Auburn University celebrated 40 years of Aubie the Tiger in fall 2018, and in the process of seeking a way to honor the most decorated mascot in the country, the Aubie Experience Exhibit was born.
Jeff Stone, who was the SGA president when Aubie debuted in 1979, and his wife Linda Stone initiated the project through a donation. They wanted to create a case to display the nine Universal Association National Championship trophies that Aubie has earned.
“This project started out as a way to build a trophy case, and as we kind of got into the design phase, it turned into a little more than that,” said Corey Edwards, director of student affairs and adviser to the Aubie program.
The exhibit is located on the second floor of the Student Center next to the James E. Foy Information Desk. It was a six-month journey of negotiation, design and installation through Method-1, an interior firm based out of Birmingham, to produce the commemorative display.
It includes a trophy and artifacts case, which displays vintage memorabilia that celebrate the program and some of Aubie’s accomplishments over the years, as well as a plaque dedicated to donors. It also contains a photo wall with a life-size cutout of Aubie for fans to take pictures with, as well as a video wall that plays some of his highlights.
The exhibit was unveiled on Feb. 1, a day that coincided with ESPN College GameDay being hosted on Auburn’s campus for the first time. Aubie also debuted in February 1979, during that year’s SEC men’s basketball tournament.
“We wanted to do it in the fall, but we didn’t make the timeline with the design and construction side,” Edwards said. “But, we were also kind of happy that it happened this way because of all the great connections.”
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Although the timing of the reveal was somewhat accidental, the location of the display was not. What better way to honor Aubie than in the “living room” of Auburn’s campus, Edwards said.
“It’s kind of home base; it’s central campus,” he said. “Tours come through there. At some point, seven million people came through there last year. Everything happens there, so it was a nice way to kind of add to the front door of campus.”
According to Edwards, 144,000 people come through the Student Center a month on average, and as they enter, they will witness what is believed to be the living spirt of Auburn through the display of the history of the celebrated mascot. The exhibit can be viewed at any time during hours of operation in the Student Center.
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