Madison County alumni create AU scholarships

AUBURN – Auburn University alumni of Madison County have created scholarships to benefit AU students from the Madison County area beginning in the fall of 2007.

AU alumni Julian and Dorothy Davidson, David and Donna Lehman, Jesse and Carole May, Tim and Paula Steigerwald and Steve Wilson and his sister Wendy Wilson gave donations for these scholarships. These donors have contributed to the current fundraising campaign, “It Begins at Auburn,” through both giving and committee support.

Wendy Wilson graduated from AU in 1988 in accounting and said that Auburn was critical to her success. “My accounting degree from Auburn enabled me to get what I considered a ‘premier’ job out of school and laid the groundwork for a successful career in business,” said Wilson.

Wilson described her strong ties to Auburn. Just before she graduated from AU in 1988, she met John Gilino, an engineering student. Gilano joined Wilson in Huntsville and remained a dear companion to her until his untimely death in 2002. While participating in the Auburn campaign, Wilson created a scholarship to honor her mother and a memorial scholarship to honor Gilano.

“I hope John’s memorial scholarship allows a student from Madison County that may have a financial need to have the opportunity to experience Auburn and all that is has to offer both academically and socially,” said Wilson.

“Scholarships are a central factor in encouraging university growth, as well as a lasting way to support regional students as they enter Auburn,” said Bob McGinnis, vice president for development. “By creating scholarships, Auburn alumni continue the traditions that make Auburn University so beloved by students now and after graduation.

McGinnis said that scholarships for north Alabama area students will encourage and help to sustain state growth in both education and future economic progress.

The “It Begins at Auburn” Campaign encompasses all colleges and schools as well as the AU libraries and museums, athletics and Auburn University Montgomery. Endowments for student scholarships, faculty, programs and unrestricted dollars make up 58 percent of the campaign’s goal. In addition to endowments, the campaign also will focus on facilities and equipment; campus beautification; research; and current operations. The campaign has raised more than $479 million, or 96 percent of the goal.

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