Auburn University to recognize philanthropist Howard Buffett, Apple’s Tim Cook at 20th annual IQLA event

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences will honor Howard Buffett, chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and a 1982 alumnus of Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, for the 20th International Quality of Life Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The College of Human Sciences established the International Quality of Life Awards in 1994 to recognize people and partnerships that make significant and lasting contributions to individual, family and community well-being locally and around the world.

Buffett, this year’s International Quality of Life Award Laureate, is chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation working to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations.

He’s also a farmer, operating his own 1,500-acre family farm in central Illinois and overseeing three foundation-operated research farms in Arizona, Illinois and South Africa, working to improve production practices for smallholder farmers in developing countries in Latin America and Africa.

Buffett, the eldest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, currently serves on the corporate boards of Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Lindsay Corporation and Sloan Implement. He has traveled to more than 130 countries and authored seven books on conservation, wildlife and the human condition. He most recently authored 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, which chronicles his efforts to combat hunger and poverty in the most difficult places on Earth.

Cook is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have brought distinguished recognition to Auburn University and/or the state of Alabama.

As CEO, Cook has encouraged greater collaboration and creativity among Apple’s team, which is widely regarded as the most innovative in the world. In his time at Apple, he has helped improve conditions for workers who make the company’s products and is overseeing a companywide effort to use 100 percent renewable energy at all Apple facilities.

He has encouraged his co-workers to give to charitable organizations in their community and initiated a program at Apple to match employee donations. Apple has given millions of dollars to the American Red Cross to assist in disaster relief around the world. Apple is the largest corporate donor to (RED), providing $65 million to the fight against AIDS in Africa. (RED) was created in 2006 to help get businesses and people involved in the fight against AIDS. Money is raised through the sale of (RED) products from companies like Apple and from (RED) events.

In 2012, Cook was named a runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year and topped Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list. Before being named CEO in August 2011, Cook was Apple’s Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations. Cook earned an MBA from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn.

For more information about the International Quality of Life Award, go to

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contact: Harriet Giles, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-3241 (, or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999, (