College of Engineering / Future Students / Graduate / Fellowship Program / Charles Gavin


Charles Gavin

Charles GavinCharles Gavin, ’59 textile management, has had a hugely successful career in both the textile and surfactant chemical industries. He founded MFG Chemical Inc. in 1981 in Dalton, Georgia, to serve as a supplier to the carpet industry. Highly successful today, MFG offers custom and toll chemical manufacturing to a wide variety of markets, including oil fields, water treatment, paper and mining. What began as a husband-wife team now includes three plants and a distribution center, serving a broad segment of the chemical industry’s Fortune 100 companies and major international clients. Gavin served as board chairman, and he returned as CEO following the death of his son, Chuck, who previously served in that role. Gavin sold the firm in 2017.
 
In addition to his Auburn education, Gavin also obtained an executive MBA from the University of North Carolina. He has been a member of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists for more than 50 years, having served as president of the AATCC and 10 years as treasurer. Upon his retirement, he was named emeritus treasurer for both the association and its foundation, of which he was instrumental in forming. He received the Harold C. Chapin Award in 2002 for service to the industry.

Gavin and his late wife, Carol Ann, have made numerous contributions to Auburn Engineering, strongly supporting engineering education and work force development. In 2018, the college unveiled the newly renovated Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory — formerly the Textile Building — thanks to gifts of $10.5 million made possible by the Gavins. This iconic facility has been renovated to retrofit the new laboratories with advanced technologies to serve students for the next century. The south entrance of the Gavin Laboratory will also be renovated to include the Carol Ann Gavin Garden, allowing students a more convenient and scenic entry to the building when coming from the heart of campus. 
 
Prior to creating the fellowship program, he has provided numerous scholarships through the AATCC and its foundation, while also establishing an endowed professorship in chemical engineering. The Gavins have also supported Auburn basketball through gifts toward the practice facility in Auburn Arena with the team conference room being named in her honor as the Carol Ann Gavin Conference Room. Outside of Auburn, the Gavins have been generous philanthropists to numerous organizations and institutions, including Harvest Outreach, Hamilton Medical Center, RossWoods Adult Day Services and Vanderbilt University Medical Center where they established the Carol Ann Gavin Directorship of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care.
 
Gavin was awarded the Auburn Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2016, was named as a Distinguished Auburn Engineer 2014 and was named as the Outstanding Textile Alumnus in 2003. He is a member of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council, as well as Engineering’s Eagles and Keystone societies and the President’s Circle of the university’s 1856 Society.