Scholarships Checklist

News and Events

We routinely post exciting Auburn news, stories, and events as they pertain to scholarships, scholarship recipients, and enrollment.

  • Auburn’s enrollment, freshman class are university’s largest ever
  • Auburn student’s passion for American history, teaching, earns her a James Madison Fellowship
  • Three Auburn Honors College students awarded Fulbright Scholarships to study in Germany, UK
  • Auburn junior receives prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
  • Auburn University junior named Harry S. Truman Scholar, one of 59 nationwide
  • Auburn pharmacy student selected for prestigious internship at Mayo Clinic
  • Auburn University senior named Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalist
  • Auburn senior Patrick Donnan named Marshall Scholar, one of 40 in United States
  • Auburn University senior, recent grad named Rhodes Scholar finalists

Auburn’s enrollment, freshman class are university’s largest ever


September 11, 2014

By: Amy Weaver

Auburn University has reached its highest enrollment and its largest freshman class ever this fall, based on numbers reported this week by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

An enrollment of 25,912 is 1,048 more students than in fall 2013. The new freshman class accounts for 4,592 students, 866 more than last fall.

Wayne Alderman, dean of Enrollment Services, attributed the size of the freshman class to a record number of freshman applications and an increase in the share of admitted students who decided to enroll at Auburn.

With the large freshman class and a simultaneous increase in graduate enrollment, Auburn’s total enrollment reached an all-time high.

“Auburn continues to be fortunate in attracting capable students from Alabama, from across the country, and from around the world,” said Drew Clark, director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

The new freshman class boasts an average ACT score of 27.0 and an average high school GPA of 3.77. Sixty-two percent of the new class are from Alabama, while 38 percent are from out-of-state.

At the bachelor’s degree level, enrollment is 20,629, an increase of 830 students from last year. Enrollment in post-baccalaureate programs, which includes professional-doctorate students in the Harrison School of Pharmacy and College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as graduate students in other programs, is 5,283, 218 more students than last year.

Notable gains at the school and college level have been registered at the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, up 400 students; the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, up 360 students; the School of Nursing, up 106 students; and the College of Agriculture, up 100 students.

There are 1,270 new undergraduate transfer students, an increase of 218 students from last fall, and 1,607 new graduate students in all fields, up 74 students.

Official enrollment numbers are calculated after the 15th class day of every fall semester and reported by Auburn’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Also this week, U.S. News & World Report released its 2015 Best Colleges rankings, and for the 22nd consecutive year, Auburn has been ranked as a top 50 public institution. Auburn’s undergraduate program in engineering landed on the 51st spot among all engineering programs nationwide at institutions that award the doctorate in engineering. It is ranked 28th among public schools, up two spots from last year.

Auburn’s undergraduate program in business was ranked 51st among all business programs, and 31st among those at public colleges and universities, up five spots from last year.

Auburn student’s passion for American history, teaching, earns her a James Madison Fellowship


3:46 PM, July 6, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – During the July 4 weekend, when most people will be celebrating the holiday without a lot of thought about the history it represents, Erica Marie Vatella will be immersed in the study of American history as she pursues her master’s degree at Auburn University in secondary social science education.

Vatella was recently awarded a James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship, which assists teachers earning a master’s degree with a focus on Constitutional studies. Named for James Madison, the nation’s fourth president and the acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” the fellowship is funding up to $24,000 of Vatella’s graduate studies.

The award goes to just one outstanding student in each state and supports the graduate study of American history by aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, American government and social studies.

“I graduated in May and started right in to graduate school at Auburn,” Vatella said. “I could have gone to different places, but I love Auburn and the faculty in the College of Education. I also have a job starting in August at Auburn High School where I will be teaching American history to 10th and 11th graders so it works well in several ways for me to stay here in Auburn.”

Vatella said she always thought she wanted to be a teacher, but decided to see if anything else felt right. She began her studies at Auburn as a history major, but after one semester, switched to the secondary social science education program.

