A Message to Students from Dr. Woodard – Dec. 29, 2020

A Message to Students from Dr. Woodard – Dec. 29, 2020

Dear Students,

I am writing to you today to provide an update on current guidelines for the spring 2021 semester. Many plans and guidelines remain the same:


  • Auburn University will reopen on Jan. 4 as planned. Campus buildings and offices will be open and operating at this time.


  • University Housing will reopen on Jan. 8 as planned. Students who need to make alternate arrangements should email housing@auburn.edu.


  • Campus dining operations will resume on Jan. 8.


  • A new sentinel testing program will begin on Jan. 11. The program will be facilitated by the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Care Clinic and is designed to help protect students, faculty and staff from virus spread. Read more here.


  • Current event guidelines will continue through Feb. 1. This means events with more than 50 attendees are not permitted unless previously approved. Read more about the university’s event guidelines here.


  • Face coverings are required both indoors and outdoors while on campus. This policy went into effect Dec. 14 and is effective until Feb. 1. Read the complete policy here.


As we focus on the safety of our campus and community, the following change has been made:


  • Faculty offering face-to-face classes may choose to begin the semester remotely for up to two weeks. This decision is in alignment with the latest information from the medical community. Faculty will communicate any changes to students via email or Canvas as soon as possible.


Auburn continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 locally and around the state as we plan a safe and successful start to the spring semester. Should any additional operational changes be made, you will be notified via email.


Lastly, I hope you all are having a safe and restful holiday break. As we prepare to ring in the new year, I want to emphasize the importance of celebrating responsibly, and adhering to health and safety guidelines. Our behavior over the holidays will directly affect our ability to start the semester as planned.


Take care of yourself and those around you. I look forward to seeing you soon.

War Eagle!

Bobby R. Woodard, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

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A Message to Students from Dr. Woodard – Dec. 18, 2020

A Message to Students from Dr. Woodard – Dec. 18, 2020

A Message to Students from Dr. Woodard – Dec. 18, 2020

Dear Students,

As the year comes to a close, I would be remiss if I did not share my gratitude to you for allowing us to successfully complete the fall 2020 semester. Our ability to stay on campus is a direct reflection of your commitment to following important safety protocols and university guidelines. I continue to say this semester has been unlike any we have ever experienced before, but I am grateful we were able to begin and end it together.


The university has recently updated policies that will ensure a strong start to the spring semester. Below are the new additions when you return to campus:


  • Face coverings are required both indoors and outdoors while on campus. This policy went into effect Dec. 14 and is effective until further notice. Read the complete policy here.


  • A new sentinel testing program will be offered this spring. The program will be facilitated by the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Care Clinic and is designed to help protect students, faculty and staff from virus spread. Read more here.


Many of the same policies and expectations from the fall semester will continue when you return to campus next semester. All students coming to campus for in-person courses or to attend campus events will continue to complete their GuideSafe™ Healthcheck daily. We will all be expected to continue those healthy habits like handwashing, physical distancing and wearing our face coverings. We must continue our efforts and not slack on keeping our Auburn Family safe.


In the event that any additional operational changes are made, you will be updated via email.


I wish you all a happy, and especially, healthy holiday season. I look forward to seeing you when we return for another successful semester at Auburn.


War Eagle!

Bobby R. Woodard, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

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In memoriam: John “Jack” Kennedy

In memoriam: John “Jack” Kennedy

Auburn University will remember student John “Jack” Kennedy, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1.

A memorial flag will fly in front of Samford Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The flag will then be displayed, along with a memorial certificate, in the Student Center beginning Dec. 3.

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Auburn trustees approve Legacy Plaza to celebrate ‘Divine Nine’ Greek groups

Auburn trustees approve Legacy Plaza to celebrate ‘Divine Nine’ Greek groups

An artist's rendering of the NPHC Plaza.

The Auburn University Board of Trustees has approved the NPHC Legacy Plaza, a campus area commemorating the nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The plaza, which will be adjacent to the campus green space in the same area as the under-construction Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex, will celebrate the nine member organizations of the Auburn NPHC known as the “Divine Nine”: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.

The plaza will include a wall with 10 commemorative markers – one for each of the NPHC organizations and a 10th to explain the history of Auburn’s Black Greek-letter organizations and to recognize the project’s supporters and donors. Trees representing each chapter will provide a backdrop to the wall, and the plaza will serve as an outdoor venue for informal gatherings and events.

“We’re proud that Auburn has taken this step to commemorate the achievements of the National Pan-Hellenic Council,” says Benard Goins, Greek Life coordinator. “This project will be a fitting tribute to these groups that have been an integral part of Auburn’s campus for more than 20 years.”

