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Historical Facts About Auburn University

AU was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, a liberal arts college. It was maintained by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, after 1859.
   
The legislative act giving the institution a charter was passed on February 1, 1856. The state legislature authorized charters for both the Southern University at Greensboro and the East Alabama Male College at Auburn. Governor John A. Winston signed the charter, saying, "I predict great success for East Alabama Male College. I am sure it will be a great influence for good in your section of the state."
   
Old MainThe cornerstone of the first building was laid in May 1857, and the college opened on October 1, 1859 with a faculty of six, a college enrollment of 80 and a preparatory enrollment of 100.
 
Reverend William J. Sasnett was the first president and 5 students graduated the first year.
   
On February 26, 1872, the Toomer Bill was passed and the college became the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama.
   
Dr. Issac Taylor Tichenor was the first president of the newly reorganized college.
   
Dr. William Leroy Broun succeeded Tichenor and advanced the college by remaking the basic courses of study. Through his leadership he was also able to acquire land to expand the college grounds.
   
First AU fraternityFraternities were formed in 1878, but were not openly recognized by the school until 1883.
   
Early AU Football TeamAuburn admitted women and the school's first football team was organized in 1892.
   
Pep RallyThe Alumni Association was organized in 1893.
   
Dr. Broun persuaded the legislature to change Auburn's official title in 1899 to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute because "the college has developed as originally designed into an institution where students are taught not only the branches that relate to agricultural and mechanical arts but also the sciences and arts in general that relate to the industrial development of modern civilization."
   
Dr. Charles C. Thach, English professor at Auburn since 1884, assumed the presidency in 1902. He was the first alumnus of Auburn to become president.
   
First AU Basketball TeamThe school's first basketball team was formed in 1906.
   
In 1919, the Reserve Officers Training
corps was established.
   
Alabama Polytechnic Institute became Auburn University on January 1, 1960.
   
Harold FranklinThe first African-American, Harold Franklin, was admitted and enrolled in the Graduate School in January 1964.
   
Auburn University at Montgomery was established as a separately accredited campus in 1967. The institution has developed rapidly, especially since moving to a 500-acre campus east of Montgomery in 1971.
   
During fall of 2005, the main campus had an enrollment of 23,333. Auburn University offers degrees in 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.