Charles Earl Heaton Sr. ’64

Charles Earl Heaton Sr. ’64


February 1, 1938—July 28, 2022



Charles Heaton, also known as the “Auburn Santa,” was born in Georgiana, Ala. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery, Ala. and earned a degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University. He is survived by the love of his life, Joellynn; son, Charles E. (Chuck) Heaton Jr. ’88 and wife, Debby; daughter, Jill Thomas ’90 and husband, Mark; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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The Big Question

The Big Question

What is your earliest memory of attending an Auburn football game?

Big Question header

“Nov. 18, 1978, Auburn/UGA game in Jordan-Hare. Auburn tied a top-10 UGA team 22-22 while wearing orange jerseys. It was an awesome game and had me hooked on Auburn. War Eagle!!”
James Martin ’89

“I attended my first Auburn football game at Jordan-Hare
Stadium in 1986 with my grandfather Deryl Seifried.”
Jonathan Seifried ’04

“It was 1987, Auburn vs. Florida at Jordan- Hare. Emmitt Smith was a freshman at Florida. Auburn won and Emmitt was in tears under the Auburn goalpost. Fireworks were everywhere. I was sold all in on Auburn. I enrolled
at Auburn the next fall.”

Mark Sobel-Sorrell ’91

“My dad took me to Athens to see Pat Sullivan and the Tigers beat the damn Dawgs, and that performance sealed the Heisman trophy!”
Wade Moore ’80

“In 2000, celebrating a victory over Georgia at Toomer’s Corner with (left) Amity Neighbors ’04 and (right) Melanie Russell ’01.”
Erin Sloan ’04

bowl of tortellini

“I started going to Auburn football games when I was little. We went to every home game as well as a couple away games. Early memories of going out on the field to watch the majorettes after the game come out and twirl (I went on to be a 4-year member of the AUMB but on an instrument instead of as a majorette).”
Traci Ash ’83

“In ninth grade, I moved to Alabama from Washington State so my first football game was my freshman year as a student and the energy of the student section was unlike anything I had ever been a part of. I stood the entire game and now when I go to the games with my family, I always remember my days in the student section.”
Jeffrey Ioimo ’08

AU Gingerbread house graphic

“Tailgating as a young boy with my dad out of the trunk of his car beside Thach Hall. In the mid to late ’70s. Throwing a football, eating sandwiches and walking around campus. And watching Joe Cribbs, James Brooks and William Andrews play in the same backfield.”
Art Guin ’92

“Auburn vs. Florida, 1969. I sat on the front row in the north end zone. Got a chin strap from an AU player after the game!”
Bill Stone ’85

“LSU at Auburn, 1972. Very cold. Pouring rain! We stepped into 32-gallon trash bags to keep the rain out of our shoes and to help keep us warm.”
Katherine Thrasher ’79

“The first Auburn- Alabama game attended was in Birmingham. Auburn won! 17 to 16! Need I say more?”
Theresa Dunn ’80

4 women kneeling around a yellow table

“My first in-person Auburn football game was in an Auburn band uniform. I was never really interested in football. I just loved playing in the band. That game changed my feelings about football forever. Being at Jordan-Hare with all the excitement of being a part of the Auburn Family and playing in the stands and the field made me realize how fun being a football fan could be.”
Nanette Arata ’86

“Justin Davis was my favorite Camp War Eagle counselor, and he used to always check on me when school started. I ran into him waiting for the gates to open for the season opener that year. My first football game at Auburn is an experience I will never forget!” 
Gabrielle Brundidge ’13

drawing of a RV


“1982 Iron Bowl played on Legion Field. Auburn beat Bama 23-22. Bear Bryant’s last Iron Bowl game. Crowd rushed the field and tore down the goalpost. WAR EAGLE!”
Lisa Tolar ’93

“At age three, sitting in my dad’s lap at a game when Travis Tidwell was the quarterback, circa 1949!”
Patricia Gleason ’74

bowl of tortellini

Chad Jones ’99, L-R Elizabeth, Grayson, Harrison, Benjamin

“Earliest for me was when I was a freshman at Auburn. It was the late ’80s and the tailgate was like nothing I had ever experienced. People were beyond welcoming and friendly; it was like one huge family reunion where everyone welcomed you!”
Richard Miller ’94

Meet the 20 Under 40

Meet the 20 Under 40

Job Title: Deputy Director of Elections, Arlington County, Virginia

Current City/State: Alexandria, Virginia

Bio: Tate Fall currently serves as the Deputy Director of Elections for Arlington County, Virginia where she oversees all aspects of the Election Officer (Poll Worker) Program. With close to 170,000 registered voters, each election is staffed with up to 750 Election Officers. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s unique election calendar ensures that every year is an election year with at least two elections and up to six. Prior to joining Arlington County, Tate worked for the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) as the Communication Specialist where she worked with the Director of Communications on managing media relations, communications strategy, and supporting the commissioners and EAC staff. Before the EAC, Tate worked for Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program as the Voting Rights Advocate. While she was there, she worked alongside election administrators to help ensure that their poll sites were compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Tate has her B.S. in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, a Master of Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Election Administration all from Auburn University. In addition to her professional career, Tate also volunteers as a National Advisory Consultant (NAC) to Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings which is a national collegiate organization with over 3,000 members nationwide. Tate was asked to join the NAC team after serving as the National President for Silver Wings during her second year of graduate school with a staff she put together representing Auburn University. In her free time, Tate enjoys spending time with her friends and family, exploring DC and Northern Virginia, and going on walks with her husband, Wesley, and two golden retrievers, Elle and Gunner.

