Celebrating War Eagle Style

Celebrating War Eagle Style

At Auburn, an unprecedented campaign called for an ambitious closing to match.

When it came time for Auburn’s campaign close, there was plenty to celebrate. Because This is Auburn surpassed its largest campaign goal to-date, becoming the first university in the state to raise more than $1 billion in a fundraising campaign.

The strategy for the closing celebration was to recognize members of the Auburn family who are working to transform lives and ensure that Auburn is a world-class academic, research, and service university in the true spirit of its land-grant heritage. To accomplish this, a one-size event did not fit all. Instead, Auburn chose a creative, three-pronged approach that celebrated the landmark campaign and highlighted its impact across the university.

First, an intimate VIP celebration was designed for the 150 most transformational donors. With a newly minted president, Auburn could take advantage of the opportunity to offer donors first-ever access to the remodeled presidential home as Dr. Leath and the first lady’s inaugural guests. The event began with a reception developed around a gallery of impact, showcasing university-wide and school accomplishments. A video presentation during dinner featured photos of each donor in the room while Auburn students serenaded them with the Beatles classic, “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

The strategy for the closing celebration was to recognize members of the Auburn family who are working to transform lives and ensure that Auburn is a world-class academic, research, and service university in the true spirit of its land-grant heritage.

Because one of the crown jewels of the campaign was a new performing arts center, it was fitting to gift the audience with a special performance by Tony and Emmy award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, including a duet with an Auburn student and a moving tribute to donors’ leadership and service.

Additionally, 24 individually-customized constituency events celebrated donors in each school and unit. This ambitious model was created to ensure that donors understood the significant impact of their gifts. Educe partnered with Auburn to create a templated structure to include consistent messaging and interactivity. Educe then helped facilitate four days of “speed-dating,” consulting on their plans and ideas. All groups, from the school of agriculture and business to engineering and nursing were then empowered to plan a unique event that would resonate with their donors.

Auburn also leveraged campus gatherings of over 80,000 fans to present a dynamic, 3-D projection mapping show that repeated multiple times each night over several football weekends. It served as a larger-than-life thank-you message that was illuminated on the most iconic building on campus, Samford Hall.