Many things come to mind when you think of Auburn University- family, football, tradition, and lots more. However, there are also some things that come to mind that have somehow gotten twisted over the years. Various stories and bits of information have been passed down over time and have managed to stick, and I’d like to take just a second to clear things up. Here are the top five misconceptions people have about Auburn:
5. Cow College
To some, the title of "Cow College" is debatable. Yes, Auburn (at the time the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama) was established in 1862 as the first land-grant university in the South separate from the state university-in this case the University of Alabama- and one of the main subjects to be taught was agriculture. At one time, there were even cows that grazed on the front lawn of Comer Hall- now the home of the College of Agriculture. Today however, the scene at Auburn is very different. There are now 13 colleges housing more than 140 different majors, and students come from all over the world not only to study agriculture, but also in the competitive engineering and veterinary schools. Our cows are also no longer grazing openly on the lawn of any buildings on campus.
4. Jordan-Hare Stadium
There is always a problem during football season with out-of-towners and new Auburn fans with the pronunciation of the name of our football stadium. Named after Ralph “Shug” Jordan, the school’s winningest football coach and Cliff Hare, one of the members of the first football team, “Jordan” would appear to be pronounced with a long ‘o’ like the name commonly is. However, this is not so. Ask tried and true Auburn fans and aficionados, and they will tell you it is actually pronounced “JER-din”, with an e sound instead of an o like it is written. Yes it may be weird and take some getting used to, but once you’ve been around the school for a while, you'll get used to it and it will sound completely normal.
3. Located in Georgia
It’s a popular pastime for fans of the University of Alabama to claim Auburn is not located in Alabama at all, but in west Georgia. While we may be only 35 miles from the Georgia state line, the university is indeed in the state of Alabama and always has been. One sports segment airing a few years ago on MSNBC even showed this map putting Auburn somewhere above Atlanta. We don't know where that came from, because we are, in fact, still located in Alabama.
2. Alabama’s “Little Brother”
This is by far the misconception that anger’s most Auburn fans. Ever since it was established, Auburn has been compared to the state school down the road in Tuscaloosa. Whether it’s in sports or academics, one school always has to one-up the other. Although Auburn isn't as old as Alabama and doesn't have a medical or law school, we have so many great things to be proud of. The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine is the seventh oldest in the U.S. and was the first in the Southeast. The university is a land, sea and space grant institution, has produced three Heisman trophy winners and there have also been six astronauts to graduate from Auburn. The city of Auburn has also been voted as one of the best small cities for jobs and the Best City in Alabama by Movoto Real Estate. It is a school sought after for its welcoming and small-town feel, and alumni continue to return to see the school and cheer on the football team for years after they have graduated.
1. Mascot Confusion
*sigh* Where to begin? To start off, no, we are NOT the Auburn “War Eagles”. Yes, we have several eagles that represent the school, Nova and Spirit, who fly around the stadium before home games, but they are not our mascots. We also use War Eagle as a battle cry, cheer and general greeting. It’s how Auburn fans all over the country and the world identify themselves, and we are very proud of it. We have also been referred to as the Plainsmen, but again, that is not our mascot. Our official mascot is Aubie the tiger who first appeared as a cartoon in 1959 and as a live mascot in 1979. He shows up at all major school events and even makes appearances around the community. Aubie has won eight UCA mascot national championships, making him the most successful college mascot in the country.
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