Our Donors

Dr. John C. Dykes Endowed Scholarship

Dr. John C. Dykes Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with R.M. Dykes
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I wanted to assist students of modest means who could not otherwise attend Auburn and who were willing to provide the rest of their financial needs through their own work.

What would you want recipients of this scholarship to know about you or the person(s) for whom it is named?
I was one of those students described above. My son, Dr. John C. Dykes, was the hardest working student I have ever known. I have been to places in life that I couldn’t have imagined when I was 18 and so has John.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
The Auburn Creed is the most profound thought I have taken away from Auburn. It is Jeffersonian in strength.

What do you hope your recipients gain through receiving this scholarship?
I hope they get an opportunity to graduate from Auburn in math and science and leverage that experience as they will have learned from it.

Dr. Joseph S. Johnson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Joseph S. Johnson, Jr. Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Sam Johnson.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I want this scholarship to promote educational opportunities for people in Alabama to improve economic prosperity for the individual and, by extension, the community, state, and nation. This scholarship demonstrates the core value of giving back and I hope it will instill that value in the recipients and others.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Dr. Joseph S. Johnson, Jr. (1851-1899) was born in Chambers County, Ala. His parents died soon after he was born. He was raised by his uncle in Chilton County, Ala. He was taught the importance of education and was a successful example. He believed in education and sustainable economic growth and instilled those core values in his family. Those core values continue to guide his descendants and are the motivation for this scholarship.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I attended Auburn because of the quality of the College of Engineering. I was only at Auburn for nine years as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and member of the faculty. During that time I experienced firsthand Auburn’s work ethic and saw that it sets Auburn apart from other schools. Later in my corporate life, Auburn graduates hired by the corporation where I worked would, on average over time, perform better than other graduates, in part because of their work ethic. My coworkers would frequently provide that type of unsolicited feedback, because they knew I went to Auburn and were looking for confirmation of their observations.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope the recipients gain an appreciation for education, work ethic, and giving back to promote sustainable economic growth going forward.

Dr. Roger W. and Mrs. Margaret Church Allen Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Roger W. and Mrs. Margaret Church Allen Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Roger Allen, Jr. and Kathryn Allen.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Roger W. Allen graduated from API in 1917, then returned as a chemistry professor in 1927. He became Dean of Science and Literature in 1944, and retired in 1967. He was chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee for years. His wife, Margaret, was a founder of the Auburn Public Library. We felt that after all that they had done for Auburn, and how much they loved the University, that SOMETHING there should be named for them. We love Auburn, too, as does our entire family: three sons and three daughters-in-law, along with us, are Auburn grads, and two grandchildren are freshmen there now.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
ALMOST all our family are either Auburn grads or students. Two more grandchildren are in high school, and they may go to Auburn, too. We think the fact that FOUR generations of Allens at Auburn is wonderful, and hope it keeps on and on.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope our scholarship recipients gain financial aid, of course, and the ability to continue as students at a GREAT university with exemplary scholastic achievements.

Dr. Sandra G. Solaiman Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Sandra G. Solaiman Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Diaco Aviki.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I received a scholarship and it was a tremendous blessing in my life. I feel it allowed me to commit the time needed to excel and ultimately open doors that have led to my professional success. I also wanted to honor my mother. She raised three kids essentially on one income and sacrificed a lot for us. She has a PhD and her desires for us to excel in our educational endeavors was so important to her.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I want the recipient to know that my family are committed followers of Christ, and pray that they one day have a similar unwavering faith in Him. Through that faith and comfort, they can do all things.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Auburn is my hometown and I have so many great memories there. It continues to be home for me despite not having any family living there.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope this scholarship provides the same opportunities mine did. I hope it enables them to succeed. I hope they in turn feel the obligation to pay it forward.

Drs. T. and Soma Nagendran Music Scholarship

Drs. T. and Soma Nagendran Music Scholarship

A conversation with T. Nagendran and Soma Nagendran.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We have been living in Auburn area since 1974 and we truly enjoy helping AU students.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
We both are doctors. We are retired now. Our daughter is also a doctor. Our grandson will join AU in the fall of 2016.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
We enjoyed seeing Auburn winning the national championship. We were there.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope recipients will gain an excellent education in their chosen field.

