AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Governor Kay Ivey visited campus today to give the keynote address as part of the 125 Years of Auburn Women celebration.
In an event titled "Auburn Women Leaders, Past and Present" hosted by the College of Liberal Arts, Ivey was joined in Telfair Peet Theatre by all three female SGA presidents Auburn has ever had - Cindy Holland Tolbert, Lauren Hayes Smith and current president Jacqueline Keck.
College of Liberal Arts Dean Joseph Aistrup introduced Governor Ivey and discussed her Auburn background.
As one of the most distinguished alumna of the university, Ivey was involved in marching band, student political organizations, Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and SGA. Now, she is one of only two women to serve in the highest position in the state.
Tolbert praised the College of Liberal Arts, saying, ""My education in the College of Liberal Arts prepared me of what I ended up doing of the rest of my life."
Ivey began her speech by recounting her win at the goat-milking contest in the very first Alpha Psi rodeo, later calling it one of her favorite memories at Auburn.
Ivey spoke a lot about how to get more women in leadership roles in the university and the state, saying, "opportunities abound for you to get more women elected to more positions at Auburn University"
"When I came to Auburn...we were limited by social pressure about which majors we could choose."
Ivey spoke about how she came to Auburn from a small town. She grew up in Camden as an avid Auburn fan. "Auburn was just something that I wanted to do. I knew I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box but I figured I could work hard. I knew how to work hard. I came [into college] with two goals in mind. I wanted to graduate with a B average and I wanted to be in the marching band."
Ivey encouraged students to build support from their various communities on campus, saying that her support was critical for her being the first and only Auburn graduate to win five elected offices in four years. Another piece of advice from Ivey: "If you don't enter, you can't win."
Speaking on leadership, Ivey said, "effective leaders do four things. They listen, learn, help, and lead." These four pillars are what Ivey based her eleven listening tours around when she was first appointed to the office in April.
Ivey also made a proclamation at the end of her speech, declaring October 22-28 as "Auburn Women Week."
As Ivey is running for a full election, she said she will focus most on the issues that matter to the people of the state.
Keck presented Ivey with a lifetime achievement award and closed the hour by talking about firsts and change.
"For progress to happen, change has to happen and with that change, comes a lot of firsts," Keck said.
A networking reception was held after the event.