Auburn Magazine

Fall 2019

In This Issue

In homes now! Join the Auburn Alumni Association today to get your print issue four times a year. It’s just one benefit of membership.

This issue’s cover story is a celebration of 50 years of integration in Auburn’s athletic programs and what that milestone means to current and former athletes, coaches and administrators. This issue also takes a look at the first year of the EAGLES Program, which enables students who are intellectually challenged to attend Auburn for the first time, highlights of the partnership between the Auburn Alumni Association and Delta Airlines to bring alumni back home, a conversation with rising standup comedian Paul Schissler ’11 and more!

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Online Content

  • Auburn Magazine Fall 2019 Celebrating 50 years of integration of Athletics
  • Auburn Magazine Summer 2019; Sheriff Jay Jones in Beauregard, Ala.
  • Auburn Magazine Spring 2019
  • Auburn Magazine Winter 2018 40 Years of Aubie; Aubie holding a birthday cake
  • Auburn Magazine / Fall 2018
  • Auburn Magazine Summer 2018 Cover
  • square spring cover 2018
  • Cover Square WINTER 2017 Sixty Years Strong 1957 National Champs

From the Vice President

THE RHYTHM OF OUR CAMPUS slows down ever so slightly during the summer months compared to the frenzy of the busy spring semester. Recent commencement exercises welcomed 5,000 new alumni to the Auburn Alumni Association, which is wonderful news. During each ceremony, all alumni in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized. It is heartwarming to see so many in the audience, and particularly fun to watch the expressions of our newest graduates when they suddenly realize they too are now “official.”

The past few months also provided us with an opportunity to prepare for a new fiscal year, which is exactly what the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors did during their strategic workshop in June. I am pleased to share that the association has a refreshed strategic plan that includes recommendations from the recent alumni attitude study, is in alignment with the university and also includes new strategies to connect and engage our alumni in more meaningful ways.

As you enjoy the latest issue of the Auburn Magazine, know that the level of energy on campus has reached a fever pitch in preparation for the arrival of freshmen and returning students. A total of 392 students will begin this year’s education journey armed with Auburn Alumni Association scholarships valued at $664,668. These awards were made possible through the selfless fundraising efforts of Auburn Club volunteers as well as our membership gifts. On behalf of our students, thank you!

Fall is also a time of renewed passion for Auburn football as our fans plan their annual migration to the Plains to cheer on our Tigers. This year’s season will also mark the 50th anniversary of the integration of Auburn athletics, which will be celebrated during the 2019 Black Alumni Weekend on September 27-29. A special thanks to Thom Gossom, Jr. ’75, who helped desegregate Auburn football and later became the first African-American athlete to graduate, for serving as honorary chair of the weekend. Thom is one of the many pioneers celebrated in this issue’s cover story on the integration of athletics.

During this year’s opening football game, I will fondly remember Rod Bramblett ’88 and his wife, Paula ’91, who tragically left the Auburn Family far too soon last May. Both contributed to our university in their own way. Paula worked for the Office of Information Technology for more than 25 years and was a friend to many. Everyone knew Rod as the “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” but many did not know that he also played an important role in the association’s Auburn Club program. He accepted numerous invitations to speak around the country and through these efforts, helped spread the Auburn spirit, raised important scholarship funds and of course, enjoyed reliving those legendary calls alongside our fans. Even though our hearts will be heavy, I hope you will join me in expressing our deep appreciation for the positive and lasting impact this special alumni couple made in our lives.

War Eagle!

Gretchen VanValkenburg

Vice President for Alumni Affairs &
Executive Director, Auburn Alumni Association

Submit a Class Note or Obituary

Send us your classnote. We love to hear from our alumni. Remember to add your class year and/or member entity number.

What is a class note?

Have you recently had a job promotion, married or had an addition to your family? Have a story idea or interested in submitting a letter to the editor? Use the form to the left to send us a message. We love hearing from our alumni. War Eagle!

Address: 317 South College St.
Auburn, AL 36849

Phone: 334.844.1164

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Monday through Friday

Magazine Awards

Over the years, Auburn Magazine has been recognized for excellence at both the national and regional level.

