PENSACOLA – Auburn University publicly launched its Pensacola regional campaign on Thursday, April 12, at the Mustin Beach Officer’s Club. The regional campaign is one of 29 that will take place across the country as part of the $500 million “It Begins at Auburn” fundraising effort for the university.
Prominent Pensacola alumni and friends gathered for the celebration. The campaign goal for the region is to raise $1.5 million for academic and athletic programs. Other goals include keeping alumni engaged and developing leadership and volunteers for Auburn University.
“The regional campaigns will expand the number of alumni giving to Auburn,” said Bob McGinnis, AU vice president for development. “They will unite the Auburn family in a common cause to support our students and faculty.”
The evening’s program was led by regional campaign co-chairs Charles Carlan and Jim Mallett. When asked about giving back to his alma mater, Charles Carlan stated, “I began giving back to Auburn at a young age. I see the positive impact Auburn has had on my life and want to help it continue to influence others’ lives.”
Jim Mallett spoke of the importance of alumni involvement in achieving success for Auburn’s current campaign, stating, “Where the future of our beloved university is concerned, it begins with each of us and success will depend, in large measure, on the core group of alumni and friends who support Auburn’s vision for the future.”
Special guest speaker and former athletics director and head football coach for Auburn, Pat Dye, stated, “Auburn is a part of who I am and always will be. It has given me so much that it is natural for me to want to give something back.”
Presidential scholarship recipient Lauren Samford spoke about her love for Auburn and appreciation for both her education and the importance of her scholarship that makes that education possible. Campaign Co-chair Sally Jones Hill conveyed to the audience the importance of private funding, specifically in the form of endowments.
AU President Ed Richardson discussed the importance of continued giving to Auburn. “Auburn University is on its way to becoming one of the best public universities in this country,” Richardson said. “With the help of the entire Auburn family we will be able to meet this goal.”
The remaining regional campaigns will kickoff between now and the fall of 2007. These campaigns will last from two to six months.
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. The campaign has raised more than $468 million, or 94 percent of the goal.
(Contributed by Kristen Jackson; photos available upon request.)