New Young Alumni Council member supports students through scholarship

By Lauren Winton

Published: Oct 9, 2020 7:58:00 AM

Jeremy Woods Jeremy Woods

When he was just a kid, Jeremy Woods, ‘16 software engineering, was taking computers apart and putting them back together again. He worked with as many electronics and machines as he could get his hands on. And as he grew older, his passion for computers grew.

In seventh grade, he knew he wanted to study computer engineering at Auburn.

“I’m from Alabama, and my whole family is filled with Alabama fans,” Woods said with a laugh. “But I’ve always loved Auburn. My aunt married an Auburn fan, and some of my cousins came to Auburn. I knew Auburn had a fantastic engineering school, and it was an easy choice for me.”

With his passion for computers, Woods quickly assimilated into the computer science and software engineering program. When he took his first course in Java, however, Woods came to learn just how much he enjoyed software engineering.

Today, Woods is a successful software engineer at Google. He has a master’s degree from the University of Washington Bothell, and is a newly appointed member of the Auburn Engineering Young Alumni Council.

He also recently established the Jeremy Woods Endowed Scholarship in engineering.

“I always wanted to establish a scholarship,” Woods said. “I would not be where I am today without scholarships.”

Woods grew up in a single parent home, making finances tight when it came time for college.

“I had to work through college,” Woods said. “Scholarships meant so much to me; they gave me the opportunity to not have to worry about how I was going to pay for school, but instead focus on my education.”

And focus, he did. Woods graduated from Auburn University with his degree in software engineering in just three years. He worked as an intern with Northrop Grumman Corporation, and then started his master’s program in 2016, joining Google shortly after graduation. During that time, he never forgot his start at Auburn Engineering.

“I like to serve as our one of our Google recruiters,” Woods said. “It has been great to come back to campus for football and events.”

Before the pandemic, Woods was returning to campus regularly for recruiting events, which usually took place around the time of a home game. Though he is not able to visit Auburn now, Woods still wants to help the next generation of engineering students and graduates find their place at Auburn and at Google.

“I wanted to establish a scholarship for students like me. Finances should never be a limiting factor in determining someone’s education,” Woods stated. “An engineering education should not be about money. It should be about someone’s drive, their grades, knowledge and talent.”

The endowed scholarship Woods established, which was matched by Google, will provide that meaningful support to engineering students, with preference given to students who participate in NSBE, the National Society for Black Engineers.

As an alumnus, Woods has remained active even though he cannot return to campus. He hopes that his participation in the Young Alumni Council will allow him to address areas in the engineering curriculum where he feels there are opportunities.

“I want to help make change,” Woods said. “I am excited to help get students ready. There’s a large jump between what you study, what you do in the classroom and then what you do in industry, like getting devices ready for billions of end users. I think there are ways to help bridge that gap.”

Through his involvement, his recruiting efforts and his philanthropic support, Woods has already helped Auburn Engineering graduates make the transition from classroom to industry a reality.

Media Contact: Lauren Winton, lmw0090@auburn.edu, 334.844.5519

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