REFLECTIONS: 125 Years of Women on the Plains

November 20, 2017

Throughout 2017 we have been celebrating 125 Years of Auburn Women. Several different events commemorated that great day when three brave women made their way to Samford Hall to begin what is now an integral part of who we are, and what we are, and what we will always be at Auburn. One of those celebrations took place at the Alumni Center on October 24. It was a luncheon, featuring four women of distinction from decades past: Deborah Lowry, ’74, our first female drum major; Cindy Holland Torbert, ’89, our first female SGA president; Danyelle Hillman, ’99, our first African-American cheerleader; and Jaqueline Keck, our current SGA president. All of the women had great things to say, mostly on the lighter side. We recalled the streaker who ran across stage at the Tike & Tina Revue show at the Coliseum. Hillman noted that “since my name says ‘yell’ I guess I just had to be a cheerleader!” People laughed, remembering their own part in this march through the ages. The last person to speak was Ms. Keck. When asked what advice she might have for young people going out into the world from Auburn, she turned serious. “I’d say to be mindful of what is going on in the dark. So many people want to be famous, a rock star, a fashion icon, or whatever it might be. But so many people of great, great character, people I see every day at Auburn, understand that the majority of meaningful work is being done in the dark. We must learn to find joy in working in the dark, because that means you’ve found passion for what you do – a passion that is unwavering and not dependent on the praise of others.” Beautiful words from a young soul. Those words resonated with us at the College of Education, because that is what we see every day – our students toiling hard, striving for greatness in the service of others. We are proud of our women, and proud of our students whose goal is to make our world a better place. Let the next 125 years begin!