John Harris and Family Photo

John Morris

Senior Vice President, Advancement
President, Auburn University Foundation & AU Real Estate Foundation

Why were you interested in coming to Auburn?

First and foremost, we were attracted to Auburn because of the Auburn Identity, the Auburn Creed, the values, the leadership, the family. All these elements, and so much more, make Auburn special–they give Auburn a soul, and it is the soul that really spoke to us. From a family perspective, we love the lifestyle of a college town, and it’s hard to imagine a better college town than Auburn, Ala. We are excited to make Auburn our home.

What surprised you most about Auburn? 

 It probably should not have surprised us, but Kerry and I have been so impressed with the welcoming and sincere interest in our family. Literally everyone we meet—alumni, faculty, students, community members—constantly ask how our family is adjusting and offers a helping hand or suggestion. It is genuine. We can feel that “soul” coming through from the Auburn Family.  

 Do you have a favorite initiative or opportunity for Auburn? 

 Serving an alumni base that is so loyal and passionate is very exciting–the fact that our recent grads respond at a rate over 90% that they would “choose Auburn again” is so inspiring. This move to the advancement model provides Auburn the opportunity to lead in the engagement and success of our alumni, donors and friends. It is so compelling to be a part of this transition that will better serve the Auburn Family.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

 I once heard a graduation address where the speaker said, “Now, go do well so that you may then do good,” and it has always stuck with me. We are so fortunate to work in a field that is filled with “purpose”—the work of Auburn University changes lives, it changes the world. “Doing well, so that we can then do good” to me speaks to many aspects of the Auburn Creed; hard work, truthfulness & respect, happiness, doing justly, walking humbly, guided by a belief. Hard work, innovation and good fortune can create success, which is admirable unto itself, but the obligation to do good with that success—to make a difference in people’s lives—to drive purpose is a duty that inspires me.   

Read more about the new Auburn scholarship initiative, Ever Auburn