Engaged Header

When we are engaged, we are involved. We are making a difference, committing our hearts and minds to something meaningful, strengthening an emotional connection.

Each year, the Auburn Alumni Association offers programs, communications and collaborations that offer ways for graduates and friends from all generations to become engaged with Auburn University and with each other. Join us as we look back at the highlights of our connections in 2015-16.

Dear Alumni and Friends,

As we close 2015-2016, a year in which the Auburn Alumni Association turned its goals toward engaging more of our alumni and friends with the university, I am proud of the great many accomplishments shared in this report.

Engagement has become central to the alumni association’s mission in terms of both increasing alumni participation and strengthening existing connections through meaningful, quality interaction. We thank you for your continued support in furthering the mission and livelihood of our organization as we create new opportunities at Auburn University for generations to come.

This report highlights the far-reaching impact Auburn alumni and friends continue to have on our organization, helping to meet strategic goals like increasing connectivity, providing meaningful ways to involve the community and building alumni affiliation around the world.

As the Auburn Family grows with each new freshman class, it is my sincere hope that the Auburn Alumni Association continues to celebrate and serve our loyal alumni, create new, lasting memories and reconnect graduates with each other and their alma mater.

The seeds have been planted to accomplish these goals. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our board of directors, academic partners and key stakeholder committees identified, we successfully developed a new strategic plan. In the upcoming years, this plan will provide the association with a roadmap to enhance inclusion and diversity, be the voice of our alumni and increase the reach of our engagement.

War Eagle,

Gretchen VanValkenburg
Gretchen Signature

Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86
Vice President for Alumni Affairs &
Executive Director, Auburn Alumni Association
gretchenvan@auburn.edu

with alumni

AUBURN CLUBS

More than 26,000 alumni participated in events hosted by our more than 93 chartered Auburn Clubs and affiliates in 2015-16. Through regular meetings, Tiger Trek events with members of the AU coaching staff, and game-watching parties, our clubs offered networking connections among their members and with Auburn. They also gave back, contributing more than $1.1 million in scholarship dollars in 2015-16.

HOSPITALITY TAILGATES

An average of 1,000 people visited the Auburn Hospitality Tailgate prior to each of the home football games in 2015-16. In addition to offering a gathering spot for association members, families and friends, the tailgate connected them back to Auburn by offering visits from Aubie, the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the Auburn cheerleaders and the wildly successful re-creation of the Sani-Freeze at the Auburn Alumni Center. The Auburn Alumni Association partnered with PrimeSport, Auburn Athletics and our Auburn Clubs to provide travel, accommodation packages and special events for away games.

COMMUNICATIONS

Four times a year, the Auburn Alumni Association sends copies of the award-winning Auburn Magazine to each of its 43,000 members, providing a regular, tangible connection between the university and its constituents. The Fall 2016 issue of the magazine (right) was sent to all alumni households, broadening the association’s reach to more than 200,000 alumni. The association also engages in regular, ongoing dialogue with Auburn alumni and friends through its strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo Strip
Magazine Cover
Walter Wolotz
Sanifreeze Ice-cream Cone

SPECIAL EVENTS

In 2015-16, the Auburn Alumni Association facilitated connections between alumni groups through events such as the Golden Eagles Reunion, which drew 180 back to campus to induct the Class of 1965 and honor earlier classes, and Black Alumni Weekend, which brought 240 alumni back to campus during A-Day Weekend festivities. Each year, the Auburn Alumni Association bestows its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Awards, to four deserving alumni. In 2015-16, our honorees were Jane B. Moore, Edward Lee “Ed Lee” Spencer ’52, Col. James Shelton “Jim” Voss ’72 and Walter Stanley “Walt” Woltosz ’69 (pictured left). Lt. William Joel Shumaker ’05 was recognized as the Young Alumni Achievement Award recipient. More than 26,000 alumni participated in events hosted by our more than 93 chartered Auburn Clubs and affiliates in 2015-16. Through regular meetings, Tiger Trek events with members of the AU coaching staff, and game-watching parties, our clubs offered networking connections among their members and with Auburn. They also gave back, contributing more than $1.1 million in scholarship dollars in 2015-16.