Dr. Tim Alford Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Tim Alford Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Tim Alford.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
My Auburn experience did much to prepare me to “make a living and make a life.” Auburn helped prepare me academically and socially for success in the field of education and I would like to help give that same opportunity to a deserving student who, like me, has a financial need and a desire to attend Auburn.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I was a first generation college student who came from a rurally isolated and low income home which I shared with my mother. She taught me the value of education and hard work and I dedicate anything that I have or may achieve to her and my great wife.

My family of four has earned six degrees from Auburn. We annually have a “family reunion” tailgate at one of the games which is attended by our children and grandchildren. We are a proud Auburn family.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My favorite Auburn memory occurred in 1964 when, as a freshman, I had my first date with my wife, Freddie Mauldin, to whom I have been fortunate to be married for almost 50 years.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope they obtain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful personally and professionally.

Dwight Bassett Endowed Scholarship

Dwight Bassett Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Dwight Bassett.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
This scholarship is a small repayment for a great debt I owe to Auburn. The price of education is so high; I want to help an Auburn student get through and do great things, and hopefully they will remember Auburn and do the same for a student. Auburn is a special place.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Auburn is the foundation to my career. A lot came after Auburn, but I was ready. I carry Auburn with me everywhere I go.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
There have been many. The most recent is proof that you never quit learning. I have had many learning experiences at Auburn. Good and bad, in class and out of class. During halftime of the Mississippi State game, near the concessions on the west side I saw an older gentlemen drop a bucket of popcorn on an Auburn guy. The Auburn guy had popcorn all over. Instead of being mad, the Auburn guy gets in line buys the older gentlemen a bucket of popcorn and takes it to him. What a great lesson for me and everybody else that saw it. The Auburn guy had the courage to be kind. War Eagle.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope they understand and appreciate the opportunity they have. Do something great with the Auburn education. I also want them to give back to Auburn.

Eddie C. Shirley Endowed Scholarship

Eddie C. Shirley Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Angela and David Mitchell.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I am the first college graduate in my immediate family. I wanted to honor my late father, who instilled in me the importance in a college education. He also liked to help those who was less fortunate than himself.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My father, Eddie Shirley, even though he wasn’t college-educated, recognized the importance in a college education. He loved Auburn University! He had an aunt that graduated from API and three younger cousins, all of whom graduated from Auburn. He believed in working hard and striving to do your best!

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Auburn University is such a special place. I would not be the person I am today without the wonderful education I received from my beloved University.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope this scholarship helps them to obtain their degree and is a stepping stone to their bright future. I also hope it helps them to understand the importance of giving back to Auburn someday. Through hard work and dedication anything is possible.

Elizabeth Grace Byrd Memorial Scholarship

Elizabeth Grace Byrd Memorial Scholarship

A conversation with William A. and Carol T. Byrd.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We lost our daughter Elizabeth in November 2010. Elizabeth had her MCSW, and was a therapist for a rural clinic in Keystone Heights, Fla. She had worked in many areas in the social work field, including administration, but her heart was in counseling those individuals who needed help. She was a dedicated and gifted counselor.

