Sculpted eagles placed in Samford Hall for graduation photos

Susie Bridges with eagles

New Auburn graduate Susie Bridges poses with the sculpted eagles in Samford Hall.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The sculpted eagles from atop the gates in Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner have been placed in the Samford Hall lobby, so spring graduates can continue the tradition of taking photos with them.

The eagles are perched on two custom-made pedestals in front of an Auburn backdrop. They were taken down from the gates in March and stored on campus for safekeeping prior to the start of the redevelopment of the corner.

New graduates can take photos Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

“The eagles were meticulously restored just two years ago,” said Lloyd Albert, Facilities Management maintenance director. “We didn’t want anything to happen to them while the work was being completed at the corner.”

The eagles were donated to the university in the early 1960s and placed on the 1917 brick gates in Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner at the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue.

“We wanted to delay the start of the redevelopment at the corner until after graduation, but the project schedule would not allow enough time for completion prior to the start of the fall semester,” said Dan King, Auburn University assistant vice president of Facilities Management.

“When we learned that students wanted to have their photos taken with the eagles at graduation, we decided to remove them from storage and display them in Samford Hall, where people could easily enjoy them.”

The Facilities Management general construction shop handcrafted and integrated the pedestals by matching them to the existing Samford Hall woodwork.

“The eagles look like they have been there a while,” said Albert.

(Written by Gail Riese)