MEMBERSHIP

There are more than 43,500 members of the Auburn Alumni Association all over the world. These alumni and friends support Auburn through membership contributions, which count toward Auburn’s alumni participation rates, which in turn factor into Auburn University’s national rankings. Members receive an official membership packet including car decal, lapel pin, personalized membership card and the quarterly Auburn Magazine.

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ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT TOUCH POINTS

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ALUMNI PROFESSORSHIPS

Twenty-five, five-year non-renewable Alumni Professorships are sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association, with funds endowed from annual giving. Faculty members are nominated by their deans and chosen on the basis of research, publishing and teaching.

2015 Alumni Professors

DAWN BOOTH
anatomy, physiology and pharmacology
College of Veterinary Medicine

JOSEPH KLOEPPER
entomology and plant pathology
College of Agriculture

GEORGE PLASKETES
communications and journalism
College of Liberal Arts

THE UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD

This award is given to teachers who are nominated by students, alumni, and colleagues in honor of their quality of teaching, knowledge of subject, interest in and availability to students, the impact the teacher had on the nominator’s personal educational experience, and his or her influence within the Auburn community.

2015 Recipients

BILLY FERRIS
media studies
College of Liberal Arts

ALAN MEYER
history
College of Liberal Arts

RIC SMITH
communications and journalism
College of Liberal Arts

THE DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE FACULTY LECTURESHIP

Jointly sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association and the AU Graduate School, the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship carries a $2,000 award from the association and is chosen by the Graduate Faculty Council.

2015 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship

STEWART SCHNELLER
chemistry and biochemistry
College of Sciences and Mathematics

“We are always pleased when our hard-working faculty are recognized,
and especially so with these tremendous honors from the Alumni Association.”

JOSEPH AISTRUP

DEAN, COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS

with students

SCHOLARSHIPS

Through the Auburn Alumni Association Endowment and the Auburn Club Scholarship Program, the association in 2015-16 awarded more than 250 scholarships for use by students in the following academic year. Among the special projects undergone to increase scholarship funds were the Million Dollar Match, which provided matching funds of $1 million to life members, establishing 80 new endowed scholarships; the Alumni Walk paver program, which raised $424,000 for scholarships as of 2015-16; and Circle of Excellence, a giving recognition program that raised $590,000 for scholarships for children of association life members.

STUDENT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

The largest student group on campus, the student chapter of the Auburn Alumni Association has an average of 2,100 members. Led by a 25-student board, SAA provides students with the opportunity to interact with other students as well as Auburn University alumni and friends. SAA also works to raise funds for student scholarships. Last year, four scholarships were awarded to rising senior SAA members.

CLASS OF 2016 SEND-OFF

The Auburn Alumni Association hosted the Class of 2016 Send-Off in April 2016 at the Auburn Alumni Center. More than 330 graduating students attended the event. Special guests included the AU Rhythm Dance Troupe, Aubie, the Southeastern Raptor Center, Auburn Club representatives and several other campus partners. The event also added to our commemorative medallion program for graduating seniors. This program sold 428 medallions in 2015-16, raising $10,537 for scholarships.

GET IT TOGETHER

In May, December and August, the Auburn Alumni Association sponsored and staffed an area at commencement to help AU seniors get ready to don those caps and gowns. In 2015-16, we provided new graduates with more than 6,000 bobby pins, more than 1,000 safety pins, more than 25 pounds of breath mints, hundreds of Band-Aids, numerous strips of double-stick tape…and a steamer

graduate in cap and gown
Aubie posing with medalion
with the university

CAMPAIGN SUPPORT

Through its communications, scholarship programs, Auburn Clubs programs, the Auburn Alumni Association has been a strong participant in the university’s $1 billion Because This is Auburn: A Campaign for Auburn University. At the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, the association had surpassed its campaign goal of $9.4 million, raising $10,074,664 (107.5 percent of goal).

