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Auburn University supports several well-known traditions that continue on from generation to generation. Whether it is high-fiving the team at Tiger Walk, watching the eagle soar around the stadium before kick-off, or greeting counterparts during “Hey Day,” Auburn University traditions are passed on like family heirlooms.
One family of Auburn loyalists has sustained an important tradition, one that 35 family members have participated in: attending the university. The tradition began with Harold Cochran and Martha Boyett, who met at the university and became married soon after graduating in 1956. Little did they know that they were creating a legacy of Auburn alumni.
Cochran’s grandniece, Lauren White, and grandnephew, Brad White, are carrying on the family tradition today as students in the College of Education. The siblings are both members of the Auburn University Marching Band. Lauren, a freshman majorette, studies special education, and Brad, a sophomore trumpet player, studies music education.
“Being an Auburn University student means so much more than receiving a world-class education,” Brad said. “It’s about the family element that you can’t explain until you actually experience it yourself.”
While upholding the family legacy, Lauren and Brad are part of an even bigger tradition at Auburn as members of the marching band. The two perform halftime shows and pre-game performances and cheer on the Tigers with 400 other energetic band members each football season.
“Our family has been really supportive of us, and they try to come to everything they can to see us perform,” Lauren said. “Our dad is very religious about Auburn football.”
The siblings’ parents met much in the same way that Cochran and Boyett did nearly 60 years ago while attending the university. The two met in a freshman writing class, and were married soon after graduating. They raised a family in the town close to their hearts and live in Auburn to this day.
“I’ve been extremely blessed to grow up in the loveliest village on the plains with such a successful, supportive family behind me,” Lauren said. “Now that I am officially a part of the Auburn family, I have a greater respect for those who graduate and can claim Auburn University as their home.”
The siblings’ mother, Leann White, works as a fourth grade teacher at Dean Road Elementary in Auburn. The influence of education majors in the family convinced Lauren to take a similar path when she arrived at Auburn.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher,” Lauren said. “My mom was my teacher when I was in fifth grade and talking to her about it made me feel like it was what I wanted to do.”
No matter the choice of major, the family legacy continues on as Lauren and Brad attend the university alongside five other cousins. The legacy holds promise to continue on for at least six more years, as the next family members who plan to attend college are younger siblings in the White family, a set of twins. The two are current sophomores in high school and already have their eyes set on Auburn.
“It’s in your blood,” Brad said. “It just kind of makes sense.”
As years come and go, the memories of being a student at Auburn University may fade, but the legacy and traditions of the family remain, allowing generation after generation to experience what it is to be an Auburn man or woman.
“We have a daring responsibility to carry on the legacy of those who have gone before us, while maintaining the standard for those who will attend after us,” Brad said. “It’s truly special.”
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2013