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COSAM to present Comer Awards

Published: 05/04/2017

By: Candis Birchfield

The Comer Medal was established in 1923 by former governor Braxton Bragg Comer to recognize the most outstanding student in the natural sciences. Beginning in 1924, a single medal was given annually until 1970, when it was decided that two medals, one in the physical sciences and one in the biological sciences, would be awarded each year. In 1989, it was decided that a third Comer Medal would be presented each year to a student in the field of agriculture.

The 2017 Comer awardees are: Abigail Bartlett, Comer Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences; Claire Zhang, Comer Medal for Excellence in Physical Sciences; and Stephanie Campbell, Comer Medal for Excellence in Agricultural Sciences.

The Comer Medalist are selected by procedures established by the deans of the Colleges of Agriculture and Sciences and Mathematics. The three medals and accompanying certificates are awarded at a special ceremony each spring. The award ceremony is hosted in even years by the College of Agriculture and in odd years by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The College of Sciences and Mathematics will host this year’s Comer Award Ceremony on Saturday, May 6, in the Sciences Center Auditorium Atrium.

The recipients represent some of the very best students Auburn has ever produced. 

About Braxton Bragg Comer:

As governor of Alabama from 1907-1911, Braxton Bragg Comer was interested in Auburn’s teaching, extension and research programs for agriculture. Unprecedented appropriations for instruction and buildings were made during his administration. He worked for regulation of child labor and railroad rates, and he established a commission to equalize taxes. A merchant banker and industrialist, Comer was also a founder, first president and the driving force behind Avondale Mills, a textile manufacturing firm in Birmingham that was operational from 1897 to 2006.

In 1909, Comer Hall was built on the Auburn campus and named after then-Governor Comer. Currently, Comer Hall is the home of the College of Agriculture’s Dean’s Office.

The first “Comer Medal for Excellence in Natural Science,” was presented by Comer in 1924.

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