Batson Family Endowed Scholarship for the Auburn University Marching Band
A conversation with Brian and Jan Batson.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We created this scholarship to continue our lifelong support for Auburn. As a music major and member of the Auburn University Marching Band, our son was the recipient of several scholarships that were very helpful to our family. We wanted to do the same for other students. We had for several years discussed our desire to someday create a scholarship. We wanted to do more of a legacy donation rather than only sending a check every year. When the opportunity came along, we knew that we wanted to act on it.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Though neither of us majored in music at Auburn, we both were active in student music ensembles. Brian was a member of the Auburn University Singers. Jan was in the Marching and Concert Bands and the Concert Choir. It was through our involvement in the Auburn Music Department that we met in 1974 and married in 1977. Music continues to be an important part of our lives, as we participate in music in our church and community. We sing in choirs and ensembles, sing duets together, and ring handbells. Jan also directs the children’s choir program at Buford Presbyterian Church. We have a son, Mike, who graduated from Auburn in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music Education and from the University of Kentucky in 2011 with a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
We love to travel and when we do we always try to wear Auburn shirts or hats to identify our loyalty. We are often greeted with a “War Eagle” almost every day. One of our best remembrances was on a trip to England. We were in the gift shop of Westminster Abbey and as we browsed we heard a “War Eagle.” It happened to be one of the owners of Toomer’s Drug Store. Then on the way home, one of our pilots was an Auburn graduate so we got a “War Eagle” as we de-planed. Also we attend the National Championship game in Arizona in 2010, which was the highlight of a long history of supporting Auburn football.
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope that the person that receives this scholarship will find this as a token of support from other Auburn people and someday may be able to do the same for others.