The NPHC Legacy Plaza is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

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In Memoriam: Christopher Strong

In Memoriam: Christopher Strong

Auburn University will remember student Christopher Strong beginning Wednesday, August 8.

The memorial flag will fly in front of Samford on Wednesday, August 8. The flag will then be displayed in the student center along with a memorial certificate from August 10-24.

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In Memoriam: Cassidy Meadows

In Memoriam: Cassidy Meadows

Auburn University will remember student Cassidy Meadows beginning Monday, July 30. The memorial flag will fly in front of Samford on Monday, July 30. The flag will then be displayed in the student center along with a memorial certificate from August 1-15.

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Student Involvement Awards 2018 highlights doing the best with what you have

Student Involvement Awards 2018 highlights doing the best with what you have

Fourteen Auburn University student groups and individuals were honored at the 2018 Student Involvement Awards on April 17 in the Student Center Ballroom.

The evening was catered by Tiger Catering, and Eagle Eye TV partnered with the Involvement Ambassadors to create videos for each nominee and conduct “red carpet interviews” on the red carpet.

More than 150 nominees were narrowed down to 76 finalists, and a panel of judges determined the winners. This year, the organization split two of the awards, Excellence in Marketing and Design and Most Exceptional Campus Student Organization, to honor two winners in each of those categories: One from groups supported by student activity fees and one from other registered student organizations.

“One of my largest goals was to split a few of the awards we already had into those two different categories,” said Paxton Peacock, vice president of programs for Involvement Ambassadors. “This created a more even playing field based on playing field based on financial support and advertisement capabilities. In addition to seeing this come to fruition, the greatest highlight of the evening for me was to see some of the most well-rounded leaders on campus come together and share the thing we love most: involvement at Auburn University.”

Jordan Carr, president of the Financial Management Association, and Sydney Nicholas, president of Emerge, were honored as male and female student leaders of the year.

Auburn does a great job of giving students opportunities to be involved, and it had a major impact on my college experience,” Carr said. “As far as real-worlds skills, I definitely learned more from involvement and extracurriculars than from any class.”

Here are the winners of the 2018 Student Involvement Awards:

Excellence in Practical Application
Block and Bridle

Outstanding Cultural Impact

International Student Organization

Overcoming Adversity Award

Global Medical Brigades – Auburn University

 Outstanding Incorporation of Diversity & Inclusion

Alternative Student Breaks 

The Fred & Charlene Kam “Human Touch” Service Award


Most Entertaining Campus Event

University Program Council’s War Damn Coffee Jam

Excellence in Marketing and Design (RSO)

Financial Management Association

Excellence in Marketing and Design (SAP)

Student Government Association

Male Student Leader of the Year

Jordan Carr (Financial Management Association)

Female Student Leader of the Year

Sydney Nicholas (Emerge)

The Corey Edwards Organization Advisor of the Year Award

Tracy Richard (Financial Management Association)

Outstanding New Organization

Emerge at Auburn

Most Exceptional Campus Student Organization 

Student Recruiters

Most Exceptional Student Activity Portfolio

Auburn University Dance Marathon

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Hey Day 2017

AUBURN UNIVERSITY- Students gathered on the Student Center Campus Green on Auburn’s Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to participate in the Student Government Association’s Hey Day. Hey Day, known as “the friendliest day on the Plains,” has been a tradition at Auburn since 1949. On Hey Day, SGA encourages the Auburn Family to “greet one another with Auburn Spirit” and draw closer together.

SGA members and volunteers distributed a record number of 10,000 name tags for students, faculty, and the remainder of the Auburn Family to wear throughout the day on campus in order to encourage each other to learn each other’s names and greet one another with a simple, “Hey!”

Students celebrating hey day

The tradition of Hey Day began when students greeted their peers returning home from World War II. Since then, the day has become a staple of SGA in promoting unity and friendliness on campus. Hey Day serves as a physical representation of the idea of the Auburn Family that is so integral to the university.

SGA celebrated the day with a full schedule of events on the Campus Green. Participants enjoyed free food, games and entertainment featuring live music and two camels. For the first time, Hey Day partnered with the Student Alumni Association to sell t-shirts to alumni, faculty and staff.

“My favorite part of Hey Day is meeting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” said Isabella Chappano, a junior studying rehab and disabilities. “Learning more names and getting to know more people helps me feel like I’m making the most of my time at Auburn.”