“By my second semester I was a social science education major. My advisors Dr. (John) Saye and Dr. (Jada) Kohlmeier were there on my first day and have been a big part of my educational experience ever since,” she said. “In fact, it was Dr. Kohlmeier who suggested I apply for the Madison Fellowship. She herself had been a recipient as an undergrad, so I’m really indebted to her for working with me on that.”

Vatella interned at Auburn High School during her senior year at Auburn University.

“They could see how well prepared I was because of my undergraduate experience,” she said. “We have 150 hours of field experience by the time we graduate, plus our 15-week full-time teaching internships, and the professors really push us to work hard and be great teachers. So we are ready to lead and excel in the classroom when we graduate. I got a good evaluation from Auburn High and interviewed for an open position and was hired just like that. I feel really fortunate to be going to such a great school. I’m very excited.”

Previous Auburn students who received the Madison Fellowship are Julie Bryan Payne in 2004 and William Blake Busbin in 2006, both from the secondary social science education program.

“I am excited about a career in teaching, because this is a place I can really make a difference,” Vatella said. “Children are the future. I want to be a positive influence in people’s lives and help them grow up to be productive citizens. What better way to do that than to learn about the history of our country?”

(Contributed by George Littleton.)

Contact: Carol Nelson, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (nelsoc4@auburn.edu), or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Three Auburn Honors College students awarded Fulbright Scholarships to study in Germany, UK


2:22 PM, May 6, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Three Auburn University Honors College students have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to continue their studies in the United Kingdom and Germany this summer and fall.

Jamesa Stokes, a senior physics major, will conduct research at the German Space Agency’s Institute of Structures in Design in Stuttgart, Germany; Carson Williford, a sophomore with a double major in English and philosophy, will study at the United Kingdom’s Nottingham Trent University Summer Institute; and Lauren Waldroop, a senior double-majoring in environmental design and German, will study at Rhine-Westphalian Technical University in Aachen, Germany.

Auburn has had 10 Fulbright recipients in the past five years, and this year marks the first time with three winners in one year.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

“We are excited for Jamesa, Carson and Lauren,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “Their hard work and accomplishments at Auburn have been extraordinary. They will do well in their overseas studies.”

Stokes, of Atlanta, has completed internships with Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In addition, she was a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar to Reutlingen, Germany. Her research investigates the behavior of fiber-oriented ceramics during hyper-sonic flight in order to develop better thermal protection systems for spaceflight vehicles.

“I studied in Germany in the fall of 2012, and it was my first time traveling outside of the country, so it was truly an amazing experience,” Stokes said. “Now I can go back and experience more of Germany while doing research that interests me at the same time.”

Williford, a native of Auburn, holds a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and is co-creator and director of Student University, Auburn’s student presentation series. He is involved in several on-campus and off-campus programs including the Miller Writing Center, Auburn Connects book program and the Pine Hills Literacy Project.

“It’s an honor to be accepted into a program that has hosted so many brilliant participants and faculty and has such a strong reputation,” Williford said. “Dr. Paul Harris was an immense help throughout the application process, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity.”

Waldroop, of Flower Mound, Texas, is a founding member of the Environmental Design Student Organization; conducted research at the Cologne City Museum; and helped Tuskegee First United Methodist Church with its nomination for the National Register of Historical Places. She is minoring in international business and medieval, renaissance and early modern studies and will do a comparison of northern renaissance and southern renaissance architecture in theaters in Germany.

“My passion for historic preservation coupled with my love for Germany, its culture and people, allowed me to dream of one day living and working in that country,” Waldroop said. “The Fulbright Scholarship will allow me to take a step toward that dream, allowing the dream to take a step toward reality.”

Paul Harris, Honors College associate director for national prestigious scholarships and member of the political science faculty, said, “I am so happy and thrilled for Jamesa, Lauren and Carson. They are about to embark on a global journey which will both challenge and inspire them. I wish them all the best as they go abroad and I look forward to hearing of their adventures. They will be wonderful ambassadors for the United States and Auburn University.”

(Written by Lindsay Miles.)

Contact: Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu), or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Auburn junior receives prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship


1:18 PM, April 30, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Graham Gordon, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in mathematics and physics, has been chosen as a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year.

