By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - Fifty years after enrolling at Auburn, Dick Ingwersen returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium for Homecoming to receive the Walter Gilbert Award.
"It's great. It was pretty much a surprise to me. I was just thrilled and humbled," Ingwersen said. "I looked at the list of the past recipients, and it's just unbelievable. I recognize that this is one of the highest honors a former Auburn athlete can receive."
The Walter Gilbert Award is given annually to former Auburn athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation from Auburn. The award is given in memory of Auburn's three-time All-America center Walter Gilbert, who later became vice president of Texaco's European Oil Operations.
"I could not be prouder to join the list of previous recipients, which contains some of my former teammates, friends and a list of very distinguished former athletes," Ingwersen said. "It's awesome to be included with awesome people I know who are on that list."
A defensive lineman and tight end from Pascagoula, Mississippi, Ingwersen played for Coach Shug Jordan from 1966-69.
Twenty years after his final game, in 1989, Auburn produced football cards of former players, including Ingwersen.
"As recently as two months ago, I still get those cards in the mail. And they'll write, `Will you please autograph this, and send it back to me?' so I do," Ingwersen said. "This is a small example of my life being affected by Auburn and Auburn football."
After graduating with honors from Auburn University in 1970 in Business Administration, Ingwersen earned his JD from Emory University Law School in Atlanta.
An attorney, certified public accountant and personal financial specialist, Ingwersen co-founded a leading accounting firm in Atlanta.
Strongly committed to community service, Ingwersen served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Atlanta YMCA, where he was voted Volunteer of the Year three times.
Always true to his school, Ingwersen has consistently provided internships for Auburn University students and has hired graduates from the Harbert College of Business and its School of Accountancy.
"I love Auburn and the connection I have been able to maintain all these years," Ingwersen said. "I am very active in the Harbert College of Business, serve on the Advisory Council and recruit and employ Auburn University graduates almost every year. I've got a bunch of Auburn people who work for me. This is my favorite place to come and recruit."
Ingwersen also maintains a close connection to Auburn Athletics.
"I have been a season-ticket holder every year since I graduated from law school at Emory University after leaving Auburn in 1970," he said. "As a member of the Auburn Football Lettermen Club, I am able to stay involved with former teammates and the football program. Everyone I know is aware of the fact that I am an Auburn man."
Ingwersen met his wife, Terry, at Auburn. Married for 46 years, they have two sons.
"She has been the light of my life ever since," he said. "How can I thank Auburn enough for that?"
-- Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) October 2, 2016
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer