10/11/04 Contact: Melissa Foster Denney, 334/844-5426 (dennemf@auburn.edu)
David Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)


AUBURN - “Heart of the Country,” a documentary on CBS chronicling the life of the late Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee and the work of Auburn University’s Rural Studio, has won an Emmy Award for 2004 from the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“Heart of the Country” tells the story of Mockbee, who, along with fellow AU Architecture Professor D.K. Ruth, founded Auburn’s Rural Studio. The documentary, produced by Irene Taylor Brodsky, shows many of the houses and structures built by Auburn students from free or low-cost materials in economically stressed rural West Alabama.

The documentary was one of five submitted in the “Outstanding Feature in a Regularly Scheduled Broadcast” category and judged by a panel of prominent broadcast industry professionals.

Mockbee taught that architects could change lives by building houses and structures for people in need. He argued that West Alabama towns, which offer little economic opportunity, provide an ideal setting for a unique approach to architecture.

“Irene Taylor Brodsky, correspondent Martha Teichner and editor Terry Manning invested a huge amount of time in this project, and they did an excellent job of telling the story of Sambo Mockbee, our faculty and the students who participate in the Rural Studio,” said Dan Bennett, dean of AU's College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

Auburn University is a comprehensive research institution with nearly 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama's largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

(Contributed by Melissa Foster Denney)

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