Auburn University alumnus Thom Gossom Jr. to read from memoir Nov. 6

AUBURN – Thom Gossom Jr., actor, author, athlete and Auburn alumnus, will read from his memoir, “Walk-On,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 6 – 7 p.m. at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. A reception will follow the reading and both the reading and the reception are free and open to the public.

“Walk-On” is Gossom’s coming-of-age memoir, set in the culturally changing Alabama of the 1970’s, and details his experiences as the first black athlete to graduate from Auburn. The author will sign copies and “Walk On” will be available for purchase at the Museum.

Gossom not only walked on, he started three of his four football seasons for Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan and lettered as a wide receiver from 1972 – 1974. He was Auburn’s second black scholarship football player to complete his eligibility, James Owens being the first.

In describing his memoir, Gossom points out that the book is not just about race.

“Everyone who went to school in the 1960s and 1970s lived through a historical time,” Gossom said. “This is a human interest story. The book is based on my personal experiences during a time of great change.”

Gossom is a Birmingham native and 1975 mass communication graduate from Auburn. He is both a talented athlete and an accomplished actor, with television credits that include “West Wing,” “Boston Legal,” “Close to Home,” “Jack and Bobby” and “My Wife and Kids.” His film credits include “Fight Club,” “The Chamber,” “Jeepers Creepers II” and “XXX State of the Union.”

The event is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and the Auburn Alumni Association.

Contact: Vicky Santos, (334) 844-7186 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (