Lifetime Achievement Awards
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes recipients for outstanding achievements in their professional lives, personal integrity and stature, and service to the university. It was established in 2001 to honor extraordinary accomplishments by members of the Auburn family. Recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards are selected by a committee of Auburn administrators, trustees, faculty and alumni.
Recipients were honored at a dinner and induction ceremony March 2, 2013 at The Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center. Click here to view & purchase pictures from the the evening.
Daniel D. Bennett Class of 1968
Retired Auburn University dean Dan Bennett, who led Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction from 2000 to 2010, is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and in 2011 was named one of 25 “Most Admired Educators” nationwide—a distinction drawn from more than 1,000 faculty from accredited programs in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and industrial design—by DesignIntelligence, the bimonthly publication of the Design Futures Council. He also has been inducted into the Alabama Associated General Contractors Construction Hall of Fame and has served as president of the Alabama Architectural Foundation and Alabama Historical Commission. A life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Auburn and a master’s degree in urban design from Rice University in 1974. Bennett and wife Joan Haley Bennett live in Auburn.
Ronald L. Burgess Jr. Class of 1974
After graduating from Auburn’s ROTC program in 1974, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. A military intelligence professional, Burgess was appointed by President George W. Bush as the 17th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2008, where he commanded the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. He has earned numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Joint Service Commendation Medal and U.S. Special Operations Command Medal. A life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, Burgess and wife Marta Jordan Burgess ’75, live in Ft. Myer, Va.
Clifford LeRoy Hare Class of 1891
The late Clifford LeRoy Hare, a longtime chemistry professor and dean at Auburn University (then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute) earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn in 1891 and 1892, respectively, and subsequently completed postgraduate work at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. His involvement on the Auburn faculty spanned academics, athletics and policymaking, but he was specifically concerned with student development. He helped form a collegiate athletics oversight organization dubbed the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which set standards and eligibility requirements for student athletes, and served as the first president of the Southern Athletic Conference, which later became the Southeastern Conference. Hare also served as mayor of the city of Auburn and worked to establish a medical clinic in the town. Auburn’s original football stadium was named in his honor. Hare died in 1949.
Sally Jones Hill Class of 1963
As an Auburn student, retired business executive Sally Jones Hill served as vice president of Chi Omega sorority, and vice president and president of the Women’s Student Government Association. She also held other leadership and volunteer positions, and received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award during her senior year. After graduation, she accepted a position as personnel director for Yorklyn, Del.-based National Vulcanized Fiber and worked 16 years for Products Sales Associates, progressing through the ranks to vice president prior to retiring. A life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, Hill has served on the Auburn Alumni Association board and the Auburn University College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, and now serves on the College of Human Sciences International Board of Advisors. She is a former president of the College of Human Sciences’ Women’s Philanthropy Board and served as the first female president of the Auburn University Foundation from 2004-06. Hill also is the only woman to have served as president of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. She and husband Jim Hill ’64 live in Coconut Grove, Fla.
Lloyd James Austin III '86
U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III commands U.S. ground forces in Iraq and recently was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Army’s next vice chief of staff, its second-highest uniformed position. Commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant in 1975 upon graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, he also earned master’sdegrees in counselor education from Auburn and in business management from Webster University. After serving in various military positions for more than two decades, Austin was assigned in 1999 as chief of the Joint Operations Division on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon and, in 2003, was responsible for maneuvering the 3rd Infantry Division as spearhead of the operation to liberate Iraq. He was awarded a Silver Star, promoted to major general and served as commander of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. As a lieutenant general, he became the first African-American to lead a corps in combat, assuming command of the 18th Airborne in 2006 and deploying to Iraq in 2008. Upon U.S. Senate confirmation in June 2010, Austin became the Army’s 200th four-star general and sixth African-American Army general.