The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines.

Gordon, of Aiken, S.C., conducts research under the guidance of Professor Peter Nylen in the College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is also an undergraduate teaching assistant with Professor Joe Perez in engineering physics and he previously participated in a research group studying computational Rydberg atomic physics.

“I would like to thank Dr. Nylen for being an ideal research adviser and Dr. Paul Harris for guiding me during the application process,” Gordon said. “Anyone pursuing research in a STEM field should consider this scholarship. Applying is an enlightening experience itself.”

Gordon’s primary research involves “partial distance matrix completion with multilateration applications to wireless sensor network localization” and his publications include an article in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

“As Graham’s undergraduate research mentor, I told him I thought the most important thing was that he enjoy learning about his chosen topic,” Nylen said. “I think he does indeed love mathematical research. Graham is also blessed with analytic skills and the ability to express ideas in the written word. It has been a privilege to work with him.”

Gordon will travel to Budapest, Hungary, in June to participate in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics summer program at the Technical University of Budapest.

“Graham has already accomplished a great deal during his first three years at Auburn,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “The Goldwater Scholarship is well-deserved recognition of his academic talents and we anticipate great future success for him as he pursues his studies in physics and mathematics.”

Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, said, “It was a pleasure assisting Graham with his application and it is especially gratifying to see someone who has worked so hard in the classroom, in the research lab and in his after-school tutoring program with Loachapoka Middle School pay off with this national recognition.”

Contact: Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu), or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Auburn University junior named Harry S. Truman Scholar, one of 59 nationwide


1:50 PM, April 24, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University junior Sam Wilcox, an Honors College student majoring in history with a minor in economics, has been named a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of the nation’s top academic awards bestowed to college juniors.

Wilcox, a native of Nashville, Tenn., was informed of the prestigious award by Auburn University President Jay Gogue during a surprise visit to class.

Created in 1975 by an act of Congress, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is awarded to 59 college juniors on the basis of four criteria: service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service, communication ability and aptitude to be a “change agent” and academic talent that would assure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school.

“Entering Auburn, I would have never thought I could compete for this award,” Wilcox said. “I am thankful to my family, friends, mentors and professors, especially Dr. Adam Jortner, Dr. Amy Hecht and Congressman Jim Cooper who wrote letters of support on my behalf. I am also especially grateful to Dr. Paul Harris who believed in me and assisted me through the lengthy application process and when I was named a finalist, organized the intensive practice interview preparation. I am honored and humbled to have been selected a Truman Scholar and plan a long career in public service.”

Wilcox is a Student Government Association senator representing the College of Liberal Arts, member of the Committee of 19 hunger awareness group, supplemental instructor, legislative intern for Congressman Jim Cooper in the 5th District of Tennessee and a regional volunteer coordinator for Bama Covered, a health care volunteer group. At Auburn, he introduced legislation to add gender identity and gender expression to Auburn’s anti-discrimination policy and led efforts to make Auburn’s athletic arenas a more inclusive place for all students and guests.

“Sam personifies the Honors College goal of excellence in academics and he is a model of Auburn’s land-grant mission of leadership and service to the state of Alabama. The Truman Scholarship recognizes Sam’s tremendous potential to create positive change in his state and his nation, and we are so pleased that Sam has been recognized by this award,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn University assistant provost and Honors College director.

Wilcox has also written editorials and guest columns on social and political issues, including a column on the effects of Tennessee’s voter ID law that ran in Nashville’s newspaper, The Tennessean.

“Sam has set a course for himself which is destined to lead him to a promising career in public service,” said Joe Aistrup, dean of Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts. “A fearless advocate on behalf of those without a voice, Sam is a model student and a model citizen.”

“Sam is real and he is deep,” said Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. “An engaging student and someone who possesses a true servant’s heart, Sam embodies the Auburn Creed. His motivation for public service all the while maintaining an impressive grade-point average and conducting substantive undergraduate research is so extraordinarily strong, his promise so unparalleled, I feel confident in predicting that Sam Wilcox will accomplish something awesome and huge in his life’s work.”