When she died, we were overwhelmed by the response of her clients, both those she was seeing at the time, as well as many, many people she had counseled in the past. We felt that we should do something that would help more young people who have the heart for social work and the desire to help others. Endowing a scholarship in social work seemed to be the perfect memorial for our dear daughter. Elizabeth’s first love was Auburn University. She was an avid and loyal fan. Even though she received her BS degree from the University of Florida, and her MSW from Florida State, she was an Auburn girl through and through, and would definitely have wanted for her scholarship to be given to Auburn students.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I am extremely proud to be an Auburn graduate. I love Auburn University and appreciate so much what Auburn has done for me. To be able to give a scholarship in our daughter’s memory to the university that we both love so much is very humbling; it is a blessing to know that Elizabeth Grace Byrd’s memory will live on at Auburn University, through helping other students like her to fulfill their professional ambitions and their dreams.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
After having moved all over the country because of my husband’s job transfers, and attending seven colleges and universities in the process, I finally graduated from Auburn—the best university ever! That day was (next to having my children) the most wonderful day of my life! Several years ago, I wrote my Auburn story, “The War Eagle Conversion.” It is about the moment when I became an Auburn fan. Before moving here, I didn’t keep up with college sports at all. When we first came to Alabama and saw those “Punt Bama Punt” signs around Mobile, I had absolutely no idea what they meant but after moving to Auburn, I very soon learned all about that! When I was in school at Auburn, I walked by the coliseum parking lot every day on the way to Haley Center. When football season began, a very strange thing began to happen. Every Friday, the lot would be filled with little trailers, some with little orange and blue awnings…some with five feet tall stuffed tigers next to the door, some with orange and blue balloons hanging all down the front. When I encountered all that, the Friday before the first game, I was just dumbfounded! I couldn’t believe that grown people would do all that—-for a football game?! I just did not get it at all. But, as that season went on…and as i sat at Jordan-Hare every Saturday afternoon, I began to understand it a little bit more each week, until the Auburn-Alabama game finally came around. I went to that game and sat in the upper deck overlooking Legion Field—all of it, a first for me. I was holding my ticket on which my seat was clearly designated, while an usher was helping me find it. for some reason, I missed the correct aisle, and tried to go in another one…but then knew I was wrong, and said as much to the usher. His reply was a very normal one for an Alabama fan. It was neither sarcastic nor rude—just a matter of fact statement. nonchalant, actually. He said, “Oh, that’s right, I forgot that Auburn fans can’t count.” He left and I sat down, and sometime between that moment and the end of that game, I became a very excited, and screaming for a win, totally orange and blue Auburn fan! And I also became a seriously loyal fan; I knew that I belonged to Auburn, and too, that I very much resented that Alabama usher’s condescending remark! And since then, everything that I have seen or heard on football weekends at Auburn….on campus or in the stadium…has made perfect sense to me! War Eagle!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
My hope is that this scholarship will somehow help make the student’s time at Auburn a little easier for them. I would hope that their knowing Elizabeth’s story would help to inspire them to stick with their studies in social work, knowing that it is a very worthwhile profession.

Ernest and Cheryl Varney Endowed Scholarship

Ernest and Cheryl Varney Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Cheryl Varney.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
My husband, Ernest Orrin Varney, is a graduate of the Auburn University School of Architecture. We feel that our success is directly attributed to his education and experiences during his time at Auburn.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My husband owns a successful architecture firm and we are thankful for his educational experiences at Auburn University. We feel that it is expected that we give back to the University that enabled his success.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Auburn has given us lifelong friends that we still have today. We travel often with many of our dear friends that we met through Ernie’s education experience at Auburn. We still have a “big chill” Auburn reunion every July 4th and for several days over the New Years Eve holiday.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope that the funds we provide will make budgeting for a well deserving student much easier. My husband was an out-of-state student who worked very hard to put himself through Auburn.

Freddie Mauldin Alford Endowed Scholarship

Freddie Mauldin Alford Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Freddie Alford.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
This scholarship was created as a means of helping young people achieve successful careers in education and as a symbol of my love for Auburn and the Auburn family.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I was a first generation college student who was able to attend college by receiving a National Defense Education loan. I graduated in three years and began a 32 year career in education.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My husband, Dr. Tim Alford, and I experienced many firsts while living in Auburn: our first job in education, our first home, our first new car, and our first child. Auburn is a special place for our family.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope this scholarship will help provide the means for the recipients to successfully complete their degrees and experience a great career and a great life.

Gail McKean Yeagley Scholarship

Gail McKean Yeagley Scholarship

A conversation with Robin and Sandy Batten.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We likely have a somewhat unusual relationship with Auburn compared with other scholarship providers, as neither of us attended Auburn. Our niece did. It was then that we discovered that Auburn is a top-notch, yet reasonably priced, university. We had always wanted to help to educate the next generation. Auburn is a really good school where our modest means could provide the most scholarship assistance. We are really excited that our scholarship has already aided so many Auburn students and look forward to it helping many more in the future.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
The scholarship is named in memory of Robin’s mother, Gail McKean Yeagley, who badly wanted to attend college but didn’t have the opportunity.

Galbreath Family Endowed Scholarship

Galbreath Family Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Hank Galbreath.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Four generations of our family have been associated with Auburn University since 1963, and have derived innumerable benefits from the institution. In the spirit of Auburn’s land-grant mission, we want to help first generation students experience Auburn University. We realize that scholarships are critical for aspiring high school students that wish to attend Auburn. Several members of our family received scholarships from Auburn University, recognize their value, and wish to “pass on” our gratitude to others.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
It is named in honor of four generations of family members: the oldest members (now deceased) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and from Cornell. Now our family resides throughout the United States. The impact of Auburn University on our family cannot be measured in its positive magnitude.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I had the privilege of driving Dr. James Foy through the campus after a Petrie Society event at the President’s house. Dr. Foy and I stopped at sites throughout the campus and he recounted his experiences to me. Later we watched the Braves play the Mets on TV. I will never forget Dr. Foy’s gracious manner and depth of knowledge. He was the quintessential Auburn Man and an outstanding representative of the Greatest Generation that sacrificed so much during World War II.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope you gain knowledge, personal accountability, love for Auburn, and a burning desire to pay forward for the next generation of Auburn students.

