Donald Nobles and students in Auburn Montgomery’s University Honors Program know well the importance of private support to the university. Recently, the Honors Program received a $100,000 grant from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama to fund travel, study abroad and research opportunities for AUM honors students. Nobles, associate professor in the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts and director of the University Honors Program, said the gift will allow honors students opportunities that would not otherwise have been available.
“This generous gift will make possible funding for student research and travel, and bringing speakers to campus,” said Nobles. “None of these things would be possible without this remarkable and thoughtful contribution to the program. We have high expectations of honors students, and the Daniel Foundation is providing opportunities for them to explore what is new, share the results of their research at conferences, and continue to develop a better sense of what’s out there in the world.” As an example of those opportunities, Nobles cited a spring 2012 trip to Oklahoma City that allowed honors English students to travel to Oklahoma City for the 17th anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They participated in a remembrance ceremony held at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and met with students at Oklahoma City University. “This is just one example of what this gift will allow us to do,” said Nobles. “The class examined the theme ‘Memory and Memorials,’ and the two classes met by Skype, discussed the Civil Rights Memorial here and the Oklahoma City bombing memorial there.” Students from those two classes will present research conclusions and their experiences at the National Collegiate Honors Council in Boston. None of these opportunities would have been possible without the support of the Daniel Foundation.
The Daniel Foundation of Alabama’s mission is to strengthen communities within Alabama and improve the quality of life for citizens from all regions of Alabama through the support of quality educational programs, arts and culture, civic and community programs, and medical care and research. Since 1981, the University Honors Program has provided AUM’s brightest students with special courses and opportunities to enhance their studies. They conduct research, enroll in challenging honors courses, and engage in international travel and public service.