Administrative Professionals' Day

Elizabeth Huntley encourages luncheon attendees to be 'game changers'

Elizabeth Huntley speaks to large crowd

Elizabeth Huntley speaks passionately about the “game changers” who helped her beat the odds. 

Huntley overcame poverty, abuse, and the loss of both parents (her mother to suicide and her father to incarceration) to become an accomplished attorney, child advocate, motivational speaker, and Auburn University Board of Trustees member.  On April 25, she shared her story at the Auburn University Administrative Professionals’ Day Luncheon which was hosted by Human Resources.  She praised those who poured into her life while encouraging approximately 225 attendees to do the same.

“The power of love is like medicine is to the soul, to the human spirit, and even to the physical body,” Huntley said.  “It is the most powerful gift you have been blessed with as a human being.”

For Huntley, her first teachers were some of her most influential encouragers.  She spoke vividly about the first day of preschool when her teachers “melted” her heart and boosted her delicate self-esteem with just five words, “Come on in here, baby.” 

“I almost cried because for the first time in my fragile life, I felt the nurturing touch of an adult,” Huntley said.  “And I loved it.”

When Huntley entered first grade, her teacher promised that “you’re going to be the brightest student I’ve ever had.”

“She saw that my glass was actually half full and not half empty,” Huntley said.  “Now how powerful is that?”

Years later, when Huntley attended Auburn and failed in her bid to become Student Government Association president, then-SGA secretary Alice Scussel reminded her of how much she had already accomplished.

“Let me tell you something.  You better hold your head up,” Scussel told Huntley.  “I admire your commitment, to get through Auburn and to do what you’ve done with very little resources.  You should hold your head up high and be proud that you are here, and that you’re going to graduate from college.”

Huntley said those “game changers” and several others ministered to her.

“I’m a product of what God will do by touching the hearts of people,” she said.  “I believe education from pre-k to graduate school is a ministry, because you are shaping human capital.  It is the most powerful profession there is.”

She reminded attendees that they all have opportunities to touch the lives of Auburn students.

“So many people in education, from the janitor to the front office person to the administrative person, to the professor, to the football coach … have a way in which they can touch a child’s life,” she said.

“Sometimes what you say and that word you give them can be a game changer."

-Patrick Johnston


Last updated: 02/05/2019