Editor's Note: On March 29, 2018, Dr. Steven Leath will be installed as the 19th president of Auburn University. Be a part of Auburn history and witness Dr. Leath as he shares an inspiring, innovative and transformative vision for Auburn's future. What follows is one in a series of 12 stories that highlight members of the Auburn family who embody these ideals. As you will see, Auburn is on the move. To learn more about the installation of President Leath, please visit auburn.edu/auburninspires.
Auburn Athletics transforms the lives of our student-athletes by investing heavily in their success in the classroom and on the fields and courts of play. We bring an everyday commitment to developing productive members of society. We make sure our young people are equipped for the rigors of the real world. We prepare our student-athletes not only for the next competition, but for a lifetime of success and leadership.
College sports and its place in our culture is important. It's critical that we never lose sight of the value of college athletics and all that it can do for our society at a time when we are in desperate need of young leaders. We all benefit from the value of their education, teamwork and putting the greater good ahead of their own. I see these talented student-athletes grow every day and their progress is incredibly inspiring.
Interviews with employers tell us they find critically important qualities in our student-athletes such as a strong work ethic, time management and the ability to work well in teams. Simply put, they tell us our student-athletes are tested and proven.
The impact of college athletics on underrepresented populations is particularly important. Studies show that more than half of all female C-suite executives played college sports. Additionally, college athletics has also proved to be vitally important for minority students, as nearly one-in-three minority student-athletes are first-generation college students. That does more than transform the lives of individual student-athletes, it creates new opportunities for entire generations.
As President Leath has made clear, educating students is our core mission. We will develop their leadership skills so that they can be successful in the modern economy. Every student is different, so we will provide multiple pathways of interest to cultivate their unique skills. We will provide students with increased opportunities to learn from people with a variety of backgrounds and talents. We will provide them with the critical thinking skills that are needed to transform their careers and their lives.
At Auburn University, we will provide real-world learning laboratories where students can gain leadership principles in their communities, better preparing them to compete in the marketplace and make meaningful contributions in our state. Our students will graduate prepared for interviews, to work in team-based environments and to effectively manage their time and resources.
Auburn is more than a place to go to school, work or engage in research and scholarship. It is a spirit that's not afraid. It is a place that inspires hard work, honesty, respect and mutual helpfulness.
Under President Leath's leadership, Auburn University is on the move.