and evangelist who is, ironically, a University of Alabama football fan. “He told me that football is a great hobby, but it’s a horrible god.”


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Ar med with a 26- y e a r- ol d phot og r a ph a nd a l i f et i m e o f memor ies , Bo J a c ks on’s bi g g e s t f a n s e t s ou t t o t a ck l e Au bu r n’s mo s t f a mous — a nd e l us i v e — a l umn u s, a n d i n s tead fin ds h i ms e l f f a c e - t o- f a c e w i t h t he Ti g ers’ N ex t Gr eat Hop e. b y

j e r e m y

h e n d e r s o n

’ 0 4

Bo Now Dear Bo, I feel it! We’re destined to meet again. I first met you when I was 5—I’ve got the Polaroid to prove it. It’s framed. I’m looking at it right now. I took it to my first showand-tell at kindergarten. It was late August 1984, and I guess classes at Auburn hadn’t started yet. Word had gotten around that you were coming by the place my mom worked in Birmingham. My dad checked me out of school so I could sit in your lap. I remember telling you I was an Auburn fan, and you smiled. I remember them snapping the picture. You signed it “Bo and me. #34. War Eagle.” I remember shaking your hand. My dad and I still talk about that handshake. “It felt like a brick,” we always say. Jeremy Sports idol Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson ’95 lives a few miles south of Chicago, where he co-owns a sports-training facility and a bank, Burr Ridge Bank & Trust. He and wife Linda ’92, a clinical psychologist, have three children, two of whom attend Auburn.

I’m sitting on the porch with legendary Tigers coach Pat Dye, thinking about how best to approach writing an article about an icon: Bo Jackson ’95, who pulled down the Heisman trophy exactly 25 years ago, and whom I’m determined to interview. Bo doesn’t like to be interviewed. Dye, who coached Jackson at Auburn University, says he views Bo not as a player but as a man—an Auburn man—whose accomplishments as a husband and a daddy and a businessman and a college graduate are huge. An Auburn man who re-enrolled in college—despite the millions he was making as, arguably, the world’s greatest athlete—to finish his degree and fulfill a promise to the mama he loved so much.

P H O T O G R A P H B Y john gre S s

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o’s 47 years old now. He has kids who attend Auburn. He owns businesses in the Chicago area. That track record alone, Dye says, makes Jackson more deserving of my obsession than his collection of touchdowns or home runs. He suggests I look at Jackson as a multidimensional person, not just a multidimensional athlete—the only player ever to pull off All-Star status in professional football and baseball. And not simply as the guy who won the Heisman in 1985. But I begin to worry and wonder, sitting there on Dye’s back porch, three days before deadline, whether I’m the only child of the ’80s whose diehard identity as an Auburn fan is tied to the very real possibility that, at least once upon a time, Bo Jackson might really have been more than a man. Isn’t he really a superhero? I’m 31, and I still believe that. I not only lack objectivity, I’m entirely, unabashedly fixated on this assignment. Dye leans back in his rocking chair and gazes at me. He smiles. “I know what you’re trying to do,” he says. “You’re trying to write an article better than anybody’s ever written about Bo.” “That’s right,” I say, one of Dye’s hunting dogs licking my hand. “It’s like it’s my life’s work.” Dear Bo, I knew this assignment wasn’t a guarantee that you’d pick me up at Chicago’s O’Hare and take me out for the city’s famous pizza, or that’d we go bow hunting and then back to your house to watch the ’83 Iron Bowl on videotape, but stranger things have happened—for instance, a certain Auburn man once ran sideways on a wall after catching a fly ball, and broke several baseball bats over his leg and at least one over his head, and did a standing backflip while waist-deep in either a pool or a lake, depending on who you talk to. But I want to ask you—it was a lake, right? Jeremy

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n the saturday after I was asked to track down Bo for this story—Auburn Magazine wanted to commemorate the silver anniversary of Jackson’s Heisman win with a piece on the star athlete’s life since his retirement from professional sports—my wife, Jennie, was making pancakes, and my 5-year-old daughter, Sadie, was walking around in her pajamas singing songs. She came into my office to tell me breakfast was ready, opened the door and saw me at the computer, crying. She yelled, “Mommy, Daddy’s watching a video of Bo Jackson again.” I put her in my lap, and we watched Bo run over Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth a few more times. Sadie knows a lot about Bo Jackson. That he was Auburn’s greatest running back ever and won the Heisman but chose to, like the poster read, “hit” for the Kansas City Royals instead of “run” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That he made the national media resent his talent even more by landing a contract with the

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Los Angeles Raiders allowing him to both hit and run until his hip popped out of socket after a routine tackle by Cincinnati Bengal Kevin Walker. Sadie squalled when I told her. “Daddy, who’s faster—you or Bo Jackson?” “I don’t know.” Sure I do. I knew when I was 4. I tell her about the race at the 1984 A-Day game—the one where Bo lined up with a group of kids (including me) and raced us to the opposite end zone. About how Bo won. About how I fell down partway through but came out of it with the sense of Bo as an orange-and-blue superpower, bigger than He-Man, Luke Skywalker and Santa Claus. David Rosenblatt remembers that too—his daughter was one of the racers. I met David, cofounder and original curator of Auburn’s athletics museum, several years ago. We were both looking at Jackson’s Heisman trophy, which now rotates majestically inside a display at the new Auburn Arena but was then located in the entry of the Lovelace Athletics Museum inside the athletics complex on campus. We were the only people there that day, watching Bo’s best runs on a continuous loop in front of a big-screen TV. Naturally, I had tears in my eyes. We met again a few weeks ago at Chappy’s Deli. Rosenblatt wore a Heisman Memorial Trophy baseball cap. “Hard to believe it’s been 25 years,” he says. Since the beginning, Rosenblatt has hoarded every scrap of Bo Jackson material he can get his hands on, including the promotional “Bo! for Heisman” postcards distributed by former Auburn athletics director David Housel and staff; the video project that Bo wrote, directed and starred in when he returned to Auburn to finish his bachelor’s degree after retiring from professional sports; and more than 500 newspaper clippings. In 1989, Rosenblatt wrote a paper titled “The Image and Impact of Bo Jackson on Auburn University.” I needed to talk to him to find out if I was the only one whose life had been framed in terms of Bo Jackson. I push the recorder closer. “I’m a football fan. I semi-worship Bo Jackson,” Rosenblatt says. “Most of that was psychological—that Auburn had somebody like Bo Jackson. But the bigger question was, what impact did he have on Auburn? It couldn’t help but reflect on the university.” Birmingham-based radio sportscaster Paul Finebaum has been covering Bo since Jackson’s senior year at McAdory High School in McCalla. I figure he’ll have an interesting take on what Jackson has meant to Auburn. I want to ask him a few other things too. Finebaum on Bo’s handshake: “It’s pretty much shattering. We had him on the program 10 years ago or so, and somebody asks him what he thinks of me. He said, ‘I could break Paul Finebaum in half like a twig.’” Finebaum on why Bo Jackson means so much to fans raised during Auburn’s ’80s football renaissance: “Because Bo saved the franchise, so to speak.” Finebaum is referring to wins and losses, and X’s and O’s, and the brave new world of regular victories over the University of Alabama. He’s also talking about the “Bo Jackson effect”—valued at $1 million at the time—on Auburn’s athletics department. “They did an addition (to Jordan-Hare Stadium); they (built) boxes. I remember (former Auburn assistant athletic director Oval Jaynes) was talking about going to Wall Street to get


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Auburn U niversity Photographic services

bonds for stadium expansion based on Bo Jackson,” Finebaum recalls. “I think they called them something like ‘Bo bonds.’ No player has ever moved a program more in terms of a financial reward then Bo Jackson. “He saved the Auburn program,” Finebaum asserts. “He saved the university.” Is such a claim patently ridiculous? Can a single student-athlete—however talented—accurately be credited with single-handedly turning the tide of his school’s public relations problems? Rosenblatt sets the stage for the “Bo effect” in his 1989 treatise: In 1980, then-Alabama governor Fob James named Hanly Funderburk, former chancellor of Auburn University Montgomery, as Auburn’s president. Some trustees and faculty openly disagreed with the choice, and the university’s reputation suffered a series of blows as faculty unrest, the forced resignation of Funderburk in 1983 and a federal suit over “vestiges of segregation” involving most of Alabama’s public universities made the news. On Dec. 7, 1985, a U.S. district court upheld the government’s argument, “saving its most damaging statements for Auburn University.” But the court’s decision was overshadowed by another event that day: the announcement that Jackson had won the Heisman.

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portswriter michael weinreb frequently cites Rosenblatt’s paper in his new book Bigger Than the Game: Bo, Boz, the Punky QB, and How the ’80s Created the Modern Athlete (Gotham, 2010), which examines the phenomenon of Jackson’s larger-than-life persona and achievements in relation to modern sports culture. In a chapter titled “I Am Superman,”

Weinreb writes: “In the midst of a slow Bo Jackson quit school to play pro sports and painful transition at Auburn … here shortly after receiving was a young man who stood as the exthe Heisman in 1985. He returned to Auburn emplar of change, who seemed burdened years later and at age neither by the limits of his race nor the 33 earned a bachelor’s limits of the human body itself.” degree in family and child development. Weinreb interviewed and hung out with Bo—they went bow hunting—not only for his book but for a “where is he now” story for ESPN. com. I wrote him for advice in case I got to meet Bo for this story. “Have fun with him,” he told me. “He’s a pretty fascinating guy just to be around. Just don’t touch his arm when you’re talking; he hates that. Seriously.” Alabama Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, president of Auburn Network Inc., worked in media relations for the Auburn athletics department during Bo’s campus reign. “Winning the Heisman trophy is huge for a university; it brings a lot of attention. I believe the admissions folks will tell you that applications go up when we’re winning, and I think a lot of people at that time decided they wanted to go to Auburn because of Bo Jackson,” Hubbard says. “He’s had an impact on everything—and the thing about it, too, is that he’s just a quality guy.” Hubbard gets to talk to Bo whenever he wants. “How do you get in touch with him?” I ask. I look over at his desk, checking for a telltale red phone. “Is there a Bo phone? A Bo signal?” “I just call him.” Hubbard was employed at Auburn during the Bo-for-Heisman campaign, which kicked into high gear after a borderline smear piece by Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly questioned Bo’s toughness during big games. Hubbard was also there when Bo won, flying with him to New York City (he had both board-

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ing passes framed) for the Heisman announcements. They had adjoining rooms at the Downtown Athletic Club in lower Manhattan. “I talked with Bo about what to expect. I said, ‘OK, here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to get up, we’ll have the ceremony, and they’re going to announce your name, and then you’re going to turn around and shake my hand,’’’ Hubbard says with a chuckle. “You know, I was just kind of joking with him, pretending I knew he was going to win. “Well, if you look at the video, the guy says, ‘The closest vote in the history of the Heisman trophy, the winner from Auburn University, Bo Jackson.’ And what does Bo do? He stands up, turns around and shakes my hand.” Pat Dye’s advice for inking the best Bo story ever written? “Don’t try too hard. He’s a human being,” Dye says against my protests. “Yeah, he is, just like Cameron Newton is. Look, the ones of us that saw Bo were blessed to have seen the greatest athlete that ever lived. He was the Secretariat of football players. But Cameron Newton …”

I know what’s coming: This is where Dye is going to say that Tigers quarterback Cam Newton, who was born on May 11, 1989—the same year Jackson starred with legendary bluesman Bo Diddley in Nike’s “Bo Knows” advertising campaign—is a great football player but that he’s no Bo Jackson. I’m shocked when he favorably compares the pair. “Cameron Newton is as much a freak as Bo Jackson was,” Dye continues. “And that’s right now. What you’re looking at every Saturday right now.” Dear Bo, I just saw you on the sidelines at the Auburn vs. Arkansas game. I texted Jennie: “Bo is here. Like always, expect a miracle.” After all, you’ve already turned down three requests for an interview. I’ve decided I’m going to find you after the game, even if I get arrested. I don’t care. For my one phone call, I’ll say, “I want to call Bo Jackson.” I told my dad. He said to go for it. Jeremy TODD VAN EMST

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I’m not sure when I first realized Cam Newton was forcing me to rethink my approach to the best-Bo-article-ever. It might have been during my talk with Dye. It might have been when Sadie saw me watching Newton’s highlights from this season’s Auburn vs. South Carolina game and said, “Daddy, you’re always watching Bo Jackson videos.” It might have been earlier in the season, when I opened up an issue of Sports Illustrated to a full-page ad for Nissan, “proud sponsors of the Heisman Memorial Trophy,” featuring a photo of Jackson captioned, “Anything you can do, he can do better”—then followed Bo’s eyes to a story on the adjacent page about Auburn’s newest quarterback. But I knew for sure at the Tigers’ game against Arkansas in October, when I looked up at the Jumbotron and stood in awe as Jackson himself emerged from the fog. The camera flashed to Cam, then back to Bo, then back to Cam. And I knew later that night, when I viewed online video of Bo and Cam together in the locker room, shaking hands, that I might not ever get to talk to Bo Jackson or show him my framed Polaroid or assure him the best-Bo-Jackson-story-ever wasn’t going to be so much an article as a love letter from a grownup with the heart of a 5-year-old boy. Watching that tape, I knew that Cam Newton wouldn’t simply reshape my Bo Jackson story. He might save it.

