AU Center for Arts and Humanities to celebrate new name at Pebble Hill

AUBURN – A celebration to mark the naming of the Auburn University Center for the Arts and Humanities after former AU first lady Caroline Marshall Draughon, and to commemorate Draughon’s life and work, will take place Tuesday, May 22, at 4 p.m., on the lawn of Pebble Hill, the center’s historic home. A reception will follow.

Born in Orrville in Dallas County, Ala., in 1910, Caroline Marshall Draughon came to Auburn with her husband, Ralph Brown Draughon, in the fall of 1931 when he accepted a position in the Alabama Polytechnic Institute history department.

From 1947, when Dr. Draughon was named acting president of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, until his retirement in 1965 as president of Auburn University, “Miss Caroline” was a familiar and welcoming figure on campus as first lady. She played a crucial role in linking faculty, students and alumni to the university, establishing a freshman reception, founding the Dames Club for wives of male students after World War II and establishing Campus Club, a service and social organization.

A 1931 graduate of Huntingdon College, Draughon was honored by her alma mater as Alumna of the Year in 1963 in recognition of her influence on the thousands of young men and women who have passed through AU since she was its first lady. She was the 2002 recipient of the Pamela Wells Sheffield Award, established to recognize Auburn women for their service and commitment to the university and the Auburn family. The Caroline Draughon Endowed Scholarship Fund was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Campus Club. The parish hall at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church bears her name.

The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts was established in 1985 to develop and offer programming in Alabama schools, towns and communities that strengthened the bond between the academic community and the general public.

The center received its first major National Endowment for the Humanities grant to conduct statewide reading-discussion programs in 1988, and its Read Alabama program has since set a national standard. The center has conducted dozens of statewide programs on state and national history, culture and literature and has sponsored hundreds of one-time programs featuring writers, artists and scholars in schools, libraries and communities.

For more information on this event, call (334) 844-4946. For more information on the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, go to

(Contributed by Mark Wilson.)

Contact: Jay Lamar, (334) 844-4946 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (