Students Meet Auburn President’s Finalist Chris Roberts During Open Mic Forum | Education

Auburn held two open public forums on Thursday, with another scheduled for Friday, as the board of directors urged members of the Auburn community to meet and greet Roberts as the hiring process comes to a close. end.

For his part, Roberts also took the opportunity to introduce himself to the Auburn community. He said that as a kid he thought he was going to major in a music degree in college to be like his father, who was a professional musician and ran a guitar shop.

“When I left for college, I had never met an engineer and had never heard of engineering,” Roberts told the students. “My dad filed for bankruptcy the year I was going to college with this little store. At that time it was a challenge…and I was a Pell Grant student.

He told students he often had to play music and work in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit to pay off college debts while studying chemical engineering at the University of Missouri.

“It really taught me a strong work ethic and also taught me responsibility, and with that, I decided I wanted to make a difference,” Roberts said.

Roberts said it was after he was asked to serve as chair of the chemical engineering department at Auburn University that he was “bound for administration.”

Melvin B. Baillie