Harris also said that Wilcox received outstanding practice thanks to his interview committee, co-chaired by Paula Bobrowski, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts, and Raj Chaudhury, associate director for the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

As part of the award, Wilcox will receive up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate study in the U.S. or abroad in a wide variety of fields. To learn more about the scholarship, visit https://www.truman.gov/.

(Written by Vicky Santos.)

Contact: Vicky Santos, College of Liberal Arts, (334)844-7186 (santovr@auburn.edu); or
Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)

Auburn pharmacy student selected for prestigious internship at Mayo Clinic


1:29 PM, March 10, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – For most students, summer is a time to relax and recharge, maybe take a class or two. For most students at the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, the summer also includes a two-week pharmacy practice rotation. But second-year pharmacy student Elizabeth Wood will spend her summer working at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country.

Wood, a native of Vestavia Hills, Ala., will spend the summer in Rochester, Minn., at Mayo Clinic. She was selected as one of four students nationwide to work in the clinic’s outpatient pharmacy program.

“When I found out I was selected for the program, I was so excited and in absolute awe,” said Wood. “Mayo Clinic has such a wealth of opportunities, and I can’t wait to see what experiences I’ll have this summer.”

While internships are not required for Auburn pharmacy students, Wood said she saw the opportunity as an important one for helping her reach her long-term goals.

“I applied to two programs, Johns Hopkins and Mayo. I was not sure if I was going to be competitive for them or not, but I thought ‘why not go for it,’” Wood said. “I am interested in doing a residency eventually, so I thought it would be good to get clinical experience beyond working in a retail setting over the summer.

“For this program in particular, I was attracted to the outpatient setting because that is what I am interested in. I want to work in ambulatory care or in a clinic someday and this program is going to allow me to shadow an ambulatory care pharmacist with preceptors, work in all the different outpatient pharmacies they have at the Mayo Clinic and I will get to do a project and learn from the preceptors that are there.” Mayo Clinic’s outpatient pharmacies employ about 200 people, including approximately 60 pharmacists. The pharmacies operate seven days a week and provide a variety of pharmaceutical services, including patient counseling, pharmacy specialty practices, investigational drug studies, patient education programs, prescription compounding, drug information programs, in-service education and pharmacy and therapeutics formulary committee support.

The Pharmacy Internship Clinic/Outpatient program provides a number of experiences related to the unique practice of each outpatient pharmacy located on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester. The program provides a variety of experiences, including providing patient counseling on medication, working with a pharmacist preceptor to gain hands-on experience with reviewing doctors’ orders, entering orders and participating in pharmacists’ interventions, providing drug information to health care providers and medical writers, training in the pharmacy compounding department and preparing a presentation for staff pharmacists on a topic related to outpatient pharmacy.

“I have shadowed a lot of clinical pharmacists and that has really shown me that I am interested in ambulatory care and I thought the outpatient program would be a good fit for me,” said Wood. “Another big thing is that Minnesota is one of the more progressive states for pharmacists. They have more responsibilities, including the opportunity to offer clinical services. I thought it would be good to go off far away and get some experiences that I could not necessarily get as of now in Alabama.”

Also included in the internship curriculum are mini-rotations of one to two days to acquaint the interns with specialty practices in the hospital or outpatient pharmacy. Available specialty practices to choose from may include anticoagulation, cardiac surgery, cardiology, critical care, drug information, hematology/oncology, hospice, medication therapy management, neurology, nutrition support, operating room, organ transplantation, patient education, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.

The application process for the internship runs from November until January. Wood said she did her phone interview with Mayo Clinic on Jan. 28, Auburn’s first snow day of the year. By the following Friday, she had an offer.

Along with the traditional application, phone interview and recommendation letters, Wood also had to submit a letter of intent on why she should be selected for the internship. She outlined her accomplishments at Auburn, but also discussed how the clinical work offered at Mayo Clinic plays into her future plans.

