Whitford Family Scholarship
A conversation with Betty Lou Whitford.
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
As the new dean of Auburn University’s College of Education in August 2010, I was inspired by both the donors and the recipients of scholarships at the college’s annual scholarship ceremony. So many individuals in both groups expressed joy and appreciation at giving and receiving. I decided to honor my parents, Louis and Mary Whitford, who were steadfast in their financial and moral support for their two daughters and their granddaughter in their educational pursuits. The endowed Whitford Family Scholarship is one way to pass along the support they gave me.
What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My parents, Louis and Mary Whitford, were teenagers and young adults during America’s Great Depression in the 1930s. Born to families of modest means, they were not able to complete college. They would consider it an honor to be part of providing financial support to other young people as they pursue higher education.
Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I came to Auburn in 2010 as Dean of the College of Education with little understanding of how real the “Auburn Family” is for so many. While I have encountered many current students, alumni, and friends of Auburn who have deep roots and intense loyalty to Auburn, it is also a place and a community that welcomes outsiders, like those of us who are first generation members of the Auburn Family. War Eagle!
What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
Each recipient of the scholarship has expressed gratitude for the support and I enjoy hearing from and meeting each recipient. I hope in time the recipients of this scholarship also have the opportunity and means to help others in a similar way. There is perhaps even more joy in giving than in receiving.