I was walking to class when the iconic Toomer’s Corner oak trees, still streamed with toilet paper, were having their limbs severed with chainsaws loud enough to completely diminish the peaceful downtown Auburn atmosphere.
Everyone in Auburn knew the day was coming, as the poison slowly attempted to put an end to the best tradition in college football, but they never thought it would actually arrive. The trees, which had served as a rally point in our small town for around 76 years, have seen their end.
Harvey Updyke Jr. killed the Toomer’s Oak Trees, but not the Auburn family spirit.
Auburn people have a sense of affection for the beloved trees and a close connection to the beautiful campus, but those are not the only reasons they love Auburn.
“Auburn has played a key role in my life and continues to mean a lot to me,” Apple COO and Auburn alum Tim Cook said during his commencement speech at Auburn University.
Trees die, buildings fall, legends come and go in Auburn, but the family spirit is always here.
I witnessed this spirit my second semester at Auburn when a record-breaking 83,000 Tiger fans came to support the football program after a rough season for the 2013 A-Day game and for the final rolling of Toomer’s Corner.
We loved our trees. We love our campus, but the Auburn family spirit is what makes it a special place to so many students, fans and alumni.
“I believe that with the roar of the Tigers in my heart and the spirit of War Eagle in my soul, I will succeed,” former Auburn linebacker Takeo Spikes told the national press.
Come to an Auburn home football game and tell me you didn’t get the chills after the eagle flew in circles around Jordan Hare Stadium.
Try to walk down the Haley concourse on campus during regular hours in the week without hearing one person yell “War Eagle!”
Step on campus for more than a second and you will realize why it is a place that is known for its friendliness and family spirit.
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