James E. Livingston '62
Upon graduating from Auburn with a degree in civil engineering in 1962, retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Everett Livingston was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marines and served as a commanding officer in Vietnam, earning the U.S.’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor—the only Auburn graduate ever so recognized. After a second tour in Vietnam, he served as an instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School and returned to Vietnam in 1975 as operations officer for the evacuation of Saigon. He continued his Marines service in London and Parris Island, S.C., earning a master’s degree in management from Webster University in 1984. After a tour with the Joint U.S. Assistance Group in the Philippines, he advanced to brigadier general. Livingston commanded the Marine Air Ground Combat Center and developed the Desert Warfare Training Program during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1991 he assumed command of the 4th Marine Division after being advanced to major general and subsequently led the Marine Forces Reserve. Livingston was a founding trustee and former chairman of The National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Kirby Isaac Bland '64
Surgeon, oncologist and researcher Kirby Bland received his undergraduate degree from Auburn in 1964 and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine in 1968. After a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he served as a research associate and surgical oncology fellow at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and associate professor of surgery at the University of Louisville. Bland joined the University of Florida faculty in 1983 and went on to successfully complete various trials in the therapy of breast and colorectal carcinoma. He served as principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute research training program for surgical oncology and subsequently accepted a professorship and chairmanship at Brown University in 1993. He returned to UAB in 1999 as Fay Fletcher Kerner professor, chair of the Department of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at University Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic. He serves as director of general surgery and, until 2009, served as deputy director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, followed by an appointment as senior adviser. Bland is immediate past president of the American Surgical Association.
N. Jan Davis '77
Astronaut and aerospace engineer Jan Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn, a bachelor’s degree in applied biology in biomechanics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After supporting several major NASA programs as an aerospace engineer, she became a team leader and lead engineer for the redesign of the Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster External Tank attach ring in 1986 and, a year later, was selected to join NASA’s astronaut corps. Davis spent more than 670 hours in space on three shuttle flights and received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Service from President George W. Bush. She subsequently served as director of NASA’s Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate, pioneering changes following the fatal Columbia flight in 2003. She now serves as vice president and deputy general manager for Jacobs Engineering, Science and Technical Services Group in Huntsville. Davis is a former member of the Auburn Alumni Association board of directors and serves on Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Council.
Dr. Neil E. Christopher ’55
Rear Adm. Thomas K.“TK” Mattingly ’58
Gen. Forrest S. McCartney’52
Mr. Wayne T. Smith ’68
Robert Kenneth Johns '57
A Mobile native and former Tigers lineman, Johns retired from Sea-Land Service Inc. and subsequently founded The Hampshire Management Group Inc. An inductee of the International Maritime Hall of Fame, he was the 2006 recipient of Auburns Walter Gilbert Award for former athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation.
J. Smith Lanier II '49
Lanier joined the family insurance business immediately after college and retired as chairman of J. Smith Lanier & Co., one of the oldest and largest independent insurance brokerage firms in the country. Lanier was the first deans advisory board chair for the AU College of Human Sciences and is a member of the 1856 Society. He and wife Betty are past recipients of the College of Human Sciences' International Quality of Life Award.
Gerald W. Smith '61
Born in Albertville, Smith led efforts to design, build, qualify and fly the redesigned solid-rocket motor for NASA following the Challenger accident in 1986. He subsequently served as deputy director and acting director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, the federal government's largest rocket-engine test facility. Upon retirement, Smith directed enterprise strategy and research operations at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, served as president of the Thiokol Corp. in Utah and worked as executive director of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville.
Kathryn C. Thornton '74
A native of Montgomery, Thornton began her career as a physicist at the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center in Charlottesville, Va. She became a NASA astronaut in 1985, flying on the Discovery, the Columbia and twice on the Endeavour. She now serves as associate dean for graduate programs and engineering at the University of Virginia.
