Wanona Satcher '02

In 2005 I became Auburn’s first African American graduate from the landscape architecture program as well as the first dual degree in landscape architecture/community planning. I never imagined that I would make history as a freshman at Auburn when I took my first steps on campus for Camp War Eagle.

As an Atlanta native I was raised by a single mom, aunt, grandfather and grandmother. My mom, a book worm who worked in the library system for years, encouraged my love of architecture since the fourth grade and worked multiple jobs to provide me with the supplies, tools and extracurricular activities I needed to be successful- no matter the challenges. In fact, I had to take two school buses everyday from seventh grade to high school to gain a better education.

My aunt, our family’s first doctor and now has two daughters (one that has been attending Auburn’s industrial design camp), heavily promoted education and let me attend some of her medical school classes during the summer to introduce me to science and medical engineering. My grandmother, a civil rights and women’s activist, was integral to my becoming an entrepreneur. She always told me to “leave an impact everywhere you go.”

Because of these strong women and my grandfather, who retired from the railroad and Auburn University, I have a strong sense of self, a growing global family of supporters of my work for social good and a purpose to make the world a better and productive place.

What I love about Auburn is that it teaches you to identify a problem, understand the causes and create powerful solutions. Over time I’ve learned that’s both rare for academic institutions and extremely powerful; because of this I find comfort in risk and positive change. I was featured in the Spring 2017 Auburn Alumni magazine for my company and I hope to continue to make Auburn proud.