18:56 Speaker Series

18 min and 56 sec Speaker Series graphic

While we were founded in 1856, the Auburn Alumni Association’s virtual speaker series is the newest way for you to interact with Auburn alumni, coaches, faculty and staff.

All shows will be broadcast live on our Facebook Page and uploaded to this page after the event.


April 21, 2022

18:56 with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Tune in to learn from more about the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs offered by ACES!

March 31, 2022

18:56 with Michelle McKenna
Come meet Michelle R. McKenna, CIO for the National Football League. She has been with the league since 2012. She is responsible for the NFL’s technology strategy, shared service delivery and management of the league’s technology activities, including all in-game technology (statistics, sports betting feeds, replay, communications systems) the in-stadium fan experience, and reaching fans through data and digital marketing. In her 10 Seasons at the NFL, McKenna and her teams have implemented the league’s cyber security program, established data as a strategic asset and led groundbreaking efforts like the 2020 Virtual Draft and the league’s technology response for tracing and testing of COVID19.

January 27, 2022

18:56 with Jazmine Motley-Maddox
Jazmine Motley-Maddox was a publicist who found her calling designing costumes for stars like Jennifer Aniston and Octavia Spencer. Now an in-demand costume supervisor, hear how Motley-Maddox’s grandmother influenced her career choice and how she outfits the stars for shows like “Young Dylan” and “Rhythm & Flow.”

NOVEMBER 18, 2021

18:56 with Auburn’s New Venture Accelerator
Come see Auburn’s New Venture Accelerator, our own “Shark Tank” where student and alumni startups create businesses, pitch to investors and sometimes make it big. We’ll feature three great startups: WELLBLOxS, a “gameified” patient education platform; Vulcan Line Tools, a system to measure the health of power lines; and SwiftSku, which provides a point-of-sale system for convenience stores.


18:56 With the Auburn Aviation Program
Join us from the Auburn University Regional Airport as we discuss Auburn’s renowned Department of Aviation and their aviation management and professional flight degrees. We’ll talk curriculum, history, facilities and the incredible student organizations like Women in Aviation and the War Eagle Flying Team. Come learn more about this program’s fascinating founding and future.

JULY 15, 2021

18:56 with Extreme Sports Athletes
For Bennett Smith ‘19 and Tyler Ross ‘10, kayaking down a waterfall or hiking thousands of miles are the keys to happiness. Join us as we meet two Auburn alumni who show a spirit that is not afraid.

JUNE 17, 2021

18:56 with the EAGLES Program
The EAGLES Program allows students with intellectual disabilities to attend Auburn University. The program focuses on academic enrichment, personal and social skills, independent living skills, health and wellness and integrated work experiences. Learn about the program from Betty Patten, EAGLES director; Sadie Weldon, current EAGLES student; and Scott Weldon, Sadie’s father.

May 13, 2021

18:56 with the Young Alumni Council
Join Eric Dunlap ’06, Auburn Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council current chair, and incoming chair Trey Fields ’17 as they talk about the council’s founding, mission and future. The council is composed of 30 graduates under the age of 40, who represent six Auburn colleges and schools and are from 10 states.

APRIL 22, 2021

WEGL’s 50th Anniversary on 18:56
On April 25, 1971, WEGL 91.1 crackled to life in Haley Center. Help us celebrate the station that defied the odds, gave a voice to Auburn students and defined generations of Auburn alumni. The show will feature current station adviser Brit Bowen ‘13, current station manager Breland McHenry and Dave Gamble ‘74, WEGL alumni Affiliate president and the first DJ to go on the air.

APRIL 15, 2021

18:56 with Chacolby Burns-Johnson
Join Chacolby Burns-Johnson ’01, Auburn Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Council chair, as she talks about the 10-member council’s founding, mission and future. The council was formed in 2020 and features graduates from 1977-2015. This is the first in a two-part series featuring the newest alumni councils at the alumni association.

March 25, 2021

18:56 – The Auburn Creed
Celebrate Creed Day with us by learning about the history and continued relevance of the Auburn’s most powerful statement of purpose. Alumni Mike Jernigan ’80, Curry Cates ‘18 and Cole Burton ’20 will discuss the history of the Auburn Creed, its author George Petrie, and how it influences their lives today.

March 11, 2021

18:56 with Auburn Alumni Association President Regenia Sanders and Board Chair Cheryl Casey
Join Auburn Alumni Association President Regenia Sanders and Auburn Foundation Board Chair Cheryl Casey on the secrets of Auburn’s successful women. They will discuss their own dynamic careers as well as preview the upcoming Women’s Summit, which is the first in a series of year-long programs aimed at empowering women.

February 22, 2021

18:56 with with Dr. Heidi Wright ’20
Special education professor, Heidi B. Wright ’20, discusses the life and legacy of her mother, Josetta Brittain Matthews ‘66. Matthews was the first Black student to earn a degree from Auburn and the first Black faculty member at the university. The alumni association just named its first need-based scholarship in memory of Matthews, which benefits deserving students from the state of Alabama who want to pursue an Auburn degree but face a financial barrier.