Coach Vincent J. Dooley
Coach Vincent J. Dooley was born on Sept. 4, 1932, in Mobile, Ala. He was an All-Star at Auburn in both basketball and football, playing under Shug Jordan. He earned a bachelors in business in 1954 and a masters in history in 1963. Dooley also served as an assistant football coach for Auburns 1957 national championship team. In December 1963, Dooley was named head football coach at the University of Georgia and for the next 25 years, led the Bulldogs to a career record of 201-77-10, becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win more than 200 games. He retired as head coach in January 1988. Dooley also served as athletics director for 25 years. He is a seven-time SEC Coach of the Year, six-time NCAA District Coach of the Year, and was 1980 NCAA National Coach of the Year. He and his wife, the former Barbara Meshad of Birmingham, live in Athens, Ga.
Hank Hartsfield Jr.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 21, 1933, Hank Hartsfield Jr. graduated from West End High School and earned his bachelors in physics from Auburn in 1954. He earned a masters in engineering science from the University of Tennessee in 1971. Hartsfield graduated as a fighter pilot from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in1965 and was eventually assigned to NASA as an astronaut supporting Apollo 16 and the Skylab mission as a capsule communicator, or capcom. He retired from the Air Force in 1977, but continued to serve NASA in a civilian capacity. In June 1982, he piloted the fourth and final test flight of Space Shuttle Columbia with fellow Auburn alum Ken Mattingly as commander. In 1984, he served as commander of the maiden voyage of Discovery, and in 1985 commanded the Challenger on the German D-1 Spacelab mission. He retired in 1997 and joined Raytheon in Houston, Texas, until his retirement in April 2005. Hartsfield and his wife, the former Frances Massey of Princeton, N.C., have two daughters and live in Houston.
A native of Ozark, Ala., Oliver Kingsley attended Auburn under a Navy ROTC scholarship, graduating with honors in 1966 with a bachelors in engineering physics. After serving in the U.S. Navys nuclear submarine force, Kingsley launched an unparalleled civilian career in nuclear energy. Kingsley is regarded as the nuclear industrys premier practitioner of operational excellence, specializing in transforming troubled nuclear programs into industry leaders. Throughout his career of managing nuclear-generation organizations (at Southern Company, Middle South Utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Commonwealth Edison and Exelon Corp.), he has proven that, when properly managed, nuclear power is safe, reliable and economically competitive. The capstone of his nuclear-management career was as president and chief operating officer of Exelon Corp., owner of the largest nuclear fleet in the United States. Kingsley has also served as president of the World Association of Nuclear Operators and is currently a member of the boards of McDermott International and FPL Group. He and his wife, Sally, live in Birmingham. They have four children and five grandchildren.
Born on May 4, 1922, Philip Lett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn, a masters degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. Lett is universally acknowledged as the father of the M-1 Abrams main battle tank, viewed by the military community as the most important tank in the history of mechanized warfare. The M1 Abrams, which entered U.S. military service in 1980, is the principal combat tank of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marines, and the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Lett is also responsible for the development of a wide variety of other mechanized vehicles, such as the T-51 heavy recovery vehicle and the HET-70 heavy transporter. The tanks Lett helped create, which focused not only on defeating the enemy but also on the safety of soldiers, saved countless American lives during the Gulf War and have been credited with directly contributing to a swift American victory.
Emory O. Cunningham
Emory O. Cunningham joined The Progressive Farmer Co. in Birmingham, Ala., shortly after his 1948 graduation from Auburn. Over the years, he moved through the ranks of the company, from salesman to advertising director to publisher. In 1968, he became president of the company, which became the Southern Progress Corp., and started the successful Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines. Under his leadership, Southern Progress became the largest regional publisher in the world before being acquired by Time Inc., where he served as a senior vice president. Cunningham passed away in 2000; his wife, Jeanne, lives in Birmingham.
