Your gifts to this campaign are creating innovative programs that provide hands-on, out-of- the-classroom learning experiences for our students. Because of you, we are preparing the leaders of tomorrow through opportunities that reflect the real-world workplace and experiences that help them develop technical and leadership skills that set them apart in a competitive job market.





Creating Leaders of Tomorrow

Emerge at Auburn — a new, innovative student program that utilizes a customized curriculum and experiential training — is helping students develop critical leadership skills that will set them apart in a competitive job market. The program, which was launched through more than $1.2 million in private gifts, is creating the leaders of tomorrow, many of whom will drive business and industry development.

Chick-fil-A Vice President for Innovation and New Ventures Woody Faulk and his wife, Rae, are the parents of one Auburn graduate and two current students. The Faulks provided $250,000 to help launch the first-of-its-kind comprehensive leadership experience at Auburn. The couple has since invested more than $200,000 to ensure the program fulfills its mission of instilling leadership skills in thousands of students across every academic area.

Former SGA President Jacob Watkins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2010 in economics and an MBA in 2011, is passionate about investing in the next generation of leaders. He and his wife, Devan, ’13 graphic design, recently committed $25,000 to bolster the program that launched with an inaugural class of 1,022 freshmen, representing a diverse student population.

Catalyst Fund Fuels Student Startups

Student-driven entrepreneurship flows naturally from the hard work of discovery, particularly when that work is nurtured through mentorship and resources. This is the concept behind the LaRussa Catalyst Fund, created through a $1 million commitment from Benny M. LaRussa Jr., who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1982, and his wife, Lynn. Their gift was matched by 1982 graduate Raymond Harbert’s dollar-for- dollar “challenge match” initiative in the Harbert College of Business, increasing the total investment to $2 million.

The funding will support practical and innovative educational experiences through the Tiger Cage Accelerator and Incubator and the development of a summer accelerator program. Located in Auburn’s Research Park, the 2,700-square- foot Tiger Cage Accelerator and Incubator is a collaborative effort between the Harbert College of Business’ Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship and the Auburn University Research and Technology Foundation.

These new programs will help Auburn student entrepreneurs fine-tune their business concepts, perform customer discovery, validate business models, and attract investors.

Interdisciplinary Research Targets Nation’s Challenges

Unique 21st century challenges require new and innovative solutions. This is the impetus behind the interdisciplinary approach of Auburn’s Charles D. McCrary Institute, which advances energy, security, and conservation research. The institute was created in 2014 through a generous $10 million investment from the Alabama Power Foundation in honor of its retiring CEO and 1973 mechanical engineering alumnus Charles D. McCrary.

In addition to developing technologies to address potential threats to infrastructure security, cyber and institutional security, and the nation’s defense systems, the institute also works to advance responsible development and conservation of natural resources. Because forestry is one of Alabama’s, and the nation’s, top industries, the McCrary Institute pursues research and outreach targeting critical issues, including wildlife populations and habitat safety, urban expansion and climate shifts, and rural communities’ need for forest resources.

The institute engages faculty, students, and industry partners to generate creative research and substantive results that have long-term implications for policy formation, economic development, business expansion, and job creation.

Real-Time Defense

At a time when many Americans view the nation as less safe than it was prior to 9/11, The Auburn DogTM remains at the forefront of creating a safer America — and a safer world. Highly intelligent, focused, determined, and motivated, Auburn dogs are the world’s most advanced canine detection technology, trained to detect the vapor wake of bombs in the midst of a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people. These elite dogs are being developed through a program like none other in the world — Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine Canine Performance Sciences (CPS) program.

Pursuing a more secure America and world is an endeavor with special significance to Larry Carter, 1962 veterinary medicine graduate, and his wife, Nancy. Their recent $200,000 gift through the Diane Carter Memorial Fund to support Auburn’s CPS program was made in memory of their daughter, Diane, who was killed in a terrorist bombing in Israel.

Through Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, generous donors like the Carters have enabled CPS to conduct cutting-edge research and training, increasing the capabilities of these dogs to detect existing and emerging threats. As the most advanced, real- time defense against terrorism, Auburn dogs can be found in cities across the globe making the world a safer, more secure place.