“There’s just nothing else like it,” Birchfield said. “I’ve always loved the band.”
When Birchfield found out that the band was trying to raise money for a new practice facility, she decided to take her commitment even further and donated $1 million to the band’s fundraising campaign.
The marching band is raising funds to build a facility where the students can safely house their uniforms and instruments and accommodate the needs of the marching and concert bands under one roof. It will be the first time in 40 years that the marching band’s indoor rehearsal space will be located adjacent to its outdoor practice field.
“It’s a way of giving back for all the joy they’ve given me,” Birchfield said. “I believe the band is the heart and soul of every game that takes place under the aegis of Auburn University. I want to make things a little better for them and I think the Auburn University Family does also. They deserve it.”
“The Auburn Band is very thankful for the generosity and overwhelming support provided by Meredith Birchfield,” said Rick Good, director of bands. “This commitment makes the dream of a ‘new home’ for the Auburn Bands more of a reality. It’s clear that Ms. Birchfield continues to embody the Auburn Spirit.”
Birchfield said that she and her family have a long history with Auburn.
“I knew I was coming to Auburn before I could even talk!” she recalled. “My great-aunt was one of the first co-eds to graduate from Auburn and all of my family – father, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins – graduated from Auburn. I stayed with my family in Chambers County every summer when I was a kid and we always spent time in Auburn.”
Throughout her life, Birchfield has found ways to give back to programs she feels are vital. She is still very involved with a number of philanthropies, including programs that utilize horses in providing therapy to veterans and developmentally disabled children and adults.
“Giving back is part of the Auburn spirit,” Birchfield said. “It’s being part of the Auburn Family that makes us want to give back. And why shouldn’t we, as alumni, give back to the band? Haven’t they entertained us, worked their hardest, and been the soaring spirit that pervades every game Auburn is in? I believe it is just as our slogan says – we are family and we are in it all together.”
Alumni and friends may make charitable gifts in support of the band through the Auburn University Foundation by going to the website at http://band.auburn.edu/alumni/giving/ or by calling (334) 844-1483.
(Written by Vicky Santos.)