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Kurt Sasser

Development associate
Division of Student Affairs

Kurt Sasser is the development associate for the Division of Student Affairs. Originally from Sheffield, Ala., he came to Auburn as a freshman in 2007 knowing only four people. He immediately started getting involved through Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity and was the Student Government Association president from 2010-2011. Sasser graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and began working with the Auburn Board of Trustees office. In October 2011, Sasser began working in the Central Development Office as a fellowship coordinator visiting with alumni from around the country. After completing his fellowship, Sasser joined the Division of Student Affairs where he coordinates its fundraising initiatives. Sasser recently got engaged to Auburn alumna Kelly Peterson on the back steps of Cater Hall and has been to every home football game for the last six years.

1. What was your transition from being a student leader to a professional employee like?

The transition from student to professional was smoother than expected, because the foundations, patterns and habits I learned as a student leader really prepared me. I come from a small town of 7,000 people, and when I began Auburn I only knew four people, but that's just evidence of how accepting and loving Auburn is. I immediately got plugged in and went from knowing four people to becoming president of the student body my junior year. The most important thing Auburn taught me was that they take the students' opinions seriously and empower students to make decisions.

2. You are known for approaching your job with enthusiasm, energy and passion. What's your driving force?

I always keep in mind my dad telling me to first and foremost have a love and passion for what you do, and worry about the money second. Auburn is easy to love and I now have the opportunity to raise money for programs that had an everlasting effect on me as a student and participant. It is exciting to connect an individual with their passion and make it possible for a student to create an experience outside of the classroom to explore their talents. And because I enjoy coming to work every morning, it is easy to give 100 percent. Also, after a long day of work, seeing an Auburn sunset while I am walking to my car reminds me just how much I love this place.

3. What do you enjoy most about working in development?

We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, and I truly love meeting with people and genuinely enjoy talking with them. Each time I meet with someone new I ask myself, "How can I learn from this person?" Each person has his or her own story, and I have the unique privilege to listen to it. Also, there's no better way to learn from others than to talk with Auburn men and women who share the same passion and love what you do with the university.

4. What was your most memorable experience as SGA president?

There are many memorable ones, but one that is pertinent to Auburn's new football hire was when I flew to the Mississippi State game in Starkville in 2010 with the Athletics Department. At the end of the game, I was notified that one of our assistant coaches, now our offensive coordinator, Rhett Lashlee's wife was in labor and he needed to get back to Auburn quickly. I gave up my seat on the plane and rode back with the team, which of course, was still exciting for me, and the next day I got an email telling me that he had made it back in time for the delivery of his twin boys.

5. What advice would you give to current students who want to get involved?

Don't be discouraged if you try out for an organization and don't make it. Going into my junior year at Auburn, I tried out for War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen and didn't make it. If I had, I would have never run for student body president. My brother John is a senior and is currently the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen president. He lovingly reminds me every day that I didn't make it. It's one of those life lessons that taught me that if you don't succeed in something, keep trying.

Dec. 10, 2012