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Auburn University at Montgomery announces Top 50 Alumni.

In recognition of AUM’s 50 years, on Friday, May 5, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, AUM hosted a dinner to honor and acknowledge their Top 50 at Fifty. These outstanding men and women who have passed through Auburn Montgomery’s doors have both contributed to and amplified the university’s success. As Auburn Montgomery alumni, these honorees have demonstrated the values and ideals that make AUM such an outstanding university.

The Top 50 at Fifty includes educators, business people, public servants, military leaders and artists among the multitude of vital careers alumni prepared for at Auburn Montgomery. The Top 50 honorees are:

Brig Gen (Ret.) Balan R. Ayyar '99, Oakton, Virginia; Mr. Donald R. Boyken '77, Atlanta, Georgia; Mrs. Mary S. Burrus '87, and Mr. Troy Allen Burrus '88, Seattle, Washington; Ms. Kathryn M. Carter '90, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Barton Brandon Cook '80, Pike Road, Alabama; Dr. Alan Strauss Craig, Jr. '77, Birmingham, Alabama; Mrs. Barbara Binford Davis '87,Montgomery, Alabama; Mrs. Amelia Gaye Engel '83, Chicago, Illinois; Mr. Ernst Balthasar Goettsch '94, Naperville, Illinois; Mrs. Laura A. Green '86, Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. Sherron Hargrove Jr. '91, Florala, Alabama; Ms. Electra D. Henry '03, Montgomery, Alabama; Mrs. Laura D. Hislop '81, San Rafael, California; Gen John E. Hyten '85, Omaha, Nebraska; Mr. Thomas E. Jackson '85, Birmingham, Alabama; Gen James L. Jamerson '72, Fairfax Station, Virginia; Dr. Brenda Parker Johnson '87, Daniels, Maryland; Dr. John T. Killian '75, Birmingham, Alabama; Mr. John S. Kim '83, Honolulu, Hawaii; Mrs. Terry Murphy Lathan '81, Theodore, Alabama; Mr. Ahmad Lightfoot '90, Marietta, Georgia; Mr. Stacey Wayne Little '04, Prattville, Alabama; Ms. Tiffany McCord '97, Montgomery, Alabama; Mr. Samuel Henderson McGarr '82, Birmingham, Alabama; Mr. William R. McNair '68, Point Clear, Alabama; Mr. Benjamin J. McNeill '76, Montgomery, Alabama; Dr. Virginia C. Muckler '97, Durham, North Carolina; Mr. James C. Nixon '82, Alexandria, Virginia; Dr. Kathleen A. Rasmussen '85, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’98, Prattville, Alabama; Dr. Judith W. Ring '79, Crestview, Florida; Mr. William R. Schlueter '91, Alpharetta, Georgia; Mr. Christopher R. Schmidt '88, Montgomery, Alabama; Dr. Fernando Daniel Sedano '00, Centreville, Virginia; Mrs. Karen B. Sellers '83, Montgomery, Alabama; Mrs. Deborah McGill Smith '92, Trussville, Alabama; Mrs. Christie A. Tarantino-Dean '91, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Carlos Anton Thomas '94, Stockbridge, Georgia; Hon. Jeffrey Todd Underwood '76, Birmingham, Alabama; Mr. William Jeffery Waites '78, Birmingham, Alabama; Maj Gen (Ret.) Randall Lee West '81, Washington, DC; Mr. Steven Craig Williams '96, Alexandria, Virginia; Mr. Donald L. Yancey '77, Montgomery, Alabama; Mr. Scott Zepp '97, Gulf Breeze, Florida; Ms. Springna Zhao '06, Montgomery, Alabama.

Christie Tarantino-Dean establishes endowed scholarship

Christie Tarantino-Dean ’91 and ’93 has established the Christie Tarantino-Dean Endowed Scholarship at Auburn University at Montgomery. This scholarship is for students enrolled in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Christie Tarantino-Dean received both a master's of public administration degree and a bachelor's degree in political science from AUM. Originally from the Montgomery area, Tarantino-Dean currently lives in Chicago, where she is Executive Vice President and CEO of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). IFT is a global scientific association of more than 18,000 members from more than 80 countries. Prior to IFT, Tarantino-Dean led the Association Forum of Chicagoland, whose members represent more than 46,000 association professionals. In her more than 20 years of association management experience, she has also served as the Executive Director of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the Associate Vice President of Member Relations at the Professional Convention Management Association, and as Membership Services Director with the Alabama State Bar. She earned her Certified Association Executive designation in 2002 and was named an ASAE Fellow in 2013. Tarantino-Dean has been an involved member of the Association Forum since October 2000, including stints as a Holiday Showcase Working Group member, CAE Working Group member, Annual Meeting Working Group co-chair and chair of the Membership Development & Services Shared Interest Group. She has served as chair of the Association Societies Alliance, Chair of the ASAE Power of A Awards Selection committee, a member of the ASAE CEO Advisory Board, Public Policy, and Fellow’s Selection Committees. She currently serves on the ASAE Key Global Association Committee. Tarantino-Dean is also an emeritus board member of the Partnership to Educate & Advance Kids (PEAK), a charitable organization providing opportunities for at-risk youth.

“We are very grateful to Christie Tarantino-Dean for endowing a scholarship for students in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration,” said Dr. Andrew Cortell, Department Head. “Her generosity will help numerous future students earn their degrees, impacting generations of public servants and professionals to come.”

“It has been a pleasure getting to know Christie and an honor to have worked with her to establish this generous endowment for our students,” said Marilyn Ray, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Martie McEnerney has earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.

CFRE International has named Martie McEnerney as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). McEnerney, Senior Development Officer for Auburn University at Montgomery, joins over 5,500 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service for not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states Jim Caldarola, CFRE, Past Chair of CFRE International. “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE credential demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Ms. McEnerney to herself, the fundraising profession, and the donors who are served.”

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. In order to maintain certification status, certificants must demonstrate ongoing fundraising employment and fundraising results, and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFRE’s know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.

CFRE International is an independent organization dedicated to the certification of fundraising executives by setting standards in philanthropic practice. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and led by a small professional staff, CFRE International consistently meets the highest standards for certification excellence and is itself accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies.

“I would like to thank my colleagues Carolyn Golden and Marilyn Ray for inspiring and encouraging me to pursue the CFRE designation,” said McEnerney, “I have learned a great deal from them during my tenure at Auburn Montgomery, and I look forward to continuing to use my knowledge and skills for the advancement of AUM.”

Haigh, McNeilly honor McEnerney with endowed fund

Dr. Jamey Haigh ’05 ’09 and Ms. Samantha McNeilly ’04 ’09 recently established the McEnerney-Haigh-McNeilly Endowed Fund for Excellence in the Auburn University at Montgomery Library. It is named in honor of Martie McEnerney, a friend of the Library, and will specifically support the Public Services department within the Library.

Haigh and McNeilly share four AUM degrees between them. Haigh earned a Master of Business Administration in 2005 and a Master of Public Administration in 2009; McNeilly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2004 and a Master of Liberal Arts in 2009. Haigh also completed the Continuing Education Department’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate program in 2012. McNeilly is the Teaching and Outreach Librarian/Archives and Special Collections Librarian at Auburn Montgomery.

Haigh and McNeilly have been generous donors and long-time supporters of AUM. This endowment will be the fifth named endowment they have established at the university.

“I am humbled that Jamey and Samantha would choose to honor me in this way,” said Martie McEnerney, Senior Development Officer in the AUM Office of Advancement. “To have my name associated with a permanent endowment is truly inspiring. We share the conviction that the library benefits all students at Auburn Montgomery, no matter their field of study.”

Imagine. Invest. Inspire. A Campaign for Auburn University at Montgomery has raised $19,620,000 for the university, far exceeding the $15.3 million goal. This includes more than $5.9 million in scholarship endowments and professorships, more than $2.6 million in endowed funds for excellence, and more than $10 million in various university program support.

Troy and Mary Burrus establish endowed scholarship

Troy Burrus ’88 and Mary Burrus ’87 ’90 have established the TROY AND MARY STONAKER BURRUS ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP at Auburn University at Montgomery. This scholarship is for students enrolled in any program at AUM who have a minimum GPA of 3.05 on a 4.0 scale.

Mary Stonaker Burrus retired from the Air National Guard in March of 2015. She began her military career as an enlisted airman and was commissioned as an Information Management Officer after she completed her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Education from Auburn Montgomery. After teaching high school mathematics for 3 years, Mary accepted a full time position with the Air National Guard. Over the course of her career, she served as a Mission Support Group Commander; the Air National Guard Director of Manpower, Personnel, and Services; and a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow assigned to Johnson & Johnson at their corporate headquarters.

Troy Burrus graduated from Auburn Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. After working as an accountant in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Knoxville, Troy accepted a position as a Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. He worked as a Special Agent in Birmingham and Washington, D.C. until 2010, when Troy was promoted to Senior Analyst in Washington, D.C. In July of 2012, he was selected to be a Supervisory Special Agent and in October of 2015, Troy moved to the Seattle, Washington office of the Internal Revenue Service as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

Troy and Mary met as students at Auburn Montgomery and have been married for over 25 years. Throughout their careers, they never forgot their roots at AUM, as evidenced by their recent gift to the university. “It’s our way to give back to an organization that was there for us,” Mary said, “and that allowed us to get our higher education in a way that worked for us.”

“It has been a pleasure meeting Mary and Troy and an honor to have worked with them to establish this generous endowment for our students,” said Marilyn Ray, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Carter establishes endowed scholarship

Auburn University at Montgomery alumna Kath M. Carter has pledged $100,000 to establish the Isla Mae Hallman Endowed Scholarship in the Auburn University at Montgomery School of Accountancy. This scholarship is for undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Kath Carter graduated summa cum laude from Auburn Montgomery in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double major in Accountancy and Marketing. She has worked for more than 25 years as a certified public accountant and currently serves as the Global Business Development and Accounts Leader in Transactions Advisory Services at EY LLP (EY). EY is one of the world’s largest professional services firms and one of the Big Four accounting firms. It employs more than 220,000 people worldwide. In addition to her work, Kath also serves on the boards of the Friends of Prentice and the Gift of Adoption. She is also a member of The Chicago Network and the Chicago Finance Exchange. Kath has established this scholarship in memory of her mother, Isla Mae Hallman, who raised Kath and her eight siblings on an Iowa farm. Mrs. Hallman instilled the importance of higher education in her children, all of whom went on to higher education of varying degrees.

In addition to this scholarship, Kath also named the women’s locker room in the Wellness Center and was a featured speaker at the Imagine. Invest. Inspire. A Campaign for Auburn University at Montgomery kick-off event.

“I wish to personally thank Ms. Carter for her generous donation to help our students continue their education at Auburn University at Montgomery. This generous gift enables more students to have access to the personalized learning experiences at the university that Ms. Carter so clearly values,” said Chancellor Carl A. Stockton.

“Student success is our primary purpose, and scholarship assistance reduces financial stress for our students,” said Dr. Rhea Ingram, Dean of the College of Business. “The College of Business is grateful to Ms. Carter for her scholarship gift, and I personally thank her for her support and contributions to AUM and the College of Business over more than 20 years.”

“Kath has been a faithful supporter of Auburn University at Montgomery for over 20 years. It has been a privilege knowing her and helping facilitate her philanthropy,” said Marilyn Ray, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Imagine. Invest. Inspire. A Campaign for Auburn University at Montgomery has raised $19,476,000 for the university, far exceeding the $15.3 million goal. This includes more than $5.9 million in scholarship endowments and professorships, more than $2.6 million in endowed funds for excellence, and more than $10 million in various university program support.