Anne Earthman, junior in public relations, was elected Miss Auburn on February 5, 2022.
Miss Auburn acts as the official host of the University and the figurehead for what the University stands for. It was created in 1934 out of tradition, and now more than ever, Miss Auburn can create tangible changes to better the university.
She’ll go to events and represent the University at these events, but a lot of what she does is behind the scenes, too. She said she strives to work toward the betterment of the students and align it all with her platform.
“Caroline did a really good job to set structures and have the empowerment of the modern-day woman,” Earthman said, referring to senior Caroline Kiem, the previous Miss Auburn. Miss Auburn represents Auburn University by acting as the face of Auburn, and working alongside the president of the student government.
“I’ve always wanted to achieve the standards of an Auburn woman, so I’m privileged and honored to see that this is where that’s taken me,” Earthman said.
She spent the week prior to the election campaigning for hours on the university’s concourse.
“The best part was truthfully meeting so many people at Auburn and hearing peoples’ stories,” Earthman said.
She focused her testimony on both emotional and physical accessibility changes within the University.
“The idea of emotional accessibility was derived from looking around and seeing the need of people our age,” Earthman said.
There were many people who came up to Earthman and shared their personal stories on their troubles associated with physical disabilities or with mental struggles.
“You never know what’s going on with someone until they tell you, so it was cool to hear that some parts of my platform helped someone in that way,” Earthman said.
Earthman said that her parents really inspired her to focus her testimony on physical accessibilities.
“My mom has such a good outlook, and she’s what drove my passion for this entire platform,” Earthman said.
Earthman’s campaign team and her roommates were her biggest support system throughout campaign week.
“I could not have thought of a better team,” Earthman said. They were responsible for a lot of behind-the-scenes actions and offered her an abundance of guidance and support throughout campaign week.
“They always set my eyes on what’s really important,” Earthman said.
“My roommates would be out there on the concourse every single day for twelve hours,” Earthman said.
From decorating the living room to sending her notes and flowers, they were rooting for Earthman every step of the way.
“I will never truly understand the gravity of what everyone did that week,” Earthman said.
The slogan for Earthman’s campaign, “Down to Earth, Man," originated when she was sitting in the living room with her roommates brainstorming.
“The more we thought about it, the more we realized it seemed to encompass our entire platform,” Earthman said.
The phrase “down to earth” can stand for practicality, and Earthman is wanting to make practical changes with practical resources.
The “man” part also signifies Earthman’s belief in the human touch, which, as stated in the Auburn Creed, “cultivates sympathy with . . . fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all."
“It focuses on the fellow man and woman, and practically loving them well. We wanted to think outside of the box, and I sure think we did,” Earthman said.
Campaign week at Auburn University consists people scattered across the concourse for hours, rain or shine, and starting as early as seven in the morning.
“One piece of advice I got throughout the week was practicing a posture of humility, which really helped me stay sane during the week,” Earthman said. “I would also have some strong quiet time in the mornings."
Earthman recalls how she felt a sense of peace and calmness before the call-outs.
“They kept being pushed back, and honestly, I’m thankful they did because I really got to look around at everyone who rallied around us, and stuck by,” Earthman said. For call outs, anyone can attend by gathering around Cater Lawn to hear who was elected for the positions.
“The whole week was so on the go, and this gave me a moment to sit there, look around, and take it all in,” Earthman said. Her parents attended call outs, along with her friends, members of her sorority, Kappa Delta, and other supporters.
The annual tradition for the election of Miss Auburn consists of Miss Auburn walking down the stairs of Cater and the War Eagle girls singing the alma meter around the new elected candidate. The current Miss Auburn comes into the middle of the circle and gives flowers to the newly elected Miss Auburn.
“The moment it happened, I think my body actually went numb," Earthman said.
Earthman’s parents visited that week, and her aunt surprised her the night of callouts when she got home.
“I was in shock all night long, and it didn’t truly hit me until I went to brunch with my parents the next morning,” Earthman said.
As for the future, Earthman has some transition meetings with Caroline and gatherings set up with people who can help make her ideas and goals for Auburn’s campus come to life.
“Freshman year I made a list of what I want my goals to look like at Auburn, and it’s crazy looking back now and seeing how that’s translated to where I am today,” Earthman said.
The official installment day for Miss Auburn will be on February 27.
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Virginia Shea, sophomore in pre-public relations, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.