Auburn Family

Francie Harris Reflects on Her Year as Head Cheerleader

Senior Francie Harris, a Human Development and Family Studies major from Vestavia Hills, Alabama, has been involved in many different organizations on Auburn's campus. She has been a member of Freshman Forum, an AU High School Leadership Conference Counselor, a member of various honor societies such as Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board, and also volunteers with Magic Moments and A-Team Ministries.

As an Auburn cheerleader, Harris has enjoyed a special opportunity to share her love for Auburn and passion for positive leadership. Harris had been a member of the Auburn Cheerleading squad for two years when she made the decision to try out for Head Cheerleader.

"After two years of being on the squad," Harris said, "I felt that I could combine my experience as an Auburn Cheerleader and my past leadership skills to lead the squad during my final year." 

With the one year anniversary of being named Head Cheerleader soon approaching, Harris will have to pass have to pass the torch. Harris took some time to reminisce on all of the events of the past year, including her feelings upon first hearing the news that she would be Auburn's new Head Cheerleader.

"I felt very excited and thankful for the opportunity," Harris said. "I was very humbled and honored to be entrusted with the responsibilities of this position." 

(Photo courtesy of Francie Harris)

Her job as leader of the squad began an hour after receiving her new title. She helped teach Auburn Cheerleading tryout clinics along with the outgoing members of the cheerleading squad. Because her position on the squad was secure, Harris was able to call out names of the new squad members at Cater Hall.

"I loved being able to see each person’s reaction when they heard their name called out as a new Auburn Cheerleader," Harris said, "because I know how incredible that feeling is."

Harris listed some of the highlights of her time as Head Cheerleader, including participating in a photo shoot and being featured in the southern rivalries story in Southern Living Magazine, listening to pep talks from Auburn Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn and Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, witnessing great road football wins at Kansas State and Ole Miss, traveling to the Outback Bowl with the team, celebrating with Aubie as he learned the news that he won the Capital One Mascot Challenge, cheering for Auburn Gymnastics when they scored their highest team total in school history, and countless other memories.

"Being an Auburn University Cheerleader has shaped my Auburn experience in the most positive way," Harris said. "I have had so many unique experiences and I have been able to put my love for Auburn into action."

Harris was nominated by the Auburn Cheerleading squad for Miss Homecoming and was selected as a Top 5 candidate. Harris was able to share her platform of pediatric cancer awareness and build relationships with Auburn University students who are cancer survivors or are currently fighting their own cancer battle.

"Raising over $6500 for Open Hands Overflowing Hearts for Pediatric Cancer Research and being named Miss Homecoming were the culmination of an amazing week of memories that I will cherish forever," Harris said. 

(Photo courtesy of Francie Harris)

Harris wishes to become a Child Life Specialist and work in a pediatric hospital. Through Auburn Cheerleading, she has been able to continue volunteer involvement with children suffering from chronic illnesses by making visits and entertaining these children at special Auburn events. She has built many special relationships with children and their families that will continue even after her time as an Auburn cheerleader draws to a close. After being a part of all these memorable moments both as a member of the Auburn cheerleading squad and as Head Cheerleader, Harris has some advice for her successor.

"Soak up every second that you are in this position because it goes by so fast. Use this position to positively represent yourself and Auburn University. You are in a unique position that allows you to be an ambassador for the University and cheer for the best school and the best fans in the country."

(Photo courtesy of Francie Harris)


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