Favorite Auburn Memory: My favorite Auburn memory is getting engaged on Samford lawn in August of 2019 where my now husband, Wesley, proposed with our puppy Elle. Shortly after saying yes, a biker rode by shouting “War Eagle and Congratulations!” A (very) close second would be the Kick Six which I witnessed in the stands during my sophomore year!

Fun Fact: One of my hobbies is making personalized koozies, and I also collect them – I own over 100! Needless to say, I never have a problem with keeping my drinks cold.

Job Title: President & CEO

Current City/State: Atlanta, GA

Bio: Brandon Young, PMP, is a 2010 Electrical Engineering alum, and received his Master of Engineering degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2014. While attending undergraduate college Brandon was very involved: serving as a member and Baselios of Omega Psi Fraternity incorporated, founding member of Harold Franklin Society, and participant of AEP & BSU. Mr. Young started his career as a CO-OP student with the Alabama Army National Guard. After graduating Brandon landed an engineering role with Burns & McDonnell where he designed substations for Southern Company and provided field Project Management Services for Public Service Electric & Gas, working on many large-scale projects along the East Coast. During this time, Mr. Young worked with experienced engineers, construction managers and project managers, and he described himself as a sponge, taking in as much knowledge as he possibly could from his colleagues. The project work led to many exciting opportunities. The experience Mr. Young gained was paramount and served as the foundation of his own firm, Young Management & Consulting (YMC). As he has established and grown YMC, Mr. Young has taken the best practices he observed in his previous work to move his company ahead in the Energy, Technology, and Infrastructure industry. Some of his previous employers are now YMC clients. Mr. Young has a passion for helping others, stating ‘No matter what we do or what industry we work in, at the end of the day, it’s about helping someone else. We’re not only adding value to clients’ lives, but we’re also showing younger minority generations that there are a lot of opportunities out there for them to be successful. Over the next 20, 30, or 40 years, I want to leave a legacy and set a new standard for how industries work.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Brandon favorite Auburn memory was launch Harold Franklin Society and becoming a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc and hosting the first ever event in the student center.

Job Title: Principal

Current City/State: Birmingham, AL

Bio: Amanda Loper, AIA, LEED AP, is a Principal at David Baker Architects, a progressive, award-winning architecture and urban design firm known for combining social concern with a signature design character. Amanda leads the southeastern office in Birmingham, Alabama, which she established in 2016. Her work integrates architecture and urban design so that each project is a “small but mighty act of urbanism.” Since the completion of her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Interior Architecture at Auburn University, Amanda has contributed to solving affordable housing crises in San Francisco and throughout the Southeast. She adapts these solutions to help other cities across the country address their own affordable housing crises and enhance livability. A strong “architecture communicator,” Amanda also shares her experiences, innovations, and philosophy widely with designers, students, developers, and the public through lectures and writing. Amanda was awarded a 2021 AIA Young Architects Award, a national honor that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Some of my favorite memories at Auburn were made in the long and late nights I spent at Dudley Hall in Architecture Studio with my fellow peers. Those many hours not only formed the architect I was to become but were full of laughter, music and more than a few shenanigans.

Fun Fact: After living in San Francisco for 10 years post graduation, she and her family relocated to Birmingham where Amanda and her husband Brandon opened up a wine shop with Trent and Chere Stewart called Golden Age Wine in Mountain Brook, AL.

Job Title: President, Eye Cloud Pro and Practice Director EHR

Current City/State: Auburn, Alabama

Bio: Emily (Wood) Traylor is originally from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and is a third generation Auburn University graduate. She graduated from Auburn in 2010 with a degree in Wireless Software Engineering and again in 2021 from Auburn’s Executive MBA program. She is the president of Eye Cloud Pro and Practice Director EHR” or “She is the president of companies Eye Cloud Pro and Practice Director EHR. In this role, Traylor leads these companies in developing electronic medical record and practice management software for the eyecare industry. Prior to this, Traylor worked for Fullsteam corporate and was responsible for the technical integration and operational success of the Fullsteam payment processing platform across the organization’s portfolio of software company acquisitions. Prior to joining Fullsteam, Traylor worked for Equifax where she served as release engineering leader and deputy director of the Equifax Auburn Technology Center. In this role, Traylor helped establish an Auburn talent incubator for the company, hiring nearly 50 recent graduates and leveraging a pipeline of Auburn alumni talent for the organization’s technology transformation. Traylor’s Auburn experience is “never-ending,” and she remains a dedicated supporter of the university through alumni involvement, mentorship, and speaking with classes and student organizations. She was the keynote speaker at the 2021 Auburn Engineering Student Leadership Development Conference and will serve as the keynote speaker for the 2022 MADE (Making a Difference in Engineering at Auburn) event. Traylor is the current Chair of the Auburn Engineering Young Alumni Council, a member of Auburn’s Wireless Engineering Advisory Board, a 100+ Women Strong member, and she was a recipient of the Outstanding Young Auburn Engineer Award in 2020. In addition, Traylor and her husband, Tommy, have endowed two scholarships to support first generation students in engineering as well as students with a financial need in computer science and software engineering. Emily resides in Auburn along with her husband and two rescue dogs. She and her husband are life members of the Auburn Alumni Association, as well as members of the university’s Foy society and the College of Engineering’s Ginn and EAGLE societies.

