Robert and Lela Lofton '72 Endowed Scholarship in the College of Veterinary Medicine
A conversation with Robert and Lela Lofton.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We felt our Auburn educations helped to open the door to many opportunities for us and we have been more than blessed in our careers, especially in the field of veterinary medicine. We are aware of the tremendous financial burden that many of the current students face, so we have a desire to help those who are working towards improving not only themselves but the profession as well.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
The profession of veterinary medicine has been a wonderful life experience for both of us. The work is rewarding as well as challenging, and it has opened many doors of friendships and other life experiences. We are grateful for the opportunities that have come our way.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Lela: My Auburn story started before I was born. Both my parents attended Auburn when it was API, and then both my sisters attended before me. I never considered another school. I loved the social life, the feeling of family, and of course, the athletics. Classes were important and provided me an education that led me to my first jobs in education.
Robert’s beginning was a little different. He knew he wanted to be a veterinarian and his options of school were Auburn, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. Auburn was his first choice and fortunately it was his first acceptance of the three schools. His undergraduate degree is from LSU where he worked hard at scholastics and to pay for his education. At Auburn he was able to enjoy the whole experience of Auburn and became involved in student government as well as the classwork of veterinary school.
We met the senior year of both our educations and married after graduation. We spent 40-plus years in Louisiana working together in our private veterinary practice. Auburn was always important to us for friendships and continuing education and for finding veterinarian to work with us. Returning to Auburn was a natural decision.
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope they will gain financial assistance and a realization of the importance of being involved in professional organizations—the importance of giving back.