Minority Spotlight- June K-Rob Thomas ’95

Minority Spotlight- June
K-Rob Thomas ’95
Married to Marcia Thomas ’01
Children, Ethan & Morgan
What brought you to Auburn? I considered Auburn because of the credibility of the engineering
program. I came to Auburn because of the people. During my visit, everyone was so welcoming and proud of
the university family to which they belonged. I had to be a part of that.
What’s your fondest memory at Auburn? My very first day on Auburn’s campus was Saturday,
Sept. 21, 1996. I just finished getting settled into my new luxurious apartment in the old CDV at 104 Poplar
#15, and headed to Jordan–Hare Stadium for my first Auburn football game. I was unprepared for the sea of
people that I would find on campus because it was LSU game day. I was standing in line at the student
entrance among all of these people I did not know, and suddenly a building caught on fire. I finally got into
the stadium as the black smoke and flames filled the skyline, and I was overwhelmed by the number of people
and the size of the stadium.
I didn’t see anyone that looked like me, so after five minutes of baby-stepping in the crowd of
people heading to their seats, I decided to leave the stadium. Only problem was that now it was dark, and I
had no idea how to get back to my apartment. By this time, it felt like outside of the stadium was a ghost town
and I couldn’t find anyone to give me directions. I took off walking and, an hour later, I was finally frustrated
and standing near the intramural fields. I saw some guys tailgating and ask them about the CDV, and they had
no idea what I was talking about. Then I saw the Campus Police and they took me home.
I called my Dad, and told him I was ready to leave Auburn and that it was not the right place
for me. He said to give it a week, and the rest is HISTORY!
What was the biggest challenge while at Auburn? MONEY! Who wasn’t broke as a college
What changes have you seen in recent years at Auburn that make you proud? I am very proud
of the evolution of the new Alabama Power Company, A Southern Company Academic Excellence Program. I
was one of the first students in the program back in 1996. To see Dr. [Dennis] Weatherby’s legacy live on in
the retention and successful graduation of minority students at Auburn is beautiful. I love the growth of the
MAIN initiative and the support that the Auburn family provides in encouraging minority alumni to stay
connected with Auburn.
Why should other alumni participate in the MAIN program or be connected to Auburn in some
way? All Auburn! ALL IN! Every contribution matters, be it time, talent, or treasure. If you believe in Auburn
and LOVE IT, then there is work to be done. As much as you give of yourself, you will receive, in kind—lasting
relationships that will enrich your life.
What was your path after Auburn? Immediately after graduating with a B.S. in civil engineering, I
accepted a job with Southern Co., working for Alabama Power Co. In nine years, I have worked in six different
locations and have enjoyed the challenge of providing safe, affordable and reliable electricity to the customers
of Southern Co.
How has your Auburn education or experience helped you in your career? My Auburn
experience affirmed many fundamental principles that help me drive results: humility, hard work,
selflessness, perseverance, flexibility, innovation and FUN!
What are you doing right now to impact your community and does it impact Auburn in any
way? I participate in numerous community-focused initiatives that are driven through my work, church and
fraternity. My impact at Auburn continues to grow through my participation on the Auburn Alumni
Association Board of Directors, the APC/SOCO Academic Excellence Program Advisory Council, the Diversity
& Multicultural Affairs Leadership Council, and various development initiatives with the Samuel Ginn College
of Engineering.
What legacy do you want to leave for your children regarding Auburn? I hope to leave a legacy
of service to Auburn that my children will one day engage in themselves.
What was your most embarrassing moment while at Auburn? I am cool as a fan. I don’t get
Your proudest moment? Proudest moment was graduation, the culmination of a lot of hard work. It
meant a lot to me to share the occasion with family and friends.
Why is networking and staying in touch with other Auburn alumni and friends important?
Strong relationships are a key to success. A strong Auburn connection can only add value to anyone’s life.
**Where can interested alumni contact you if they want more information or have questions
for you? [email protected]
For more details or to submit names for the Minority Spotlight contact:
Tanja Matthews
Phone: 334-844-1113
or e-mail: [email protected]