Favorite Auburn Memory: I attended the 2013 Iron Bowl with my younger sister (a 2016 Auburn pharmacy grad). My husband was a manager with the football team at the time and was on the sideline. After the game, my sister and I rushed the field along with thousands of other Auburn fans, because we wanted to find my husband. However, as self-proclaimed rule followers, we still say this is the most rebellious thing we have ever done, and my husband was so surprised to see us!

Fun Fact: I come from an “Auburn engineering family.” My grandfathers, uncles, and parents were all Auburn engineers, and I have a cousin who is an Auburn engineer as well. Starting with my grandfathers, that’s 8 Auburn engineers in the family!

Job Title: Managing Partner

Current City/State: Dallas, TX

Bio: Allison received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Finance and served as co-founder of The Auburn University Real Estate Society in 2007. After graduation in 2009, Allison returned to Dallas and began her career in commercial real estate. Actively involved in a variety of organizations and charities, Allison is a current board member of The Real Estate Council, The Real Estate Council – Associate Leadership Council Class of 2018 Alumni, Big Brothers Big Sisters and 4word Dallas Christian Women’s Group. She founded an organization in 2012 called Ladies in Commercial Real Estate which has grown to over 700 members and was featured on NBC5 News Dallas in a special segment of women empowering women and gaining success in business as well as a feature article in D CEO magazine. Allison also founded The Barking Project which is an annual event to bring Animal Rescues Groups and shelters in DFW together to promote adoptions and minimize the overcrowding of local shelters. In 2019, Allison received the prestigious North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors – Young Citizen Award in addition to receiving the 2022 CoreNet Global Young Leader Award given to an emerging young leader in the Dallas Fort Worth commercial real estate industry. She was also named a D CEO Magazine Power Broker from 2019-2022.

Favorite Auburn Memory: My favorite Auburn memory was my first visit to Auburn and first Auburn football game. My mom is an Auburn grad and took me to the 2004 Auburn/Georgia game for a college visit. I was already committed to go to the University of Oklahoma at the time, but my mom wanted me to go and see her beloved alma mater just once. I will never forget watching the eagle circle the stadium before kick off and looking over at my mom as a tear was falling down her cheek. It was that light-bulb type of moment where I just knew that Auburn was the school for me. While Auburn was a lot further away from Dallas than Oklahoma, I have zero regrets about my decision to be an Auburn Tiger. I was fortunate to be part of the Tigerettes program recruiting under Coach Tuberville which was definitely a big highlight of my Auburn career.

Fun Fact: I love helping animals and have been active in animal rescue. We have fostered over 40 dogs saving them from euthanization to-date.

Job Title: Vice President, Global Supply Chain

Current City/State: Atlanta, Georgia

Bio: Meghan Nicholas is a global supply chain, operations, and analytics leader with expertise in the retail and e-commerce channels. She has performed leadership roles for companies such as Peloton Interactive, Dollar General, The Home Depot, Unisource Worldwide, and J.C. Penney. Most recently, Meghan has led Peloton as the Global Head of Supply Chain. Outside of her day job she serves as an advisor to several startup companies focused on driving growth and scale within their supply chains. Throughout her career, Meghan has headed large-scale initiatives and driven supply chain transformations with systemic process and corporate culture change. She is also known for leading digital change in the supply chain focused on improving customer experience. She has been featured several in major Supply Chain industry publications and was ranked #12 Top Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digital (2021). Strongly committed to advancing women’s leadership, she has served on the board of the Network of Executive Women for both the Nashville and Atlanta Regions. She is passionate about Employee Resource Groups and most recently was the executive sponsor for the Peloton’s Women’s Alliance and served on the board for Dollar General Young Professionals. Meghan proudly holds a degree from the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University in International Business with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.

Favorite Auburn Memory: It is so hard to pick just one favorite Auburn memory! However, rolling Toomer’s Corner after we won the BCS National Championship is something I will never forget.

Fun Fact: I love to travel and one day hope to visit all 7 continents! I have been to 5 of 7 so far!

Job Title: President & CEO SC Events & Communications

Current City/State: Montgomery, AL

Bio: Susan Scott Carothers is a leader in the fields of corporate event planning and communications. Throughout her career, she has been called upon by Alabama’s largest and most respected companies and nonprofits, as well as The Business Council of Alabama and local chambers of commerce to elevate and advance their corporate event and communications programs. Through her experience, she has had the opportunity to host and work with some of our nation’s top political leaders and celebrities including President George W. Bush and Peyton Manning. Susan is a published children’s author and is currently in discussions about her second book. She has worked as a video spokesperson and on-air personality for international companies and athletic organizations. Susan is President and CEO of SC Events and Communications and holds a degree from the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University in Marketing. Susan loves singing, traveling and collecting art. She and her husband Alex live in Montgomery, Alabama with their two sons, Scott and Holt.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Susan’s favorite Auburn memory is traveling with War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, representing Auburn University at every football game (home and away) during Auburn’s undefeated football season in 2004. She loved being a War Eagle Girl so much that she made it her goal to build a career with similar elements and experiences.

