In 1999, I applied to exactly one college…Auburn University. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d not been accepted, but thankfully that didn’t become a problem. I grew up wearing orange and blue, sporting the colors of my great uncle Ruben’s alma mater. There was never a question of where I would attend college. I was the first person in my family on Daddy’s side to attend college since my Uncle Ruben and to say that my family was proud is really an understatement. They cheered me on as I marched in the Auburn University Marching Band. They sent care packages as I studied for finals. And on more than one occasion they showed up out of the blue to take me to dinner. And I have never been as proud as I was when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma forty years after Uncle Ruben on that same cold December day.
The Auburn Family allowed me to meet some of the finest Auburn women, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Amy Murphy, Director of Accounting Graduate Programs, became my mentor and friend the day I walked into her office during the fall of my sophomore year and told her I wanted to major in Accounting. Thinking I was behind in this decision and not ahead, she quickly put together a plan to have me graduating a year and a half later. I burst out laughing and let her know that while I was sure that it would be nice to finish that quickly, I did want to keep marching in the band and had anticipated attending the entire four years. She got me sorted and helped lay out the plan for my remaining time at Auburn. I got to know her even more as I participated in the Financial Leadership Society and then eventually became the president of Beta Alpha Psi. To this day, when I have a question about my career, she is the first person I call.
During my freshmen year, I heard that I could apply for scholarships and bounded in to Dr. Gary Waters’ office two days before the deadline and asked for an application I would up receiving the Anne Philips Pearson endowment, and Anne’s niece Barbara was the administrator of that endowment.
Barbara and I became fast friends and she and her husband were two of the dearest people I had the pleasure to know. I visited her for holidays and they took me to dinner for my birthday every year. Sadly, Barbara passed away a week before I graduated with my Master of Accountancy degree. Although she is gone, her phone number is still saved in my phone and I remember her frequently as once during one of my visits she was going through some of her Aunt Anne’s belongings and set aside a set of dessert dishes for me.
Knowing Auburn women and being an Auburn woman myself, has filled my life with so much joy. I believe in Auburn women, and love them.