COE grad, AU trustee Gen. Lloyd Austin nominated as Secretary of Defense

December 8, 2020

Formal Portrait of General AustinRetired Army General Lloyd Austin, an Auburn University trustee and College of Education counseling graduate, has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as Secretary of Defense according to major news outlets. In his last assignment prior to his retirement four years ago, the four-star general led the Central Command. The Central Command consists of 20 countries in the “central” area of the globe, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, among others.

Gen. Austin, who was born in Thomasville, Georgia, has remained closely connected to Auburn despite his major commitment to serving our country. The same is true of his wife, Charlene, who is also a COE counseling grad. Mrs. Austin also serves as a member of the college’s National Alumni Council.

We have written extensively about the Austins in the past. We were able to be with him when he led the AU World Affairs Forum on campus. In last year’s Keystone Magazine we developed service profiles of both General and Mrs. Austin, where they reflected on their concept of service and how Auburn impacted their lives. We also made note of his New Horizons lecture on campus in 2016.

We are proud to have the Austins as leading members of the Auburn Family and as College of Education graduates. Please take a few minutes to learn more about these impressive and dedicated servants to our college and our country.

“Gen. Austin epitomizes the best Auburn has to offer in character, public service and real-world expertise,” said Wayne Smith, COE alum and president pro tem of the Auburn University Board of Trustees. “If he is ultimately selected and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I’m confident he will again serve our nation with great distinction.”