THIS IS AUBURN SPEAKER SERIES

The Auburn Alumni Association worked with the Auburn Office of Communications and Marketing in 2015-16 to present the third annual This is Auburn Speaker Series. Distinguished faculty and alumni presented lively lectures the Friday afternoon before home football games, bringing almost 1,200 to the Auburn Alumni Center.

FANS: FINDING AUBURN’S NEW STUDENTS

The Auburn Alumni Association has partnered with the Office of University Recruitment to help with the FANS program, Finding Auburn’s New Students. In the spring of 2016, 27 alumni in Alabama represented Auburn University at high school award days.

Lt. Gen Ron Burgess
“Our challenge as an association is to build on the success of this campaign by establishing new relationships and nurturing and maintaining meaningful connectivity back to the university that will carry Auburn forward.”

JACK FITE

2015-16 PRESIDENT, AUBURN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

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CAMPAIGN DOLLARS RAISED (107.5 PERCENT OF GOAL)

withthecommunity

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY

The Auburn Alumni Association saluted our military alumni, past and present, during Military Appreciation Weekend in 2015. About 200 special Military Appreciation coins (pictured below) were presented to military personnel, as well as free admission to the Auburn Hospitality Tailgate and reduced membership rates for the association.

COLOR ME AUBURN 5K

The Student Alumni Association partnered with Color My College for the SAA 5K Color Run in August 2016. The run attracted 363 runners who risked a shower of orange and blue powder to participate. The event raised $1,867 for scholarships and was sponsored in part by several community businesses.

two military men at football game
auburn military coins
vision
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strategic goals

1

INCREASE CONNECTIVITY
BETWEEN THE ALUMNI AND THE UNIVERSITY

 

2

INCREASE MEANINGFUL ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT

 

3

REACH ALL AUBURN ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

 

4

ESTABLISH MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS
WITH ALUMNI STAKEHOLDERS

 

5

ENSURE THE ASSOCIATION REMAINS FISCALLY
SOUND AND WELL POISED FOR THE FUTURE

Dear Auburn family,

On behalf of the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to provide the 2015-16 annual report of your Auburn Alumni Association. This report shows the continued commitment to sound financial management and an increased emphasis on alumni engagement.

In 2016 your alumni board of directors, stakeholders on campus and club leaders came together and created our new strategic plan. As part of goal
No. 1, to “increase connectivity between alumni and the university,” we began developing a new tiered membership plan that will now provide membership into the association for all graduates of Auburn University. This will not only increase our membership numbers dramatically, but more importantly, it will increase our connectivity with young alumni and help develop meaningful relationships back to the university. Although details for the tiered model are still in development, we will have different levels of membership and benefits for our life members, annual members and alumni who have not contributed to the association in the past. Stay tuned in the coming year for more details!

As Auburn alumni we should all be proud of the success of our recent capital campaign “Because This Is Auburn—The Campaign for Auburn University.” The $1 billion goal has been reached but we still have work to do, and I encourage your participation if you have not already given. Our challenge as an association is to build on the success of this campaign by establishing new relationships and nurturing and maintaining meaningful connectivity back to the university that will carry Auburn forward and establish our university as one of the premier universities in the South.

I invite you to connect back to Auburn in a way that is meaningful to you. Our 93 Auburn clubs provide an excellent opportunity to get involved. If you are looking for other ways to be engaged please call the association o ce and visit our alumni website at www.alumni.auburn.edu.

It has been an honor to serve as president of your association and I thank you for your support of the association and Auburn University.

War Eagle!

jack fite photo
jack fite signature

Jack Fite ’85
President, Auburn Alumni Association
jfite@fitebuilding.com

ENGAGEMENT

It’s about making connections, keeping people involved, strengthening relationships. Auburn has played an important role in shaping our lives, whether we graduated in the API days or within the last couple of years. Those relationships make up what we call the Auburn Family, and it’s an important part of our mission to ensure that family continues to grow and thrive.

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