January 28, 2020

18:56 with Auburn President, Jay Gogue ’69 and Vice President of Alumni Affairs, Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86
Auburn President, Jay Gogue ‘69, and Vice President of Alumni Affairs, Gretchen VanValkenburg ‘86, will join us for a special 18:56. VanValkenburg will interview Dr. Gogue, who will discuss higher education in a post-pandemic world and how to lead in times of great change.

January 14, 2020

18:56 with Olympian Reita Clanton & Personal Trainer Blake Butcher
Join us as Olympian Reita Clanton and personal trainer Blake Butcher teach us how to be more mindful, purposeful and healthy by using the six pillars of health.

December 16, 2020

18:56 Best of 2020
Join us Wednesday, December 16 for our last show of 2020! The 18:56 team will give you a behind the scenes look into how we run the show, as well as talk about our favorite moments from 2020.

November 19, 2020

18:56 with Justin Robinson
Join us for amazing cooking and conversation with celebrity Chef JRob. Chef JRob has been bringing his Cajun kick to the Atlanta food scene for several years and competed in the Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown in 2017. He will be cooking a favorite dish and discussing his unlikely journey from Auburn student to renowned chef.

November 5, 2020

18:56 with Emory Serviss and Mike Milford
Feeling like our civil discourse is more fractured than ever? Two Auburn professors discuss how we can return to a time when we talk WITH each other instead of AT each other.

October 29, 2020

18:56 with James Manasseh and David Housel
This episode of 18:56 will be a little different than normal, because this isn’t just any week. This week is our 4th annual Tiger Nation Challenge! Auburn Alumni Association and LSU Alumni Association go head to head to see whose alumni base can raise the most in the week leading up to our rivalry match-up. The challenge began on October 25, and goes until this Saturday October 31 (GAMEDAY!). We will be joined by David Housel, former Auburn Athletics Director, and his long time friend and LSU alumni, Jimmy Manasseh. Together they will discuss the storied rivalry of Auburn and LSU!

October 15, 2020

18:56 with Josh and Paige Wetzel

Paige Wetzel is wife to double amputee Retired Army Sgt. Josh Wetzel and they have two beautiful daughters. Paige served as the Director of Volleyball Operations for Auburn University for four years where Josh is the Assistant Director of Digital Media. Between getting injured and March of 2014, Josh Wetzel was promoted to Sergeant, received the Purple Heart Award, and officially retired from the Army and began his civilian life with his family. The Wetzels remain active in the support of veterans, enjoy serving at their home church, Church of the Highlands, and promoting Auburn Athletics. They will be joining us to talk about their Auburn story and their contribution to the creation of the Auburn Alumni Association Veterans Scholarship Endowment

October 1, 2020

18:56 with Kenneth Reese and Joy Scott
Kenneth is an Auburn freshman and first Black state ambassador president in Alabama 4-H history. Joy is the 4-H Leadership & Citizenship Specialist. Together they will discuss the impact that 4-H has on young adults as they develop their leadership and communication skills. Kenneth will tell the impactful story of how 4-H helped him become the person he is today.

September 24, 2020

18:56 with Allen Greene
Allen will discuss how the Athletic Department had to pivot with COVID, what steps have been taken to ensure all Auburn’s student athletes are staying healthy and safe, as well as what the first football game will look like.

September 17, 2020

18:56 with Dr. Frank F. (Skip) Bartol
Alumni Professor & Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Auburn University – College of Veterinary Medicine

September 3, 2020

18:56 with John Kelton and Mike Taylor
Exhibits of the Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur, AL and the museum’s incredible connection to Auburn University.

August 27, 2020

18:56 with Dr. Martin O’Neill and Hans van der Reijdan.
Guests will discuss the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center

August 13, 2020

18:56 with Dr. Fred Kam
Director of the Student Health Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Board-certified Internist

July 16, 2020

18:56 with Ada Ruth Huntley
Student Government Association President at Auburn University, Current Auburn University Student

July 9, 2020

18:56 with Asim Ali
Executive Director, Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

June 25, 2020

18:56 with Cindi Malinick
Director and Chief Curator,
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

June 18, 2020

18:56 with Aubie
Auburn University Mascot

June 11, 2020

18:56 with Bonnie Plants
President / CEO Mike Sutterer
Production Manager / Maddison Matthews

June 4, 2020

18:56 with Christa Cotton
Founder / CEO New Orleans Beverage Group
El Guapo

May 28, 2020

18:56 with Auburn Clubs Program + AMBUSH At Home Sneak Preview
Learn about the Auburn Clubs program from two Auburn Club presidents and get a sneak peek from Allen Greene of AMBUSH At Home, which premieres at 6 pm CDT on May 28, 2020!

May 21, 2020

18:56 with Adam Hood
Adam Hood
Singer, Songerwriter

May 14, 2020

18:56 with Paul Schissler
Paul Schissler

May 7, 2020

Life as an Entertainment Reporter, Her Time at Auburn and More
Chloe Melas, Entertainment Reporter, CNN

April 30, 2020

Navigating Your Mental Health Through COVID-19
Markie Pasternak, Coordinator of Outreach and Peer Education
Health Promotion & Wellness Services

Dustin Johnson,  Ph.D., Assistant Director for Outreach and Mental Health Initiatives,
Licensed Psychologist

April 24, 2020

Smart Money Management During COVID-19
Dr. Damion McIntosh
Lecturer of Finance
Auburn University