Cousins family donates $3 million to AU’s Center for the Arts and Humanities and Ralph Brown Draughon Library

AUBURN – The Cousins family of Atlanta recently donated $3 million to Auburn University to benefit both the AU Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill and special collections of
AU’s Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

The Center for the Arts and Humanities will receive $2.5 million to help improve its facilities and sustain its programs. In recognition of this gift, the AU Board of Trustees approved naming the center after Caroline Marshall Draughon, a familiar and beloved campus figure during her husband’s tenure as president of Auburn University.

Draughon’s lifelong commitment to promoting the intellectual well-being of students, faculty and citizens across the state was reflected in her support of Pebble Hill. For more than 20 years, the center has strengthened the bonds between the academic community, arts and the general public through quality programs in schools and communities around the state.

“This gift will have a monumental impact on the center,” said College of Liberal Arts Dean Anna Gramberg. “Its works contribute to the university and the wider community, making the college a resource for citizens of the state and increasing its visibility. We hope others will follow in the footsteps of the Cousins family in supporting the center and its work.”

In addition, $500,000 of this gift will help support the development of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library’s Southern History Collection and aid in the acquisition of additional pre- and post-civil war literature, art, manuscripts, archival materials and artifacts, as well as some Native American items.

“This donation will enable Auburn University to distinguish itself through the integrity of its special collections,” said Bonnie MacEwan, dean of libraries. “The Cousins’ generosity will impact our university and our community for generations.”

“There are many great things happening on Auburn’s campus,” stated a family spokesperson. “The Cousins family is proud to help contribute to the future of the university.”

Auburn University is currently undergoing its largest fundraising campaign ever. The “It Begins at Auburn” Campaign is a $500 million comprehensive campaign that will raise funds for all colleges and schools on campus as well as the AU Libraries, athletics, Auburn University at Montgomery and the AU museums. The campaign’s focus includes student scholarships, faculty and program endowments; facility, equipment and campus beautification; research and current operations.

Contact: Kristen Jackson, (334) 844-3224 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (