LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Advice to freshmen from outgoing President Gogue


You’re probably getting a lot of advice these days. In conversations that happen about this time every year, family members, former teachers, friends already in college and others eagerly pass along their experiences on what it’s like to move away from home and how to be successful as a university student.

It’s an exciting time as you start on this new adventure, and those who care about you want to be helpful. As we look forward to you arriving on campus, we too want to offer a few simple tips that we’re confident will help you get the most out of your Auburn experience.

First, go to class. I bet you’ve already heard this one, but I’m offering it again for a reason you may not have heard previously. Yes, it’s true that regular class attendance is key to academic achievement and good grades, but another reason is that it’s a great way to get to know your professors. They love what they do and want the best for you. In addition to expert knowledge in their field, they know what it’s like to balance studies, work and a social life. They’re also great mentors. Get to know them by name. Many of these relationships will last a lifetime.

Second, get involved. Your Auburn experience is what you make it, and your camp counselors have a wealth of ideas on how you can be a part of something that’s right for you. Studies consistently show that students involved in the life of the institution outside the classroom are happier and make better grades. With more than 500 campus organizations, there’s at least one that’s a perfect fit.

Third, make a list of things you want to accomplish. Over and over, I’ve heard soon to be graduates say, “I wish I had done…” Don’t be one of them. Make the time to create lasting memories.

For the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed the awesome privilege of serving Auburn as its president. You begin your Auburn career this fall with a new president, Dr. Steven Leath, who arrives after leading Iowa State University since 2012. Please join me in giving him an enthusiastic Auburn welcome.

Editor’s note: This letter was submitted by Jay Gogue, outgoing Auburn president. The 2017 Camp War Eagle sessions will be his last. 

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