Category Archives: Our Story

History Professor Dr. Donna Bohanan to Present the Final Lecture

A professor known for making history come alive, one student says Dr. Bohanan teaches like she is telling a story.

“I valued the time she spent teaching my class every morning and the things I learned from her,” former student Lisa Robison says.  “She was one of my first and favorite teachers at Auburn.”

On Tuesday night, Dr. Donna Bohanan will be honored for her service and dedication to Auburn students at this year’s Final Lecture.  The Final Lecture is an opportunity for Auburn students to honor one outstanding professor for teaching excellence.

This award is unique because professors are nominated by students, and the honoree is chosen by a popular vote.  The chosen professor is asked to speak on a topic of his or her choice.

Especially if you had the opportunity to take one of Dr. Bohanan’s classes, come to this event and show your appreciation for one of Auburn’s best professors.

“Let’s use this Final Lecture as an opportunity to show Dr. Bohanan that her hard work has paid off and that she has touched the lives of students in a meaningful way,” says Patrick Michael, AVP of Academic Affairs.

The Final Lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Foy auditorium with refreshments to follow.

Living Out Her Platform

Elections are over, and the concourse has quieted down. You elected brand new officers based on promises of change, improvement, or leadership, fully expecting these promises to be fulfilled

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Miss Auburn is no exception. She is elected each year based on a platform and a passion for something, and she does not abandon this passion to tend to her other duties as the official hostess of the university. She embraces new opportunities, new connections, and new resources to carry out the very platform that got her elected.

Miss Auburn 2013, Tara Jones, set a perfect example of how to use her leadership to bring her platform to life. Tara first stumbled across the fact that nearly 1 billion people in this world don’t have access to clean drinking water when she was sixteen years old. When she came to Auburn, Tara became involved with the Student Government Association and an organization called Innovative Humanitarian Products Organization (IHPO). IHPO consists of engineers that are passionate about “developing products for the developing world”. These engineers made water purifiers to send to third world countries. Tara’s marketing and grant winning efforts with this organization were helping women and children across the world.

TaraLast spring, Tara was presented with the opportunity to run for Miss Auburn, where she saw her passion meet a greater purpose. Her team spent all of their efforts that week raising money and doing justice for the water crisis. She doubled her goal of $4,000 and gave clean water to villages most Auburn students will never even visit. Auburn students were inspired by Tara’s dreams of ending the water crisis, and elected her as Miss Auburn.

You can summarize Miss Auburn’s role in one word: influence. She influences visitors by being a positive, welcoming face has a hostess of Auburn University. She influences campus activities while serve alongside the SGA1 President and executive team. She influences faculty, administrators, and the community as an honorary member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen. Lastly, she influences freshmen in her FLP group to turn her platform into action and become great leaders.

This past summer, a new Freshmen Leadership Program group was formed- Auburn for (WATER). According to their mission statement, Auburn for (WATER) “strives to passionately and proactively serve the world around [them] by educating Auburn University about the crisis that exists regarding the scarcity of clean water.” They serve others while seeking to “humbly lead [the] community towards a bigger goal and inspire others to join [them] in living out the creed.”


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The former Miss Auburn works alongside Director Mark Price and Assistant Directors Paige Serzen, Bradley Luptak, and Sarah Sawyer to lead a group of 45 freshmen. This outstanding group of freshmen went from not knowing each other at all to becoming friends working together to change the world. As the first group ever on Auburn’s campus to be completely focused on the world’s water crisis, they dove in headfirst. Under Tara’s leadership, the group spent months researching and learning about all aspects of the issue, focusing on awareness and fundraising. Ryan Brown, freshmen in Auburn for (WATER), tells about Miss Auburn’s influence on her experience. “I have always been a little shy,” she explains. “Tara has really inspired me to stand out and be a leader. She is so passionate about Auburn for (WATER)- it’s contagious!”

This week, all of their hard work is being put into action. They are partnering with Neverthirst, a nonprofit organization out of Birmingham, to raise $3,000 for a water project in India. They are out on the Haley concourse all week and want to share their passion to end the water crisis with all Auburn students.

They need your help! Stop by to learn more about the water project in India and donate what you can. You will see people with yellow jerry cans waiting to fill each can with donations. They have also visited various organizations over the past week to ask each one to fill their own jerry can and carry it to the concourse. This is a powerful reminder of the burden that millions of people carry every day.

There are three more easy ways that you can change lives during Water Week:

1. Order a t-shirt. It costs $15, and part of the proceeds goes toward the India project.

2. Eat out at Chipotle on Thursday from 5-9pm. 50% of all sales will go to this cause.

3. Donate online at



Senate Passes Multiple Bills before Thanksgiving Break

In the final meeting before the Thanksgiving break, Auburn’s SGA Senate came together to pass three pieces of significant legislation. Perhaps the most well-known of these was the resolution aimed at countering hate speech in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Several senators met on the Friday night and Saturday morning before the Senate meeting to craft a compromise resolution. While lacking the specifics of the original bill, the final resolution denounced hate speech and recommended that university administration form a committee focused on responding to offensive speech.

Speaking immediately before a unanimous vote to pass the resolution, Senator Richmond Gunter said, “We should work together and not against each other. This isn’t a PR move; it’s a solution to a problem in a tangible way. We are blessed to live on a campus filled with students of kindness. And we are thankful these issues [of hate speech] are not a common occurrence on campus.”

President Harrison Mills expressed his support for the resolution. He also pledged to sign a bill passed Monday night that will randomize candidates’ ballot positions on each voter’s ballot in future SGA elections, saying, “The bill is a good way to ensure fairness in the electoral system.”

Re-enforcing the need for election fairness legislation, Senator Rob Garcia (who co-sponsored the ballot-order randomization bill with Senator Richmond Gunter) said, “When Senator Gunter opens his ballot, it will be different than mine. This bill…eliminates the potential bias in the voting system.” With the passage of the bill, each voter will now see candidates for a certain office listed in a random order.

Finally, the Senate also debated a bill from Senator Lindsay Crocker that would give the Senate a minimum of three business days to review vetoed legislation before holding a vote to override the veto. In particular, Senator Jacob Dean felt he didn’t have enough time to argue for a recent bill after President Mills vetoed the bill approximately two hours before a Senate meeting. “Three days is a fair number,” Senator Dean said. “The President has ten days [to decide whether to sign or veto a bill]. I am encouraging a yes vote, if for no other reason than upholding the integrity of the Senate and protecting the balance of power.” The bill passed unanimously.

Hey, We Love This Place

As we all jump in our cars or catch our flights for much needed Thanksgiving Break, let’s remember why we, as Auburn students, are thankful for this place that we call our home away from home. Hey Day is an SGA event that fosters this genuine joy in thankfulness. The spirit of Hey Day remains in every student throughout the semester, not just one simple day.

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“Hey Day is an opportunity to bring students together. We have a passion for seeing the individual become part of a community. We see Hey Day as an opportunity to link current Auburn students with students from decades past, creating a unique bond that holds the Auburn community together,” said Clay Phillips, Executive Director of Hey Day.

While we move into this season of gratefulness, let us be renewed in the community of Auburn, and let Hey Day be that overarching reminder. Go home remembering how much you love this place!

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