I grew up in the lovely Birmingham, Ala., area where virtually 75% of residents are fans of the Criiiiiiimson Tiiide. At 16-years-old, my dad and I had barely missed an Alabama game, and all my life I thought I'd found my home away from home in Tuscaloosa.
Don’t get me wrong, Tuscaloosa is a beautiful place. But, as a sophomore in high school, the day I found myself there for sorority bid day, it felt like I'd never get out with my life.
The following day I visited Auburn for the first time for my sister's bid day. Same event, tooootally different experience. The sky was the kind of blue that stands out in the memories of my favorite days. For a “cow town” I found a surprising lack of manure, and a pleasant aroma of freshly cut grass. The stadium stood tall above the buildings like (honestly) the rock of the campus. This place looked gorgeous.
"Alabama fans love Alabama football. Auburn fans love Auburn." -- Pat Dye
However beautiful Auburn looked that day, it wasn’t the aesthetics that made me feel at home; it was the people. I'd noticed an extraordinary difference in attitude and demeanor from one day to the next. People in Auburn were helpful, generous, patient, and kind as they helped sixteen-year-old me find my way around this now so familiar territory. I no longer felt like a three-year-old lost in a zoo, but felt a peace about this place I hadn’t found anywhere else.
"The spirit of the Auburn family is a magical, mystical thing. It defies explanation. It transcends wins and losses on a football field. It imprints itself on your character and can never be extinguished. Being an Auburn fan defines part of who and what you are..." - Anonymous
People were talking and laughing everywhere, excited for the girls and just enjoying each others company. It felt oddly like being part of… a family.
That’s the difference between Auburn and everywhere else. Each individual, regardless of where he or she comes from, is welcomed immediately into the Auburn Family. Sure, that family spirit is contagious on game days, on campus-wide events, and downtown at Toomer’s corner. But you also feel it in classrooms, in dining halls, on the concourse, and in the surrounding city of Auburn; between professors and students, freshmen and seniors, or locals and fans. Even “War Eagle Moments” outside of Auburn make you feel like part of the family.
RIGHT: A War Eagle Moment in the largest duomo in the world - Florence, Italy.
”To me Auburn is not in Auburn, Alabama. -Auburn is the people who care about Auburn, the people who love Auburn. Wherever they are, that’s Auburn, Auburn is in your heart. You play for it." - Former Auburn Defensive End, Reggie Torbor
I chose Auburn once, and I’d choose it again just to feel it welcome me with open arms again, into the great big Auburn Family.
Join the Auburn Family! Enroll at Auburn.