Fun Fact: In 2015 Susan published her first children’s book, “‘Twas the Night Before Gameday,” a story about uniqueness and camaraderie among all of the SEC mascots. The book’s publicity tour included game day book signings on campuses around the SEC and interviews on the Rick & Bubba and Paul Finebaum shows.

Job Title: CEO

Current City/State: New Orleans, LA

Bio: While studying at Auburn, Christa Cotton helped her parents open Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, Georgia’s first legal distillery since Prohibition. After a stint in advertising in New Orleans, Christa started her own company and purchased the El Guapo trademark. Specializing in zero-proof bitters, El Guapo has expanded into syrups and mixers and is Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certified. Christa is a 6x Good Food Award winner, LEE Initiative mentor, Les Dames d’Escoffier Legacy Award: Fine Spirits recipient, and a Fellow in both the Tory Burch Foundation and the James Beard Foundation. She’s successfully raised seven figures in investment capital and is currently in the process of opening a bitters brewery, the first of its kind in America.

Favorite Auburn Memory: 2010 National Championship weekend in Arizona

Fun Fact: My original dream was to be a Rockette, but I was too short to try out when I turned 18.

Job Title: Psychologist

Current City/State: Atlanta, GA

Bio: Dr. Mosley graduated from Auburn University Summa Cum Laude with Honors, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Spanish. She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta. After graduating from Auburn University, Dr. Mosley pursued her Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. Dr. Mosley focused her studies in Child Psychology. Throughout her graduate experience, she used her clinical and research training to learn to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and their families. After completing her training, Dr. Mosley obtained her license to practice as a psychologist in the state of Georgia. She became employed as a clinician for Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta, focusing her therapeutic work on children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety-related, Obsessive-Compulsive-related, and disruptive behavior disorders. Dr. Mosley has also worked as an Adjunct Professor for Mercer University’s College of Health Professions, teaching within the Psychology (Psy.D.) program. Since entering the field of Psychology, Dr. Mosley has authored 15 professional works, including publications, book chapters, and posters. As a psychologist, Dr. Mosley is passionate about improving access to quality mental health care. Dr. Mosley uses social media, blog writing, and advocacy efforts to enhance the understanding of mental health principles and access to care for the general public. As an alumna of Auburn University, Dr. Mosley regularly attends campus events, such as football games and gymnastic meets. Dr. Mosley enjoys giving to unique projects on Tiger Giving Day each February. Dr. Mosley engages as both an alumna of Auburn University and Alpha Xi Delta in Auburn and the Atlanta area.

Favorite Auburn Memory: My freshman year, we won the National Championship and Cam Newton won the Heisman trophy. That entire football season was a fantastic memory!

Fun Fact: I won my school Spelling Bee in the 5th grade.

Job Title: Director of Public Affairs at PLUS Communications

Current City/State: Washington, D.C.

Bio: Cody Sanders is a seasoned strategist and communications professional who currently serves as a director of public affairs for Washington, D.C.-area based consulting firm—PLUS Communications. With experience and expertise in strategic communications, foreign affairs, homeland security, government relations and crisis management, Cody has attained prominence in both the public and private sectors as a leader in his field. Prior to joining PLUS, Cody spent nearly four years serving at the White House under former President Donald J. Trump’s administration, including a role with the National Security Council. Additionally, he has held positions as a defense contractor with Northrop Grumman and as an aide in the United States Senate to former U.S. Senator Luther Strange. During his tenure at the White House, Cody worked alongside other aides to the President and staff at federal agencies to advance policy initiatives and produce messaging content that highlighted the administration’s priorities and achievements. While at the National Security Council, he worked under the strategic engagement directorate, helping bolster national security through intelligence analysis and strategic communications. Outside of work, Cody is an avid outdoorsman and traveler, spending most of his free time hiking and backpacking, duck hunting and finding new happy hour and dinner spots around D.C. In 2021, Cody competed in his first amateur boxing match through USA Boxing and Haymakers for Hope, where he raised nearly $20,000 for cancer awareness and Coach Bruce Pearl’s AUTLIVE program. Cody is a native of Eufaula, Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in political science and in 2016 with a master’s in public administration. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Favorite Auburn Memory: I have so many fond memories of my time at Auburn that it is incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a singular answer. There were more than a fun memorable game days and spring parties at the Sigma Nu house, as well as a few eventful road trips to away games (including upsetting Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in College Station in 2013). However, I think the obvious answer here is the Kick Six. It was my last home football game in Jordan Hare as an undergrad and goes down as the indisputable greatest moment in college football history. Witnessing such a historic game with my closest college buddies will always be one of my most cherished memories

Fun Fact: In 2021, I decided to get in the ring (literally) and fight cancer. Through Haymakers for Hope, I registered with USA Boxing and competed in my first amateur bout. In addition to being streamed through a pay-per-view service, the fight took place in front of an audience of nearly 5,000 people at The Anthem in D.C. It was a charity match and I raised nearly $20,000 for cancer awareness. A large portion of the funds raised went to Coach Bruce Pearl’s AUTLIVE foundation. If you are not familiar with the great work Coach Pearl is doing off the court, I highly encourage you to do some research and get involved.

