I chose to attend Auburn because it was close to home. I grew up in Montgomery, Ala. and had had some major health issues during my senior year in high school. I thought Auburn was perfectly close enough to home in case of an emergency, yet far enough away that I could have the total college experience. I was right!

I began my studies during the winter quarter, and I was nervous because I knew people would have already formed their communities. I was blessed to meet a group quickly upon my arrival. Most of us lived in the quad, and that group became my family. I also met my husband my freshman year on the Plains. While we didn’t date until after we both graduated, we became instant friends, and that friendship has been the basis of our 15 year marriage.

As an English major, I formed another community with some of my classmates. I learned a lot about myself in the classroom. I learned to think independently, and I learned to express myself clearly. I also learned the importance of working with my peers to produce solid products. These lessons were strengthened in my academic community while I pursued an M.Ed. at Auburn.

My other communities were formed in the residence halls, Dunkin Darlings, the Black Student Union, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. I served in leadership positions in all of those organizations. So I learned how to be organized, make good decisions, and lead others to realize a common goal. Those positions all prepared me for a graduate assistantship after my undergraduate career. I worked in the office of multicultural affairs with a variety of student programs. And through that experience, I decided I wanted to have a career in higher education. I have worked in higher ed since I left Auburn in 2000.

There are two themes–community and learning. With my Auburn family, I learned a lot about myself and the world.