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he beat reporters get what they need and start filing out of the Auburn athletics pressroom. Newton has already spent half an hour humbly deflecting questions about his overnight status as the frontrunner for the 2010 Heisman. I wasn’t able to tackle Jackson for an interview after the Arkansas game, even while lurking hopefully around the players’ entrance. But I can talk to Cam Newton. I tilt my head back and look at this guy, who stands a full six-and-a-half feet tall. “Did you know who Bo Jackson was, growing up?” “I knew all about Bo Jackson,” Newton answers. “His road to Auburn, his life after Auburn. You go to Footlocker, and you see his shoes and his paraphernalia. Bo is a marquis athlete, and for him to be an athlete, and play baseball and football, and be good at both? “Bo Jackson’s name rings bells to a lot of people.” “So is having him on the sidelines and in the locker room like he was for the Arkansas game—I mean, was that a big deal?” I ask. “Oh, absolutely. Anytime you get to be in the presence of a person like Bo Jackson—a person who has reached so many pinnacles of success in his life—we’re all about that.” “I thought I was going to have a Opposite: Bo Jackson, chance to interview him this weekend. who traveled to Auburn Didn’t happen. Is he a cool guy? Did you for the Tigers’ Oct. talk to him?” 16 game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, “Oh, absolutely.” gives head coach Gene “What’d he say?” Chizik and his team a “He was encouraging us to take the locker-room pep talk. Right: Tigers quarchallenge to be dominant,” says Newterback Cam Newton ton, who took the challenge for 188 could be Auburn’s next Heisman winner. yards rushing and another 140 passing.

“I’m not going to ask you about the Heisman or anything, but do you think it’s fair to say that no other Auburn player since Bo Jackson has had the impact you’re having now?” Newton grins. “I wouldn’t say that. There’s been a lot of great players before me. Coach (Gene) Chizik says this program was made great before I was here, even before I was born.” Cam Newton came into the world on a Thursday, the same day the Texas Rangers’ Nolan Ryan struck out Bo Jackson in all four at-bats for the Royals. “Did you feel, like, a transference of energy or something when Bo shook your hand?” I’m only half joking. “Yeah, I did,” Cam says. “Bo’s presence makes you want to be great.” I thank Cam Newton for everything. I tell him, “War Eagle.” I really wish I had Sadie with me. And a camera. I shook his hand. It felt like a brick. Dear Bo, Thanks for everything. War Eagle! I remain your biggest fan. Jeremy Henderson, age 31 Jeremy Henderson graduated from Auburn in 2004 with a degree in philosophy. He founded and serves as editor of an online magazine, The War Eagle Reader. You can find him at www.thewareaglereader.com.

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Want to learn how to make an authentic Italian marinara sauce? Attract a wild turkey (no shot glass required)? Dance through six decades of marriage? Our alumni and faculty experts show you how to do all that and more. b y

s u z a n n e

j o h n s o n

Eat, Prey, Love HOW TO

Pack light Bob Henson ’60 has been on the go his whole life: As a kid, his mother often complained he’d enter through one door and immediately head out through another. Today Henson and wife Phyllis call Birmingham home—but the two are intrepid sojourners, having trekked to every state in the U.S., all seven continents and more than 260 countries. “We expect to visit at least 300 of the 319 recognized countries before we hang up our traveling shoes,” asserts Henson, a telecommunications executive who travels both for business and pleasure. The pair have been recognized by the international Travelers’ Century Club for their adventures. Heightened airport security over the last decade may have made travel more complicated, but one thing hasn’t changed: the need to pack light. “Once you decide to make an international trip, you begin to mentally assemble all the ‘stuff’ you’ll want to carry,” Henson says. “Go ahead! Pile it all up on a bed—and then cut it down by two-thirds. Only carry a third of what you think you will need.” Other packing tips:

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

Pack mix-and-match, no-iron separates. Ensure laundry maintenance is limited to three key steps: Wash, rinse, dry. Ask the hotel clerk for a room fan to speed drying time. Pack a few outfits in your traveling companion’s bag, and viceversa—in case one of them gets lost. Take only the shoes on your feet—and make sure they’re comfortable. Count your heavy coat as a carry-on, or simply wear it on the plane. Button and roll garments instead of folding; it saves space in

your suitcase.

Minimize the number of weighty maps and travel books. Pack aspirin, laxatives, antidiarrheals, Neosporin and six plas-

tic bandages in a carry-on. All prescription medicine should be in original packaging.


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HOW TO

Eat healthy at Waffle House Yes, it’s possible to eat a nutritional meal at a roadside diner, including that iconic Southern favorite, Waffle House. Auburn University nutritionist Robin Fellers suggests health-conscious patrons first scour the menu for fare designated as a “lighter choice” (at Waffle House, they’re listed in the lower right-hand corner) or marked with similar descriptors. Learn to say “hold it”—for butter, cheese and other fat- and calorie-laden ingredients. For breakfast in particular, stick with cereals and grains, fruit, lowfat milk and yogurt, lean meats such as ham (rather than bacon or sausage), and egg substitutes. Plain pancakes and waffles are fine as long as you ditch the butter and use sugar-free syrup.

HOW TO

Help your kid choose a college When your live-in tax deduction starts thinking about where to enroll, Auburn University is, of course, the college that comes to 36

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

mind. But to make sure AU—or any other university—is the right place for your teenager, Auburn recruitment director Cindy Singley ’79 advises first considering schools where your student feels he or she can develop—academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally—into a responsible adult. Does the school boast students you’d like for your child to emulate? Talk with students, family members and friends about their experiences at the colleges your child is considering, and ensure he or she attends college fairs to look at various options. Make sure your student prepares for college entrance exams by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT); encourage involvement in high school clubs and activities; have him or her start writing application essays early and proof drafts for errors; and go on campus visits—most decisions hinge on in-person impressions.

Asher Rowe sums up her marital advice in a few words: “Do what makes you happy.” For her, that means working as a “boot scooter,” line-dancing at assistedliving centers and nursing homes twice a week. For Leo, it means a daily trip to the gym. Poetry helps, too—Jane wrote this verse to describe married life: Living With Leo Living with Leo is as easy as pie He never makes me want to cry Steve, Fred and Al are their dad’s special pals What you need, bud? I’ve heard him say When the telephone rings any time of the day Both grandchildren and Kiwanis Club He really holds dear When either is in need I’ve learned to stand clear Like I said, there are no tears And we’ve been married for 60 years.

HOW TO

Stay married During her senior year at Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1950, Jane Asher was dining with a date at Sigma Chi fraternity house when she met the love of her life: her date’s fraternity brother, Leo Rowe. “It was love at first sight,” she says. The pair married two days after graduating from Auburn and recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. Jane

HOW TO

Recharge your metabolism Tired and running on empty even after eating a meal? The problem might be a sluggish metabolism. Try these tips from eating-disorder specialist and dietitian Tammy Moody Beasley ’84, creator of the “Rev It Up” diet:

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking in the morning. “Breakfast turns on your body’s engine for the day; your metabolism will sleep until you fuel your tank.” Eat every three to four hours to keep a balanced energy level and steady metabolism.


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Eat lean protein with quality carbohydrates for each meal and snack in between to slow down the rate at which your body burns carbs. Exercise three or four days a week—it changes your taste preferences. Lift weights twice a week. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body is capable of burning. Drink

eight glasses of water per day.

Get at least six hours of

sleep—it’s as important as your food choices and exercise.

HOW TO

Tell if your teen is being bullied Bullying. Taunting. Peer pressure. Kids today have a lot of advantages, but they’re also vulnerable to online hate mongering. AU student counseling services director Doug Hankes ’85 says to look for these signs your teenager might be a victim: changes in communication frequency (your child talks to you more often or less often); mood shifts; apathy about school, work or chores; increased irritation or anger; withdrawal from friends and family; psychosomatic problems such as headaches, loss of appetite, insomnia or excessive sleep; significant, unexplained changes in hygiene, appearance or weight; expressions of hopelessness or being overwhelmed. For older teens making the transition to college, Auburn’s Student Counseling Services offers information for parents at www. auburn.edu/scs/parents.html.

HOW TO

Make an authentic marinara sauce Rochester, N.Y., restaurateurs Anthony ’93 and Danny Daniele ’96 are first-generation Americans whose parents emigrated from a small town in central Italy with, among other things, some cherished recipes and a passion for homemade cooking. Mario and Flora Daniele ran Mario’s Pizza and Pasta in Rochester, N.Y., a city mainstay for 16 years, before building a new Mario’s in 1995. Brothers Anthony and Danny now own two other restaurants in Rochester as well— Bazil and The Crab Shack—and fill each one with the family’s passion for food. The sauce at Mario’s is so popular, the Danieles bottle and sell it at more than 1,200 locations throughout the Northeast as well as online. The main ingredients of a good marinara sauce, Anthony Daniele says, are “passion, integrity and desire. You want to give people an experience that feels like Sunday dinner around the family table, laughing with a bottle of wine and twirling forkfuls of spaghetti. It needs all-natural, simple ingredients: fresh tomatoes, not pureed. Fresh chopped garlic, not powdered. Extra-virgin olive oil, not vegetable or cheap olive oil.” Delizioso!

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al problems—hip dysplasia, hot spots, feline distemper and more—but four years ago the outdoor enthusiast signed on for the ride of his life: assisting with Alaska’s annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Each year in March, the world’s top mushers and dog teams brave whiteout conditions and harsh landscapes on the 1,161-mile run from Anchorage to Nome. As a trail vet, Marks audits teams of 12 or 16 dogs as they dash through various route checkpoints, ensuring they are able-bodied and ready to move on to the next leg of the race. Mushers may be able to tell if a dog is in distress, but Marks has devised his own wellness test:

How is the dog moving as it enters the checkpoint? It should be alert, with tail up, pulling the sled with no signs of limping. Is it eating and drinking well? Are there any digestive problems

such as vomiting or diarrhea?

Does it rest and sleep easily during its checkpoint stop? Is its body temperature normal? Dogs can get heat stroke from exertion, even in the cold. How is its heart rate? It should return to normal within an hour of rest.

HOW TO

Monitor a sled dog Most days, veterinarian Doug Marks ’77 cares for pets at an animal clinic in sunny Turlock, Calif., treating the usu-

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HOW TO

Talk like a film buff Ever since mastering the VCR, consumers have gotten savvier about media technology—but few of us know what it’s like to work behind the scenes on a movie set or are able to converse with ease before a group of TV moguls. Los Angeles author Richard W. Kroon ’02 can help: His mammoth A/V A to Z: An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Media, Entertainment and Other Audiovisual Terms (McFarland, 2010) helps novices speak the lingo. Next time you’re at a Hollywood party, sprinkle a few of these vocabulary words into the conversation:

Boffo; boffola Extremely good. Generally used in reference to a film’s box-office receipts, with box office abbreviated, as in “boffo b.o.” Bomb

A financial failure lacking mitigating praise for artistic merit.

Cinemads A series of TV commercials that tells an ongoing story. Example: the popular set of 1990 Taster’s Choice ads that followed the romantic encounters of a man and woman and their mutual love of instant coffee. Frankenbite A sound bite that is edited to better make the point desired by the producer. Common to reality TV. Gorn; gorno A work that dwells

upon graphic and realistic scenes of violence to the point of being pornographic, such as Lions Gate Entertainment’s Saw horror franchise.

Let’s do lunch Roughly translated: You’re someone I cannot afford to offend but don’t really want to spend much time with. Perhaps we will get together at some future date and get to know each other/catch up on old times, but you probably won’t hear from me until I need something. 38

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HOW TO

Defuse an argument Conflict is normal: Just ask occupational psychologist Lee M. Ozley ’61, author of Why Aren’t You More Like Me? Dealing with Conflict (Word Association Publishers, 2009). “Imagine how boring and unproductive our relationships would be if we were all the same,” he says. “The reality is that we are different, and arguments and conflict are inevitable.” A few minor changes in perspective can keep disagreements from spiraling out of control:

Focus on the unacceptable action

or behavior, not the person.

