INSPIRATION COMES IN MANY FORMS and from many sources. When it arrives, it might prompt you to simply appreciate the moment—it could spark creativity or provide an opportunity for reflection. Auburn alumni are a constant source of inspiration to me. When I hear their stories and how they are using their Auburn degrees to improve our world, I am inspired to work harder for them and our alma mater.
During Women’s History Month, I was inspired by the outstanding presenters in the association’s inaugural Women’s Summit. More than 560 participants joined this exciting webinar to learn from accomplished alumnae, friends and student leaders who covered a range of topics that touched on themes of inspiration, leadership and empowerment. The summit also marked the foundational launch for future Women at Auburn programs, which will be designed to engage and connect Auburn’s 112,000 living alumnae. If you missed the summit but still want to enjoy the sessions, please visit alumni.auburn.edu/womens-initiatives.
For the past 20 years, the Auburn Alumni Association has
facilitated the Lifetime Achievement Awards. Established by the
association’s board of directors in 2001 to honor extraordinary
accomplishments by members of the Auburn Family, this prestigious
award recognizes recipients for outstanding achievements in
their professional lives, their personal integrity, their stature and
their service to the university.
Since 2001, 80 individuals have been recognized in a special black-tie ceremony in front of thousands of guests. To learn about award recipients through the years, please visit alumni.auburn.edu/alumni-awards/laa.
Finally, I am inspired by our newest alumni, who are just beginning to write their own Auburn story. Spring Commencement was held April 30, May 1 and May 3, with 5,300 students marking their special day in front of their family and friends. In addition to their academic achievement, many of our graduates chose to show their appreciation for Auburn when they made their first philanthropic gift to their university through the association’s medallion program.
As you enjoy your summer, I hope you find inspiration from a variety of sources. Mine will include our beautiful campus, visits with family and friends and the eager anticipation of a new academic year in the Loveliest Village. I can’t wait to see you at our tailgate and watch some Auburn football!
Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86
Vice President for Alumni Affairs &
Executive Director, Auburn Alumni Association
Office of the Vice President
Communications and Marketing
Derek Herscovici '14
Communication Specialist, Assistant Editor of Auburn Magazine