Mechanical engineering senior from Mobile named Auburn Engineering graduation marshal

Published: Jul 25, 2023 11:00 AM

By Joe McAdory

Jakob Markham, a graduating senior and researcher in mechanical engineering from Mobile, has been selected to lead Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering class of 2023 at its summer commencement exercises Saturday, Aug. 5.

His Auburn story is special.

“After I graduated from high school, I began my higher education at Coastal Alabama Community College, but I didn’t know what it took to be a good student,” he said. “I stopped going to school to see how I felt about heading into the workforce without finishing my degree. Two years later, I was working for a construction company – in the heat of the summer – when I prayed, ‘Lord give me guidance in my career.”

After a long conversation with his grandfather, he decided to re-enroll at Coastal Alabama, where he earned an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering.

“I developed a work ethic for academics that gave me the opportunity to become a better student,” he said.

Then he dreamed even bigger and applied to Auburn.

Since returning to school – after managing an oyster farm, working as a medical warehouse associate, an insect control technician and as a laborer at a variety of construction sites – Markham is on the brink of graduating with a 3.91 GPA and he’s one of the college’s most prolific undergraduate researchers. As an assistant in the Auburn University Biomechanical Engineering (AUBE) Lab, Markham’s research interests have focused on a system for prosthetic alignment utilizing real-time kinematics; effects of footwear and orthotics on biomechanics; and the lower limb exoskeleton.

“Jakob Markham’s story is exceptional and serves as an example to countless others already in the workplace that higher education is not out of reach if you have the heart and soul to pour into your dreams,” said Mario Eden, dean of engineering. “Jakob is an inspiration to us all and I’m honored to have him represent the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering as our graduation marshal.”

Commencement ceremonies inside Neville Arena begin 9 a.m., with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. Alumnus Marc Walley (‘85, forestry president and CEO at Forest Investment Associates, will deliver the keynote address.

Additional information, including updates regarding inclement weather, is available on the commencement website, and information will be posted on the Facebook and Instagram accounts.

All ceremonies will be livestreamed, with recordings available on the commencement website following the weekend festivities, and graduates and their families are encouraged to check the web site regularly for updated information.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Jakob Markham is an assistant in the Auburn University Biomechanical Engineering Lab.

Jakob Markham is an assistant in the Auburn University Biomechanical Engineering Lab.

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