Realize whose problem the behavior is. Chances are, it’s a problem for you, but not for the other person. Watch “I” versus “you.” Use the word “I” four times more often than “you.” HOW TO

Attract wild turkeys If Benjamin Franklin had had his way, the wild turkey might have been America’s national bird. After Congress approved the fledgling country’s Great Seal with a bald eagle as its center in 1782, Franklin wrote his daughter a letter suggesting the rendering

actually looked more like a turkey, which he described as “a true, original native of America” and “a bird of courage.” For wild-turkey advocate James Earl Kennamer ’64, turkeys are serious business. As chief conservation officer for the National Wild Turkey Federation, Kennamer works to ensure adequate populations of wild turkeys exist for hunting. Here are his tips for attracting the large game birds:

Make your land inviting by providing nesting places and a steady food supply. For specifics, see www.nwtf.org. Use prescribed burns to clear undergrowth and foster sunlight for stimulating wildlife-friendly grasses. This also makes it easier for turkeys to spot predators, and the ash enriches the soil. Retain heavy acorn-producing trees such as sawtooth or white, red and live oaks, and remove light producers such as sweetgum and red maple. The more acorns, the more wildlife. Plant clover, winter peas and wheat during fall. Clover planted in the fall also makes a great spring habitat for the insects that provide 90 percent of a young turkey’s diet. To plant grasses that will attract wildlife such as turkeys, choose a mix that has several grass species adapted to your soils and locations, and with as many native forbs, or herb seeds, as you can afford. The herbs provide the greatest benefit in attracting insects. Wildlife openings, or food plots, are a popular way to attract wildlife—but they require some knowledge of planting. Seedbeds should be as smooth and clod-free as possible, especially for small-seeded varieties such as clover. Large-seeded plantings like peas and corn don’t require as much prep work. In their own words: For more tips and “how to’s,” check out the Auburn Magazine blog at AuburnMagazine. auburn.edu.


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One-hit wonder Elmo Shropshire ’64, whose ditty about a dead granny grew into a popculture phenomenon, describes life as a veterinarian-cum-novelty singer. b y c a n d i c e d y e r

The Half-life Holiday Hit

Known affectionately as “Dr. Elmo,” bluegrass singer Elmo Shropshire quit his day job as a veterinarian and rode his hit “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” into the sunset. The song has been paying off handsomely since the early 1980s.

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lmo shropshire was driving around San Francisco in the late 1970s when he tuned in to the middle of a lively debate on the radio. Several listeners had requested a particular song with great enthusiasm; a few had complained about it just as fiercely. The deejay, sensing an attention-getter, put the needle in the groove. Then Shropshire heard his own voice warbling in an earnest treble. “I was shocked at just how awful I sounded,” he recalls. The song was “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” He’d recorded it as a lark, with no grander ambition than to give it to friends as gag gifts and possibly sell a few singles for pocket change. At the time, Shropshire was working as a veterinarian by day and moonlighting as half of an Americana lounge act dubbed “Patsy & Elmo” with his then-wife, Patsy Trigg, by night. One of the couple’s fans had submitted their silly little record to the radio station. The ditty’s hook turned out to be catchier than Shropshire had ever imagined. His gleeful, nasal delivery of lyrics describing an eggnog-soused matriarch who gets trampled to death by one of Santa’s draft animals fell into that peculiar “so bad, it’s good” category of pop culture, providing, for many listeners, comic relief from the sentimental soundtrack of the holiday season. “You know you’re going to hear certain standards played to death over the airwaves that time of year, so you don’t usually phone in to ask for ‘Jingle Bells,’” Shropshire says. “But a song about grandma getting killed—well, you have to go out of your way to ask for that, and enough people did. Deejays like songs that show people are listening and paying attention. It just struck some sort of chord.” Call it a Christmas miracle. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” went multi-platinum, selling more than 11 million copies. It quickly knocked Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” from the top of Billboard’s holiday charts and inspired a sprawling, ongoing franchise that includes heavy-metal and foreign-language covers, an animated movie, spots on various film soundtracks, and an array of plush, singing reindeer toys and blinking, collectible keepsakes and kitsch. Moreover, “Grandma” has proved remarkably spry in keeping up with changing times. The video, an early favorite on MTV, has gone viral on YouTube; the ringtone earned a No. 1 “gold” ranking in its first year; and Shropshire’s home-based company, Laughing Stock Records, just released a nifty iPhone application based on the song. During the upcoming holiday season alone—more than 30 years after its release—the royalties will still add up to more than a jingle in the singer’s pocket. No one is more bemused by the “Grandma” phenomenon than Shropshire, a 1964 graduate of Auburn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. A diminutive man with twinkling eyes, a thatch of snowy hair, and a wardrobe heavy on bright redand-green plaids and wintry cable-knit sweaters, he long ago embraced the role of elf. “If it weren’t for that song, I’d still be worming cats for a living,” he says in his distinctive Kentucky drawl. Still, though “Grandma” gets most of the press, Shropshire’s varied exploits belie his one-hit wonder status.

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orn in 1936, Shropshire grew up on a farm in the horse country of Lexington. His father, who shared Elmo’s moniker, was the most famous jockey of his era. Known as “Little Shrop,” he rode more than 70 thoroughbreds to victory—until he grew. “Then the same thing happened to me later,” says Shropshire junior, who, at 74, now stands about 5-foot-8. “When I was a kid, I was an exercise boy and a jockey until I put on a little weight. You have to weigh less than 108 pounds.” As a trainer, the young Shropshire broke in a sickly foal called Needles, whose nickname reflected the various medical injections he’d received for broken ribs and pneumonia. Needles became the first Florida horse to win the Kentucky Derby in 1956 and almost swept the Triple Crown. The thoroughbred’s legendary, come-from-behind success launched a boom in the Sunshine State’s horse-breeding industry. When Shropshire was a teen, his parents were killed in a head-on collision. He worked to put himself through college, studying animal Above and opposite: husbandry and chemistry at the Univer- When “Grandma Got Over by a Reinsity of Florida before his selection as one Run deer”—already a cult of 10 out-of-state students for Auburn’s hit—was released on rigorous veterinary program. He served Epic Records in 1984, 45 rpm single as president of the Alpha Psi veterinary the boasted “Percy, the fraternity on campus. Puny Poinsettia” on “Elmo was a very unusual young its B-side. Singer Elmo Shropshire’s Southernman,” remembers James M. “Jim” Hill fried humor and ’64, an Auburn classmate who also be- lively performing style him a popular came a veterinarian and the owner of make entertainer worldthe racehorse Seattle Slew. “He was an wide—including among incredible athlete and always reigned as schoolgirls in China.


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edo,” he says—but the group’s sounds, rehearsed with exacting discipline, were pure and authentic. Patsy Trigg joined the outfit with her high-lonesome vocals, and the band developed a loyal underground following. “We packed the house in joints that sat 15 or 20 people,” he jokes. One of Shropshire’s early devotees was Joe Wiercinski, a broadcasting student from Pennsylvania. “There wasn’t much country-inflected music then, just Homestead Act and one or two other groups,” he remembers. “Elmo’s stage presence and humor were so wry and genuinely folksy, so warm and human and humane. His shtick was playing the fish out of water, the rube in the big city—but if you paid attention, you realized this ‘rube’ was likely the smartest person in the room. So I went every week to hear him at whatever smoky saloon he was playing.” After Shropshire and Trigg married, they started performing as a duo, touring on the casino circuit, where the animal doctor honed his claw-hammer chops and raspy, woodsmoke voice. One night during the holidays in Nevada, a blizzard left another band stranded at the resort where Patsy & Elmo were performing, and all of the musicians took the stage together. “One of the waiters sent up a note on a cocktail napkin suggesting we play this little novelty song I’d written,” says Randy Brooks, who played in the group. “That’s when Elmo first heard it. If my band hadn’t been stranded there that night, who knows how things would’ve turned out for either of us? Talk about a fluke.” Brooks goes on to describe how he wrote “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

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the life of the party, always cool—always fun to be around, but always motivated.” After graduating, Shropshire worked with horses for a year in Miami and then won a coveted position as a veterinarian and equine inspector at the Belmont Aqueduct and Saratoga racetracks in New York. “It was a veterinarian’s dream job, with a great social life for somebody young and single,” he recalls. But Shropshire was hearing the call of a twangy new muse: the banjo. “I did not grow up in a musical family, and some people would argue that there is still no musical talent in my family,” he says with a grin. “But one day when I was around 25, I happened to hear ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ on the radio, and it changed my life. I’ll never forget it. I was just astonished that sounds like that could come out of a single instrument.” So he taught himself to play through intensive mimicry, and, in 1967, relocated to the West Coast—just in time for the Summer of Love. “Most people in San Francisco were not familiar with the original bluegrass from the East,” he says. “They thought Jerry Garcia invented the form. I wanted to fix that.” While establishing a small-animal clinic in the Bay area, Shropshire helped introduce old-school music to the locals, playing in a band called Homestead Act and hosting a popular radio show, “The Great San Francisco Bluegrass Experience,” in which he interviewed his heroes, people like North Carolina pickers Earl Scruggs and Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson. He camped it up in rhinestone-studded overalls—“for formal occasions, we might wear black overalls that had tails like a tux-

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“So many of the country songs at that time introduced a beloved relative only to kill her off in the third verse, which made me indignant as a songwriter,” he says. “I figured if I could kill off the relative in the first verse and still hold a listener’s attention, that would be an unconventional song. So I got my Scotch-and-water and guitar, and contemplated: ‘How would grandma die at Christmas?’ “To call that process ‘inspiration’ is probably too strong a word. But once Elmo launched it, it started earning me songwriter royalties, which raised my family’s standard of living, and it still gets us both invited to a lot more Christmas parties than we ordinarily would attend.” Still, the song’s macabre premise has had its detractors through the years. “One night, I showed up to play at this hot club in San Francisco, and there was a huge crowd outside,” Shropshire recalls. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be a great night!’ But as soon as I got out of the car, I was accosted by people screaming in my face, ‘What’s so funny about a dead grandma?!’” Turns out the protesters were part of the Gray Panthers, an activist group for senior citizens, decrying what they called the song’s “ageist” message. “I felt terrible that people were offended, and I didn’t

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know what to say to them,” Shropshire says, shrugging helplessly. “The next day it was the front-page story in The San Francisco Chronicle, and then that story went national on the wire services, and the song started getting radio airplay across the country. So while I really felt bad that it made some people angry, which was never our intent, the publicity from that event had the effect of establishing our national profile.” (The incident later would be cited in a Time magazine editorial as a sign of the era’s sociopolitical hypersensitivity, Brooks notes.) “We were trying to get major record labels interested,” Shropshire continues, “but they would tell us, ‘No, we absolutely hate this song—stop sending it.’ The local radio station played it, then banned it, and then began to play it over and over again.” Meanwhile, Shropshire spent his own money to film a homespun video, which began airing on MTV; singles started selling out at Tower Records; and the controversial song reached No. 1 on the Billboard holiday charts in 1983. Shropshire didn’t profit much from the recording, though, until the following year, when he signed a distribution deal with Epic Records. The company had recently released what would become the biggest-selling album in history: pop superstar Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”


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ingly grotesque”—one of his favorite numbers is a hymn to “Uncle Johnny’s Glass Eye”—and every year he obliges disc jockeys with an average of 150 steadfastly jolly interviews, including snippets of live singing, during the Christmas season. Now though, he’s beginning to focus more on his musical roots, performing and recording with his band, Wild Blue, and relearning the old-timey material. This season, Time-Life Inc. plans to release Shropshire’s straightforward, “non-comedic” album, “Bluegrass Christmas.” “They say they could never duplicate the bell-brass tone of these,” Shropshire says, leisurely plucking and plinking the moon-face of his 1936 Gibson Granada—a twin to the hallowed instrument played by Earl Scruggs. “The public still views banjo playing as something that minstrels in blackface do. It remains sort of an underground thing, at least here on the West Coast, where nobody cares for it much. I feel compelled to play it more and more lately, even though it demands a certain athleticism that makes it more suitable to a younger player.” So he practices constantly, when he’s not feeding corn to the herd of tame deer roaming the grounds of the Marin County estate that “Grandma” paid for. “Besides,” Shropshire adds, without regret, “I may finally have milked all of the humorous puns I can out of Christmas. We’ll see.” PAM wendell

“‘Thriller’ came out, and during those few weeks of the holiday season, ‘Grandma’ actually outsold ‘Thriller,’ if you can believe that,” marvels Shropshire, who eventually turned his veterinary practice, the Arguello Pet Hospital, over to a protégé. (It has grown into San Francisco’s largest clinic.) An ambassador of yuletide cheer, he has toured with Brenda Lee of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” fame and played with Bobby Helms, who did “Jingle Bell Rock.” After surviving some unsettling competition from the meowing “Jingle Cats”—“I’d like to neuter them,” Shropshire famously quipped in an interview—the bluegrass picker with the “nom de nonsense” of “Dr. Elmo” has now joined Ray Stevens, “Weird Al” Yankovic, the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and Frank Zappa in the pantheon of novelty music, where artful clowning is serious business. Recently, on a cloudless day in Novato, Calif., where he lives in a charmed clearing nicknamed the “Reindeer Plantation,” Shropshire’s wife, photographer Pam Wendell, walks in with some packages and says, with a gleam in her eye, “Look—fan mail!” Shropshire opens an envelope to find a compact disc titled “Dead Ninja Christmas,” by the artist Chuck Picklesimer. (Among the tracks: “Reindeer For Breakfast On Christmas” and “I Was a Slave for Psycho-Santa.”) “I get at least one of these a week from different people hoping I’ll record their material, I guess, or discover them somehow. I know this guy’s work—he does some interesting stuff. But I usually end up writing my own.” One such solicitation, though, has yielded a fruitful, longterm collaboration. “Ironically, I had written a song called ‘Christmas Millionaire,’ which was about my wish to write a hit for the holiday,” says Rita Abrams, an Emmy-winning writer whose song “Mill Valley” had climbed the charts in 1970. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if the guy with the ‘Grandma’ song would sing it?’ I contacted him out of the blue, and he turned out to be the kindest, most delightful person in the world. He went with me to the studio and recorded it. We reconnected later on and realized that we could bounce songwriting ideas off each other and create something we both liked.” In the past decade, Shropshire and Abrams have co-written hundreds of “comedy carols,” which appear on albums such as “Dr. Elmo’s Twisted Christmas,” “Up Your Chimney” and “Dr. Elmo Halloween,” in which he “sings the boos.” Over the course of this quirky repertoire, the wordplay has sharpened in clever ways that echo Hollywood composer Johnny Mercer in his lighter moments. For example, in “Santa’s E-mail from Nigeria,” which lampoons the recent trend in cyber-scams, the bankers’ chorus features this rhyme scheme: “When your arrears uprear ya/Like bird flu or diphtheria/Trust Santa won’t bum steer ya/With an e-mail from Nigeria.” “We had fun with that one,” Shropshire says fondly. “However, radio stations are so pre-formatted and formulaic these days, there just isn’t the market for novelty music that there used to be—which is probably a good thing to most people.” Shropshire still revels in what he terms the “heart-warm-

Opposite and below: Ironically, protests from groups like the Gray Panthers propelled “Grandma” and Dr. Elmo into the limelight. He became a favorite on the holiday TV and radio circuit and eventually turned over his veterinary practice to a colleague. Today, he still performs and also maintains a competitive marathonpace running schedule of 25 miles per week.