“I talked about my five-year career goal, which is basically to pursue a post-graduate year one residency and a post-graduate year two residency, potentially specializing in ambulatory care, though I am not exactly sure what specialty area beyond that at this point,” Wood said. “Eventually, I would like to work in a clinic setting, maybe also for a school of pharmacy as a professor and precept students, but also see patients at the same time.”

In her two years at the Harrison School of Pharmacy, she has been a supplemental instruction leader for Drugs and Diseases I and II, an HSOP Ambassador, president-elect of the Student College of Clinical Pharmacy and a member of American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists and Auburn University Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy.

She earned the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding First Professional Year Award last year and is a recipient of the Harrison School of Pharmacy Golf Tournament Scholarship.

Written by Matt Crouch.

Contact: Matt Crouch, Harrison School of Pharmacy, (334) 844-8310 (mcrouch@auburn.edu); or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

Auburn University senior named Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalist


9:19 AM, January 17, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY –Auburn University senior Mary-Catherine Anderson of Huntsville has been named a finalist for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to do post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Anderson, a senior in cellular and microbial biology in Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and has conducted research under the direction of Mike Squillacote, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. She will graduate in May and, if awarded the scholarship, will pursue a master’s degree at Cambridge in biological anthropology with a focus on human development and epidemiology.

This is the second consecutive year an Auburn student has been named a finalist. Last year, Paul Bergen, a 2012 graduate, was named Auburn’s third Gates Cambridge Scholar. The scholarship program is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates through the Gates Cambridge Trust. Nearly 1,000 students and recent graduates from the United States applied this year; the trust has invited only 90 to interview in Seattle in late January and early February for 40 available scholarships.

“We are proud and excited that Mary-Catherine has joined recent Auburn graduates in being named a Gates Cambridge finalist,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “She is dedicated to Auburn’s land-grant tradition of improving the lives of the people of Alabama and the world, and her studies at Cambridge will focus on biological anthropology and improving health care delivery for underserved populations.”

In addition to academic achievements, Anderson is an accomplished blue-grass musician, having produced a self-titled extended play musical album of her own songs. For the past three years, she has performed concerts at Magnolia Place Assisted Living Home and has logged hundreds of hours as a volunteer at Bonaparte’s Retreat, a dog rescue facility in Nashville founded by Grammy Award winner and Country Music Hall of Famer Emmy Lou Harris.

“The Mary-Catherine I have come to know and respect should first and foremost be described as a humanitarian, scholar and musician, a genuinely kind and thoughtful young woman with a true servant’s heart,” Harris said. “She is an exceptional young lady on an amazing journey, and I have been blessed to be a part of that journey.”

Paul Harris, Auburn’s associate director for national prestigious scholarships, said, “Mary-Catherine has not only taken the time to thoroughly research her proposed program of study at Cambridge, she has also developed close relationships with the biological anthropology faculty at Cambridge.”

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awarded to college students and recent graduates based on four criteria: intellectual ability; leadership capacity; a desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others; and demonstrating a good fit between the applicants’ abilities and aspirations to the graduate program.

Contact: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu); or
Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)

Auburn senior Patrick Donnan named Marshall Scholar, one of 40 in United States


2:26 PM, November 15, 2013

AUBURN UNIVERSITY –Auburn University senior Patrick Donnan has been named a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, becoming one of only 40 U.S. students selected to attend their choice of university in the United Kingdom.

“We are very proud of Patrick, both for his accomplishments at Auburn and for his being named a Marshall Scholar,” said Melissa Bauman, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “He has displayed great leadership in the classroom and the laboratory and in advancing science in the community.”

Auburn native Donnan, who has a 3.98 grade-point average, is a student in the Honors College double-majoring in physics and music, concentrating on the bassoon, and minoring in mathematics. He is also a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

“I am truly humbled,” Donnan said. “Receiving the Marshall Scholarship is the culmination of all the work that my professors and Honors College staff have invested in me these past three years at Auburn. Even if I did not receive the award, going through the application process was beneficial in itself as it helped me grow as a person.

“I am looking forward to continuing my research in theoretical physics at Oxford and becoming a good ambassador for the United States and Auburn while abroad.”

