The generosity of our distinguished donors has led to the creation of more than 2,200 donor scholarships for deserving students, as well as professorships, instructional technology, library resources and so much more. Donors are essential to the groundbreaking contributions that Auburn University and its many graduates make to society. Our special recognition societies recognize the benevolence of these special donors.




Recognizing cumulative gifts of $100,000 and above

The 1856 Society is named for the year in which the East Alabama Male College (now Auburn University) was established. This society recognizes donors at Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery whose cumulative contributions and irrevocable planned gifts reach or exceed $100,000. Although membership induction is reserved solely for individuals, the 1856 Society also honors organizational donors whose contributions reach these gift levels. Society members and organizational benefactors are honored in the fall at a biennial dinner and recognition ceremony.

Circles within the 1856 Society provide for additional recognition opportunities. The Auburn Creed Circle honors cumulative, lifetime contributions that total between $250,000 and $499,000. The Legacy Circle includes members whose lifetime giving is between $500,000 and just under $1 million. The Founders’ Circle recognizes contributors whose giving is at least $1 million and just under $5 million. The Tower Circle celebrates those whose cumulative giving is at least $5 million. The President’s Circle honors those whose lifetime giving exceeds $10 million.

1856 SOCIETY EVENT photos
september 11, 2015

2015 1856 Society eventclick the image to access the online event photo album


Recognizing cumulative gifts of $25,000 to $99,999

The Samford Society, named in honor of William James Samford, recognizes Auburn University donors whose cumulative lifetime contributions range between $25,000 and $100,000. Samford attended East Alabama Male College and went on to serve as an Alabama legislator, the state’s 31st governor, and a U.S. congressman around his roles as a Civil War veteran, farmer, licensed Methodist minister and practicing lawyer.

When fire destroyed Old Main, the campus’ administration and classroom building, in 1887, Samford championed the law funding its reconstruction. Completed in 1890, the building was named Samford Hall in his honor. Auburn proudly bestows the distinguished Samford name on its generous donors whose contributions are a tribute to their predecessor’s pioneering spirit of championing higher education.

The Samford Society held its most recent biennial recognition program and reception in the Auburn Arena on September 5, 2014, at which time, the society included members representing more than 2,954 households, welcomed new members representing 557 households, and congratulated members from 64 households whose continued support of Auburn University qualified them for membership and future induction into Auburn’s 1856 Society.

Samford Society Event photos
september 9, 2014

2014 Samford Society eventclick the image to access the online event photo album


Recognizing legacy gifts

George Petrie’s (1866-1947) authorship of The Auburn Creed created for Auburn University an enduring legacy that now defines and unites the Auburn Family. His creed has provided unforgettable words of inspiration for generations of Auburn students, alumni and friends.

Today, the George Petrie Society emphasizes the vital importance of planned gifts — charitable commitments through wills, life insurance, annuities, or trusts — and honors donors for creating a legacy for Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery through these unique philanthropic opportunities. Petrie Society members are honored at a biennial reception held in the spring.

For additional information about making a planned gift to qualify for Petrie Society membership, or to notify Auburn that you have included the university in your will or estate plan, contact the Office of Trusts, Estates and Gift Planning by emailing or calling 334.844.7375.

petrie society event photos
april 1, 2016

please visit our online photo album for additional photos from the 2016 Petrie Society event


Recognizing consecutive-year giving

As Auburn University’s newest giving society, the James E. Foy Loyalty Society recognizes donors who have made gifts for five or more consecutive years. First-time Foy Society members, or those reaching new membership milestones, will receive by mail a Foy Society welcome letter and lapel pin recognizing their loyal support after five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of consecutive giving. Foy Society members achieving 25 or more years of consecutive giving become members of its Katharine Cooper Cater Circle.


Foy Society Pins

OCTOBER 31, 2015

please visit our online photo album for additional photos from the 2015 Cater Circle Membership Celebration

Contact Us

If you have questions about any of our donor societies, please contact a member of our Donor Relations team or email us at

Jan McGuire Jan McGuire '94
Sandra Clay Sandra Clay '86
Assistant Director
Kelli Harris Kelli Harris '93
Development Coordinator
Courtney Lane '14
Development Coordinator
Liz Menne
Stewardship Specialist
Amanda Nims '06
Development Coordinator
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