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P H OTO G R A P H S B Y P H I L I P S M I T H


Two years ago, Dan Luckett ’06 lost a leg and both feet as the result of an Iraqi roadside bombing. Then he did what no one expected: He headed overseas again—this time to Afghanistan—armed with some spare limbs, an iron will and a desire to serve another military tour of duty. b y

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One-Legged Warrior of Ashoqeh When a bomb exploded under Dan Luckett’s U.S. Army Humvee in Iraq two years ago—blowing off one of his legs and part of his foot—the first thing he thought was: “That’s it. You’re done. No more Army for you.” Now, two years later, the 27-yearold Auburn alumnus is back on duty—a double-amputee fighting on the front lines of America’s Afghan surge. The Norcross, Ga., native’s remarkable recovery can be attributed in part to dogged self-determinaOpposite: Roadside tion. But new technological advances also bombs, or improvised explosive devices have been crucial: Artificial limbs today like the one that are so effective, some war-wounded like injured Dan Luckett, Luckett are not only able to do intensive are believed to have caused 60 percent of sports such as snow skiing, they can also American casualties in return to active duty as fully operational Iraq and 70 percent in soldiers. The Pentagon says 41 American Afghanistan. Now back on active duty, Luckett amputee veterans are now serving in comis one of 41 American bat zones worldwide. amputees serving in military combat zones Luckett was a young platoon leader around the world. on his first tour in Iraq when an explo-

sively formed penetrator—a bomb that hurls an armor-piercing lump of molten copper—ripped through his vehicle on a Baghdad street on Mother’s Day 2008. His Humvee cabin instantly filled with heavy gray smoke and the smell of burning diesel and molten metal. Luckett felt an excruciating pain and a “liquid”—his own blood—pouring out of his legs. He looked down and saw a shocking sight: His left foot was sheared off above the ankle, while his right boot was a bloody mangle of flesh and dust. Still conscious, he took deep breaths and made a deliberate effort to calm down. A voice squawked over the radio—his squad leader checking in. “1-6, is everybody all right?” the soldier asked him, referring to Luckett’s call-sign. “Negative,” Luckett responded. “My feet are gone.” He was evacuated by helicopter to a Baghdad emergency room, flown to Germany and, six days after the blast, he was back in the United States. As the plane touched down at Andrews Air Force Base, Luckett made a determined decision: He was going to rejoin the 101st Airborne Division any way he could.

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n his first patrol, wearing 50 pounds of gear and body armor, Luckett slipped and fell. But when he looked around, he saw that everybody else was falling, too. The region around his outpost at Ashoqeh, just west of the provincial capital of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, is surrounded by irrigation trenches and 4-foot-high mud walls enshrouded with grapevines. Troops must traverse the treacherous terrain to avoid bombs on footpaths and trails. Capt. Brant Auge, Luckett’s 30-year-old company commander, says Luckett is as adept as any other infantryman and is treated accordingly. “He’s a soldier who just happens to be missing a leg,” says Auge. “He tries to play it down as much as possible; he doesn’t like to bring a lot of attention to it.” On one of those early patrols, an Afghan soldier nicknamed Luckett the “one-legged warrior of Ashoqeh” after having glimpsed the prosthetic limb sticking out from his pants leg. Be-

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AP Photo/Todd Pitman

For the first month at Washington’s The number of veterans returning from the Middle Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Luck- East with missing limbs ett was bound to a wheelchair. He hated has resulted in an uptick in research into the dependence that came with it. He engineering the creation of improved hated the way people changed their voices prosthetics. Luckett is when they spoke to him, all soft and sym- the son of Atlanta-area Steven A. Luckett pathetic. He wondered: How long is this architect and Melyne Montgomery going to last? Will I be dependent on oth- Luckett, both of whom are 1981 Auburn graduates. ers for the rest of my life? At night, he dreamed of walking on two legs. Awake, only the stump of his left leg remained, painfully tender and swollen. His family wanted to know whether he’d ever be the same person again. He assured them he was. Luckett was fortunate in one sense. His wounds had been caused not by shrapnel but the projectile itself, which made a relatively clean cut. That meant no complications—no joint or nerve damage, or bone fractures. His right foot was sheared across his metatarsals, the five long bones before the toes. Doctors fitted it with a removable carbon-fiber plate that runs under the foot and fills the space where toes should be with hardened foam. His left leg was a far bigger challenge. In early July, Luckett strapped into a harness, leaned on a set of parallel bars and tried out his first prosthetic leg. It felt awkward, but he was able to balance and walk. The next day, he tried the leg on crutches—and attempted to walk out the door. “They were like, ‘You gotta give the leg back,’” Luckett recalls his therapists exclaiming. After a brief argument, they grudgingly gave in. “They said, ‘If you’re gonna be that hard-headed about it, do it smart, don’t wear it all the time.’” By February 2009, he could run a mile in eight minutes. He rejoined his unit at Fort Campbell, Ky., and told his battalion commander he wanted to return to duty “only if I could be an asset, not a liability,” he says. Months later, he passed a physicalfitness test to attain the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. It required running 12 miles in under three hours with a 35-pound backpack. Luckett figured if he could nab that badge, it would show his superiors he was capable of anything. The Army agreed and promoted him to captain. He deployed to Afghanistan in May.

side his cramped bunk bed, the 185-pound, 5-foot-11 Luckett keeps artificial legs for different tasks, each with a carbon-fiber socket that attaches to his thigh. One is fitted with a tennis shoe for running, another a boot. One, made of aluminum so it won’t rust, sports a waterproof black Croc for showering. The most important leg, though, he saves for patrols. Its high-tech axle allows him to move smoothly over uneven terrain; his squad leader painted its toenails purple. Luckett’s prosthesis is often a source of good humor, usually self-generated. Some in the company joke of the advantages of having fewer appendages to lose should he step on a mine. “That’s always a big one,” he says, “but the reality is, you don’t want to step on a (bomb) because you enjoy living, and you want to stay living. The fear is no different than any other soldier.” Before heading to Afghanistan, Luckett formed an as-yet untried “master plan” to upset the insurgents, Auge claims. His fellow soldiers would have Luckett step on a mine and blow his fake leg off. He’d then look up at the trigger man while whipping a replacement leg over his shoulder and slipping it on. “Then he would flip them off,” Auge says of the proposed sight gag, “and keep on walking.” Reprinted with permission from the Associated Press. AP writer Anne Gearan contributed to this report.


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ALUMNI CENTER

New president takes the reins BOBBY POUNDSTONE ’95

President, Auburn Alumni Association Editor’s note: Attorney Bobby Poundstone, former president of the Montgomery County Auburn Club, began a two-year term as association president on Nov. 6. What is the role of the Auburn Alumni Association? BP: The association’s role is broadly stated in its mission statement: to foster and strengthen the relationship between Auburn University and its alumni and friends; to preserve and promote the university’s traditions, purposes, growth and development; and to keep alive the spirit of affection and reverence for our alma mater. Frankly, the fostering of the relationship between Auburn and its alumni is an easy task. The association’s role is to provide ways in which Auburn people can feel the same sense of community they felt as students.  The remainder of our mission statement is where we have work to do. In order to see our university achieve all that it can, the association and its members must translate our affinity into promoting the growth and development of the university. This requires a financial commitment and, in some cases, a time commitment. One particular area in which Auburn desperately needs the help of alumni is in increasing the university endowment. Our endowment ranks near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference universities as well as all land-grant institutions nationwide. The association is committed to raising its scholarship endowment through individual donations and other efforts.  What are some of the association’s immediate opportunities and challenges? BP: There are two exciting opportunities in the Auburn club program we believe will enhance the value of membership. First, the clubs are implementing “membership unity,” which means members of the association are automatically

members of their local Auburn clubs, with no separate dues. Second, the association just completed its first year of the “Tiger Trek” partnership with athletics to bring head football coach Gene Chizik to speak at nearly a dozen club meetings. We believe the buzz generated in year one will lead to even bigger Tiger Trek events in the years to come. The biggest challenge facing the association is one facing most every organization. The economic decline has caused many members to reassess the value of membership and made prospective members unsure whether the benefits are worth the investment. Fortunately, membership has remained steady. As the economic uncertainty continues, we must look for more ways to enhance benefits while also supporting scholarships. Between now and May, seven of the 13 university trustee seats will come up for nomination, and two more are currently vacant. The alumni association board will select two representatives who will serve on the five-member committee that will nominate trustees. It is a tremendous opportunity for alumni representatives to participate in the selection of those who will set policy for our alma mater. The last two trustee-selection committees were conducted with an unprecedented amount of cooperation and transparency. I anticipate and look forward to continued dialogue and collaboration in the selection process, which will only benefit Auburn.      What is your vision for the association, and how will you implement it? BP: The association has been in good hands with my predecessor, Nancy Fortner ’71. She has worked tirelessly to ensure the association strives to offer valuable services and conforms to its strategic plan. I do not plan any wholesale changes ... I do want to make sure we are always listening to our members and adapting our services to their interests. I also plan to focus on ways to increase our membership, particularly among younger alumni. 

N E W S

Calendar Jan. 12-22 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: MAYAN MYSTIQUE

Sail to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, including Virgin Gorda, George Town and Grand Cayman in the British West Indies as well as Cozumel and Belize City. From $1,499. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel. Feb. 1-12 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: LEGENDS OF THE NILE

Journey to exotic Egypt and visit Cairo, Sakkara, Luxor and Aswan, home to vibrant bazaars, ancient burial grounds, pyramids and temples. From $3,995. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel.

Feb. 3-15 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: CARIBBEAN PEARLS

Board the Oceania Regatta, then bask in the sun at ports of call on the islands of St. Barthélemy, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. From $1,999. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel. Feb. 4-5 AUBURN CLUB LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Auburn club leaders from around the nation gather at the Auburn Alumni Center for training in fundraising and event planning. Info: (334) 844-1148 or www.aualum.org/clubs. Feb. 4-13 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: AMAZON RIVER JOURNEY

Join fellow alumni for an unforgettable journey into the mysterious Amazon River Basin. Led by expert Peruvian naturalists, you’ll seek rare indigenous flora and fauna, glide down the Amazon’s tributaries aboard small excursion boats, overnight in a tented camp and visit local villages. From $3,695. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel.

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Seasonal blues If you’re infatuated with the taste and health benefits of blueberries, check out a new website that details how to grow, can, freeze, store and cook them: www.extension. org/blueberries. Blueberry experts from Auburn and other land-grant universities are available online to answer consumers’ and growers’ questions.

Calendar Feb. 5-19 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: SOUTH AMERICA

Your tour of Chile includes the cities of Valparaiso, Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Laguna San Rafael and Punta Arenas. From $3,999. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel.

Feb. 7-17 WAR EAGLE TRAVELERS: PERU

Nestled in the Andes Mountains, Peru is a storied land where vast Incan civilizations once flourished and Spanish conquistadors ruled. You’ll visit cosmopolitan Lima and the ruins of Machu Picchu, take a rail journey from Cuzco to the city of Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca and more. From $3,595. Info: (334) 844-1143 or www.aualum.org/travel. Feb. 28 DEADLINE: 2011 YOUNG ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATIONS

Nominations are being accepted through Feb. 28 for the Office of Alumni Affairs’ inaugural Young Alumni Achievement awards. Fifteen recipients under age 40 will be recognized for significant achievement in their professional lives or for distinguished community service. Candidates may be nominated by Auburn Alumni Association members, Auburn University faculty and staff or any chartered Auburn club. For details, see www.aualum.org/ youngalumniaward or contact Janet Bryant at (334) 844-1150 or janetbryant@auburn.edu. March 5 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS BANQUET

Dinner and induction ceremony honoring Neil E. Christopher ’55, Thomas K. “T.K.” Mattingly ’58, Forrest S. McCartney ’52 and Wayne T. Smith ’68 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. 6 p.m. reception; 6:30 p.m. dinner. Black tie. Tickets are $175 each or $2,250 for a table of 10. Info: (334) 844-1150 or (334) 844-1113.