Gary C. Martin Alumni Endowed Student Scholarship

Gary C. Martin Alumni Endowed Student Scholarship

A conversation with Van and Suzanne Henley.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I have always felt a closeness to Auburn and Auburn people. Through the years, Auburn students continue to have the qualities Dr. Petrie described in the Auburn Creed. We want to give back to this great institution by helping students who need financial assistance so they can pass on these qualities to future generations of students. We especially hope recipients will embrace the first two stanzas of the creed: “I believe that this is a practical world and I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and hands to work skillfully.”

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Gary Martin is the ultimate Auburn man. A 1957 graduate, he is a very successful business man and used his success to help many people. Gary’s generosity has enriched the education of countless Auburn students from across the country, both supplementing and diversifying their Auburn experience.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My association with Auburn has been a blessing. Whenever I return to campus and hear the band play the fight song, see the eagle fly, or simply walk across campus, I feel a tremendous amount of pride in being part of such a special group of people—Auburn people. My favorite Auburn moment was when the ball flew through the goal post that won the national championship. I was born six months after our first national championship, so to have waited 55 years to be #1 was up to that moment truly a lifetime! Lots of emotions that night!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
In addition to pure monetary assistance, we hope each recipient will be encouraged knowing Auburn people care about them and their future. We also hope they will become supporters by giving back to help future Auburn students.

George and Edna Russian Endowed Scholarship for Civil Engineering

George and Edna Russian Endowed Scholarship for Civil Engineering

A conversation with David M. Kudlak.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Attending Auburn was a truly life changing experience for me, and my grandparents (George and Edna Russian) played a key part in helping me get my education. I wanted to keep their spirit alive at Auburn and created the scholarship in their name in 2000 following my grandfather’s passing. I also wanted to help others obtain an Auburn engineering degree, as my grandparents had helped me.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My grandparents were Depression Era survivors and taught me many life lessons that established the strong core values of honesty, integrity, and generosity from which I feel that I have truly benefited. During my time at Auburn they provided me with a $200 check every month and a I received a “care package” that contained many goodie items along with some essentials. I was able to share these goodies and essentials with my fraternity brothers, who also benefited from my grandparents’s generosity. That $200 per month, coupled with my NROTC scholarship stipend, allowed me to focus on my studies and work only part-time jobs rather than working full-time while attending. They are two people that I have always considered heroes.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I arrived at Auburn in September of 1982, at the age of 21, with everything I owned in my car and a grand total of $3,000 to my name. I had worked several years in heavy commercial construction but had longed for higher education. I had applied and been accepted as a pre-engineering student but did not have any idea how I would ultimately fund my education, as my immediate family were not in a position to help financially. The Auburn family wrapped its collective arms around me and guided me to acquire grants, student loans, and ultimately fueled my desire for military service and acceptance into the NROTC scholarship program. I ultimately graduated in December 1986 with a BS in Civil Engineering owing $10,000 in student loans and eight years of my life to the United States Marine Corps. It was by far the best investment I ever made. It is at Auburn where I became a man, an engineer, a Marine, and began a life journey that led to a global engineering career with ExxonMobil. I am so very grateful for everything Auburn has provided to me throughout my life, and am proud to be an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope this scholarship helps ease the financial burden of receiving an engineering education by providing support which will allow them to focus on their academic studies and not need to work full-time.

God at the Speed of Light Scholarships

God at the Speed of Light Scholarships

A conversation with T. Lee Baumann

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I believe education represents the world’s future. These scholarships will hopefully help this endeavor in some small way.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My way of “giving back” has everything to do with improving our world’s future through education.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I have no ties to Auburn except through my scholarships and as a member of the COSAM Leadership Council.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope this scholarship results in less indebtedness for its recipients.

