While we were founded in 1856, the Auburn Alumni Association’s virtual speaker series is the newest way for you to interact with Auburn alumni, coaches, faculty and staff.

All shows will be broadcast live on our Facebook Page and uploaded to this page after the event.


August 13, 2020
11:30 am CDT
Dr. Fred Kam Headshot

Dr. Fred Kam
Director of the Student Health Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Board-certified Internist

18:56 with Dr. Fred Kam

Will discuss his role at the university, A Healthier U initiative and how students should prepare for fall.

Full Bio

Dr. Kam is a board-certified Internist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and graduated with his Medical Degree from the University of Miami in 1986. He has over thirty years of experience in medical service delivery which includes positions as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and many Directorships – including Director of the Student Health Center – at the University of Miami. Dr. Kam was chosen by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America (1996-97 & 1997-98), and he is in Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and Iron Arrow Honor Societies. He is also a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He served as President of his medical school class, was voted as the Best House Staff Member of the Year (1988) and received the coveted Eric Reiss Award for Outstanding Teaching. He currently holds professorships at Auburn in the Department of Political Science, School of Nursing, and the School of Pharmacy. Dr. Kam was born in Trinidad and went to high school in England. He and his family live in Auburn. He enjoys traveling, fishing, tennis, and watching college football.

August 27, 2020
11:30 am CDT

18:56 with Dr. Martin O’Neill and Hans van der Reijdan.
Guests will discuss the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Center

Dr. Martin O'Neill Headshot

Dr. Martin O’Neill
Horst Schulze Endowed Professor and
Department Head with Auburn University’s Department of Nutrition,
Dietetics and Hospitality Management.

Full Bio

Dr. Martin O’Neill is the Horst Schulze Endowed Professor and Department Head with Auburn University’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management.  Martin joined Auburn in 2002 and has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the hospitality field. He has been Department Head at Auburn for just over ten years; prior to which he served as Program Director for Auburn’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program. He has a total of 27 years of service with the academy across three continents. Prior to joining Auburn University Martin was employed by the School of Marketing and Tourism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia and the School of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He holds a BA (Honors) degree in Hotel and Tourism Management, a MS degree in Hotel and Catering Management and a PhD in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Ulster. Martin has served as Vice-President, President and Immediate Past President of the International Council on Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Education – the peak professional body for hospitality educators. Martin has also previously served as President of the Southeast, Central & South American CHRIE Federation.

His primary research thrust relates to the concept of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and its application within the broad services field encompassing both public and private sector organizations in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant management fields. His research niche is in the area of disconfirmation modeling as a tool for garnering customer feedback and continual system improvement. He has published widely in the tourism, hospitality and broader service fields and his work has found a home in many of the top ranked journals including the Cornell Quarterly, The Journal of Travel and Tourism Research, The Journal of Vacation Marketing, The International Journal of Hospitality Management, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, The Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism, The International Journal of Hospitality Administration, The Journal of Services Marketing, The Services Industries Journal and The British Food Journal.

On a more personal note he has been married to his wife Ann Marie (Auburn Alum) for just over 32 years, and has four children, three of which are Auburn Alum, and a 14 year old who, fingers crossed, will be, one day soon. He loves traveling, is a fitness fanatic and loves the outdoors.

Hans van der Reijden Headshot

Hans van der Reijden
Founder and CEO

Full Bio

With more than 25 years of dedicated service as an international hotelier, Hans van der Reijden is recognized as a hospitality expert and a respected leader.

As founder and CEO, Hans leads Ithaka’s development initiatives and spearheads the company’s academic partnership with Auburn University’s Hospitality Management Program. A visionary leader in the world of luxury hospitality, Hans has a record of successfully launching, turning around and expanding organizations.

Hans was a Partner in Capella Hotel Group from its founding in 2003 until 2018. Prior to joining Capella, he served as an Executive in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company for 11 years, opening hotels across the globe.

He was named “Hotelier of the Year” in 2007 and “Humanitarian of the Year” in 2019 by the Alabama Hospitality Association, “Tourism Executive of the Year” by the State of Alabama in 2014 and was awarded the Award of Excellence by the Alabama Travel Council in 2014.  Hans is an active member and has served as Chairman of the Board for both the Alabama Hospitality & Restaurant Association as well as the Alabama Travel Council. He also serves on the advisory board for the Alabama Tourism Department, an appointment by Governor Kay Ivey.

Check back for more 18:56 Speaker Series!


July 16, 2020
18:56 with Ada Ruth Huntley
Student Government Association President at Auburn University
Current Auburn University Student

July 9, 2020
18:56 with Asim Ali
Executive Director,
Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

June 25, 2020
18:56 with Cindi Malinick
Director and Chief Curator,
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

June 18, 2020
18:56 with Aubie
Auburn University Mascot

June 11, 2020
18:56 with Bonnie Plants
President / CEO Mike Sutterer
Production Manager / Maddison Matthews

June 4, 2020
18:56 with Christa Cotton
Founder / CEO New Orleans Beverage Group
El Guapo

May 28, 2020
18:56 with Auburn Clubs Program
Moira Pyle & Emma Brannon
Clubs Program Coordinators

May 21, 2020
18:56 with Adam Hood
Adam Hood

May 14, 2020
18:56 with Paul Schissler
Paul Schissler

May 7, 2020
Life as an Entertainment Reporter, Her Time at Auburn and More
Chloe Melas
Entertainment Reporter

April 30, 2020
Navigating Your Mental Health Through COVID-19
Markie Pasternak
Coordinator of Outreach and Peer Education
Health Promotion & Wellness Services

Dustin Johnson
Ph.D., Assistant Director for Outreach and Mental Health Initiatives,
Licensed Psychologist

April 24, 2020
Smart Money Management During COVID-19
Dr. Damion McIntosh
Lecturer of Finance
Auburn University


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