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One man’s life mission DEBBIE SHAW ’84

Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director, Auburn Alumni Association The month of November brings with it a great feeling of excitement for many reasons. The weather begins to cool and the leaves to fall; it’s the middle of football season; and weekends are full of activity in our small college town. This semester, the alumni affairs and provost’s offices have embarked on a journey together by encouraging students and alumni alike to read Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time as part of Auburn University’s new “common book program.” Administrators and faculty are encouraging freshmen students to read the book, which details Mortenson’s effort to build a school for girls in a remote area of Pakistan. His work exemplifies the Auburn Creed, and we hope you’ll read the book right along with our students. In fact, if you love to read, why not give our new alumni book club a try? It’s free and convenient—online discussions offer the opportunity to share your opinion of the readings with your fellow alumni right from your desktop. See alumnibookclub.auburn.edu. My good friend, retired student dean James E. Foy, passed away in October following an extended illness. I was moved by the words sent to me by Barbara Holder ’67, who visited with Dean Foy a few days prior to his death along with her beagle, Halle, as part of a pettherapy program: “We entered quietly and greeted the elderly man in the bed. His hair was white and full. It reminded me of my grandfather’s beautiful head of hair. As we came into the room, the patient pulled his

trembling hand out from under the quilt to greet us. His daughter … put Halle on the bed next to her dad. Halle greeted him and lay still as he stroked her. As the patient looked up at me standing beside his bed, I suddenly realized who this man was … the beloved Dean Foy of Auburn. I stood at the head of his bed and looked into his cloudy eyes. I remember seeing him so long ago when I was a student—slim and vibrant, striding purposefully across the Auburn campus. He seemed to greet each student individually as he passed. He was not some stuffy administrator sitting behind a desk; he was ‘among’ us and a model for us, a symbol of Auburn’s open, friendly and caring atmosphere. “From his bed, he tried to speak to me. His mouth opened but barely moved, and we could not understand him. I took his hand and held it as he continued his effort to speak. He began to grab at me, touching me almost like a blind person feeling his way to sight, wanting to communicate with me, seemingly wanting to embrace me. At last, in apparent frustration, tears formed in his eyes and ran down his cheeks. We needed a diversion … ‘Can you give us a big War Eagle, Dr. Foy?’ Suddenly, Dean Foy found his voice, clear and true! He smiled, inhaled and yelled ‘WAR EAGLE’! It was loud. It was perfect. His face lit up with the victory. We applauded.” Jim Foy taught me to be more positive, more spirited, more forgiving, more compassionate, more loyal, more loving, more grateful and, most of all, he has deepened my love for Auburn University. And I really am but one of many individuals who can say the same thing. War Eagle!

debbieshaw@auburn.edu


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Class Notes GOT NEWS? Auburn Magazine 317 S. College Street Auburn University, AL 36849-5149, or

treatments for cocaine and nicotine addictions as well as other central nervous system disorders.

aubmag@auburn.edu Life Member Annual Member

’20–’59 John Furniss Bondurant ’35 of Forest, Miss.,

celebrated his 97th birthday on Sept. 15. James W. “Jim” Mills Jr. ’47 and wife

ecutive vice president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce. He has served as president of the Autauga County Auburn Club for four years and is a member of the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council.

K-ROB THOMAS ’01 of Oxford works for Southern Co. and is a member of Auburn’s Diversity Multicultural Affairs Leadership Council and the Minority Engineering Program Advisory Council as well as the Calhoun/Cleburne Counties Auburn Club.

WILLIAM “BEAU” BYRD II ’89 is

BARBARA ANN WALLACE-ED-

an attorney in the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. He is a past president of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club and a member of several Auburn University Foundation donor societies.

WARDS ’79 of Birmingham is a

Sam Cunningham ’65

M. VAN HENLEY ’80 of Col-

ROBERT E. “BOBBY” POUND-

was inducted into the 2010 Boys’ Home Hall of Fame. He volunteered with the Covington, Va.-based nonprofit as a farm manager.

leyville, Texas, is a partner with Ernst & Young accounting firm. He is a member of the Dallas Auburn Club and the School of Accountancy Advisory Council as well as several Auburn University Foundation donor societies.

STONE IV ’95, a Montgomery attorney, was elected president of the association. He is a partner and litigator with the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

EARL GAINES THOMAS ’71 of Mobile is a pediatric dentist. He is a member of the Mobile County Auburn Club and several Auburn University Foundation donor societies.

WILLIAM B. “BILL” STONE II

John R. “Ray” Garrett

of Dallas celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary with their children, Jim, Rick and Laura. The whole family attended Auburn University.

Garrett ’59 of Burke,

the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He is a partner in the Birmingham law firm of Christian & Small. F. Ivy Carroll ’57 of

Durham, N.C., a scientist and Distinguished Fellow at Research Triangle Institute International, received the North Carolina Award for science in October. A researcher with RTI for the past 50 years, he is the institute’s longest-serving staff member. Among his most recognized scientific contributions in medicinal chemistry are the development of a diagnostic agent for Parkinson’s disease and compounds as potential

JEREMY L. ARTHUR ’99 is ex-

’60–’69 ’60 and wife Nancy Carr

’56 was included in

The Auburn Alumni Association elected two officers and six new board members during its annual meeting Nov. 6:

Bill Klemm ’58 wrote an electronic book, Better Grades, Less Effort, which offers tips and tricks for studying. He has been a professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, for 47 years.

Jean Crawford Mills ’47

Clarence M. Small

Welcome aboard

Va., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 24 with a two-week tour of Italy.

divisional project manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama/Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators and is a member of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club.

Barney Fleming ’67

hosted a reunion of five veterinarians from Auburn’s 1967 class in Custer, S.D., for a weeklong horseback adventure in the Black Hills in September. He and wife Linda are the owners of Spirit Horse Escape.

Janice Roberts Young ’69 of Janice Young

James W. Rane Sr. ’68

received the Alabama Tourism Department’s 2010 Governor’s Tourism Award. He is president and chief executive officer of Great Southern Wood Preserving in Abbeville and an Auburn University trustee.

& Associates Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers.

’70–’79 Larry Woodson ’70

and Leila Gilchrist ’70, principals of the Nashville, Tenn.-based

firm of Woodson Gilchrist Architects, were featured in Home & Architectural Trends for their modernist design of a new house in a traditional neighborhood. Paula Edney ’72 of Cumming, Ga., was appointed chair of the Department of Health and Wellness at Gaines-

’85 of Chattanooga, Tenn., was elected vice president of the association. He is president and chief operating officer of Electric Motor Sales & Supply Co. Inc.

ville State College in Gainesville, Ga.

ment Methods Inc., a Decatur management consulting firm.

Davis M. Woodruff ’72

developed a five-part online course, “Statistical Methods for Process Improvement,” for professional engineers taught through PDHonline.org in Fairfax, Va. He is the founder and president of Manage-

Stephen M. Wilson ’73, a Huntsville at-

torney, received an AV Preeminent peer-review rating from MartindaleHubbell Ratings, a national legal review.

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Lifetime Achievement Awards Neil Christopher Class of 1955 Dr. Neil Christopher graduated with honors from Auburn in 1955 and received his medical degree at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1958. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and a Bronze Star recipient for meritorious service, he is a family physician in Guntersville. •“Medicine runs deep in my family,” Christopher says. “My grandfather was a rural family doctor in Choctaw County, my brother is a family doctor in Guin and both of my sons are doctors. Being from a rural community, I always knew I would go into rural medicine.” •Christopher helped lobby for state legislation that established the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board in 1990 and served as its first chairman. •“I grew concerned with the lack of students going into family medicine,” Christopher says. “Now, 20 slots are reserved at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine for students going into rural family medicine, many carrying scholarships. Both Auburn and Alabama have undergraduate programs for rural medicine.” •Christopher served on the Auburn Alumni Association board of directors from 2004 to 2008 and two years ago was inducted into the Alabama Health Care Hall of Fame.

Ken Mattingly Class of 1958 Astronaut Thomas Kenneth “T.K.” Mattingly of Arlington, Va., graduated from Auburn with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1958. Afterward, he entered the U.S. Navy and in 1966 enrolled in the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School. •Mattingly played key roles in NASA’s Apollo program and originally was scheduled to serve as command-module pilot for the 1970 Apollo 13 mission but stayed behind due to exposure to German measles. He was a key member of the flight’s ground crew, helping return the spaceship to safety after an in-flight explosion. •Mattingly’s first space flight came in 1972 as the commandmodule pilot aboard Apollo 16. He also was appointed backup commander for the space shuttle Columbia’s second and third orbital test flights and served as commander on the shuttle’s final test flight. Mattingly retired from the Navy in 1989 as a rear admiral and held executive positions at several aerospace engineering companies. He is a recipient of NASA’s Ambassador of Exploration Award and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.

Forrest McCartney Class of 1952 U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., entered military duty after receiving an electrical engineering degree from Auburn in 1952. He received a master’s in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1955 and was part of the team that helped return the U.S. to manned space flight following the 1986 Challenger explosion. NASA hired McCartney the following year as director of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. •“After the Challenger tragedy, I let NASA know I wanted to be a part of the recovery of the space program,” recalls McCartney, who served as an engineer and administrator throughout his military career. •NASA waited nearly three years before launching its next space shuttle flight, the Discovery, in September 1988. •“Of course, we were all anxious,” McCartney says. “However, I had a very competent team, and we were confident that we had done what we needed to do for a successful mission.” •Americans waited with baited breath as the orbiter completed its four-day mission successfully, sustaining only minor damage to its thermal-protection system tile. •McCartney retired from NASA in 1992 after 18 more space flights and is a member of the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.

Wayne T. Smith Class of 1968 Wayne T. Smith of Nashville, Tenn., earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Auburn in 1968 and 1969. His plan to pursue a career in education changed when he received a direct commission into the U.S. Army, where he served in military hospitals and pursued a master’s in health care administration at Trinity University. By the time he was discharged as a captain in 1973, he’d decided on the health care industry. •“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Smith says. “I’ve had the remarkable privilege to see firsthand how quality health care improves individual lives and entire communities.” •A former president of Humana Inc., Smith now serves as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Community Health Systems Inc., the largest publicly traded hospital company in the U.S. Modern Healthcare magazine has named Smith one of the industry’s “100 Most Powerful People” for the past nine years, and Institutional Investor has pegged him as the top health care CEO since 2007. He serves on the boards of Praxair Inc. and 24 Hour Fitness USA Inc., and previously served on the boards of Almost Family Inc., Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the Nashville Health Care Council and the Federation of American Hospitals.

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Class Notes Carolyn Rutherford Cremer ’74 received a

Master Teacher designation from the Georgia Department of Education. She teaches algebra to gifted seventh graders at Duluth Middle School in Duluth, Ga.  Carole Nichols Mash-

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Dawn Robertson ’77

was appointed chief executive officer of United Retail Inc. of Rochelle Park, N.J. She formerly served as president of Sean John and Old Navy.

C E N T E R

Cub Corner Just for the kids! Here’s a way to show your Auburn spirit for the holidays. Follow these easy directions to make your own Auburn ornament! Hang one from a tree, or make some for your Auburn-loving family members as a gift.

burn ’74 was named

assistant principal of Hannan Magnet Academy in Columbus, Ga. She has taught gifted students for the last 20 years and graduated with a specialist degree in leadership from Columbus State University in December. Jean A. Thompson ’76 retired in August

from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Greenville, where she served as campus director and English instructor. She is a past president of the American School Counselor Association and the American Counseling Association, and had worked in education for 51 years. LaBella S. Alvis ’77 was included in

the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. She is a partner in the Birmingham law firm of Christian & Small. Steven Jones ’77

received NASA’s Silver Snoopy award for outstanding contributions to flight safety and mission success. He is an electromagnetic compatibility engineer at the

Michael J. Crow ’78, a

Montgomery attorney, was chosen for the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers. George “Buddy” Smith Jr. ’79, a family

physician in Lineville, was elected chairman of the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners.

’80–’89 Graham Esdale Jr. ’80, a Montgomery attorney, was selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers.

What you will need:

S. Patton “Pat” Rice ’80 of Mandeville,

La., made his debut at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 19 as a baritone soloist in “A Heroes’ Tribute: Clausen’s Memorial and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.” Patton coordinates the music program at the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, Miss.

Directions:

• a color copier or scanner • scissors • glue • yarn or string

1. Make two color photocopies of this page. (For a bigger ornament, use your copier to enlarge or magnify the page.) 2. Cut along dashed lines and remove the paper ornament pieces. 3. Glue the orange pieces together, back to back. Glue blue pieces the same way. 4. After glue dries, cut a slit along the solid black line on each ornament. 5. Slide one ornament into the other and glue a piece of yarn to the top. 6. Hang your new Auburn ornament and show your spirit! War Eagle!

