The loveable orange and striped face we see everywhere, who never fails to put a smile on people’s face is of course Aubie, but a lot goes into everything Aubie does.
Mike Reynolds, the staff advisor to Aubie, said Aubie appears at roughly 1,200 events each year. However, these events cover more than just Auburn Athletics. Reynolds sees Aubie as an ambassador of Auburn University because Aubie not only does sport-related events, but he also goes to festivities around campus and the community, nursing rooms, hospitals and schools.
For those who wish to request Aubie, a request link can be found on the Student Government Association’s webpage under the Aubie link.
Ella Cunningham, a director of Aubie for SGA, explained Aubie can be requested to do something at the event, usually that involves taking pictures or dancing.
Aubie does not charge to make an appearance unless to pay for travel expenses if it’s out of town. Unless that event is visiting a sick child, then the program covers those travel funds.
Reynolds recalled a particular visit to a sick child that Aubie did. A man requested Aubie to come to see his 3 or 4-year-old niece who just had open-heart surgery and hadn’t spoken since the surgery. He remarks that as soon as Aubie walked into see her, the girl spoke, saying “War Eagle.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“If Aubie could talk he would tell you that the appearance that most effective have nothing to do with athletics,” Reynolds said. “It has to do with bringing happiness to a family, a child.”
Both Reynolds and Cunningham emphasize that Aubie is about bringing happiness to Auburn and the Auburn Family.
“I think Aubie really ties everything that is Auburn together,” said Cunningham. “He brings the family aspect into it as well as the university.”
When Aubie came into the picture, it all started with Phil Neel. Reynolds said Aubie’s began with Neel drawing a picture of a cartoon tiger on the football programs in 1958. From there, James Lloyd, the director of spirit at the time, gathered funds to make the image of Aubie a reality.
Aubie made his first debut at the Women’s SEC Basketball Tournament in 1979, and now, the program to support Aubie has expanded and progressed ever since.
Currently within the program, there are four friends of Aubie and three directors. Within the three directors, there is one that focuses on scheduling, one for marketing and one that heads the committee. The committee is made up of volunteers who help make the props Aubie uses during the games.
With all that goes into the program, there’s always one Aubie. In the end, all his hard work is worth it in order to bring the special sort of happiness he carries with him.
“He brings a happiness that’s hard for me to describe,” said Reynolds. “Generally, I could see him every day if I wanted, and every day it’s still the same feeling of excitement even with me seeing him all the time.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman