Michael Tullier, 334/844-1324 (email@example.com)
David Granger, 334/844-9999 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GIVE $1 MILLION TO EDUCATION
AUBURN - Wayne and Cheryl Glass Smith of Nashville, Tenn., both 1968 graduates
of Auburn University, have committed $1 million to enhance current and
emerging priorities within the AU College of Education.
The gift will provide resources to allow the college to achieve its mission
of building better futures for all through its academic, research and
AU Education Dean Frances Kochan noted that the Smiths gift represents
the largest single donation made to the college.
A gift this size is certainly an investment in the future of our
college, and how the Smiths designated this gift allows it to be flexible
in meeting the needs of both today and the future, Kochan said.
We appreciate the chance to think creatively, albeit responsibly,
in applying these resources to priorities within the college.
Mr. Smith, who also completed a masters in general education in
1969, has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare administration.
He is chairman, president and CEO of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Community
Health Systems Inc., which is the leading operator of general acute care
hospitals in non-urban U.S. markets.
Before joining CHS in 1997, Mr. Smith was chief operating officer of Humana
Corp., which honored his company service by establishing three titled
professorships and an endowed undergraduate scholarship in the college.
Mrs. Smith is a former elementary teacher and speech therapist and is
A past member of the AU College of Educations National Advisory
Council, Mr. Smith was selected as the colleges inaugural Keystone
Leader-in-Residence in 2003 and its outstanding alumnus in 1995. Currently,
he chairs the colleges campaign committee, a part of the universitys
current $500 million It Begins at Auburn campaign.
We are so grateful to the ongoing dedication the Smiths have demonstrated
to our college, Kochan said. Wayne has not only shown our
students the tremendous potential our graduates have in earning a degree
in education, but has truly demonstrated a level of alumni involvement
we hope all our graduates would consider in the future.
Kochan explained why support like this is so critical to preparing future
teachers and professionals.
We live in a changing society, and education serves as the central,
supporting point - the keystone - of that society, Kochan said.
Our faculty must be adaptive in meeting the changing needs, and
demands, of society on our future teachers and leaders. This gift will
be instrumental in making those changes and allow us to be adaptive and
AU interim President Ed Richardson spoke of the influence the gift will
have on future giving to the College of Education and the university.
Gifts of this significance will help this university become an exemplary
educational institution, said Richardson. They show the positive
impact private funding can have on the university.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2005, the AU College of Education
is home to the largest graduate enrollment at Auburn, and is consistently
among the top five largest undergraduate programs on campus.
Auburn Universitys largest-ever fundraising campaign is currently
underway. The It Begins at Auburn campaign is a $500 million
comprehensive campaign that will raise funds for all colleges and schools
on campus as well as the Ralph B. Draughon Library, athletics, Auburn
University at Montgomery and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.
The campaigns focus includes student, faculty and program endowments;
facilities and equipment; campus beautification; research; and current
Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research
institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff.
Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabamas
largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate,
graduate and doctoral degree programs.
(Contributed by Michael Tullier.)