4 Commencement Speakers Auburn Students Want to Hear
We asked students for their thoughts on the possibility of hearing from these distinguished individuals at the 2018 commencement ceremony.
Imagine you’re on the set of “The Help” in Greenwood, Mississippi helping Octavia Spencer run through her lines. Or perhaps imagine taking a tour of the Apple Inc. headquarters given by the CEO himself, Tim Cook. Or maybe you’re floating around on the The STS-85 Discovery logging your hours in space with former NASA astronaut, Jan Davis. You could even be working alongside current Alabama governor Kay Ivey in the Capitol building in Montgomery.
Instead, you’re startled awake by your alarm, prompting you to drag yourself out of bed for your 8 a.m. You’re instantly snapped back to sweet home Auburn, Alabama with only reminiscent thoughts of the role models who have made their mark at Auburn University.
You’re no longer rubbing shoulders with actors, businessmen, astronauts, and politicians — but why not?
These men and women are notable Auburn graduates who we look up to as examples of where our college journeys may lead us.
Octavia Spencer is an Academy Award winning actress who received a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Auburn.
“Seeing Octavia Spencer, an Auburn alum and theatre alum, on-screen, constantly breaking boundaries and finding massive success in her own way, is truly inspiring to all of us in the theatre department,” said Hannah Blanchek, theatre major in the College of Liberal Arts. “It's also amazing as a woman to see another woman as empowering as she is, on and off the screen.”
Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook, earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982.
“There is too much to say about this great man,” said Mingxu Wang, software engineering major. “One year ago, when I was still in Beijing, I got about five offers from different universities, but I made my decision to come to Auburn without hesitation when I found out Tim Cook was a graduate. He is a man who defends American values. I can't see a better choice for someone to guide us as students, which makes for an awesome commencement speaker.”
Former American astronaut and NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal award winner, Jan Davis, received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Auburn.
“I think that Jan Davis would make an exemplary decision for this year’s commencement speaker,” said Allie Gentry. “I am graduating this spring, and I know I would be beyond ecstatic if she came to speak to us, being such an enormous fan of hers. She has been my personal role model since I was little and I cannot even tell you how many years I have dressed up in an astronaut costume in hopes to mirror her. She is a woman of leadership and courage and held many leadership positions at NASA. She has received several awards and is even in the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. I think she is such an inspiration not only because she accomplished such feats, but she did it with such grace and integrity. I know I speak for many when I say it would be such an honor to have Jan Davis be this year’s graduation speaker."
Kay Ivey, current governor of Alabama, served in the Student Government Association during all of her four years at Auburn.
“Governor Ivey is a bold leader who listens to her people and incorporates their voices into the vision for a greater Alabama,” said Student Government Association president Jacqueline Keck. “She represents the state of Alabama with the values of hard work, honesty and truthfulness, the human touch, and has taken what we know as Auburn Women to new heights.”
Who would you like to see speak at commencement?
Let us know in the comments, or reach out to us on social media @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.