Thousands of students spent the day on the campus green listening to music, grabbing a bite to eat and getting to know each other. Rebekah Kennedy, director of Hey Day, said her team was excited about the turn out of the event.

“We believe more people were involved and engaged with Hey Day than ever before,” said Kennedy. “We were thrilled to see the number of people who invested in the celebration of the Auburn Family’s unique tradition of simply saying “Hey!’”

For more information on Hey Day and other SGA events, visit http://auburn.edu/sga.

Written by Grace Fabyan

Student Spotlight: Morgan Gaston

Meet Morgan: Morgan Gaston after being crowned Homecoming Queen.

Morgan is the newly elected Miss Homecoming of Auburn University. She was born and raised in Guntersville, Ala., and is a senior studying exercise science. Aside from her responsibilities as Miss Homecoming, Morgan is also a member of Project Uplift, a social sorority, Auburn Cru, International Buddies Program, intramural sports, as well as a regular bible study.

Why did you want to be Miss Homecoming?

I wanted to make Auburn University a better place for international students! Auburn is always changing, molding, and becoming better. This was an area where I could visualize Auburn’s improvement. It is tangible, and it is achievable.

How did you get involved with your platform?

I went to China last summer where I was welcomed with such kindness, I never felt out of place. I knew that I hadn’t provided the same experience for our international students, so I joined the International Buddy Program and got involved with the international students here in Auburn. From this, I became more aware of the problems they faced here on a daily basis.

What are your goals for the term?

Morgan Gaston on the field after being crowned Homecoming QueenI am currently working with Campus Dining and the International Student Organization to extend the ISO social hours that have traditionally been on Fridays at 4p.m. We are trying to make them better known and accessible, while also trying to help expand what they already have going on. Also, some groups on campus have already established an international liaison, which was the goal of the campaign, in their campus organization. We are meeting with the Student Government Association’s inclusion and diversity officers to further this initiative further on campus and throughout more organizations. These liaisons bring international students to events and meetings and make the feel more involved in those organization and on campus as a whole.

How did you decide to come to Auburn?

I actually grew up as an Alabama fan, but, after one visit, I was captivated by the Auburn family and culture. It was the way that Auburn felt like home.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I was once in a rock slide while trying to summit a mountain, Mount Shasta, in northern California. It was actually a very close call.

What are your hopes after graduation?

I am going to University of Alabama in Birmingham next year for Physical Therapy school! That will be 3 years, and then I’m hoping to find a job in an Outpatient facility (maybe here in Auburn!).


Written by: Grace Fabyan

Remembering Bettye Burkhalter

Photo of Bettye B. Burkhalter, former Vice President of Student AffairsFormer Auburn University Vice President and Associate Provost Bettye B. Burkhalter, 75, of Gordo, Alabama, passed away Thursday, May 4, at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa after a long battle with ALS.

Burkhalter retired from Auburn in 2000 as vice president and associate provost and professor emerita. She was a University of Alabama alumna and held five degrees including two doctorates. As a graduate faculty professor in Auburn’s College of Education, she also served as special assistant to the vice president for research; director and professor of the Auburn University Economic Development Institute; and associate provost for assessment and quality improvement and academic affairs.

Her career began as a teacher in the classroom and moved into leadership positions within the Birmingham City School System. In 1978, she became part of the Auburn Family. Professionally, she was recognized with numerous prestigious awards both nationally and internationally through her work at Auburn. Many of the awards were for pioneering new programs and concepts that expanded the horizons and approach to education.

She loved Auburn University and the town of Auburn, affectionately known as the “loveliest village on the Plains.” Contributions to the community were impactful through her participation on the Auburn Industrial Development Board. The Economic Development Institute at Auburn University was developed by her and became a springboard for many collaborations and partnerships stimulating economic development through partnerships within education, business, industry, government and communities.

She was particularly proud of her contribution to the space program when she was contracted by the governor’s office to develop curriculum for Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. This is one example where her creativity and hard work created a legacy that will continue to impact generations to come.

Her research had an international audience and was translated and disseminated in over 22 countries. Being elected as a lifetime Bettye B. Burkhalter and the Student Communication Board.member of the International Academy of Astronautics in Paris, France, was one of her most cherished achievements.

Post retirement, she wrote a three-volume series of creative non-fictional books telling the story of her ancestors and the pioneers that built the foundation of America.

Although she was a business woman with a teacher’s heart that made countless contributions, her greatest legacy is her impact on her family. As a mother and grandmother, she taught her daughters and granddaughter to be independent, confident and successful women. She loved her family immensely and was always there in whatever capacity was needed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shiloh Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 1022, Gordo, Alabama 35466.

by Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing