AU College of Architecture, Design & Construction surpasses campaign goal with $5 million gift from Earlon and Betty McWhorter

AUBURN – The Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction has surpassed its $20 million “It Begins at Auburn” campaign goal with a $5 million commitment from Auburn alumnus Earlon McWhorter and his wife Betty of Anniston. The gift will provide endowments for the Department of Building Science, the Design-Build graduate program and the CADC dean’s position.

“Earlon and Betty McWhorter’s gift does far more than take the College of Architecture, Design and Construction past its campaign goal,” said Jay Gogue, Auburn University president. “Its generosity means that generations of students will learn from the best and use what they’ve learned to become successful and make a difference in the world. This endowment truly represents what is meant when we talk about the Auburn Spirit.”

The Design-Build Fund for Excellence Endowment will enable students in the progressive, context-based masters program to continue their mission of learning through experience and integrated practices.

The Endowed Eminent Scholar Chair in Building Science, the Endowed Chair for the future Department Head of Building Science, and the Endowed Chair for the future CADC dean will recognize outstanding teachers and administrators and their academic units by providing resources to ensure these key positions are adequately funded. Endowed chairs provide salary supplements to existing salaried positions as well as funds for other needed support for the recognized administrator and professor. The current CADC dean and Building Science department head will not be eligible for these chairs.

“This endowment is the largest individual gift to the college during the ‘It Begins at Auburn’ university campaign,” said Dan Bennett, CADC dean. “We are extremely grateful to Earlon and Betty McWhorter for their remarkable generosity and genuine support. The long-term impact of these endowments for the college and construction education will be transforming.”

Earlon McWhorter graduated from Auburn with a bachelor of science degree in Building Construction in 1968. He is president of McWhorter and Co. Inc., an Alabama-based general construction company, and owner of McWhorter Properties. In 2001, McWhorter was appointed an at-large member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees by Gov. Don Siegelman and has served as president pro tempore of the board for the past four years.

“In the past few years, Dean Dan Bennett and the outstanding faculty of the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction have taken our college to new heights,” said the McWhorters. “Our faculty and student performances have brought us national recognition and placed us in the top rankings among our peers. Today, we are funding these endowments to give the CADC the best opportunity to continue to attract and retain outstanding deans and faculty for the future generations of our students.”

The CADC offers degree programs in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, building science, industrial design, graphic design and design-build. The components of the CADC are annually regarded and ranked among the best in their respective disciplines nationally for the quality of education and quality of students.

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 will focus on facilities and equipment, campus beautification, research and current operations.

Contact: Bob Grant, (334) 844-4523 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (