Engineering donors honored at recognition reception

Published: Feb 7, 2023 12:00 PM

By Bethany Deuel

Donors of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering were honored at the annual Scholarship, Fellowship and Professorship Recognition Reception Friday in the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center. In 2022, 574 scholarships were awarded to 1,774 students with a total amount of $4.7 million for a record-breaking year.

More than 150 alumni and friends attended the event, where they were able to meet the students and faculty who were recipients of their gifts. Interim Dean Steve Taylor began the evening by welcoming guests in attendance and noting the anniversary of the college.

“For a century and a half, our research at Auburn has positively impacted people across this state many of us call home, and across the world. As we remember the many lives that have been changed because of Auburn Engineering, I want to commend each of you for joining that long legacy,” Taylor said.

Robert Barnes, Brasfield & Gorrie Associate Professor of civil and environmental engineering,  shared the importance of support — both in his research of concrete structures, and in the Auburn Family.

“Due to your amazing generosity, I am just one of 13 of my department’s faculty members that are now supported by a professorship,” he said. “Thanks to you, Auburn’s engineering faculty are improving the lives of students and improving our society — and the world is seeing what Auburn does. Your support is vital.”

Two scholarship students, Christian Ford, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, and Caleb Kirk, a senior majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in political science, shared personal stories about their journeys to Auburn and the roles their families played.

 “From a very young age, my mother and my late grandmother taught me the value of perseverance, knowledge, hard work and building yourself up through education,” Ford said. “The scholarships I have received up to now have made me proud, primarily because of the burden I was able to lift off her shoulders.” 

Kirk spoke on how, as one of six children, the burden of college expenses was on his shoulders. The donor-funded scholarships he received paved the way for his education at Auburn.  

“Unfortunately, none of you get to be in the room when we receive our scholarships – you don’t get to see the faces of the students, and the way they light up when they first see their scholarship package, and yet you still give, over and over again. Because of you, thousands and thousands of lives of students are changed every year, and I am just one of those many voices,” he said.   

Media Contact: Bethany Deuel,, 334.844.5519
Caleb Kirk and Christian Ford

Caleb Kirk and Christian Ford

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