Auburn Alumni Association celebrates 125th Anniversary of Auburn Women with luncheon and black-tie gala

Published: November 03, 2017
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The Auburn Alumni Association recently hosted two major events to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of Auburn Women, a formal luncheon and a black-tie gala dinner, at The Marquee at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

The 125th Anniversary luncheon featured a panel of Auburn women invited to discuss their own experiences and provide advice for current and future students and alumni, moderated by 125 Years of Auburn Women Committee Chair Melanie Barstad ’75.

The panel included: Deborah Lowry ’74, first female drum major; Cindy Holland Torbert ’89, Auburn’s first female Student Government Association president; Danyelle Hillman ’99, Auburn’s first African-American cheerleader; and Jacqueline Keck, Auburn’s third female and current Student Government Association president.

Opening remarks were given by Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86, vice president for Alumni Affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association.

The 125th gala dinner was the association’s premier event of its yearlong anniversary celebration, featuring guest speakers, acting performances by Pam and Aubrey Haney and a lyrical dance from Make Your Move Performing Arts.

Opening remarks on the 125th Anniversary were delivered by Gretchen VanValkenburg, 19th Auburn University President Steven Leath and Melanie Barstad. An event program centered around the Auburn Creed followed a dinner provided by The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

Segments of the creed, paired with illuminations by Auburn alumnae, were delivered by: Emma and Catherine Clark, current students and great-great-granddaughters of Willie Gertrude Little, one of the original three Auburn women; Dwight Wiggins ’67, College of Engineering alumnus and 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient; Cindy Rogers ’78, Harbert College of Business alumna and retired senior executive vice president of Regions Bank; Kim Evans ’81, College of Education alumna and five-time SEC Coach of the Year for women’s golf; Elizabeth Huntley ’93, College of Liberal Arts alumna and a member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees; Jacqueline Keck, current Auburn SGA president; Col. Tanya Anderson ’95, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering alumna and director of readiness at Air Force Civil Engineer Center; and Michelle McKenna-Doyle ’87, Harbert College of Business alumna and senior-vice president and chief information officer for the National Football League.

Closing remarks were provided by Helen Leslie ’43, the eldest-known living alumna of Auburn University.

For more information regarding events related to 125th Anniversary of Auburn Women and how to honor the celebration, visit the Alumni Affairs website.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.