Beverly Kearney followed her athletic success at Auburnincluding being a two-time All-American and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the 200 meter before her graduation in 1981into a career as one of the most successful womens track coaches of all time. Her teams at the University of Texas have won six NCAA titles and 19 conference titles, earning her National Coach of the Year honors four times. Kearneys accomplishments are all the more inspiring considering she fought her way back from a horrific car accident in 2002 that left her seriously injured. A resident of Austin, Texas, she was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association
Hall of Fame in December 2007.
Dr. C. Lloyd Nix
Dr. C. Lloyd Nix, a 1959 graduate and quarterback of Auburn's 1957 national champion football team, has tirelessly served his community for more than 40 years while maintaining a successful dental practice. His involvement in the civic, religious and cultural life of Decatur and Morgan counties include serving as former president of the Morgan County Dental Association, former chairman of the Council on Ministries of Central United Methodist Church, and board member for the Alabama Institute Foundation for the Deaf and Blind. He is a former president of the Auburn Football Letterman's Club, the Auburn Alumni Association and the Morgan County Auburn Club. He served as former chairman of the Auburn Research Advisory Board and a member of the Auburn Universtiy Foundation. His tireless commitment and love for Auburn is evidenced also through his service on the Auburn University National Campaign Committee and recently as the co-chair for the North Alabama regional campaign. He and his wife, Sandy, live in Decatur.
James Taylor Pursell Sr.
James Taylor Pursell Sr. followed his 1952 Auburn graduation and military service by joining his father-in-law in the fertilizer business. He expanded the scope of the business, which became Pursell Technologies Inc., watching the company grow to become one of the largest manufacturers of controlled-release fertilizers in the world. Pursells development of POLYON, a continuous-feed fertilizer not impacted by weather, changed the industry. His most recent challenge has been developing and building an 18-hole golf course featured as the worlds first Research and Demonstration course. Pursell and his wife, Christine, live in Sylacauga.
C. Harry Knowles '51
Harry Knowles was born August 15, 1928. After serving two years in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Knowles received his B.S. in physics from A.P.I. In1953, he earned a masters degree in physics from Vanderbilt University.
As a student at Auburn, he was very involved on campus. His activities included being editor of the Glomerata and Student Government Association vice president. He was a member of Spades, a Rhodes Scholar nominee, founded AUs chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honor society), and a member of the wrestling team under Coach Swede Umbach.
Mr. Knowles founded Metrologic Instruments, Inc. in 1968. In 2002, Metrologic sales were $140 million. Among the products he developed are the following: the first programmable bar code scanner, the first handheld laser scanner and the first mini-slot scanner for supermarkets. He was named Inventor of the Year by the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995. Mr. Knowles has won numerous other honors and awards.
In 1998, Mr. Knowles and his wife endowed the Howard and Carolyn Carr Chair in Physics at Auburn, in appreciation of Dr. and Mrs. Carrs influence during his student tenure there. The Janet H. and C. Harry Knowles Science Teaching Foundation was established in 1999 to strengthen the quality of science and mathematics teaching in grades 9-12 in United States schools. Mr. Knowles was featured in the 2000 winter issue of Auburn Magazine.
He and his wife, Janet, live in Moorestown, New Jersey.
Carl E. Mundy, Jr. '57
Born July 16, 1935 in Atlanta, Georgia, Carl Mundy grew up in North Carolina and graduated from high school in Montgomery, Alabama. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve at 18 and attained the rank of sergeant. In 1957 he graduated from Auburn with a degree in business administration and was commissioned second lieutenant.
General Mundy advanced to become commandant of the United States Marine Corps and member of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. As commandant he was responsible to the president and the secretary of defense for military advice on national security matters, to the Secretary of the Navy for command and management of the Marine Corps, and to the Congress for the well being and preservation of the Corps, including preparation and execution of an annual budget of $13 billion. For his military service, he is the recipient of seventeen personal decorations and ten unit and general service awards. Following his retirement in 1995, he served four years as president and chief executive officer of worldwide USO operations. Currently he is director of the General Dynamics and Schering-Plough corporations; a member of the Advisory Council to the Comptroller General of the United States and to the National Navy League of the United States; a member of The Council on Foreign Relations; and chairman of the Marine Corps University Foundation Board of Trustees.