Job Title: Research Scientist

Current City/State: Indianapolis, Indiana

Bio: Zachary Jones is a native of Spring Garden, Alabama and a 2013 graduate in Agronomy and Soils. While at Auburn Zach was involved in several organizations, including leadership roles in the Crop, Soils, and Environmental Sciences Club and his fraternity. Following graduation from Auburn, Zach completed a Masters and Ph.D in Plant Breeding and Genetics at North Carolina State University. Zach is currently a Research Scientist in Corn Breeding at Corteva Agriscience, where he contributes to product development and plant breeding strategy to produce corn hybrids for the Deep South. In his role, Zach also leads Corteva’s white corn breeding evaluation zone where he and team produce high milling quality hybrids for use in products like cornmeal, tortillas, chips, and everyone’s personal favorite, grits. Zach was recently named a Corteva Associate Laurate in recognition for his scientific contributions to the organization. Zach is also active in several professional organizations, including the American Seed Trade Association and holding several committee leadership roles in the National Association of Plant Breeders. Zach is an active Auburn Alumni member where he previously severed as Co-President of the Triangle Area Auburn Club, established alumni association scholarships, and was awarded Auburn Alumni Association Club Leader of the Year in 2016. Zach currently resides in the Indianapolis, Indiana area with his wife, Kathryn.

Favorite Auburn Memory: 1) Waking up early for Barbecue House breakfast with classmates before big tests in Funchess Hall. 2) Watch parties with the Triangle Area Auburn Club: It was so impressive to see how strong the Auburn Family’s connection can be, even several hundred miles from Auburn.

Job Title: Co-Owner of the Thomas Twins Team – Nashville Realtors ®️ at PARKS Real Estate

Current City/State: Nashville, TN

Bio: Originally from Dothan, Ala., Evan graduated from Auburn in 2007 with a degree in communication.​As a student, Evan was involved in FarmHouse Fraternity, Auburn University Singers, Concert Choir and served as a Plainsman. From 2004-2006, he was a “Friend of Aubie,” winning the title of UCA National Mascot Champion in 2006 and concluded his final semester in NYC as an intern for NBC TODAY Show.​Since graduation, he has lived in Nashville, Washington, D.C. and back in Auburn, where he worked as the first in-house recruiter for the College of Liberal Arts and as the Development Associate for the College of Architecture, Design, & Construction.​In 2018, he returned to Nashville – for good – to join his twin brother, Elliott, in real estate. The Thomas Twins Team has now grown to three agents, one admin assistant, and a transaction coordinator. They are a multi-year award-winning real estate team, the top producing agents in their office, and in the top 10% of their company and the Greater Nashville Realtors Association. In May 2019, Evan became the President of the Greater Nashville Auburn Club and won Auburn Alumni Association’s Club Leader of the Year in February 2020. His branding, graphics, and communication skills have helped earned GNAC the Most Outstanding Marketing & Communication Award for THREE consecutive years. Additionally, for every Auburn alumni that uses the Thomas Twins Team when buying and selling real estate, Evan donates a portion of his commission to the Greater Nashville Auburn Club’s Endowed Scholarship. To date, he has helped over 20 AU clients and donated over $5,000. In his free time, he enjoys karaoke, exploring Nashville’s exceptional & growing restaurant scene, and sitting around a fire with wine & friends. Evan lives in the Gulch with his goldendoodle, Django.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Helping AUBIE the Tiger win his 6th UCA National Championship at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports/Disney World in 2006.

Fun Fact: If you put an H in front of my name and an H in front of my twin brother’s name, you get… (H)Evan & (H)Elliott; This was not intentional

Job Title: Assistant Professor of Ruminant Nutrition in Forage Systems

Current City/State: Opelika, AL

Bio: Dr. Brandon Smith (’12) is an Assistant Professor of Ruminant Nutrition in Forage Systems in the Department of Animal Sciences at Auburn University. A native of Slocomb, AL, Dr. Smith received dual bachelor’s degrees from Auburn University in animal sciences and agronomy and soils in 2012, a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in animal science in 2014, and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University in agronomy in 2017. After graduation, Dr. Smith was hired by Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX) as an Assistant Professor of Animal Science; he served in that position from 2017 to 2021. In 2021, Dr. Smith joined the faculty at Auburn University, pursuing research in better understanding the digestive physiology of beef cattle on pasture. Dr. Smith is a highly decorated leader in higher education. The American Society of Animal Science designated him as the Southern Section Emerging Scholar in 2017. He was named the Outstanding Junior Faculty Member for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tarleton State University in both 2019 and 2020, and also received the university-level award in 2020. In 2021, Dr. Smith received three different awards in recognition of his teaching efforts: the NACTA Educator Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture; the Outstanding Early Career Animal Scientist Award in Education from the American Society of Animal Science; and the Distinguished Young Educator Award for Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Dr. Smith and his wife, Katie Williams Smith (’10, ’12), live in Opelika, AL.

