Roy Summerford


AUBURN -- Auburn University will present an honorary degree to retired business executive and Birmingham civic leader Ruel Russell Jr., at spring quarter commencement on June 11

The Birmingham native will receive an honorary doctor of science degree during a 10 a.m. commencement in AUšs Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. He will also participate in the day's second graduation at 2 p.m in the same location. Due to anticipated large crowds, the university for the first time is having two commencements on the same day, with about 1,000 diplomas awarded at each.

A World War II combat veteran, Russell is a 1948 graduate in industrial management from Auburn. He began working with U.S. Steel in 1947 as a student and remained with the company until his retirement in 1979 as assistant to the vice president.

Since his retirement from industry, Russell has been prominent in Birmingham civic and Auburn alumni activities, and he has remained active in several business interests dating back to 1950. Russell, 75, has owned and operated a succession of businesses: Russell Hardware Co., Russell Insurance Co., Alabama Waste Paper Co., Russell Management Co., Birmingham Pool Supply, Atlas Metals Co., R&R Metals Co. of Houston and Advance Floor Systems of Atlanta.

Russell has served two terms as president of the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a past-president of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Auburn Club. He has also been chair of the Auburn First Committee of Auburn alumni and supporters and is a member of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council.

In Birmingham civic activities, Russell has been vice president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and has been active in the United Way, Red Cross, Lions Club, Boy Scouts and the Heart Guild.

He is married to the former Margaret Sims, a 1947 graduate of Auburn.

# # #