Women’s Philanthropy Board bringing former first lady to speak at Auburn University

Published: April 04, 2016
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The Women's Philanthropy Board Spring Symposium and Luncheon at Auburn University will feature a Sept. 11 survivor and a former first lady.

Will Jimeno, a former detective with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department who survived the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, will speak Monday, April 11, at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. His presentation is free and open to the public.

Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, will provide the keynote address during the luncheon at noon. Tickets for the event are no longer available.

"The Women's Philanthropy Board is honored to bring Will Jimeno and former first lady Laura Bush to the campus of Auburn University," said June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn. "We are committed to providing the community with the opportunity to learn from such notable individuals."

Laura Bush is a leading voice for spreading freedom and promoting human rights around the world. For decades, she has championed key issues in education, health care and human rights. As chair of the Woman's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, she continues her work on global health care innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting those who have served in America's military.

The author of the bestselling memoir, "Spoken from the Heart," Laura Bush founded the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. She penned the forward for the Bush Institute's new book, "We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope," which provides portraits of accomplished Afghan women from all walks of life. The children's book, "Our Great Big Backyard," which Laura Bush wrote with her daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, will be released in May.

Laura Bush serves on many boards, including the National Advisory Board for the Salvation Army, the Council for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Board of Trustees for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Jimeno was a rookie police officer assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Sept. 11, 2001, when he and his fellow officers responded to the World Trade Center site after an airplane hit the North Tower.

When the South Tower collapsed, Jimeno, Port Authority Sgt. John McLoughlin and others were buried under the concourse between the two towers. Only Jimeno and McLoughlin survived amongst the rubble. Jimeno was rescued after 13 hours; McLoughlin after 22. Their heroic rescue is depicted in the 2006 Oliver Stone movie, World Trade Center.

Following his recovery and retirement from the Port Authority, Jimeno now shares his triumphant story of service, tragedy and survival with others, especially how faith, hope and love carried him through the ordeal.

In November, Jimeno donated a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to the Auburn University Veteran's Resource Center.

The Women's Philanthropy Board is the flagship division of the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Auburn. Its mission is to inspire, educate and enable women and men to develop their full leadership potential, achieve independence as financial donors and decision makers, serve as mentors for future generations of philanthropists; and broaden the base of financial support for the College of Human Sciences.