Chartered in 1856, Auburn University opened in 1859 and has had four official names.
The university started out as the East Alabama Male College, a Methodist institution. Classes were first held for 80 students with a faculty of six in 1859 at the East Alabama Male College, a Methodist institution. In 1872, the college became a state-owned, land-grant institution and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, changing from a private liberal arts school to a state-supported college with emphasis on new scientific and agricultural programs. As expansion continued, the Alabama Legislature decided in 1899 that a new name was needed to reflect the institution’s growth, and the college became the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. As Charles Thach, the university’s sixth president, stated, “The Alabama Polytechnic Institute, a high sounding phrase, is fit for legal documents and grave legislation, but not to conjure with and not to yell and not to dream with as is fair.” The Legislature agreed, and in 1960 the Alabama Polytechnic Institute became Auburn University.
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
-George Petrie (1943)
Whether you are in town or need to find out more about Auburn’s campus and surrounding areas from a distance, explore Auburn online and in person with these handy resources. View our complete visitor’s guide for campus tours, maps, directions, information about the City of Auburn and much more.
Auburn University makes significant contributions to the Alabama economy. Graduates provide knowledge and leadership for state industries and researchers develop new products and discover new ways to improve productivity. Through outreach, faculty work directly with clients to provide information and to solve problems.
The Office of Institutional Research serves as the official source of factual, research-based information about Auburn University's students, faculty and staff; its programs, resources and outcomes; and its performance in relation to peer institutions and the external environment.