National Honors

  • Gold Award, College and University General Interest Magazines, CASE, 2016.
  • Silver Award, Best Articles of the Year, “The Dearth of Newspapers” by Suzanne Johnson, CASE Circle of Excellence, 2013.
  • Gold Award, Periodicals Publishing Improvement, CASE Circle of Excellence, 2010
  • Silver Award, Best Articles of the Year, “Veggie Tales” by Suzanne Johnson, CASE Circle of Excellence, 2010
  • Silver Award, Best Articles of the Year, “God’s Man: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Millard Fuller” by Suzanne Johnson, CASE Circle of Excellence, 2009
  • Silver Award, Periodical Staff Writing for External Audiences, CASE Circle of Excellence, 2009
  • Pewter Award, National Gold Ink Awards, Print Media and Printing Impressions magazines, 2002
  • Pewter Award, National Gold Ink Awards, Publishing & Printing Executives and Printing Impressions magazines, 2001
  • Pewter Award, National Gold Ink Awards, Publishing & Printing Executives and Printing Impressions magazines, 2000
  • Distinguished Achievement Award, Personality Profile, Educational Press Association of America, 1996

Regional Honors

  • Grand Gold Award, Photography “Summer 2015 Cover”, CASE III, 2016
  • Award of Excellence, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2016
  • Award of Excellence, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2015
  • Grand Gold Award, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2014
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines III, CASE III, 2014
  • Silver Award, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2013
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines III, CASE III, 2011
  • Special Merit Award, Alumni Magazines II, CASE III, 2006
  • Special Merit Award, Alumni Magazines II (5,000+ enrollment), CASE III, 2005
  • Special Merit Award, University Magazines, CASE III, 2004
  • Award of Excellence for Magazines / Periodicals (4 or more colors), Printing Industry Association of the South, 2003
  • Award of Excellence for Magazines / Periodicals (4 or more colors), Printing Industry Association of the South, 2002
  • Special Merit Award, University Magazines, CASE III, 2001
  • Award of Excellence, Feature Writing, CASE III, 2000
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines III, CASE III, 2010
  • Grand Award, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2009
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines III, CASE III, 2009
  • Special Merit Award, Improvement in Design, CASE III, 2009
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines II, CASE III, 2008
  • Award of Excellence, Excellence in Feature Writing, CASE III, 2008
  • Award of Excellence, Alumni Magazines II, CASE III, 2007
  • Award of Excellence for Magazines / Periodicals (4 or more colors), Printing Industry Association of the South, 2000
  • Award of Excellence for Magazines / Periodicals (4 or more colors), Printing Industry Association of the South, 1999
  • Award of Excellence, University Magazines, CASE III, 1997
  • Special Merit Award, Paid Advertising, CASE III, 1997
  • Special Merit Award, Editorial Design, CASE III, 1996
  • Award of Excellence, Feature Writing, CASE III, 1995
  • Award of Excellence, Editorial Design, CASE III, 1995

Other Recognition

  • Mark of Quality for Graphic Excellence, Repap Paper Corp., 1995
  • Print Excellence Award, Printing Industry Association of Georgia, 1999

Voluntary Subscriptions

Smiling at your mailbox again? We’ll take credit for that. Because even as paper and postage costs climb, Auburn Magazine continues to bring you the news of your alma mater: right there, in your mailbox, four times a year.

You’ve told us the magazine is your favorite benefit of membership, and we’re committed to keeping it coming. That’s why we’re asking for your help: By making a tax-deductible contribution to the Auburn Alumni Association, you’ll ensure Auburn Magazine continues to tell the Auburn story—your story— for years to come.

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift of $35, $50, $100—or any amount you choose—to Auburn Magazine’s voluntary subscription fund.

Advisory Council

The Auburn Magazine Advisory Council is a group of 15 outstanding alumni and friends in the fields of journalism, business, magazine production, graphic design, etc., who meet annually on campus to provide input, advice and support for the regular magazine staff.

  • Neil Reynolds ’77, Chairman
  • Kay Acton ’84
  • Maria Baugh ’87
  • John Carvalho ’78
  • John Cole ’88
  • Christian Flathman ’97
  • Tom Ford ’67
  • Mary Lou Foy ’66
  • Julie Keith ’90
  • Eric Ludgood ’78
  • Cindy McDaniel ’80
  • Napo Monasterio ’02
  • Carol Pappas ’77
  • Joyce Reynolds Ringer ’59
  • Allen Vaughan ’75

Staff

Heather Peevy

Heather Peevy

Art Director

Kaleigh Peltack

Kaleigh Peltack

Graphic Designer

Derek Herscovici

Derek Herscovici

Assistant Editor

Jeff Etheridge photo

Jeff Etheridge

University Chief Photographer