Auburn University Foundation appoints new directors

Published: February 07, 2018
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The Auburn University Foundation recently added two new directors to its board. Paul Jacobson '94 of Atlanta and Beth Thorne Stukes of Jasper, Alabama, began their terms in January, joining the other 22 voting directors of the volunteer board.

"We are thrilled to welcome Paul and Beth to the board as our newest Auburn University Foundation directors," said Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "Directors provide critical volunteer leadership for the foundation's philanthropic objectives, ensuring that Auburn maintains a high level of performance, effectiveness and accountability in its fundraising efforts."

Jacobson earned a bachelor's degree in aviation management from Auburn in 1994 and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in 1997. He is executive vice president and chief financial officer with Delta Air Lines, responsible for the company's global financial strategy and execution. With more than 20 years of experience at Delta, Jacobson has served in several positions, including financial analyst and senior vice president and treasurer. As a key contributor to Delta's strategies, he has been instrumental in a number of critical acquisitions, debt reduction measures and facility expansions leading to Delta's return to the S&P 500 index, as well as upgrades to Delta's credit rating in recent years. Jacobson also serves on Auburn University's Harbert College of Business Advisory Board.

"I was very humbled to be asked to be part of this hardworking group," said Jacobson. "I hope to use my skill set in finance and asset management to offer technical capabilities, but I also hope to bring energy at the level for which this board is well known in order to make significant contributions."

Stukes graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1988 with a degree in elementary education. The retired Walker County school system teacher is widely known as an education advocate and philanthropist. In addition to her service as a campaign co-chair for Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, she is a member of the executive committee of Auburn's Women's Philanthropy Board in the College of Human Sciences. She serves on the board of directors for the Drummond Company, as chair of the Walker Area Community Foundation Board of Directors and as vice chair of the Samford University Board of Trustees. She also is a member of the United Way of Central Alabama Board of Directors.

"Service is extremely important, and I love giving back to an institution that has given so much to me and my family the way Auburn has," Stukes said. "I am honored to serve on the board and I hope that my work can continue to make great educational opportunities, experiences and memories for students."

Directors Faye Baggiano '79 of Montgomery and Bill McNair '68 of Fairhope, Alabama, concluded their board service in 2017.

Formed in 1960, the Auburn University Foundation Board of Directors receives charitable contributions made in support of Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery and manages the affairs, property and business of the foundation.

Foundation directors partner with Auburn University's fundraising professionals in its Office of Development to seek philanthropic support that advances academic and student programs, increases scholarships and fellowships, enhances quality faculty and instruction and expands the campus footprint to create state-of-the-art facilities.

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.