Graben Family Endowed Scholarship

Graben Family Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Roger Graben
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I received scholarships as a pharmacy student at Auburn. Pamela and I are pleased to be able to do for a current student what was done for me in the past. I know the positive impact from firsthand experience. I also wanted to honor the memories of my parents and family who were a great help to me.

What would you want recipients of this scholarship to know about you or the person(s) for whom it is named?
I want the students to know that I have been in their shoes, and their hard work and perseverance will pay off in the future. My parents worked hard to give their children a better life. Auburn was an instrumental part of me achieving that better life.

What do you hope your recipients gain through receiving this scholarship?
I hope it helps them get one step closer to achieving their goal of finishing Pharmacy School at Auburn University.

Henley Famiy Endowed Scholarhip in the College of Business

Henley Famiy Endowed Scholarhip in the College of Business

A conversation with Van and Suzanne Henley.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I have always felt a closeness to Auburn and Auburn people. Through the years, Auburn students continue to have the qualities Dr. Petrie described in the Auburn Creed. We want to give back to this great institution by helping students who need financial assistance so they can pass on these qualities to future generations of students. We especially hope recipients will embrace the first two stanzas of the creed: “I believe that this is a practical world and I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and hands to work skillfully.”

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
A 1980 accounting major graduate, I have worked in public accounting for over 35 years and am a tax partner with Ernst & Young in Dallas, Tex. My wife Suzanne and I were blessed with three sons, all of whom are ardent Auburn fans, along with three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren (and counting). We love to return to the Auburn campus several times a year to enjoy athletic events, alumni activities, and educational programs. Most importantly, we would like recipients to know our faith sustains us through the joy we experience daily and the hope of a better future. May each recipient be blessed!

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My association with Auburn has been a blessing. Whenever I return to campus and hear the band play the fight song, see the eagle fly, or simply walk across campus, I feel a tremendous amount of pride in being part of such a special group of people—Auburn people. My favorite Auburn moment was when the ball flew through the goal post that won the national championship. I was born six months after our first national championship, so to have waited 55 years to be #1 was up to that moment truly a lifetime! Lots of emotions that night!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
In addition to pure monetary assistance, we hope each recipient will be encouraged knowing Auburn people care about them and their future. We also hope they will become supporters by giving back to help future Auburn students.

Henley Honors Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business

Henley Honors Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business

A conversation with Van and Suzanne Henley.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I have always felt a closeness to Auburn and Auburn people. Through the years, Auburn students continue to have the qualities Dr. Petrie described in the Auburn Creed. We want to give back to this great institution by helping students who need financial assistance so they can pass on these qualities to future generations of students. We especially hope recipients will embrace the first two stanzas of the creed: “I believe that this is a practical world and I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and hands to work skillfully.”

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
A 1980 accounting major graduate, I have worked in public accounting for over 35 years and am a tax partner with Ernst & Young in Dallas, Tex. My wife Suzanne and I were blessed with three sons, all of whom are ardent Auburn fans, along with three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren (and counting). We love to return to the Auburn campus several times a year to enjoy athletic events, alumni activities, and educational programs. Most importantly, we would like recipients to know our faith sustains us through the joy we experience daily and the hope of a better future. May each recipient be blessed!

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
My association with Auburn has been a blessing. Whenever I return to campus and hear the band play the fight song, see the eagle fly, or simply walk across campus, I feel a tremendous amount of pride in being part of such a special group of people—Auburn people. My favorite Auburn moment was when the ball flew through the goal post that won the national championship. I was born six months after our first national championship, so to have waited 55 years to be #1 was up to that moment truly a lifetime! Lots of emotions that night!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
In addition to pure monetary assistance, we hope each recipient will be encouraged knowing Auburn people care about them and their future. We also hope they will become supporters by giving back to help future Auburn students.

Hensler Family Endowed Scholarship

Hensler Family Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Terry Hensler
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
My younger sister and I both graduated from the College of Business. We were amongst the first in our extended family (on both sides) to attend college. Neither of our parents were able to do that, and they wanted us to have a college education. We were on our own, though, in order to get that accomplished financially. Auburn assisted us with part-time jobs as well as the opportunity to pursue our education. Our career and success today is a direct result of our time at Auburn. And we still maintain friendships established during that time.

