AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Auburn Alumni Association awards Octavia Lenora Spencer '94, William E. Barrick '68, Jere Locke Beasley Sr. '59, and Joe Wallace Forehand Jr. '71 Lifetime Achievement Awards, the highest honor given by the Association. The young alumni recipient is Dion Marlene Aviki '04.
Each of the highly accomplished recipients will be honored on Feb. 29, 2020, at a dinner and ceremony at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.
Octavia Lenora Spencer '94
Octavia Spencer, an award-winning actress, author, and producer, graduated from Auburn University in 1994. After attaining her degree, she starred in the famous movie The Help and received Best Supporting Actress honors from the Academy Awards (Oscars), Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Theatre Arts and the Critics' Choice Movie Award. In 2012, she was selected as an Auburn Alumni Association Young Alumni Award recipient. Since her graduation from Auburn University, she has been a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association. Spencer is being given a Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded by the Auburn Alumni Association.
Recently, Spencer has received acclaim for her work in the films Get on Up, Black or White, Smashed, Snowpiercer, and The Divergent Series. On television, she has appeared in ER, NYPD Blue, Medium, The Big Bang Theory, Dharma & Greg, and Ugly Betty. In 2017, Spencer secured her standing as one of Hollywood's premier talents with her performance in The Shape of Water, earning Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
Not only has Octavia excelled in her movie and television career, but she has also published two children's books: The Sweetest Heist in History, and The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit.
William E. Barrick '68
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in botany in 1968 and a master's degree in horticulture in 1970, Barrick is a two-time Auburn University alumnus. Today, Barrick and his wife, Jessica, live in Mobile, Alabama. Barrick is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association. Barrick is being given a Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded by the Auburn Alumni Association.
Barrick served in the United States Army as a first lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He earned a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in Vietnam. He attained his doctorate in landscape horticulture from Michigan State University and began his career as an assistant professor in ornamental horticulture at the University of Florida. He also served as the vice-president and director of the gardens at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Barrick's achievements do not stop there, however. He was the president of the American Public Garden Association and chairman of the American Horticultural Society. He has received multiple medals, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture at Auburn University in 2014. He was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame in 2018 and, in 2019, was presented the Service Award from the American Public Garden Association.
Jere Locke Beasley Sr. '59
In 1959, Beasley earned his business degree from Auburn University. Following his graduation from Auburn, Beasley graduated from law school at the University of Alabama. Beasley and his wife Sara Baker '61, also an Auburn graduate, live in Montgomery. Beasley's family represents the quintessential Auburn family as all three of his children are Auburn graduates. Beasley is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association and is being given a Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded by the Association.
Beasley founded Beasley Allen Law Firm and has advocated for victims of wrongdoing since 1962. Beasley began his firm as a one-lawyer firm in 1979. Today, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C employs 250 people in its offices in Montgomery and Atlanta.
In 2016, Beasley received the American Association for Justice Tonahill Award and in 2011 he was selected as a member of The Round Table: America's 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by The Trial Lawyer Magazine. His work has been published in Time Magazine and Business Week, among other notable publications. Not only has he lectured throughout the country at legal seminars and events, but he is also involved in the Montgomery community. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Joe Wallace Forehand Jr. '71
Forehand graduated from Auburn with a degree in industrial engineering in 1971. After graduation, he attended Purdue University to attain his master's degree. He was named Auburn University Industrial Engineering Outstanding Alumnus in 1995. He and his wife, Gayle '71, also an Auburn graduate, reside in Dallas, Texas. Both of Forehand's sons are life members of the Auburn Alumni Association. Forehand is being given a Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded by the Auburn Alumni Association.
Forehand served as chairman and CEO of Accenture for four years, and during that time he lead Accenture through a global rebranding, resulting in being named a Top 50 global brand in four short years. After this achievement, Forehand served as chairman of the board for Accenture until August 2016.
Forehand also served as a senior advisor for a global private equity firm known as Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts. He was also a board chairman and interim CEO for First Data Corporation and a chairman for Aricent, a global design, and engineering technology company.
Currently, Forehand is a chairman of the Auburn University Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Council. In 2019, he was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and in 2018 the Auburn University Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. In 2004, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity placed Forehand in their Hall of Fame and in 2001 he was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.
Dion Marlene Aviki '04
Aviki graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Auburn University in 2004. In 2017, she earned her MBA from Duke University and became a member of the Thermo Fisher Scientific's General Management Leadership Development Program. Currently, she is the director of integration management, where she leads the overall commercial integration process for a workforce that generates more than $10 billion across the global life science sector. Aviki and her partner, Brooke Levin, reside in Dallas. Aviki is a live member of the Auburn Alumni Association and is the young alumni recipient.
During her time at Auburn, Aviki was the president of the Greater Houston Auburn Club and was a founding member of the Auburn Engineering Young Alumni Council. She also has served four years on the Auburn Alumni Association. Currently, she serves on the Chemical Engineering Advisory Council and is a member of the 100 Women Strong in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Engineering Eagles, and the Auburn Alumni Association Circle of Excellence Society.