Auburn University honors 14 during Black Alumni Weekend

Article body

The Auburn Alumni Association, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Development have named 14 recipients for the Black Alumni Weekend Awards Program. They are Christopher Collier '83, Stephen J. Davis '08, Kenneth Day '81, Keisha Dzata '10, Corey Edwards '06, Henry M. Ford '76, Kel Jackson '11, Dana Carl Little '79, Shawn Malone '96, the Hon. Harold Melton '88, Roderick D. Perry '95, Samuel L. Pettijohn '67, George O. Sneed Jr. '96 and presented posthumously to the Rev. James Curtis Owens.

"The Auburn Alumni Association is proud to be associated with these outstanding alumni, for both their achievements in their careers and their dedication to Auburn University," said Jack Fite, president of the Auburn Alumni Association. "We are all a part of the Auburn Family, and we want nothing more than to make it stronger and more diverse, and to reach its full potential as the first choice of future college students when they're considering where to invest in their future."

Last April, the university kicked off its largest fundraising effort in history, the $1 billion Because This is Auburn – A Campaign for Auburn University. The campaign will propel the university forward through a renewed commitment to students, a continued promise to the state and a shared responsibility to the world. During the awards program, Auburn's black alumni were applauded for their nearly 1,500 gifts to the campaign, totaling more than $3.2 million.

"As black alumni of our university, we need to be involved not only in making Auburn the best it can be, but also in what we would like to see it become," said Thomas Gossom Jr., chair of the Auburn University Foundation and master of ceremonies for the event.

Elizabeth Huntley, a member of Auburn's Board of Trustees, announced two new goals: to increase the number of black alumni participating in the campaign to 1,964 – a number that commemorates the year in which Auburn enrolled Harold Franklin, its first black student; and to raise a total of $3.5 million in gifts and commitments from black alumni.

Recipients were honored at a dinner and induction ceremony April 9 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

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, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation 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.