What would you want recipients of this scholarship to know about you or the person(s) for whom it is named?
We did this scholarship in honor of our parents, who truly represent the words of the Auburn Creed. Although they did not attend college, they instilled in us a tremendous work ethic and the importance of family. We are both proud to have had our nephew as a recent graduate from Auburn to help continue the tradition. I did not have children, so for me this scholarship is about giving back and experiencing the joy of having someone else pursue their education and attain their goals. Any time I return to Auburn, whether it be in Jordan-Hare, or walking across campus, I can’t help but experience that feeling of coming home and “belonging.” Auburn fans and the Auburn spirit are like no place on earth. I have traveled the world over, but still get excited when I cross the state line and I’m headed to Auburn.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
One of my War Eagle moments was being outside the Palace of Versailles in France and hearing someone say “War Eagle,” or being in Australia and hearing those words. Auburn people are everywhere and so you always know you are not far from family!
I drove over to Auburn as a 17-year-old (before the days of the internet!) and picked up a course catalog and all my applications. I visited one or two other colleges, but knew the minute I came to Auburn that it was the place for me. Years later I know I made the right decision. One of my fondest memories is working part-time in Samford as the campus phone operator and getting to answer: “Auburn University, may I connect you?” to people who were calling in from all over the US or the world.

What do you hope your recipients gain through receiving this scholarship?
I hope they gain the opportunity to come to Auburn and experience the true “family” feeling. It never goes away. Coming to Auburn is coming home each time. I also hope that it helps defray the costs of out-of-state tuition. I hope that the recipients will give back to Auburn as alumni and recognize the importance of supporting our alma mater, no matter how small the gift.

Hester Wear Atchison Scholarship in the College of Education

Hester Wear Atchison Scholarship in the College of Education

A conversation with Kay Hathaway Jones ’62.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I wanted to honor my mother, who was responsible for me coming to Auburn, and at the same time provide financial support to another to attend Auburn. Education is an important means to broaden our understanding of the world we live in, as well as the people who live in it.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
My maternal grandmother shared with me a love of education; she was a wonderful teacher and I absorbed whatever she had to teach. My maternal grandfather, Rose E. Atchison, also has a scholarship in his honor in forestry, and my mother, Margaret Atchison Hathaway, has a scholarship in her honor in forestry/wildlife. These members of my family all share in a love of education, and what finer institution to receive that education than at Auburn University.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I attended AU for four years graduating with a BS in accounting/business administration. I was a member of Kappa Delta sorority, and was elected senior senator in student government. Auburn is a special place that radiates with a warm spirit you will rediscover on each occasion you return: there is no other place like it. War Eagle!

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope the recipients of this scholarship will work hard, receive a degree, go out into the workplace and find satisfaction and success, then give back to Auburn to help someone else.

Howard and Elizabeth Kirksey Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Howard and Elizabeth Kirksey Memorial Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with H. Graden Kirksey, Jr.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
I know after a forty-year career that the education I received at Auburn University (1961-65) prepared me for the professional career that immensely enriched my life. But my parents were the greatest gift that I received. Yet Auburn University offered me another gift, administering a scholarship for future Auburn students in my parents’ name. I merged both gifts for future generations of Auburn students. It was a War Eagle choice!

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
Howard “Pop” Kirksey (1910-1992) and Elizabeth “Mom” Campbell (1908-1994) were from west Tennessee. Howard graduated from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1934 and Elizabeth from Tennessee College for Women in Murfreesboro in 1929. The only children in either of their families to graduate from college, they met while teaching at Whiteville Tennessee High School in 1934 and married two years later. I, their only child, was born in 1940.

Howard became principal of Whiteville High School. In the summer of 1939, he and Elizabeth drove to Berkeley, California, to study under a well-known education professor at the University of California who was considered an authority on evaluating the American high school. When Whiteville High School was evaluated the next year for accreditation, the State Department of Education in Nashville immediately noted that the school deserved attention.

Howard, principal of Clarksville High School during World War II, was later named the State High School Supervisor in 1945, and assisted principals in preparing schools for evaluation and accreditation. Pop told me, “If you want to go to the top of your field, find out where the best mind in your field is located, and study under him or her. Learn all you can, and then quickly apply it to your own situation.”

Howard received his Ph.D. from Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University) in 1950 on a Ford Foundation Scholarship. He has a long storied career at Middle Tennessee State College, beginning as a professor in education. He was appointed the first Dean of Instruction, developed the graduate program and served as the program’s first dean, was the first Vice President for Academic Affairs, and finally Interim President before retiring in 1975. He was a well-known public speaker, a leader in the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals, the Rotary Club and the Baptist Church. In 1978, the first classroom building on the MTSU campus was named the Kirksey Old Main in Howard’s honor.