Favorite Auburn Memory: My favorite Auburn memory would have to be my first Iron Bowl. I grew up an Auburn fan from birth, but I had only been to Auburn’s campus a handful of times before I enrolled as a student. As it would happen, my first football season was the year that ESPN College Gameday came to campus, and Tommy Tuberville got his sixth straight win over Alabama. I stood in line to get into the stadium from 10 AM that morning, even though the game didn’t kick off until 7 PM. For a small town boy from Slocomb, AL, the stage didn’t get any bigger than that!

Fun Fact: I have quite an impressive collection of bowties. When my wife and I were dating, she bought me a bowtie because I had been ruining several of my ties while working cattle in the field. She thought that the bowtie would allow me to dress the same, but keep me from getting anything on it. I really liked the tie, so I started wearing it, and she started getting me more and more. By the time I had finished my first semester of teaching at Tarleton State University, I was known campus-wide as “Doc Bowtie.” You will never find me teaching class without one! In fact, to this day, I have an Auburn coffee mug in my office personalized for “Dr. Bowtie.”

Job Title: Associate Regional Counsel, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

Current City/State: Decatur, GA

Bio: Stephen currently serves as Associate Regional Counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Office of Regional Counsel, in Atlanta, GA, where he specializes in environmental cleanups of heavily contaminated properties, oil spills, and emergency responses throughout the Southeast, as well as other important waste- and water-related environmental actions. Stephen has been and continues to be a regional and national leader in the environmental field with special emphasis in complex, multi-layered environmental cleanups with all stakeholders at the table, including the impacted communities, governmental entities, and regulated industry. Stephen is a proud alumnus of Auburn University, graduating magna cum laude in 2006. He is one of five siblings to attend Auburn—two currently in school—and a generational Auburn fan with both parents attending Auburn and his dad being a member of the 1972 Auburn Amazin’s football team. Stephen is very active in his Atlanta community, making personal commitments to reduce homelessness, improve early childhood education, and find common ground in the areas of race and equity. Stephen currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Trinity Community Ministries, a transitional housing and rehabilitation facility located in downtown Atlanta supporting the successful recovery and transition of Atlanta’s homeless and veteran community. He is also the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board for Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation, which creates opportunities to thrive for underserved students at Avondale Elementary School, a Title I school in DeKalb County, GA, as well as Trustee of the Hopeful/Honest Initiative on Race and Understanding which creates platforms for hopeful and honest conversation on the topics of race, equity, and reconciliation. He is a graduate of the Atlanta Federal Executive Board’s Leadership Government Class of 2014, Leadership Atlanta’s LEAD Atlanta Class of 2017, and Leadership DeKalb’s Class of 2020, in addition to being a recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under Forty” in 2019. Beyond this, family is his priority, including his wife, three sons, and family bird dog.

Favorite Auburn Memory: First and foremost, it’s meeting my wife, Kathleen. We had an atypical, yet whimsical, start and have been loving and learning together ever since. Beyond that, the 2004 LSU game still comes to mind when I think about Auburn memories. I can still feel the chills from the pregame flyover and game-winning TD catch by Courtney Taylor. I’m very thankful for my experience at Auburn.

Fun Fact: I worked on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico during my summers at Auburn, which I now credit for my career in environmental law. I also have five brothers—four of which attended or currently attend Auburn (as mentioned in my bio). We are six sons from two different moms/marriages and ages spanning 43 to 18. The four oldest have pursued very different, yet successful careers—one as an artist/professor, another as a pastor, me as an attorney, and another as a professional athlete—with the two youngest still pursuing their own passions at Auburn.

Job Title: Assistant Clinical Professor, Auburn University College of Nursing

Current City/State: Auburn, AL

Bio: Chris Martin graduated from Auburn in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Beginning his career as a coronary care nurse, Chris developed a passion for nursing and graduated from Samford University with a Master of Science in Nursing in 2015. Later in 2015, he helped launch Hospitalist Services of Alabama as its founding director. In 2016, Chris began serving as Cardiac Clinical Excellence Coordinator at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, successfully guiding the facility through Chest Pain Center accreditation from the American College of Cardiology. Chris was later promoted to Director of Nursing Education and Staff Development where he successfully re-established the Nursing Education Department and oversaw a 200% increase in nursing recruitment activities. In 2018, Chris was recognized as the Grandview Medical Center non-clinical manager of the year. Today, Chris is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Auburn University College of Nursing where he sits on the Undergraduate Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee and chairs the Diversity & Inclusion committee. In 2020, he was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by graduating seniors. In April 2022, Chris successfully defended his doctoral dissertation for the PhD in Nursing Education and Administration at William Carey University. Now known by his students as “Doc Martin,” he is blessed to be able to teach and mentor the next generation of Auburn nurses. An active member of the American Association of Men in Nursing, he is also a member of SIGMA International Honor Society for Nursing, the Auburn Alumni Association, and the Alumni Advisory Council for the Auburn University College of Nursing. Chris is happily married to Jennifer, who is also a nurse, and a loving dog dad to their golden-doodle Blanche. Chris enjoys traveling, Auburn sports, and good food.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Being in the Auburn University Marching Band during the amazing 2010 National Championship football season.

