Auburn University Foundation appoints new directors, officers

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The Auburn University Foundation recently appointed three new directors to its volunteer board of directors: Sharlene Reed Evans of Jacksonville, Florida; Gregory Lewis Heston of Atlanta; and Gerald W. Smith of Huntsville, Alabama.

The board also elected its 2016 officers, which include second-term board chair Thomas Gossom Jr. '75 of Fort Walton Beach, Florida; vice chair Michael A. McLain '72 of Atlanta; and treasurer Ronald Dykes '69 of Atlanta.

"Foundation directors are vital partners with the professional fundraising staff in Auburn's Office of Development," said Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "Through their personal contributions and their help fostering philanthropic relationships with our alumni and friends, our directors help ensure Auburn's development enterprise maintains a high level of performance, effectiveness and accountability."

Evans earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Auburn in 1986. She is a 20-year veteran of the consulting industry and currently serves as vice president of organizational effectiveness for Hitachi Consulting and leads the company's Atlanta office.

Heston earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and accountancy from Auburn in 1985. During his 30-year public accounting career, he has worked exclusively with Ernst & Young LLP, where he is a partner and certified public accountant.

Smith is a two-time Auburn aerospace engineering graduate, having earned bachelor's and master's degrees in 1961 and 1970, respectively. A now-retired aerospace researcher and executive, he led rocket and propulsion research teams assigned to the Saturn V moon rocket, Skylab, J-93 (B-70) and TF-39 (C5-A) jet engines, and the Space Shuttle program during his 40-year career.

Directors whose board service concludes in 2015 include John W. Brown '57 of Portage, Michigan; Joe W. Forehand '71 of Dallas; William L. "Bill" Stone '75 of Birmingham, Alabama; Dr. Michael Williams, of Auburn, Alabama; and Wendy Wilson '88 of Huntsville, Alabama. In recognition of his extraordinary service and commitment to the foundation, the board conferred upon Brown director emeritus status.

Formed in 1960 and led by a volunteer board of directors, the Auburn University Foundation receives all charitable contributions made in support of Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery. Directors, who can serve up to two four-year terms, oversee the foundation's efforts to manage, invest and steward private, philanthropic gifts. Auburn's president, AUM's chancellor and the president of the Auburn Alumni Association serve as non-voting, ex-officio members of the board.

For more information about the Auburn University Foundation and biographies of its board members, go to

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