General Mundy was featured in the summer 1994 issue of Auburn Magazine. General Mundy and his wife, Linda, live near Mount Vernon, Virginia.
John Thomas Vaughan '55
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1932, John Thomas Vaughan has dedicated most of his life to service and instruction. A graduate of Auburn in veterinary medicine in 1955 and also receiving his master’s in 1963, Dr. Vaughan started his teaching career as an instructor in 1955 at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, quickly proving his love for instruction as an assistant and then associate professor by 1970. His impact at Auburn is evidenced by the numerous students that have benefited from his personal touch and the dedication he showed the college and Auburn over the years. Dr. Vaughan became the head of the large animal hospital at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1970, but soon his love for Auburn brought him back to Alabama. In 1974 he became the head of the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery in Auburn and soon rose to become the 6th Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, where he served for 18 years. As dean he oversaw and was instrumental in many developments and projects such as the Scott-Ritchey Research Center, the creation of the Ware Imaging Center and renovations and updates to the Small Animal Hospital.
Dr. Vaughan has not only excelled in instruction but has also shared his vast knowledge through print. He has been published internationally and contributed to a vast amount of veterinary texts. As a speaker and leader, Dr. Vaughan has been sought after by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association. As trustee of the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust, Dr. Vaughan continues his professional service even today.
In 1995, Dr. Vaughan retired as Dean Emeritus, and in 2003 university officials honored Dr. Vaughan for his service to the university by naming the large animal hospital the John Thomas Vaughan Large Animal Hospital.
Earl H. (Buddy) Weaver '62
Dr. Earl Haygood (Buddy) Weaver was born on October 22, 1938 in Brewton, Alabama. After completing high school, Dr. Weaver earned his bachelor of science in education from Auburn University in 1962 and later his master of education in 1964. Dr. Weaver’s zeal for knowledge and education continued as he earned his doctor of education from Auburn in 1978. In his service to education and the community, Dr. Weaver taught at the high school level for several years before moving into an administrator role at Escambia County Middle School and as the assistant superintendent of education for the Escambia County School System. In 1994 Dr. Weaver served Auburn University as the interim VP for Alumni and Development and had numerous leadership positions throughout the university. He served the Auburn Alumni Association for more than 15 years including as its President from 1983-85. The Auburn University Foundation has also benefited from Dr. Weaver’s tireless efforts and love for Auburn through his service on that board from 1985-2002, including its presidency in 1994-2002. Dr. Weaver also served on numerous search committees and was the co-chairs our current “It begins with Auburn” capital campaign.
Both Dr. Weaver and his wife Sandra share their philanthropic spirit through their support of various professorships, scholarships and funds for excellence at Auburn University.
As a pillar of his community, Dr. Weaver loved the city and community in which he was born. Brewton benefited from his service on local boards and councils of civic and cultural nature.
Dr. Weaver passed away on September 27, 2006.
Dr. Edmund C. Dyas IV '61
Mr. Batey M. Gresham Jr. '57
Mr. Albert James Smith Jr. '47
Dr. E. Travis York Jr. '42
Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins '58
Mr. M. Miller Gorrie '57
Mr. John Murdoch Harbert III '46
Dr. Don Logan '66
Event was moved to Spring.
Dr. Wilford Sherrill Bailey '42
Dr. Ralph Brown Draughon '22
Mr. Samuel N. Mockbee '74
Dr. Roy Brown Sewell '22
Coach Garland Washington "Jeff" Beard '32
Dean James Edgar Foy
Mr. Millard Dean Fuller '57
Dr. William Kelly Mosley '24
Dean Katharine Cooper Cater
Coach James Ralph “Shug” Jordan '32
Dean George Petrie
Dr. Harry Melvin Philpott