New society recognizes loyalty of Auburn donors, honors Foy

Published: December 17, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – To recognize Auburn University donors based on their consecutive years of giving and also to pay tribute to an Auburn icon, Auburn's Office of Development and the Auburn University Foundation have initiated a new donor society.

Named in honor of one of Auburn's most widely known and beloved figures, the James E. Foy Loyalty Society honors donors who have made a gift to Auburn for five or more consecutive years. As Auburn's dean of student affairs for a quarter century and a volunteer on campus for another 30 years, Foy became one of Auburn's most iconic figures of the latter half of the 20th century.

"Since the Foy name is synonymous with loyalty among the Auburn family, it seemed fitting to identify some of our most committed donors with such a venerated Auburn icon as Dean Foy," said Jane DiFolco Parker, Auburn's vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation.

As one of Auburn's longest-serving and most-accessible senior administrators of his era, Foy expanded student support services and helped guide Auburn through transitions associated with racial integration, the Vietnam War and the women's equality movement. Together with his longtime friend and colleague, former Dean of Women Katharine Cooper Cater, he made an immeasurable impact on Auburn's campus and its students, and the impact of the love both of these significant figures had for Auburn still is felt today.

"Dean Foy was the ultimate example of love for and loyalty to Auburn," said Bill McNair, chair of the Auburn University Foundation's Development Committee. "Membership in the James E. Foy Loyalty Society conveys our deep appreciation of each donor's continued faithful support of Auburn and its mission."

The Foy Society, which officially launched at the beginning of October, has recognized more than 10,000 alumni and friends for their consecutive years of giving through December 2013. Donors who give for 25 consecutive years or more are recognized as members of the Foy Society's Cater Circle and receive a special gold lapel pin. This year, more than 1,100 donors received the Cater Circle designation, with 15 of those having given for 50 years or more. The society will continue to recognize new members annually.

Parker said response to the Foy Society has been overwhelmingly positive and she has enjoyed hearing from donors like Cathy Clark who were surprised and honored to receive their pins.

"Dean Foy was a dear friend and I can think of no person ever associated with Auburn whose name I would rather have on a pin that I will proudly wear," said Clark, who has worked at Auburn since 1977 and is currently an administrative support specialist who, coincidentally, works in Foy Hall. "Thank you so much for honoring him and me for my gifts to Auburn."

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