A mighty legacy

Film about famed Auburn football coach Pat Dye to further legacy of giving back in support of nature, education

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A Mighty Legacy

The “mighty” life and legacy of famed Auburn University football coach Pat Dye is living on through a documentary that will be showcased in September to benefit current and future Auburn students in a field near and dear to Dye’s heart.

“With this film, we are honoring such a pivotal figure in Auburn University’s history,” said Jimmy Rane, a 1968 Auburn alumnus, longtime Auburn University Board of Trustees member and good friend of Dye’s who was instrumental in having the film produced. “It is a privilege to pay homage to the legacy of our beloved coach and, in turn, further a mission he was so greatly devoted to throughout his life – that of the preservation of nature and supporting the life-changing learning opportunities and experiences available at Auburn.”

A special screening of the film, “Mighty: The Life and Legacy of Pat Dye,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 at Langdon Hall on the Auburn University campus. Seating will be limited, so tickets should be purchased early at https://aub.ie/amightylegacy.

Proceeds will benefit operations and enhancements at Crooked Oaks that support the educational programs of Auburn’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment (CFWE). Beyond ticket purchases, additional donations to Crooked Oaks can be made through this online form.

Located in Notasulga, the 415-acre Crooked Oaks farm property was Dye’s homestead, including his main house, a guest cabin, lodge, pavilion, gazebo, two barns and a nursery office. The university announced in July that CFWE and the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation (AUREF) accepted the gift of the Crooked Oaks property from the Dye/McDonald Trust and Dr. Nancy McDonald, Dye’s longtime partner. The college plans to continue its operations as an event venue, while expanding its use for student instruction and community outreach.

The film screening event to benefit Crooked Oaks will be free to Auburn University students with a valid student ID on a first-come, first-served basis, with students not needing to register. A limited number of public tickets will also be available at a cost of $9.90 each — a price intentionally set with Dye’s 99 wins in mind.

Janaki Alavalapati, the Emmett F. Thompson Dean of the CFWE, said he is immensely grateful to Dye and McDonald for their generosity and for entrusting the legacy of Crooked Oaks with the college. He said he also greatly appreciates Rane’s efforts in spearheading the film about Dye and the effort to have proceeds benefit Crooked Oaks.

"We are grateful that Trustee Rane has provided the Auburn community with the opportunity to support Coach Dye’s legacy through their participation and philanthropic support of Crooked Oaks Farm,” Alavalapati said. “Contributions through the film screening event will support farm operations and program enhancements to advance forestry, wildlife and natural resources education in the state and beyond.”

In keeping with Dye’s vision for Crooked Oaks Farm—a stunning sanctuary for wildlife filled with lush plant life and hundreds of mature Japanese Maple trees— the CFWE will expand its operations to enhance the college’s teaching, research and outreach programs.

“Crooked Oaks Farm will provide new experiential learning opportunities for our students to gain experience applying what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Todd Steury, CFWE’s associate dean of academic affairs. “We envision wildlife enterprise management students may practice all aspects of managing a game and fish lodge, from habitat management to lodge operations and customer relations. Similarly, other majors can experience a field practicum at the farm. Finally, the property can be used by faculty for meetings, outdoor classes and even research.”

Speaking about the film that will benefit Crooked Oaks, McDonald said it is a great testament to all Dye accomplished.

“He would be so proud of this film and the many ways in which his legacy will live on at Auburn,” she said.

For more information about the film and ways in which to reserve tickets for the screening event, visit https://aub.ie/amightylegacy.

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.