In 1892, Willie Little, Katherine Broun and Margaret Teague paved the way for future Auburn women when they became the first three female students enrolled at Auburn University, what was then known as the Alabama Polytechnic Institue.
Now, 125 years later, Auburn University is celebrating what the Alumni Association is calling "The Year of Auburn Women." From overcoming gender inequality and fighting for their right to a higher education to going on to be astronauts, governors, athletes, actresses and professors, there is a lot to be celebrated as an Auburn woman.
The alumni affair's office is leading a campus wide campaign recognizing all notable Auburn women. Graduates from any year are encouraged to share their stories, memories or photos from their time at Auburn. Stories can be posted, read and shared on The Alumni Center's website.
Mother and daughter graduates, Katherine and Lauren Watts, share what it means to them to be an Auburn woman.
"As an Auburn woman, I never felt less than. I always felt empowered," said Lauren who graduated in 2015. "I always felt that the University truly did believe that I could do just as much as the male students and that I had the capability and resources to achieve success."
"The whole time I was at Auburn and since then, I just equate being an Auburn woman with just such beautiful and traditional Southern gentility and class and the epitome of womanhood," said Katherine, 1993 graduate.
Women are encouraged to share their stories on social media using #auburnwomen. Men have even shared their stories of their mothers and grandmothers success at Auburn.
The Alumni Center is not only encouraging others to share their stories but to also submit any unique artifacts related to the history of women.
Located on the ground floor of Ralph Brown Draughon Library, the Special Collections and Archives Department have so far collected photographs of the first female SGA president, the 1924 Tigrettes basketball team and other historical pictures. Newspaper clippings can also be found; one is dated from 1959 with the headline "First API Coeds Cautiously Guarded Against Showing A Glimpse Of Ankle."
Celebrations will continue throughout the year with special events, keynote speakers and a gala.