For Two Consecutive Years COSAM Students Hold Miss Auburn Title
The title of Miss Auburn is awarded to an Auburn woman who embodies the spirit of Auburn University and exemplifies the standards an Auburn woman holds herself to both in word and deed. She is a female ambassador, representing the university internally to the student body and also externally to the outside community, alumni and prospective students. Two women studying in the College of Sciences and Mathematics are the two most recent students to have been awarded the title.
On February 5, Biomedical Sciences junior Laura Davenport was named the 2019-2020 Miss Auburn. Passing the title on to her was Kathryn Kennedy, Miss Auburn 2018-2019, and a senior studying Biomedical Sciences.
“For it to have worked out was something I never would have imagined to happen,” Laura said. “But I’m very grateful it did.”
Nominated by her sorority Alpha Delta Pi, Laura said she has always been involved on campus, but didn’t necessarily have the goal to become Miss Auburn – until she was nominated.
“I thought, ‘well, I would love to give it a try!” she said. “The places and the people that I love the most, I show that love through service. Miss Auburn literally is the servant and hostess for the university. I figured what better way to show that love for the university than to serve the best way possible. So, I’m definitely really excited to be able to serve a university that has given so much to me. I hope to do it well.”
Miss Auburn also serves alongside the Student Government Association and the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen as a university hostess, and works closely with the university president.
Laura’s platform during elections was based off a line from the Auburn Creed: “I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.”
“My experiences here, both big and small, have always been shaped by the people that were a part of them. I’ve found that some of my deepest connections were made with people who were from different walks of life than myself,” Laura said of the line she chose. “As a student body that strives towards inclusiveness and diversity, I feel we are yet to adequately address the root of the underlying cause of any divides that might still exist on our campus. We need to be honest with ourselves regarding unconscious bias that might influence our day to day interactions and conversations with our peers and colleagues. I hope my platform encourages all students to be honest about how they interact with people who are different than they are, and calls them to a love that doesn’t see color or status.”
Originally from Oxford, Alabama, Laura said she grew up knowing she wanted to go into the medical field. Her current plans are to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant or a dentist.
Laura also serves on her sorority’s executive board, conducts research in the Drug Discovery and Development Department of the HSOP Metabolic Therapeutics Lab, is a Lambda Sigma Junior Advisor, and a Campus Kitchen Volunteer.
She said she has learned a lot about the community through the Campus Kitchen program.
“We live in this little bubble on campus,” she said. “It’s so easy to think that everyone here has their needs met and everyone here is a college student. That’s just not the case. There are so many people right outside of campus that have serious needs that need to be met. That experience kind of brought me back to reality and re-grounded me and showed me how blessed I really am and how I can give back to people around me.”
With a busy year ahead, Laura said she knows balancing Miss Auburn duties along with her COSAM studies will be a challenge, but one she is ready for.
“COSAM loves to challenge us and I’m thankful for that,” she said. “They have pushed me all three years that I’ve been here. I think this year is going to be about balance. It’s important to pursue studies, but I think it’s important to pursue interests outside of that as well, just to keep mental health well.”
Kathryn Kennedy knows this challenge well. Kathryn is a senior studying Biomedical Sciences through COSAM and after graduation will attend school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to become a physician’s assistant.
Laura said she believes Kathryn served the university beautifully and she knows she has big shoes to fill.
“Miss Auburn is a role that can be interpreted in so many different ways,” Laura said. “I think she carried herself with grace and dignity, despite her busy schedule and tough academic load, all while being a great representative of Auburn. She did a great job of representing students from all walks of life during her time in the role. She is someone to look up to and someone I personally admire. I could only hope to be half of the leader that Kathryn is and has been.”
Kathryn said the experience of being Miss Auburn made the last year her favorite at Auburn.
“It was even more rewarding and fulfilling than I expected,” she said. “I’ve gotten to see a different side of campus because through this role I’ve gotten to interact with administrators, staff and alumni. It was nice to see Auburn from a different point of view and have their perspective, but also be the student representation of Auburn to the faculty and alumni. It was cool to see a different side of the Auburn Family that most students don’t get to see.”
She said a highlight of the year was campaign week before she was elected. Nominated by SGA, Kathryn said she met so many new people and felt so supported during that time.
“I never felt more loved than in that week,” she said. “That was a great representation of Auburn and the Auburn Family and what it’s meant to me so far.”
Throughout the last year, Kathryn said she also enjoyed the many events she attended as Miss Auburn and working closely with the Office of the President and getting to know Dr. Leath and his wife.
Kathryn said she is happy to pass the title on to someone like Laura, who she has gotten to know throughout the recent election process.
“Something that stood out to me about her is that she really seems to care and wants to reach out to different Auburn students and not just the typical students you think of as being involved on campus,” Kathryn said of Laura. “She wants to be able to serve all areas and make sure everyone feels included in our definition of the Auburn Family. I think she will make everybody feel special, no matter who she’s talking to or what event she’s at. I think that she’s going to be a great fit for this role and I’m confident that she’s going to serve well as Miss Auburn.”
Kathryn said advice she would offer to Laura includes making the most out of every event and every moment.
“It goes by so, so fast,” she said. “Even if something seems small, truly invest deeply in it because it’s worth it to pour your time into it. Don’t pass up the small opportunities you may have through the role. Also, just have fun with it!”