Donnan conducts research in Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics as a member of the theoretical and computational atomic physics group. He is an editor of the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Studies and has co-authored four peer-reviewed publications, one of which was published in Nature: The International Weekly Journal of Science.

“Patrick embodies a near ideal example of balance. He is an accomplished musician and an accomplished young scientist,” said Professor Ed Thomas, the Lawrence C. Wit Professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and one of Donnan’s research professors. “He has found a way to blend both of his passions into a seamless whole. Patrick not only has talent, but he has the dedication and self-awareness to put forth the effort and hard work to allow those talents to mature.”

Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships in the Honors College, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Patrick throughout the application process. He represents the very best of Auburn University and his generation. As a double major in physics and music, he is not only bright and intellectually engaging, but he also gives generously of his time and talents whether promoting research among his fellow physics majors or sharing his love for music as a member of the Auburn symphonic band.

The Marshall Scholarship program was established in 1953 by an act of British Parliament in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall as an expression of Britain’s gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. The program is overseen by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. Approximately 900 students are endorsed annually for the scholarship by their respective universities, for which 40 scholarships are awarded nationwide.

Contact: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu); or
Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)

Auburn University senior, recent grad named Rhodes Scholar finalists


3:10 PM, November 4, 2013

Auburn University senior Patrick Donnan and 2012 graduate Ashton Richardson have been named finalists for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. If selected, they would be among only 32 U.S. students to receive the honor.

Donnan will interview in Birmingham as part of Rhodes District 7, while Richardson, now a veterinary student at Texas A&M University, will interview in Houston as part of District 8. The interviews will take place Nov. 22-23.

Approximately 1,000 students are endorsed annually for the scholarship by their respective universities, with 200 being named finalists. The criteria include high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

Donnan and Richardson are Auburn’s sixth and seventh Rhodes Scholar finalists since 2009, including Jordan Anderson who was named a Rhodes Scholar that year. Richardson was also a finalist last year while at Auburn and was re-nominated by Auburn this year.

“Ashton and Patrick have excelled throughout their academic careers,” said Melissa Bauman, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “They have earned many honors due to commitment and hard work and are excellent representatives for the Auburn family. We are thrilled about the possibility of adding the Rhodes Scholar title to their list of accomplishments.”

Auburn native Donnan, who has a 3.98 grade-point average, is a student in the Honors College double-majoring in physics and music, concentrating on the bassoon, and minoring in mathematics. He is also a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and was recently named a finalist for the highly selective Marshall Scholarship.

He conducts research in the College of Sciences and Mathematics as a member of the theoretical and computational atomic physics group. He is an editor of the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Studies and has co-authored four peer-reviewed publications, including articles in Nature: The International Weekly Journal of Science.

Upon graduation from Auburn in 2014, he aims to complete a doctorate in theoretical atomic physics and ultimately become a physics professor. If awarded the Rhodes, Patrick will work with faculty at the Center for Quantum Computation at Oxford.

Richardson, a former linebacker on the Auburn Tigers football team, majored in animal sciences with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine in Auburn’s College of Agriculture, earning a grade-point average of 3.94. He was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree and winner of the 2012 Bobby Bowden Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision player who best epitomizes a student-athlete.

A native of New Orleans, he grew up helping his father raise quarter horses and has aspirations to become an equine surgeon. He wrote his Honors College thesis under the direction of Reid Hanson, professor of equine surgery in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Outside the classroom, Richardson volunteered for four years as a mentor at the Lee County Youth Development Center.

“Inside and outside the classroom, Ashton and Patrick stand with a select group of their peers,” said Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships in the Honors College. “They are engaging scholars, world class researchers and kind souls. On top of their impressive grades, service and undergraduate research, Ashton was a four-year letterman on the Auburn football team and Patrick is an accomplished musician.”

The Rhodes Scholarships, founded in 1904, are the oldest international fellowships and are administered by the Rhodes Trust, a British charity established to honor the will and bequest of Cecil J. Rhodes.

Contact: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu); or
Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)