Howard’s accomplishments were a tribute to a loving and supportive wife. Elizabeth graduated with a master’s degree from MTSC in 1961 at the same time that I received my B.S. degree. I had gone from the first grade through college and never walked further than three blocks from my parents’ home. Based perhaps on their own experiences, my parents encouraged me to immediately begin graduate school. I received a National Education Defense Act Fellowship in 1961, and chose to attend Auburn University and study chemistry.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
In about 1962, a chemistry post-doc at Auburn, who held a PhD from Harvard and had recently arrived from a previous post-doc at Cambridge to work under Professor G. M. Kosolapoff at Auburn, along with several chemistry graduate students, were walking from Ross to Toomer’s Corner. As we approached a coed in front of Hargis Hall she smiled and said, “Hi.” Immediately after passing her the post-doc asked, “Do you know her?” We informed him that he had experienced a valuable difference between Auburn and either Harvard or Cambridge.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope that Auburn University gives these recipients the superb education that she gave to me, and that these recipients acquire during their lifetimes the vigilance and maturity to know what happened to their minds at Auburn. If they do, they will have arrived at Ithaca. This is the reason that I also submitted a copy of “Ithaca,” a poem by C. P. Cavafy written in 1911, to be given to each Auburn student who receives a Howard and Elizabeth Kirksey Scholarship. Perhaps each recipient will know where they are headed from the beginning, regardless of whether it is called Ithaca or Auburn University.

Howard B. Harmon Endowed Scholarship

Howard B. Harmon Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Jerry and Lynne Schwarzauer
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Both of us are Auburn Graduates, met and married at Auburn, and had the ability to give back to the university that provided so much in our lives.

What would you want recipients of this scholarship to know about you or the person(s) for whom it is named?
Howard B. Harmon started out as a college graduate and worked his way up to the number two man at a Fortune 500 company. He affected not only his family, but the third and fourth generation after him.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Our mother, Geraldine Schwarzauer, wanted her children to have the best education possible. We lived 30 miles north of Mobile, Ala. in Mount Vernon, so we would ride a church bus from Mount Vernon to Mobile every day to attend a Catholic High School—McGill Institute. My older brother chose Auburn first in 1970, and I followed two years later. We both graduated from Auburn, and both achieved more than we could have imaged as a young boys growing up in rural Alabama. We were the first college graduates in our family.

What do you hope your recipients gain through receiving this scholarship?
We hope to make someone’s life better for generations to come.

Inabinet Family Alumni Endowed Student Scholarship

Inabinet Family Alumni Endowed Student Scholarship

A conversation with Steve and Teresa Inabinet.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Having four children to graduate from Auburn University with six degrees, we understood the importance of an education and the overall campus experience at Auburn. We can only hope that this gift will allow students to experience, thrive, and to excel academically in order to have those necessary skills for a successful future.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
We, as a family, believe in Auburn and are thankful every day for what she has come to mean for us. It is our hope that one day, you too will share what Auburn means to you for future generations. War Eagle!

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Our family’s three favorite Auburn traditions are: the Auburn Marching Band taking the field before a game; rolling the Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner; and watching the eagle flight before all home games.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
Our hope is that the recipient will grow to love Auburn for what she means to them and give back to Auburn so the next generation will have the same opportunity.

Jack and Libbie Key Family Scholarship

Jack and Libbie Key Family Scholarship

A conversation with Jack B. Key III.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
My parents, my two children, and I enjoyed our time at Auburn. Three generations of our family all share a love for the University and its culture. We wanted to help others from our area to enjoy the Auburn experience with a little less of a financial burden.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
I am retired from the real estate industry in Columbus, Ga. We live at Lake Harding now and enjoy spending a good bit our time in Auburn at various events. Both of my children are full-time in Christian youth ministry with Young Life. Libbie and I are also active in Christian ministries and various organizations that we’re passionate about. I enjoy golf, hunting, woodworking, and water sports.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
We enjoy tailgating with friends at Auburn football games in the Fall. We also enjoy attending basketball games and other sporting events on occasion.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope this scholarship provides a little more financial flexibility to make their experience more enjoyable.

