COSAM News Articles 2019 April COSAM Golden Eagles Celebrate 50 Years of Being an Auburn Alumni

COSAM Golden Eagles Celebrate 50 Years of Being an Auburn Alumni

Published: 04/16/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Video by: Phillip Coxwell

More than a dozen alumni recently celebrated 50 or more years of being a graduate of Auburn University during a luncheon at The Hotel at Auburn University. 

During the luncheon on April 5, 2019, the alumni shared memories from their time at Auburn as well as updates on where their life has lead them since graduation.

Jim Wilson, 1967 alumnus, graduated with a degree in mathematics. He shared that he worked in Huntsville “long enough to get a man on the moon” then went back to school to pursue a degree in geology. He was a geology professor for more than 40 years and currently lives in Auburn.

Margie Brooks graduated in 1969 with a degree in mathematics and worked as a systems analyst for General Dynamics. Fred Moss, who studied pre-med and graduated in 1969, shared that he had a medical practice in Cullman, Alabama, for 30 years.

Jerry Brown, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1965 and a master’s in 1967, said that being an Auburn student was a great time in his life. 

“I’m blessed by my Auburn time,” he said. “I had a lot of good memories here. I worked my rear-end off, but have very good memories.”

John Oakberg, who graduated in 1969 with a degree in mathematics, agreed. Oakberg was part of a team of scientists that won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes, and to ensure that nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes and in the safest manners.

“It ended up being the best four years of my life at that time,” he said, adding that he also earned a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. “But I don’t wear the [Tennessee] orange and my money goes to Auburn.”

College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Dean Nicholas J. Giordano said the Golden Eagles reunion is one that he enjoys each year.

“Of course our campus is always changing, in some ways it’s changing a lot and very rapidly,” he told the alumni. “It’s always fun for us to be able to show you what’s changing and to be able to brag about all of the progress we’re making.”

Dean Giordano told the group about all of the COSAM progress in teaching and research and shared information about construction and renovations, including the $20 million addition to the Leach Science Center, the removal of Allison Laboratory, and the construction of a new academic classroom and laboratory building.

“This is a very exciting time for us,” he said. “A little more than two years from now our college will look completely different. Some of the places where you spent a lot of time will be only a memory, but I think some of the facilities replacing them will just be fantastic.”

COSAM Leader Hayley Patterson, a senior, volunteered at the event and said she loved conversing with the Golden Eagles.

“It was so valuable to hear the experiences these alumni had during their years at Auburn and the many accomplishments they have made in their careers,” she said, adding that she mostly enjoyed hearing how much Auburn has changed in the last 50 years.

“Between the introduction of air conditioning to diversifying campus dining, they each commented on how Auburn is still Auburn,” she said. The beauty of the environment, the charm of the classroom buildings, and the warmth of the family are all foundational components of Auburn that will never be removed, even across generations and renewal of the campus. As graduation approaches I have been heavily reviewing my time in Auburn, and hearing how these alumni reflected on their years made me more deeply appreciate all that Auburn has given me. I look forward to being an active alum and to hopefully one day be a Golden Eagle too!”



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