Fun Fact: As a child, I struggled with a stutter while speaking. Thanks to a great team of speech language pathologist, I learned different techniques to speak clearly. Now as a professor, I pretty much get paid to talk to students every day.

Job Title: Digital Commerce Senior Analyst

Current City/State: Atlanta, GA

Bio: Sami Peck graduated from Auburn University’s College of Agriculture in 2014 with a BS in Animal Science-Equine and is originally from Winter Springs, FL. During her time at Auburn, she held several officer roles in Alpha Xi Delta and followed her passion for animals by started the Loving Listeners program for children to read to therapy dogs at the local Auburn Library. She also was lucky to have her first and last year at Auburn flanked by the 2010 and 2013 National Championship games. After graduation, she moved to Atlanta where she met her husband and fellow Auburn graduate, Troy. They enjoy going to as many home games as they can and try to make it to an away game each year. Sami currently works at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and leads their digital commerce capabilities where she can continue to advocate for animals and the human-animal bond. She also is a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions, a non-profit organization that provides service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities free of charge. In total, she has helped raise 8 dogs for this organization and hopes to continue raising these life-changing pups for years to come. In her free time, Sami enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and is currently attempting to learn golf.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Like many others, Sami’s favorite Auburn memories revolve around football. From the first Auburn game she attended in 2009 that made her fall in love with the Auburn family to one of her last games as a student, the famous 2013 kick six game where she stormed the field with thousands of other fans.

Fun Fact: Every summer since she was 8, Sami has gone camping in Canada’s Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.


Job Title: CEO at Financial Media Corp

Current City/State: Jacksonville Beach, Fl

Bio: Morgan graduated from Auburn University School of Business with a degree in Finance with a Minor in Economics in 2005. After college, Morgan and his wife, Melanie, moved to Mobile, Alabama where Morgan went on to develop a financial educational website. The website was acquired by Financial Media Corp, which was located in Jacksonville, Florida. Morgan eventually purchased the company and became CEO, evolving it into the digital marketing and publishing firm it is today. With Morgan at the helm, FinMC employed over 100 people in 5 countries. In late 2021, a German Digital Publishing company (VNR Verlag) purchased a majority stake in FinMC. Morgan has also been active in launching a Law Enforcement de-escalation training portal and has helped provide seed stage funding to over 20 startups. Morgan and Melanie have two children, Olivia (10) and Charlotte (6). They live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and are involved in multiple organizations including Wolfson Children’s Hospital, their children’s school, the Bolles School, and their church, River Rock Church. Morgan is a member of the CEO Leaderboard Roundtable, which is the go-to group for anyone seeking political office in the community and state. He is also on the board of Light of the Village, a ministry located in Pritchard, Alabama. In his free time, Morgan enjoys spending time with his family, especially at the beach. They enjoy swimming, paddleboarding and fishing. Morgan is also a long standing, overly optimist and long-suffering fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Finally convincing Melanie to be my date to a football game after asking 3 times. We ended up dating throughout college and got married right after graduation. We’ve been married 16 years.

Fun Fact: I am a picky eater and not one to experiment. I’ve never eaten an Oreo or had a cup of coffee!

Job title: Commercial Litigation Associate

Current City/State: Tampa, FL

Bio: Caroline Catchpole Spradlin graduated in 2013 from the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts and in 2017 from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is currently a commercial litigation associate at the Tampa office of Phelps Dunbar LLP, where she specializes in construction law. Caroline is actively involved in the Tampa community, currently serving in her second term as President of the Tampa Bay Auburn Club. Additionally, Caroline is the chair of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers’ Table for Eight Committee, a member of the 2021-22 class of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Bar Leadership Institute, on the Tampa Council for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and a member of the Tampa Bay American Inn of Court. Caroline lives in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa with her husband (and college sweetheart) Kollan Spradlin ’11, their three dogs, Maggie, Julep, and Cooper, and their cat, Binx. In their free time, they enjoy taking the pups to their local Auburn brewery, Barriehaus Beer Co., where they can be found cheering on Auburn as an Everything School! Caroline is a third-generation Auburn graduate and would like to thank her mother Valli Todd Catchpole ’77, her father Timothy Catchpole, and her grandparents Kenneth Leonard Todd Jr. ’47 and Ida Newton Todd, who taught her the meaning of the Auburn Spirit and without whom she would not be the woman she is today.

Favorite Auburn Memory: My favorite Auburn memory would have to be Kollan surprising me with a midnight proposal on Samford Lawn under the clock tower, and then surprising me again when some of my best friends ran out from their hiding spots behind the Samford landscaping for a post-engagement celebration.

Fun Fact: I started a saltwater aquarium in 2020, and it is currently home to over twenty-five rock flower anemones, mushrooms, and an adorable fish named Athena.