Lacey Lewis ’81 of Atlanta was promoted to senior vice president of finance for Cox Enterprises Inc. She also serves as a trustee of the Georgia Conservancy and is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth.

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Trophy time John W. Heisman—father of the forward pass, originator of the hidden-ball play and the man for whom the Heisman Memorial Trophy is named— officially won 12 games, lost four and tied two as Auburn’s football coach from 1895 through 1899. Heisman continued his 30year coaching career with stints at Clemson, the University of Pennsylvania, Washington and Jefferson, Rice, and Georgia Tech.

C E N T E R

Class Notes David Darby ’82 of Darby Village Pharmacy in Andalusia received the J. Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Pharmacy Association. John M. Ferguson ’82 was named director

of the ClarksvilleMontgomery County Regional Airport in Clarksville, Tenn. Todd Schmidt ’82

was named managing director of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J.

Rhon E. Jones ’86, a Montgomery attorney, is serving on the BP oil spill plaintiff’s steering committee. Jon Cole Portis ’86, a

Montgomery attorney, was selected for the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers.

manager of The Literacy Council, a Birmingham nonprofit organization. Cynthia Farnell ’92 was

appointed director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Jennifer K. Thomas

Morgan Kendrick Jr. ’88

’92 of Westminster,

of Fayetteville, Ga., was named president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. He joined the company in 1995 and most recently served as vice president of national sales.

Md., is manager of pharmacy services for the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care and the Delmarva Foundation of the District of Columbia.

tholomew ’83 was promoted to director of admissions at St. George’s Episcopal School in Milner, Ga. P. Read Montague ’83

joined the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke, Va., as a senior professor. Gregory D. Tarver ’83

was named president and chief operating officer of The Robert Allen Group in New York City. Herbert R. Bruce ’85

earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Virginia. He is the director of first-year programs at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va. Robert “Bobby” F.

MARRIED John Dietzen ’83

to Virginia Bemus on July 25. They live in Jacksonville, Fla.

’90-’99 LaBarron Nelson Boone ’90, a Montgomery

attorney, was selected for the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers. He hosts a weekly radio show, “The Law & You,” on WVAS-FM 90.7. Fred M. “Tripp” Haston III ’90 of Mont-

gomery was elected to a three-year term on the board of the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Horn ’86 is chief operat-

ing officer of MIDCON Cables Corp. in Joplin, Mo.

56

was promoted to associate general counsel with Ogletree Deakins law firm in Nashville, Tenn. Doug Bratton ’95, a

BORN A daughter, Olivia Maria, to John Preston “J.P” Laumeyer ’81 and wife Vita of Hollywood, Fla., on April 16.

Missy Burchart ’92

was named marketing and development

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

Horace Driver ’97 is

regional general manager of The Southwest Circle Group, a contracting company. Michael J. Cole ’98 is a project manager and civil engineer in the Dothan office of Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc.

syndicated cartoonist, published The Deranged Stalker’s Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010), a collection of his cartoon panels. He heads the New York metropolitan chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. Joseph D. “Chip” Thigpen II ’96 of

Owens Cross Roads is a quality-assurance professional at SAIC scientific, engineering and technology firm. He married Leigh Belew in August.

A daughter, Charlotte Joy, to Katherine Scheid Pollard ’93 and husband Clint of Marietta, Ga., on July 30.  A son, Cade Richard, to Ian Draves ’94 and Tami Jones Draves ’97

of Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 26. A daughter, Sally Rose, to James M. “Jamie” Hill V ’95 and wife Kathryn of Lexington, Ky., on May 10.

MARRIED Sheri Malissa Cates ’96 to Robert Galliher Jr. ’05 on March 6.

Christopher Mixon ’93 Susan S. Bar-

the Short Short Story, awarded by Shenandoah literary journal.

They live in Birmingham.

A daughter, Hailey Elisabeth, to Harold Cole ’96 and Heather Adams Cole ’94 of Springfield, Va., on Jan. 9.

Barbara Boles Garner ’96 to Jon B. Garner

on May 8. They live in Union Grove. Monica Jett ’96 to Phillip Grammer on July 10. They live in Birmingham. Ragan White ’98 to Daniel Crowell on Aug. 28. They live in Oklahoma City.

BORN A son, Aiden Parker, to Timothy Andrews ’92 and Nancy Jane

A daughter, Harper Grey, to Kyle Anderson ’97 and wife Candance of Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 8. A daughter, Elizabeth Mae, to Sidney Belcher ’97 and Kimberly Almon Belcher ’01 of Auburn on Nov. 5, 2009. A daughter, Arrie Jane, to Adam Jamison Harner ’99 and Kristy

Amy Weldon ’96, an

A daughter, Mary Catherine, to David Derrer ’92 and wife Joy of Marietta, Ga., on July 23.

assistant professor of English at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, was a co-recipient of the Bevel Summers Prize for

A son, Richard Steven II, to Steve Hinderliter ’92 of Dothan on Nov. 18, 2009.

Gadsden on Aug 10. A son, Steven Andrew, to Timothy Powell ’98 and wife April of Atlanta on March 3. A son, Ryan Michael, to Sean Flinn ’99 and Erin Lewis Flinn ’99 of Houston on March 18.  A son, Tyler Ruben, to Amanda Goodson Nyberg ’99 and husband Kevin of Montgomery on Feb. 17.

’00 Alison Foster Slade of

Monroe, La., is a syndicated radio talk show host for Genesis Communications Network. Travis John Varner is a

firefighter/emergency management technician for the city of Montgomery. BORN A daughter, Lucy Delana, to David C. Stejskal and Mindy Allen Stejskal ’01 on Feb. 25.

’01

Jane Turner Harner ’99

Lindsey C. Boney IV

of Cleveland, Tenn., on Nov. 13, 2009.

joined the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings law firm as a member of the litigation practice group and the life sciences industry team. 

Labuguen Andrews ’97

of Valley on July 24.

Sanford Valentine ’98 of

A son, Davis Sheehan, to Amy Sheehan Moore ’97 and husband Charles of Birmingham on July 28. Amy is president of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club. A daughter, Lucy Kate, to Brian Valentine ’97 and Suzanne “Suzi”

Amy Elizabeth Johnson

is a physician in Tampa, Fla. She married John Ryan Cotton on Sept. 25.


Growth spurt About 2,000 alumni and friends joined the Auburn Alumni Association during its summer membership drive, bringing the total number of association members to 46,400, or 27 percent of Auburn University’s total number of addressable graduates.

Jennifer Santagata

works as internal audit manager for Nashville, Tenn.-based FORBA, a network of dental centers. She married Justin Graham on Aug. 7. MARRIED Kristen Seibels Branch ’01 to James Brian Hurst ’98 on May 1.

They live in Montgomery. Thomas Chelewski to Erin Tulloss on Aug. 5. They live in Birmingham. George Mitchell Dozier

to Ranah Laye on Oct. 9. They live in Montgomery. Allison Louise Poole to John Jefferys Macfie on March 27. They live in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Steven Rodia to Erin Roberts on Aug. 28. He is a quality leader in the Ohio New Model Development Operations Center of Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. The couple lives in Dublin, Ohio.

’02 Martin Cheatham was

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’03 Lauren Patrice Gulledge

named director of the parks and recreation department of Bremen, Ga.

is a buyer for Books-AMillion in Birmingham. She married Dewey A. White IV on Sept. 18.

Rob McDaniel was

Ryan Winters and wife Faith Chappell Winters created an Atlanta-based charity, Just Heart Foundation, which helps keep families financially solvent during medical crises.

named one of the nation’s “Top 40 chefs under 40” by Mother Nature Network website. He is executive chef at Spring House restaurant at Russell Crossroads near Lake Martin.

MARRIED Benjamin Burnett

Amanda Morris, a Wichita, Kansas, attorney, is a consultant for Stinson Morrison Hecker law firm. She wrote “From Bricks and Mortar to Clicks and Mortar: Building Virtual Law Firms” for the International Legal Technology Association’s Peer to Peer magazine.

to Cara Bates on June 19. They live in Vestavia. Bethany Irene Lundell

to Joshua Garver on March 20. They live in San Francisco. Zach Slatton to Missy Castellaw on Aug. 28. They live in Colorado Springs, Colo.

MARRIED Patricia Sarah Latimer

to Vance Carlton Smith III on May 22. They live in Columbus, Ga.

BORN A daughter, Arabella Claire, to Brandon Baker and wife Chao Chuan Liu of Birmingham on May 17.

BORN A son,William Mason, to William Bradford Bancroft and Emilia

A son, Everett Glenn, to Charlie Baxley and

tary to Casey Brandon

Anne Patterson Bancroft

Courtney Lukens Baxley

Lance on April 23. They live in Hoover.

of Dothan on June 18.

’04 of Birmingham on

Leslie O’Hare Single-

BORN A daughter, Morgan Taylor, to K-Rob Thomas and Marcia Morgan Thomas of Oxford on Oct. 22. K-Rob serves on the board of directors of the Auburn Alumni Association.

C E N T E R

Jan. 14. Twins, Andrew Grant and Dylan Joseph, to Kelly Jo Kopnicky Booker and husband Eric of Chattanooga, Tenn., on Aug. 15. A daughter, Cadence Lynn, to Tami R. Black Williamson and husband Stephen Kirk of Fairhope on May 25.

A daughter, Addison Chandler, to Candice Chandler Rogers and husband Ben of Arlington, Va., on Sept. 1. A son, Jake Allen, to Jared Anthony Whigham

and Joanna Hiemstra Whigham ’05 of Opp on June 6.

SNAPSHOT

JAZZED UP Laura Coyle ’91 answered the push-pull of careers in both art and music even in her student days at Auburn University, where she reveled in taking a jazz-history course while pursuing a degree in illustration. These days, she draws artwork for corporate clients such as Disney and American Express—and by night, she’s a jazz singer. “Auburn introduced me to so much of what I find inspiring every day—music, art and history,” says Coyle, who first followed art’s siren call, making her way to New York City after graduation and landing a part-time job as an assistant to photographer Jimmy Katz. While working with Katz, who specializes in portraits of jazz musicians, Coyle honed her appreciation for the musical genre and accepted freelance drawing jobs. “I didn’t sing at all back then,” she recalls. “I had horrible stage fright.” The Atlanta native eventually took her illustration business home, setting up a studio and attracting a list of top-drawer commissions. Her gift bag, gift wrap and paperware designs have appeared on shelves at Target, Papyrus and Hallmark stores. The move also launched her musical aspirations: She now sings with the Atlanta Jazz Chorus as well as the Bernard Linnette trio at the city’s Waverly Hotel. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2007, and she hopes to record another in the future. Meanwhile, Coyle’s drawing style—which is about three parts Alexander Calder to one part Pablo Picasso—caught the attention of toymaker Hasbro and art director Jason Taylor, with whom she redesigned the classic Parcheesi board game for the first time since the turn of the 20th century. Her technique combines older drawing methods such as scratchboard, ink and watercolor with digital illustration. For more, see Coyle’s blog at www.coyleart.typepad.com.—Sarah Hansen

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Add a bit of orange-and-blue to your red-and-green.


Start your shopping by going to

www.aualum.org/shop • Blakeway’s panoramic photo of Jordan-Hare Stadium. To keep the game-day spirit alive all year long. • Auburn Alumni Association membership T-shirts. Available for annual and life members. • Professional Framing hand-crafted diploma frame. Displays your graduate’s diploma in style. • Standard Chair of Gardner’s classic chairs and lamps. Graced with the Auburn University seal for home or office. • Auburn Alumni Association life membership. The gift that never goes out of style. • Balfour’s official class ring. Symbolically captures your graduate’s fond memories of campus. • Auburn Alumni Association scholarship contribution. Be an Auburn elf by making a tax-deductible gift of $50 by Dec. 8 to student scholarships in honor of someone in the Auburn family. Honorees receive a personalized 2011 Aubie calendar. For details, contact Toni Rich at (334) 844-7420 or tonirich@auburn.edu. • Priester’s Pecans commemorative tin. Hand-numbered, limited-edition keepsakes filled with 10 snack choices.

Proceeds benefit student scholarships as well as alumni programs and services.


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Class Notes Chris Bahr to Ashley McCormick on May 22. They live in Hoover.

on Aug. 14. They live in Auburn. Patrick Ruland to

Kristen Marianne Clancy to William Brent Jenkins ’04 on Aug. 21.

Amanda Hibbert on

May 22. They live in Mobile.

They live in Hoover.

manager for MedAssist in Charlotte, N.C. She and fiancé Ryan Speaks Sanders ’06, a financial institution specialist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., plan to marry Nov. 20.

