“Auburn is good about providing an experience instead of just an education or a group of friends that you have to maintain on your own,” MacLean said. “Auburn really stresses the Auburn family and the Auburn experience, and while that’s pertinent to students, it’s also pertinent to alumni.”
Betsy Robertson, communications manager of alumni affairs, said the Auburn Alumni Association is a perfect avenue for alumni to stay connected.
“Particularly with new graduates, we love to encourage them to find an Auburn club in the area where they find their job,” she said.
Robertson said Auburn clubs are stationed throughout Alabama, and plenty more are located outside the state.
“We actually have a total of 98 Auburn clubs around the country,” she said, “so almost anywhere you go in major cities there is going to be a group of alumni there that our new graduates can meet, network with and have an instant set of friends.”
MacLean said she hopes to visit Auburn regularly, especially on fall Saturdays.
“If for no other reason but to see my friends and participate in Auburn festivities, I will come back for game days,” Maclean said. “Ticket or not, being in Auburn on game day Saturday is something I will continue to do forever.”
Jason Herbert, senior in accounting, said he will continue to make the trek back to his “second home.”
“I will definitely come back for football games for the majority of my life,” he said. “I don’t know how many a year, but I hope one day to have season tickets.”
Robertson said the AAA provides a hospitality tent for every home football game.
“It’s a place where alumni can come,” she said. “If they’re members, they get in free and can pay a nominal fee for guests. Anytime a young alumnus is coming back for a home football game, coming to the hospitality tent is a great way to have a built-in tailgate party without all the hassle.”
There is a $50 fee to become an annual member of the AAA, and it is $850 for a lifetime membership.
“They can start out by being an annual member and renewing every year if they can’t afford a life membership,” Robertson said. “If somebody is interested in a life membership, we’ve got an installment plan for folks who can pay over time.”
The membership fees and other funds raised by the association are used to better the University, Robertson said.
“We raise money for scholarships here,” she said. “We actually just started a program called Alumni Walk, which is set to break ground this summer. With that, alumni and friends of the University can buy one of several types of pavers, whether they’re bricks or stone or granite slabs, and have their name inscribed on them and their graduation year. The proceeds of that program go to scholarships.”
Herbert, who will start at the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University in August, said he plans on giving back through scholarship opportunities like the Alumni Walk.
“As a student, I have a lot invested in Auburn, and I want to keep it that way,” Herbert said. “Just because you go here four years, your time with Auburn isn’t over after that. Obviously, you can still come back for football games, but Auburn, at least for me, was a great place, and I also believe I have an obligation to give back.”