That place, the Jonathan B. Lovelace Hall of Honor, has reopened.
Formerly located in the Auburn Athletic Complex, the Lovelace Hall of Honor now occupies a prominent spot in the Auburn Arena and has been updated to something more impressive than it used to be.
“It was in a room, so it was sort of boxed in, and it was, mostly, appealed to a lot of the older crowd,” said Randy Byars, who oversaw the design and construction of the project, as well as researched what photos and memorabilia to include. “It was mostly just a lot of artifacts in cases.”
The new Hall of Honor highlights great moments in Auburn sports history with interactive displays, hundreds of pictures and anecdotes, and some of Auburn’s most treasured sports relics, like Bo Jacksons’s Heisman trophy.
“One of the things that Jay Jacobs wanted to do was to appeal to a much broader audience, age-wise, in the new Hall of Honor,” Byars said.
Byars said they hoped to be able to do that with the interactive displays.
“This device is called a GestureTek, and it’s a neat thing that kids love,” Byars said, demonstrating the mechanism used to operate what Byars calls the Spirit Theatre.
By waving a hand inside the GestureTek device, visitors can choose from 25 short video clips that tell different stories about Auburn sports history.
“What they’re meant to convey is, what is the Auburn spirit,” Byars said. “These are fun, and they were well done.”
The Hall of Honor includes some sort of tribute to each sport at Auburn, including 17 display cases that hold jerseys, pictures, trophies and sports equipment and also incorporate interactive displays for each sport offered at Auburn.
“You can’t physically display every trophy you’ve got,” Byars said. “But if you do it through telling stories, interactive displays, stuff like that, to me it’s a lot more manageable.”
The interactive displays will make it easier to keep the Hall of Honor updated as Auburn makes more sports victories in the years to come, Byars said.
Upon entering the Hall of Honor, visitors will get to experience a pseudo-Tiger Walk with a large-scale mural of Auburn fans, cheerleaders and even the AU Marching Band. Motion-activated speakers provide the sounds characteristic to an Auburn game day.
Forrest Buckner, sophomore in graphic design, said that is his favorite part.
“I thought that really captured the Tiger Walk,” Buckner said. “I think it was great.”
Some students are unaware that the Hall of Honor exists.
“I haven’t heard of it at all,” said Hannah Maxwell, junior in secondary English education, “but I would go.”
The Hall of Honor details time-honored Auburn football traditions, like rolling Toomer’s Corner, the War Eagle fight song and Spirit Walk, as well as tells the stories of great coaches and athletes in the history of each Auburn sport.
“Some of the things we wanted to do in the overall theme of this Hall of Honor was to tell the Auburn story, what makes us unique, and what the Auburn spirit is all about,” Byars said. “You want to feel that emotion. You want to get some chill bumps or some adrenaline, or some warmth that says, ‘Okay. I get it. I understand what the Auburn Spirit is.’”
Buckner said the Hall of Honor seems more attentive to detail than its predecessor.
“They really looked at how to capture different elements a little bit better,” Buckner said. “It just looked like it was put together a lot better and more forethought put into it.”
It took about a year and a half from the beginning of interviewing designers until the Hall reopened to put it all together.
According to auburntigers.com, the Lovelace Hall of Honor originally opened in 1996.
However, it has been closed since January 2008 in anticipation of its move to the Auburn Arena.