Donald Davis Thornbury

California dreaming Auburn fans from San Francisco to Orange County gathered in August for club meetings in the Golden State. Former Auburn Tigers center Cole Cubelic ’01 and mascot Aubie were special guests at a combined meeting of the ORANGE COUNTY and LOS ANGELES Auburn clubs in Southern California as well as at a meeting of the NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AUBURN CLUB at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. More than 130 people attended the two events. Dozens of Auburn clubs have welcomed record crowds for game-watching parties during this fall’s football season as well. More than 200 fans cheered on the Tigers in NEW YORK CITY, 104 in DALLAS/FORT WORTH and 45 in PHILADELPHIA. To find a game-watching site near you, see www.aualum.org/clubs. gamewatch-locations.html. Stay up to date on club events, find a club in your area and make new friends at auburnclubs.org.

’04 Lesley Hoke Braxton

is an associate architect with KPS Group Inc. in Birmingham. MARRIED Leah Killough to

Davis Prince on March 20. They live in Birmingham. BORN A son, Weston Scott, to Derrick Dennis and wife Andrea of Lewisburg, Tenn., on April 9. A daughter, Emily Paige, to Brad Wright and LeeAnn Tittsworth

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Wright ’03 of Daphne

Adam F. Shaw ’05 gradu-

on Feb. 11.

Edwards works for Capstone Development Corp. in Birmingham. She married Karl Ian Pfeiffer II on Aug. 28.

ated in June from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. He is now in a five-year orthopedic surgery residency program at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Laura Elizabeth Hall

Justin Wilson joined

is a graphic designer for Weddings Etc. in Homewood. She married Scott Joseph Money ’03, an employee of Mid South Home Health, on July 24.

Seigenthaler Public Relations as an account supervisor in the firm’s Nashville office.

’05 Samantha Laurel

William Sheffield to

III to Sarah Rebekah

MARRIED

Margaret Parrish on Aug. 14. They live in Birmingham.

Novotny on May 29. They live in Auburn.

Bryn Elizabeth Campbell

BORN A son, William Elliott, to Jeffery Vollers and Anna Stamps Vollers of Huntsville on May 18.

’06 Brent Barringer, a

Birmingham accountant, was appointed to Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development advisory board. Christina Lorino Schutt

joined the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate attorney in the environmental and toxic tort practice group.  MARRIED

BORN A daughter, Magnolia Pryce, to Joshua Todd Davison and wife Jennifer of Wilmer on May 18.

’07

to Nathan Luce Harrison III on July 31. They live in Atlanta. Candace Carr to Vladi-

mir “Vlady” Vasquez on Jan. 9. They live in San Salvador, El Salvador.

H. Chandler Combest

Ashley Brooke Jones

joined the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate attorney in the banking and financial services practice group.

to Christopher Douglas Griffin ’01 on July 31. She is a registered nurse at the Montgomery Cancer Center, and he is a senior registered client associate for Wells Fargo Advisors.

Emory Richardson was promoted to associate of KPS Group Inc. architectural firm after completing her National Council for Interior Design qualification exam and certification. Michael A. Thomason

Helen Craig Kennamer

to John Kincheloe Hopson Jr. on May 8. They live in Nashville, Tenn. Kimberly McCay to Gary DeLoach on Aug. 21. They live in Birmingham.

Courtney Alicia Allen

Jr. joined the Birming-

to Jeremy Beau Burt on June 12. They live in Montgomery.

ham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate attorney in the corporate and securities practice group. 

Stephen Center ’06 on June 26. They live in Atlanta.

’05 on July 24. They

Lindsay Singletary

Erin Marie Mosley to

live in Auburn.

Whitworth joined the

Adam Caldwell Waldron

Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate attorney in the real estate practice group.

on July 17. They live in Mount Juliet, Tenn.

Lauren Elizabeth Horn

Andrea Mitchell to

to Eduardo Orestes Leon

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MARRIED Henry Atkins to Nealy Vardaman on April 3. They live in Kaplan, La.

Stephanie LeNora James

to Roy Richmond Counts on July 17. They live in Opelika. Ginger Lee Pruitt to John Adam Maddox ’04

Ashley Brooke Winters is a client-services

Heather Roldan to Jonathan Scott Wilson on Aug. 14. They live in Montgomery.


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In Memoriam Mary Lacey Scott to Robert Tyler Hearin on

March 13. They live in Birmingham.

Feb. 27. They live in Hoover.

Jessica Lee DeLoach to

’08 Brandon Atkins is a credit analyst at Nashville, Tenn.-based InsBank. He serves on the bank’s commercial lending team.  Joe “Doc” Fuller Jr.

was nominated for the 2010 Black Essence Magazine Award as well as the 2010 Atlanta Club and Entertainment “Hottest Host” Award. MARRIED

Taylor Charles Schach ’10 on June 5. They live

in Hoover. Molly Forsythe to Kevin Partlow on June

19. They live in Clarksville, Tenn. Stephanie Holmes to Forrest Harman Watkins on June 12. They live in McCalla. Jamie Lee Hughes to Jackie DeVan Oliver on Oct. 1. They live in Dadeville.

Kristen Elizabeth Cofield

to Mark Richard Di Cristina on Feb. 20. They live in Atlanta. Anna Elizabeth McLeane

to David Patrick Shelley ’09 on June 27. They

live in Birmingham. Sarah Malik to Kevin

Jordan Leigh Johnson

to Jacob Gregory Soyars on Aug. 14. She is a recruiter with Aerotek staffing agency, and he is a sales representative for CBeyond information technology and communications firm. They live in Atlanta.

Morrison on March 13.

They live in Montgomery. Melissa Voynich to Christopher Warren on Aug. 28. They live in Columbus, Ga.

Lauren Keasal to Davis Storey on May 8. They live in Auburn.

’10 Rachel LeRae Roberts

’09

is a nurse at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. She married

Alexis Latifi is a staff

Brandon Lee Elliott ’06

assistant for Republican senator Richard Shelby of Alabama.

on Aug. 7. MARRIED Victoria Ann Horton

Katherine McLean

is a staff accountant at Lovoy, Summerville & Shelton in Birmingham. MARRIED Justin Aldred to Chelsea Baker on

to Mason Michael Thrower on July 24. Emily Katherine Williams to Noah Timothy Kirk Gray on July 10. They live in Memphis, Tenn.

To Foy with love Iconic Auburn University figure James E. Foy, who served as dean of student affairs for 28 years and lent his “War Eagle” battle cry to hundreds of university events, died Oct. 8 in Auburn. He was 93. As one of the longest-serving senior administrators of his era, Foy helped guide the student body during nearly three decades of pivotal social change, including racial integration, the Vietnam War, the women’s equality movement and the demise of the “in loco parentis” concept in higher education, which freed college students from curfews and other restrictions perceived to limit their civil rights. During the politically charged ’60s and ’70s, Foy encouraged student leaders to engage in civic activities and patriotic displays of citizenship. He endorsed blood drives on campus, for example, eventually contributing more than seven gallons of his own blood and twice receiving the American Red Cross Award of Honor. “It’s impossible to fully capture the breadth of Dean Foy’s impact on Auburn,” said university president Jay Gogue. “He will be missed, and he will be remembered by the personal connection he made with students and those who knew him.” In their book Auburn: A Pictorial History of the Loveliest Village, retired journalism professors Jack Simms and Mickey Logue describe Foy, along with longtime dean of women Catherine Cater, as “of necessity” fitting the definition of the Auburn spirit. Although Foy held two degrees from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, students and alumni dubbed him “War Eagle Foy” due to his loyalty to Auburn. Foy received his undergraduate degree from Alabama in 1939. He remained there for two years as assistant to the dean of men, then joined the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As a fighter pilot, he flew combat missions in the Pacific theater during World War II and subsequently received the Navy Air Medal. After the war, Foy and wife Emmalu returned to Tuscaloosa, where he entered

the insurance business for two years before rejoining the Alabama student affairs office while pursuing a master’s. He joined Auburn’s Office of Student Affairs in 1950 and was soon promoted to director and dean, a post he held until retiring in 1978. He served two years as executive secretary to Alabama Gov. Fob James. With ties to both Auburn and Alabama, Foy united student leaders from both campuses to foster better relations. In 1973, the universities’ Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society chapters named their joint good-sportsmanship trophy in his honor. The trophy is awarded each year to the winner of the Iron Bowl. Upon his retirement from Auburn, university trustees named the then-student union, now James E. Foy Hall, in his honor. The building, completed in 1953, was the nerve center of student activities during his tenure and now houses administrative support services for the university. Although he had officially retired from Auburn more than 30 years ago, Foy responded regularly to requests by campus officials for appearances at events ranging from fundraising campaigns to pep rallies. He received the Auburn Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2002.

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Get it in writing Only one thing was missing when Auburn computer-science graduate student Brandon Maharrey ’08 popped the question on the lawn of Samford Hall in May: his would-be fiancée. Maharrey spray-painted his wedding proposal on a pair of king-sized sheets positioned in front of the building’s webcam, then phoned girlfriend Tasha Crawford and suggested she check the university’s website. She said yes.

In Memoriam Marjorie F. Funchess ’32 of Auburn died

Aug. 12. She taught fourth grade for 40 years at Beauregard Elementary School and Scott Preparatory School in Opelika, and served on the East Alabama Medical Center Auxiliary for more than 30 years. Rubye Pitts Hickey ’39 of Griffin, Ga., died

Aug. 2. She retired as a teacher for the GriffinSpalding County School System. James David Bozeman ’40 of Orlando,

Fla., died July 24. A World War II veteran, he was a pharmacist and later an anesthesiologist. He founded a private practice and retired after more than 30 years in the medical field. Earl W. Jordan ’40

of League City, Texas, died July 7. He retired from Phillips Petroleum Co. after 37 years as manager of its anhydrous ammonia plant. Paul M. Nuckolls Sr.

Rex Kelly Rainer Sr. ’44 of Auburn died

July 31. He founded a civil engineering and construction company before joining Auburn’s faculty as an assistant professor of civil engineering. He eventually served as head of the department as well as in university administration. In 1997, Alabama Gov. Fob James appointed him state highway director and later state finance director. He also oversaw the small-business incubator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Herbert Earl Riddle Sr. ’44 of Cartersville,

Ga., died Aug. 10. A U.S. Army veteran, he founded Cleveland Park Animal Hospital and Stables. He was a life member of Sertoma Inc., an organization of service clubs that advocates hearing health. Carolyn Clay Biggin

’43 of Georgetown,

’45 of Birmingham

Texas, died July 28. A World War II veteran, he owned The Candle Factory, which remains in the Nuckolls family.

died July 5. She was a charter member of the Auburn University chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

Coy Hansel Poitevint

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bama Veterinary Medical Association, and had served as president of the local Jaycees.

Gilbert Manley Bar-

’43 of Dothan died

rett ’46 of Albany, Ga.,

Aug. 21. A career veterinarian, he was a member of the Greater Dothan Veterinary Medical Association and the Southeast Ala-

died Aug. 16. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he was a farmer in Lee and Dougherty counties and served as a Dougherty County

Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

commissioner for 40 years. He was chairman of the Dougherty County commission from 1978 to 1998 and had served as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.

baseball for the Headland Dixie Runners and was a farmer and agricultural teacher with the Veterans Benefits Administration for 17 years. He also served as a driver’s education instructor in the Henry County school system.

Charles Heinselman Jr. ’49 of Houston died

July 23. A World War II veteran, he founded Pine Haven Nursery and worked for Cornelius Nursery. He was a former president of the Greater Houston Auburn Club.

Walter Berry Bibby ’47 of Dallas died July 8. A U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, he retired as a captain and served as president and chief executive officer of Liquid Paper Corp.

Charles Louis Dyas ’48

of Mobile died Aug. 5. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he retired as vice president of personnel at Mobile Gas Service Corp. after 35 years.

Harry Glenn Power ’49 of Jackson died

Aug. 12. A World War II veteran, he worked for the Alabama Soil Conservation Service and Farmers Home Administration.

June Killian Clark

James Robert Ed-

’47 of Russellville died

wards ’48 of Monteval-

Williams ’49 of Auburn

July 9. A certified medical technologist, she volunteered for the Girl Scouts of the USA, the March of Dimes, the Diabetic Trust Fund, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.

lo died Aug. 9. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he retired from Alabama Power. Edwards volunteered for Meals on Wheels and The American Village Citzenship Trust; was a recipient of the national Future Farmers of America Distinguished Service Award; and was a 2008 inductee in the Alabama 4-H Hall of Fame.

died Aug. 19. A World War II veteran, he retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He worked as assistant director of buildings and grounds at Auburn University and later as director of engineering at Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa.

Joseph Earl Cook ’47

of Daphne died July 2. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he received the Navy Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also served as district manager of South Central Telephone Co. and later as an assistant vice president with BellSouth Telephone Co., from which he retired after 36 years of service. Johney Edward Oates ’47 of Headland died July 29. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he played semi-pro

Bill LeBold Harbert ’48 of Birmingham died

June 27. He helped form Harbert Construction Corp. and later served as president and chief operating officer of Harbert International Inc. Virginia Harmon Barnes ’49 of Rob-

ertsdale died Aug. 2. She retired from the U.S. Treasury Department after 29 years of service.