Job Title: TBA

Current City/State: TBA

Bio: TBA

Favorite Auburn Memory: TBA

Fun Fact: TBA

Job title: Director of Operations

Current City/State: Valdosta, GA

Bio: Richard Wilt graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Management from Auburn University. He then worked on the grounds crew for Dolphin Stadium in Miami, FL for close to five years, gaining experience in field management for baseball and football. During that time, he was invited to work on the grounds crew for Super Bowl XLIII. In 2012, Richard went to work for Bent Oak Farm, managing projects and assisting in farm operations for grass grown on plastic. In 2018, after working briefly at Auburn University, Richard went to work for Pro-Turf LLC as partial owner, managing all aspects of farm operations. He has continued to be on the grounds crew for the Super Bowl, this marking his 11th year. He was also invited to work on the international NFL grounds crew in London in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

Favorite Auburn Memory: Graduating

Batey M. Gresham Jr. ’57

Batey M. Gresham Jr. ’57

Batey M. Gresham Jr.


April 5, 1934 – August 6, 2022

Batey M. Gresham, Jr. was born in Lebanon, Tenn. He graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in 1952 and came to Auburn as part of Army ROTC, where earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Auburn University School of Architecture and Applied Arts (now the College of Architecture, Design and Construction) in 1957.

While a student at Auburn, in addition to ROTC, Gresham was involved in SGA, Squires, Spades, Blue Key and Scarab and served as president of Kappa Sigma fraternity, the student body for the School of Architecture and as editor of the 1956 Glomerata.

Following graduation, Gresham entered the United States Army Corps of Engineers, where he served for eight years before being honorably discharged in 1965, with the rank of captain.

After his military service, Gresham and his wife, Ann ‘54, moved to Nashville, where he opened an architectural firm in 1966. A year later, he partnered with Fleming W. Smith Jr. to establish Gresham, Smith and Partners (now Gresham Smith). The firm was on the ground floor of the (then) new industry of multi-hospital systems and was the exclusive architect for Hospital Corporation of America for more than a decade. The firm now specializes in health care, aviation, transportation, corporate architecture and environmental services with multiple locations nationally and around the world.

Gresham was a member of the Auburn Alumni Board of Directors from 1981-1990, serving as president from 1987-89 and was president of the Greater Nashville Auburn Club for two years. He has served on the Auburn University Engineering Council, the Architecture Advisory Board, the Auburn University Foundation Board and the Museum of Art Advisory Board. Gresham was a member of the 1856 Society, the CADC Dean’s Club and a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.

Batey and Ann Gresham have given back to Auburn in numerous ways. In 2001, they established the Gresham Professorship, the first endowed professorship in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. They have also supported scholarships and programs in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the Jule Collins Smith Museum, the School of Journalism, AU Singers, the Women’s Philanthropy Board, athletics and university construction projects.

Gresham, Smith and Partners designed the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn, which opened in 2003, and Gresham served on the museum board. In 2006, he was a recipient of the Auburn Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given at Auburn University.

He is survived by his wife, Ann, of Auburn.

Former presidents of the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors (l-r): Ralph Jordan ’70, Nancy Fortner ’71, Bobby Poundstone ’95, Bill Stone ’85, Batey Gresham ’57 and Jack Fite ’85

Read More Alumni Stories

Holiday Tradition: The Big Question

Holiday Tradition: The Big Question

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Big Question header

“We always let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve and it’s usually matching PJs.”


My great-uncle and I build and decorate a gingerbread house together every year. It is the highlight of my Christmas season and he enjoys it as well!”


drawing of a RV

“Ready the motorhome for a trip to Disney or Dollywood for Christmas.”


“Going to our church’s candlelight service and then coming home to a tortellini dinner.”


bowl of tortellini
4 women kneeling around a yellow table

“My family’s favorite holiday tradition is meeting at DeSoto State Park for Thanksgiving. My grandparents lived in Fort Payne, Ala. and as the family grew the overflow started staying at DeSoto. My grandmother died in 2000 and now 20-plus years later my family still goes to DeSoto for Thanksgiving. We rent lodge rooms and cabins and have a wonderful time hiking the trails, eating at their beautiful lodge and building campfires, etc. Since we have a few that went to that other school, we make sure to split up before the Iron Bowl!”


“As a family with a 5-year-old and a baby, we are still feeling out our own traditions. We’re fortunate to host our family’s Thanksgiving. My in-laws
and my parents come over for a meal prepared by all. It may not seem like the most exciting ‘tradition’ per se, but to have both sides of our family come together to celebrate is a blessing. And as a house divided, I’ll always cherish any extra Auburn influence over my children from my mom, Diane Hines ’76.”


AU Gingerbread house graphic

“I started a Christmas Eve tradition with my own now-adult children of letting them open a Christmas ornament (or the like) that has the year and their initials/name on it (even if I wrote it on the bottom myself). They loved seeing them every year when it came time to decorate. And when they got married, they got to take their personal collection so they had ornaments/decor to start with. They still get them and now I also have the same tradition for the six grandchildren! Needless to say, there are a few Auburn-themed ones in the mix!”


“My kids bake a cake on Christmas Eve and then we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus on Christmas morning before opening any presents!”
chocolate cake with sprinkles

“Throughout the year we keep a jar on our kitchen island, along with paper and pen, and each person in the family can write down ‘small memories/wins/ happies’ throughout the year and add to the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we sit down with bubbly (fruit cocktail for the kiddos) and take turns pulling memories from the jar and recalling our happy times from the year.”