By Lily Jackson ’18
Calvin Wilborn watched as a child stretched his neck like a growing crane to see the first African American president speak on Selma Bridge.
The father picked his son up to see a president that looked like him and Wilborn knew he had an obligation to hold up the next generation.
“It was one of the most humbling opportunities to hear the first African American president speak at the 50th anniversary of the Selma Bridge Jubilee,” Wilborn said.
Originally from Dothan, Alabama, Wilborn, senior in public administration, found his place in politics during his senior year of high school.
Wilborn’s parents are retired military, meaning they kept their apolitical status for better standing for much of his life. Since retirement, his father has ran for office and been involved in races.
Little did he know he would be representing the millennial voice for the Democratic National Convention only four years later.
Wilborn was elected Vice President of College Democrats for the 2018-2019 term. His good friend and partner in political involvement, Weston Sims, followed him from regionals to national reach as Wilborn’s Chief-of-Staff.
Sims, senior in political science, is from East Limestone, Alabama, and found his political footing when he arrived in Auburn. He emailed Wilborn before even graduating from college, putting him ahead of the game with involvement.
“When I was younger, I considered myself a republican because it was the cool thing to do,” Sims said. “I am a white man and I live in Alabama — it made sense to be a republican.”
When he got to high school he became more involved and aware of politics, left leanings. When he expressed interest in being involved, Wilborn convinced him to run for an office. He wanted to be political director and didn’t get it.
To his surprise, he got the assistant director position as a freshman. He drove home with a smile on his face.
The two met early on and stuck together through running the Auburn University College Democrats. Eventually, when Wilborn expressed higher interests, Sims followed him through campaigns and helped him garner support.
“Being close friends with Calvin, I followed him as he hopped around the state,” Sims said. “I ended up really liking the position.”