Deborah Lee Shaw Alumni Scholar Endowed Scholarship
A conversation with Deborah Lee Shaw.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I feel blessed I am able to help students in their quest for a college education at my alma mater, Auburn University. I was fortunate to be a scholarship recipient myself when in college, and know firsthand how much it helped me and my family. It is now my turn to give back.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I am proud to have two degrees from Auburn, and to have worked for our great university for 32 years before retiring in 2015. I spent 20 of those years working directly with students in Student Affairs, and have always been a huge supporter of student success. The last 12 years I worked in the Alumni Affairs division as vice president. Through this work, I became an even stronger advocate for Auburn. I want everyone who desires to do so to experience and have the opportunity to learn at a top research institution like Auburn.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My entire professional career has been devoted to Auburn. My first job was as a Hall Director in Teague Hall (called “Dorm 4” at the time), while I was obtaining my master’s degree. My first full-time job was as an Admissions Counselor/Recruiter in the AU Admissions Office. Then I transferred to Student Affairs, and the next several years I held many roles—I oversaw all 300+ student organizations, advised the SGA Cabinet and SGA Senate, advised the Panhellenic Council and later all Greek organizations, advised the Glomerata, directed the new Student Success Center, was the first director of Camp War Eagle, created a new department “The Freshman Year Experience,” and advised the Aubie mascot program for 20 years. In 2003, I was appointed the assistant VP for alumni affairs, and a year later became the VP. In the early 90s, I served as the national VP for my sorority, Phi Mu. It was a great ride, and every single experience I had seemed to lead to a War Eagle moment. Perhaps the best part of all is seeing former students become Auburn alumni, become successful in their careers, have families, and send their students to Auburn to college.
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I just hope that financial difficulties do not keep a student from earning a degree from Auburn, or cause undue stress. I hope that one day the recipient will be able to “pay it forward” and give back to AU, helping students in need.