Auburn Women

Olivia Kelley Owen ’77

Olivia Owen Kelley '77

I was raised in an Auburn family so it was a foregone conclusion I would go to Auburn. The question was “what would I study?” I loved math, so my father & older brother (both Auburn graduates) suggested Engineering. When I went to pre-college counseling in the summer of 1973, I took an aptitude test and afterwards was approached by an Auburn administrator and politely told that I really didn’t have an aptitude for anything which didn’t fit with what he thought of me based on my GPA & ACT score. It turns out there were two tests — pink for girls and blue for boys — and I had been given the pink test and I didn’t have a particular aptitude for traditional female careers at that time. Subsequently, the kind and confused administrator let me take the blue test. Lo and behold, I did have an aptitude — Doctor, Astronaut, & Engineer. So, “Boom”, engineering it was. Thanks to an Auburn Engineering degree, I had a great 34 year career with ExxonMobil. In addition, I met my husband & love of my life at Auburn (Engineer also) and both of our children have Auburn degrees. Auburn is still in my blood & engineering is still my passion. I’m a co-chair for Auburn’s 100+ Women Strong executive committee and a member of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council. WAR EAGLE!!!

Olivia Owen Kelley '77 2