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 Caroline <I>Marshall</I> Draughon

Caroline Marshall Draughon

Death 7 Jan 2005 (aged 94)
Burial Auburn, Lee County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 10293873 · View Source
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Opelika-Auburn News, Sunday, January 9, 2005

Caroline Marshall Draughon, 94, a beloved first lady of Auburn University, died on Friday, January 7, 2005, after a brief illness. A memorial service will be held for her at 4 p.m., on Monday, January 10, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama. Following the service, Mrs. Draughon's family will welcome her friends in the Caroline Draughon Parish Hall of the church.

The widow of Auburn University President Ralph B. Draughon, Caroline Draughon came to Auburn as a young bride in 1931, and for almost three quarters of a century her life was entwined with the community and the college.

"Miss Caroline was one of the most gracious and charming hostesses who ever inhabited the president's home," stated Harry M. Philpott, who followed Draughon as president of the university.

"She supported Dr. Draughon throughout his 18 years as president as only she could. She was available for every occasion the president's wife was called upon to serve and was a wonderful friend and adviser to large numbers of students and faculty."

"After we came to Auburn in 1965, the Draughons were both supporters and friends, and we enjoyed the best possible relationship with them. The Auburn community has lost one of its most beloved persons," said Philpott.

"Caroline Draughon was born in Orrville, Dallas County, Alabama, in 1910, the daughter of Harry Eugene Marshall and Mary Augusta Barnes. She graduated from Selma High School, where one of her classmates was Ralph "Shug" Jordan, whom her future husband would one day hire as Auburn's football coach.

At Huntingdon College, Mrs. Draughon was captain of the swim team and president of the freshman class. She graduated from Huntingdon in 1931.

Following graduation she married Ralph B. Draughon, and they came to Auburn in the fall when he accepted a position as a very junior member of the history department. Daughter Ann (now Mrs. Thomas G. Cousins) was born in 1932 and Ralph, Jr., arrived in 1935.

Dr. Draughon was named acting president of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1947 and permanent resident the next year. The Draughons remained in the president's home until his retirement in 1965. Reflecting the enormous expansion of the college under Draughon's leadership, the institution's name was changed to Auburn University in 1960. Dr. Draughon died in 1968.

To make sure that students felt welcome in Auburn, "Miss Caroline" instituted a freshman reception, and when Auburn went on the quarter system the Draughons insisted (over some complaints from the deans) that full-scale graduation exercises should be held four times a year.

Another accomplishment of Mrs. Draughon as First Lady of Auburn was the creation of the Campus Club that sponsors faculty receptions, dances and other projects. The organization has continued throughout the years and on its fiftieth anniversary the group initiated the Caroline Draughon Endowed Scholarship Fund and sponsored a biographical sketch of Mrs. Draughon by Leah Rawls Atkins.

"Since her arrival on campus as a faculty spouse many years ago, Mrs. Draughon has lived the "Auburn Spirit" and provided a link between generations of Auburn students, faculty and alumni," stated Mary Lou Matthews, former president of the AU Campus Club.

As Auburn's enrollment increased following WWII, Miss Caroline recognized that more students were married, and many male students had working wives who were helping them through school. She organized the Dame's Club to provide a way for these spouses to be involved and have a part in the life of the college. Before graduation, she presided at a special ceremony where she conferred on each graduate's wife the "PHT" (pushing hubby through) degree.

In 1963 Huntingdon College honored Mrs. Draughon by making her Alumna of the Year. The Achievement Award praised her "influence on the thousands of young men and women who have passed through Auburn University since she has been its president's wife."

In 1965, at the instigation of Paul Haley, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, the University recognized Mrs. Draughon's contribution to Auburn by naming the married students apartment complex the Caroline Draughon Village.

Throughout her life, she maintained a keen interest in the university and the community. The only job she ever had was to take the census in Lee County, Alabama, during the severe depression of the 1930s. She had great admiration and affection for the people she encountered, and she was deeply moved by their poverty and deprivation (inadequate plumbing and no electric lights). In her latter years she served on the Presbyterian Community Ministry, which tries to address some of the continuing problems she recorded long ago as a census-taker.

She also enjoyed fishing and was a devoted sports enthusiast, especially for Auburn's football team. When she was awarded the Pam Sheffield Award as an outstanding woman of Auburn, she got to accept the award at halftime ceremonies in the middle of the football field. It was her last hurrah, and she enjoyed it immensely.

She was a member of Chapter A of P.E.O. and a member of United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Survivors include daughter Ann and husband Tom Cousins, Atlanta, GA and son Ralph B. Draughon Jr., New Orleans, LA; grandchildren Lillian Cousins Giornelli and husband Greg, Atlanta and Thomas Grady Cousins, Jr., Oakland, CA; great grandchildren Jane Adelaide, Ann Caroline, Jillian Laning and Thomas Raymond Giornelli of Atlanta; sister Sally Marshall Kellberg, Knoxville, TN and devoted cousin Virginia S. Watson, Orrville, AL and sisters-in-law Mary Marshall, Umatilla, FL and Ruth Marshall, Birmingham, AL and their families.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Caroline Draughon Scholarship Endowment Fund, 317 S. College St., Auburn University, AL 36849 or Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 College Dr., Auburn, AL 36830.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directing Opelika, AL.

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  • Maintained by: jane hall
  • Originally Created by: Anonymous
  • Added: 9 Jan 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10293873
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Caroline Marshall Draughon (29 Oct 1910–7 Jan 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10293873, citing Pine Hill Cemetery, Auburn, Lee County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by jane hall (contributor 47286318) .