Delta Air Lines enhances partnership with Emerge at Auburn, creates more student leadership opportunities at Auburn University

Published: November 14, 2019
Updated: November 15, 2019
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Auburn University students will benefit from an enhanced partnership with Delta Air Lines to create more leadership opportunities and initiatives through Emerge at Auburn, a campus organization within Student Involvement. A recent gift from the airline extends Delta’s support for Emerge at Auburn, the umbrella organization for student leadership programs, for a third year through the “Speaker Series presented by Delta Air Lines.”

The Emerge at Auburn Speaker Series presented by Delta Air Lines has featured such prestigious keynote speakers and industry leaders including ESPN college football analyst and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, attorney and activist Jordyne Blaise, and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first female Muslim-American to compete at the Olympics wearing a hijab.

“We are proud to deepen our relationship with Auburn University through the Emerge at Auburn program," said Stephanie Asbury, Delta's vice president of human resources business partners and global talent management. "It’s unique partnerships like these that allow our talent pipeline to extend beyond the Delta family and into our communities: removing barriers, providing resources and developing our leaders of the future.”

“Delta’s significant investment in Emerge at Auburn as well as numerous other programs at Auburn University demonstrates their extraordinary commitment to the development of Auburn’s students,” added Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation.

Through its meaningful leadership development opportunities, Emerge at Auburn guides students as they become successful, ethical and effective leaders. To date, more than 3,100 students have participated in Emerge’s programs and initiatives.

In the upcoming year, the partnership will focus on providing students the opportunity to learn more about careers at Delta and how their participation in Emerge can prepare them for the workforce.

The partnership contains several new components including Backstage Pass, a networking mixer with Emerge at Auburn students and representatives from various Delta career fields. Also, Elevate Studio, a career development workshop open to all students, will take place in the spring.

A kickoff event each fall and spring semester features a prestigious keynote speaker to motivate and inspire students. At the 2019 fall kickoff, Billy Boughey, former baseball player with Auburn and the Philadelphia Phillies, spoke to students about achieving their personal and professional aspirations.

Delta also has created an Emerging Leader Award to recognize an outstanding Emerge at Auburn participant each year. The recipient of the Delta Emerging Leader Award is recognized at Student Involvement’s annual Involvement Awards and receives a round-trip domestic flight from Delta to anywhere in the continental United States.

In 2017, Delta, The Delta Air Lines Foundation, and the Jacobson Family Foundation committed a combined $6.2 million to support various university programs, including Emerge at Auburn.

“Our partnership with Delta Air Lines has helped take Emerge at Auburn to heights we never imagined in its first few years,” said Bobby Woodard, Auburn University’s senior vice president for student affairs. “The company’s ongoing support will help us continue to create the leaders of tomorrow.”

To learn more about Emerge at Auburn, visit

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 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.