James Cooper Memorial Scholarship

James Cooper Memorial Scholarship

A conversation with Margaret Walker
Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
It was a memorial my mother and friends established for my dad because he was an Auburn alum who worked 30 years as an extension farm agent, and he loved Auburn.

What would you want recipients of this scholarship to know about you or the person(s) for whom it is named?
James Cooper grew up on a farm in Tuscaloosa County. He graduated from Auburn in 1935 and spent 30 years working as a farm agent in Tuscaloosa County. Early on his focus was 4-H work, where he helped 40 boys win national awards. In later years his concentration was urban horticulture. He won many state, regional, and national awards for his work, including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
What do you hope your recipients gain through receiving this scholarship?
I hope they take the opportunity to gain the skills to become outstanding professionals and a credit to Auburn University.

Jerard T. Smith Endowed Scholarship

Jerard T. Smith Endowed Scholarship

A conversation with Jerard T. Smith.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
Some of the best years of my life were spent at Auburn. The education I received at Auburn set me on a path of success. I want to be a part of helping others experience the life-changing education that can be received at Auburn.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
After leaving Auburn in 1994, I have spent my career engaged in mechanical engineering. My degrees from Auburn have always been respected and have opened doors. I have enjoyed meeting other Auburn alumni all over the United States. Now that I have achieved a level of financial security, I am happy to help others along their educational journey.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I loved to hunt and while at Auburn and would get up in the morning, spend a couple hours in Tuskegee National Forest, and then get to class. I always enjoyed the mornings sitting in the woods and would often be thinking over some difficult engineering problem. My wife and I always enjoyed free movie night and Saturday football games.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
I hope recipients of this scholarship are able to focus on their experience at Auburn and not have to worry so much about the bills.

Jerry and Reba Sibley Horticulture Scholarship

Jerry and Reba Sibley Horticulture Scholarship

A conversation with Jerry Sibley.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We wished to honor a student in horticulture and to recognize the importance of horticulture in Alabama. Studies in horticulture will always be important because of the importance of creating pleasing environments. Probably more important is the knowledge gained in order to produce our future food needs.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Being a graduate of Auburn University is something that cannot be taken from you. My grandfather wished for his offspring to have a good education. He would be proud to know that 31 of his grandsons, granddaughters, great-great grandsons and granddaughters and great-great-great grandsons and granddaughters are Auburn graduates. This is most likely a record for one family for Auburn graduates. There are at least 6-9 more that will eventually come to Auburn. Grandaddy Sibley only had one offspring to go to University of Alabama.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
We hope they gain a great love for Auburn University and the “Auburn Family.”

Jerry & Marilyn Batts Family Scholarship

Jerry & Marilyn Batts Family Scholarship

A conversation with Jerry Batts and Marilyn Taylor Batts.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
We wanted to help students.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
We are grateful for the generosity of those Auburn men and women who preceded us and made our Auburn experiences possible.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
Auburn will always be a special place for us. We were blessed to have the opportunity to attend Auburn University.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
Our hope is that each recipient grows in wisdom and receives the true Auburn Spirit and lives a life of worth. We also hope each recipient will one day choose to support Auburn University with their time and treasure.

JoAnn and Dale Huffman Endowed Scholarship in Animal Science

JoAnn and Dale Huffman Endowed Scholarship in Animal Science

A conversation with Dale L. Huffman.

Why did you choose to create a scholarship at Auburn University?
This scholarship honors my wife, JoAnn Huffman, and enhances meat science programs at Auburn University.

What would you want the recipients of this scholarship to know about the person for whom it is named?
JoAnn Huffman stood by me and supported me throughout my career. Our journey together included my BS degree at Cornell University as well as MS and PhD degrees at the University of Florida. During this time she worked to provide financial support for our family. Following graduate school, we relocated to Swift and Co. in Chicago before accepting a faculty position at Auburn University. JoAnn accompanied me and our family on trips to professional meetings as well as consulting trips in the US and overseas.

Tell us about your Auburn story, favorite tradition, a “War Eagle!” moment, or what Auburn has meant to you.
I joined the Auburn faculty in 1963 and initiated the meat science teaching and research program. The greatest satisfaction for me has come from working with students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The freedom to conduct research that excited students and had an impact on the meat industry was a major benefit to my career.

What do you hope your recipients gain through this scholarship?
In addition to the financial support, I hope the recipients will gain a better impression of the opportunities for a career in areas related to meat science.