Edward Thomas

Birmingham Auburn clubs. He was a former municipal judge and council president for the town of Vincent; a former member of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham; and a former employee of Bethea Tool & Equipment Co. Inc., Rust Engineering Co. and Plantation Pipe Line Co. Toon R. Ferrell ’50

of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., died Aug. 12. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he worked as a project engineer for the U.S. Air Force Research and Development Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He later worked for NASA at Redstone Arsenal. Edwin L. Rumpf ’50

of Irvington died Aug. 31. A World War II veteran, he co-founded Specialty Contractors and Associates Inc.

Sylvester Atchison ’50 of Birmingham died

July 20. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he retired from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Howard E. Elliott ’50

of Birmingham died Oct. 13. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he was a longtime member of the Shelby County Auburn Club. He often attended annual awards days at local high schools and diligently promoted membership in the Shelby County and Greater

Henry T. Wingate Jr. ’50 of Stone Mountain,

Ga., died Aug. 4. A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, he retired as fundraising director for the National Arthritis Foundation. Harold G. Wise ’50

of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., died Oct. 13. A U.S. Navy veteran, he retired as a commander. He served at Eglin Air Force Base for 33 years in various positions.


Wanted: E-mail addresses If you’d like to receive e-mail from your Auburn Alumni Association about upcoming events and member discounts, please send your name, class year (if applicable), major and current e-mail address to aurecords@ auburn.edu.

Roger Cameron Abbott ’51 of Atlanta died

July 1. A U.S. Navy veteran, he worked for DuPont. William B. Goodwyn Jr. ’53 of Montgomery

died July 21. A Korean War veteran, he was employed with Goodwyn and Murphree Construction Co. and was a past president of the Alabama Road Builders Association. Henry Clay Bailey ’54

of Opelika died Aug. 21. A World War II and Korean War veteran, he served as a minister to senior adults at the First Baptist Church of Opelika. June Sellers Nichols ’54 of Birmingham died Aug. 15. She was instrumental in starting the kindergarten program at Canterbury United Methodist Church, where she was a member, and taught kindergarten there for many years. She volunteered for Brown Bag Ministry and Children’s Health System in Birmingham, and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Daughters of the American Revolution and United Daughters of the Confederacy. Edward S. Ford Jr. ’58

of Cynthiana, Ky., died July 2. A U.S. Navy veteran, he founded Harrison Veterinary Medical Center and practiced for 25 years. After leaving private

practice, he served as executive director of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Inc. for 12 years and was a life member of both the American and Kentucky Veterinary Medical associations. He was the 2002 recipient of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni award and served 17 years in the Kentucky Senate. He later served as executive cabinet secretary for Kentucky governor Paul Patton. Paul Harvey Price ’58

of Auburn died July 5. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was retired from the state of Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. He also served as president of the East Alabama Medical Center Auxiliary. An avid Auburn football fan, he kept the same seats in JordanHare Stadium for 40 years. L. Daniel Sansing ’60

of Decatur died July 3. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration for 36 years and was a longtime community volunteer with organizations including Tennessee Valley Outreach, the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Morgan County.

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John Edward Johnson Jr. ’62 of Charlotte,

N.C., died July 28. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he retired as president of Carolina Pad and was a board member of Radiator Specialty Co. He helped form Classroom Central, a charitable organization that provides free school supplies for eligible students. Lance Delano Grissett ’63 of Talladega died July 24. He served as Talladega County superintendent of schools for 20 years and was a former teacher and assistant principal at Sidney Lanier High School.

Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Birmingham. Eric Dewitt Yost ’66

of Pleasanton, Calif., died Aug. 31. A U.S. Army National Guard veteran, he was a program manager for Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Fla.

Ingram ’66 of Ashland died July 27. He opened Clay County’s first convenience store, Jiffy Mart. In 1984, he served as a court administrator for Jefferson County and was later elected probate judge in Clay County, a position in which he served 15 years. He had been treasurer and secretary of the Alabama Probate Judges Association and represented Alabama on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission standards board. Horrall Bowlby West ’66 of Helena died July

18. A retired employee of U.S. Steel, he was a member of Shades Valley Masonic Lodge 829 and secretary emeritus of the Ancient and

Francis A. Wiggle Jr. ’79 of Lilburn, Ga., died

Aug. 25. He was a claims adjuster for Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. Kendall Blake Mur-

John P. Alkire III ’67

of Raleigh, N.C., died July 17. He was retired from the tire business and an avid skier.

III ’70 of Greenwood, S.C., died May 8. He practiced veterinary medicine at Greenwood Veterinary Hospital.

LaGrange, Ga., died Aug. 2. He was a professor of educational leadership and served as director of field services at Auburn for 13 years. He also served as Troup County superintendent of schools for 18 years and was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the American Association of School Administrators and the American Vocation Association. Jonathan Jay Crowder ’79 of Auburn

died July 20. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he served as commander of the naval photographic center in Washington, D.C., and later as commander of naval support activity in New Orleans. He earned many medals for his service and retired

the Auburn Players from 1951-67; served as executive director of Theatre Jacksonville in Florida for 13 years; and served as production coordinator and later general manager of “The Lost Colony,” an outdoor drama on Roanoke Island in Manteo, N.C.

phree ’85 of Hunts-

ville died July 18. He worked for Nashua, N.H.-based ITT Corp. Kevin Lydell Jang ’10

Fred R. Robertson

R. Stafford Clark ’74 of George Morris

at the rank of captain. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.

C E N T E R

of Auburn died July 4. A native of Opelika, he graduated from Auburn High School in 2005 and majored in finance at Auburn.

Faculty and Friends Cratus “Kate” H. Bailey

of Auburn died Aug. 5. She was the wife of the late Wilford S. Bailey, president of Auburn University from 1983 to 1984 and a longtime faculty member in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Martha Hagan Hood

of Birmingham died May 12. She was a retired teacher and volunteer for the Girl Scout troop in Edgewood. She was a member of the Bush Hills Music Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Robert I. Knowles of

LaGrange, Ga., died Oct. 11. A World War II veteran, he directed

Tracey Teets Schwarze

of Hampton, Va., died Aug. 1. She taught English at Auburn University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Arizona at Phoenix. She later became a full professor at Christopher Newport University in Hampton, Va., serving as chair of the English department, and received the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award for 2007-08. L.B. “Tex” Williams of Auburn died Sept. 12. A U.S. Navy veteran, he typed the play-by-play sheet for Auburn University football for 53 years and never missed a home game from 1956 to 2009. He also served as a publications editor at Auburn from 1956 to 1988 and was instrumental in creating the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor.

For a complete listing of alumni obituaries, see the Auburn Magazine blog at AuburnMagazine. auburn.edu.

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The Last Word

Vegas or bust BY WAYNE MERGLER ’67 She has evolved amusingly from the 21-year-old Cher-tressed, mini-skirted, free-living babe I married in 1965 to, now in her 60s, one of those little bun-headed ladies who thrive on bingo and penny slot machines in Las Vegas. She doesn’t have a gambling problem. Quite the contrary: She is the most prudent and responsible gambler you will ever find. She budgets her gaming, sets aside certain amounts with which to play and is content to quit when that is gone. Yet she can sit, enthralled, at a slot machine or a roulette wheel for hours on end. If she is up $20, she is delighted; if she is down $20, she’s OK with that, too. Either way, she has fun. She is a much simpler, steadier and solid soul than I am. I am restless, impulsive and often imprudent. I can only sit at a slot machine for brief periods. Then I begin to go a little nuts. For me, the slots and gaming tables of Las Vegas are for one thing only—winning money. If I don’t win, I feel I’ve wasted my money and my time. Maureen, my wife, has no understanding of or sympathy for my attitude. To her, it’s all about having fun. It never occurs to her to expect to win. If she does win, then that’s just a cherry on top of her well-stacked ice-cream sundae. I envy her. She loves games—almost any kind of game. She works crossword puzzles and sudoku diligently for hours on end. She plays bingo almost every Friday night because it’s the closest thing to gaming she can find in Anchorage, Alaska. When we were young newlyweds who happily lacked a television set, we used to play all kinds of games—chess, checkers, Clue, Parcheesi, Yahtzee and canasta. She always won, largely because my patience and attention span for games has always been severely limited, and because I would just as soon let my opponent win than sit still another minute. The introduction of TV into our marriage ended our competitions, though. She began watching a routine of shows; I retreated to a quiet corner with a book. And so it still is, 45 years later. Except, briefly, when we go to Vegas. We didn’t start out as people with a desire for the Vegas experience. During the years when I was teaching, when our kids were growing up, we would drive out of Alaska in the summer, heading down the always adventurous Alcan Highway like Dorothy traversing the yellow brick road. We never quite knew where our adventures would take us. Often, we ended up on the Pacific coast, driving down to California, to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, and then we’d head east across the Southwest, toward our relatives in Georgia and Virginia. Usually we passed through Las Vegas and stopped for a night or two to sample the fruits of

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Auburn Magazine a u a l u m . o r g

“Sin City.” The kids loved the swimming pools and water parks; I loved the dry desert climate and stunning red landscapes. We all marveled at the food. And Maureen discovered the casinos. After that, most of our trips East had to include an obligatory layover in Las Vegas. Our friends are often appalled, even shocked, that we like to go there. They have some notion of us as artsy, intellectual types who should want to vacation in San Francisco or Paris or New York, but never—never—in a place as crass as Las Vegas. To them, Las Vegas represents tackiness: fake boobs, fake tans and fake blondes; noisy, smoke-filled casinos; and intricate schemes devised to part you from your money. That is Las Vegas to them. But there is another world that exists alongside all that. Today, the city has the best restaurants and some of the finest hotels in the world. There are first-rate art galleries and the fabulous dancing fountains of the Bellagio. And the people—the people are the best thing of all! One year there was a convention of identical twins. Everywhere you looked, there were two of everyone—all ages, all sizes, all genders, all races—all doubles. Another year we were among a convention of “little people”—tiny men and women as far as the eye could see—in the casino and at the buffet, dancing in the ballroom, having a wonderful time. It’s Oz for adults. There are times, at night, with the lights just so and the desert sky dark overhead, that it even seems to cast a greenish glow. Every year now, when summer fades and the Alaska autumn quickly turns to winter, when the days grow shorter, when the skies grow grayer and the wind has stripped all the leaves off the birches, when the last of the intrepid Canada geese are squawking loudly overhead on their way South—Maureen begins to plan our trip. She pores over schedules and brochures. She is a “VIP” member of so many hotels on the Strip that she now gets us unbelievably good deals. They are happy to give her such perks. They want her pulling those slots, which she is more than delighted to do. When I finished writing this column and asked if she wanted final approval, she said, without looking up from her brochures and notes: “Naw, say whatever you want about me!” Then she added: “I can get us three free nights at the Venetian in October and comp tickets to see Blue Man Group. How does that sound?” I had to admit it sounded pretty darn good to me. Wayne Mergler taught English, drama, philosophy and history in Anchorage for 25 years. His essay on Las Vegas was originally posted at weeklyhubris.com, an online literary magazine.


The Reynolds Family Welcomes Jordan Pankey to the Auburn Family

In honor of her 85th birthday, Miss Layne Reynolds’ niece, seven nephews and their wives created an endowed scholarship in her honor. Miss Reynolds saw first-hand the value of an education during her career as a social worker. Further, her mother was a teacher. For these reasons, the family chose to support Auburn students pursuing a career in education. Jordan Pankey from Albertville, Alabama, is the first recipient of the Layne Reynolds Endowed Scholarship. As part of the campaign, the Reynolds family gift was paired with a Spirit of Auburn scholarship to provide this award for students in the College of Education. Jordan has begun her freshman year working toward a degree in English Language Arts Education with hopes of becoming an English teacher and school librarian. The vision of Miss Reynolds’ family allows us to welcome Jordan to the Auburn family.

To learn more about the Auburn Scholarship Campaign, visit www.auburn.edu/scholarshipcampaign.

Auburn Scholarship Campaign


Auburn Alumni Center 317 South College Street Auburn, AL 36849-5149 w w w.aualum.org

With Liberty Mutual, Auburn alumni can get more from their auto and home insurance.

Savings on your home insurance when you insure both your car and home,

plus additional savings based on your driving experience, car and home safety features and more*

12-month Rate Guarantee

unlike the six-month policies that some other insurers offer

Help when you need it

with 24/7 Emergency Roadside Assistance and 24-hour claims service

Additional coverages for added security

including Umbrella Liability policies, Accident Forgiveness† and Home Insurance with optional Identity Fraud Expense Coverage Chances are, Liberty Mutual may be able to offer you more savings and benefits than your current auto and home insurance provider.

AUTO

Get more. Save more. Find out just how much more today. • Call 1-800-524-9400 and mention client #101128 Mon – Fri, 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Sat, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET)

HOME

• Go to www.libertymutual.com/aualum • Or visit a Liberty Mutual office near you

This organization receives financial support for allowing Liberty Mutual to offer this auto and home insurance program. *Discounts and credits are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.†Accident Forgiveness coverage subject to terms and conditions of Liberty Mutual’s underwriting guidelines and is not available in all states. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual InsuranceCompany and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/or a motor vehicle report, on all drivers listed on your policy, may be obtained wherestate laws and regulations allow. Please consult a Liberty Mutual specialist for specific details. © 2009 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved.


Auburn Magazine Winter 2010  

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