Auburn Campus Club Celebrates 75 Years

Auburn Campus Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary Nov. 10 at the Saugahatchee Country Club. An interactive program will share history, pictures and memories. The 75th celebration committee are, from left, Susan Stanley, Kathey Davidson, Susan Housel, Carole Rogers, Sue Hooper, Shirley Bartels and Michelle Reed.

By Ann Cipperly

On Nov. 10, long-time members and new members of the Auburn Campus Club will meet at the Saugahatchee Country Club to celebrate the club’s 75th anniversary. History, pictures and memories from 1946 to 2021 will be shared in an informative and interactive program. Among its service programs, the club published a cookbook on the 65th anniversary with proceeds going to the First Ladies Endowed Scholarship program, which honors each of Auburn’s First Ladies.

Founded in 1946, the Campus Club began as the Newcomers’ Club to acquaint new faculty wives with the community. In 1948, First Lady Caroline Marshall Draughon, wife of A.P.I. President Ralph B. Draughon, expanded the organization to include all faculty wives, identifying the group as “Auburn Campus Club.” Dues were one dollar a year. The Newcomers’ group continued under the umbrella of the newly formed organization and  then became part of Campus Club. 

On the 50th anniversary of the organization in 1996, membership was extended not only to all Auburn University employees and spouses but also to any women in the community as friends of the university. A variety of events and programs are offered from September through May. While a kick-off event is held each September for registration, membership is open throughout the other months.

In 1996, Campus Club honored its founder by establishing the Caroline M. Draughon Scholarship. The commitment to scholarships led to the 2005 creation of the First Ladies Endowed Scholarship program to honor each of the First Ladies of Auburn University.

From 2001 to 2011, plant sales provided the funds that grew the endowment and increased number of scholarships. The annual scholarships named for individual First Ladies are awarded to horticultural students or those in related careers.

In addition to expanding membership and scholarships, community service projects became integral to the organizations.

In 2011 in celebrating the 65th anniversary, Kathey Davidson, who was president, realized the Campus Club needed a special project in recognition of its milestone anniversary. The cookbook was chosen when the plant sales ended.

After Kathey received approval from the board, she contacted Cathey Donald, who was chairman of the Culinary Cohort interest group, to serve as editor and committee chairman. The president selected the name “Course Offerings.” Proceeds from the sale of the cookbooks were used to increase funds for the First Ladies Endowment.

Since 1996, the number of scholarships increased from one award to 16 in 2011. The number continued to increase, and 20 scholarships were awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Along with the anniversary cookbook project, support for the scholarship fund has come from plant sales and individual donations. The cookbooks are no longer available.

Additional service projects are part of Campus Club’s activities. The Campus Club Book Club’s December project of collecting new children’s books for donation expanded to include the entire organization. Children’s books have been given to Lee County and Macon County schools, Our House, a pediatric clinic, the Lee County Youth Development Center and schools recovering from tornado and hurricane damage.

Campus Club events have included campus facility tours, botanical garden trips, theatre productions and spring teas at the AU President’s Home. Previous interest groups have included making a “quillow,” pine needle crafting, exercising, swimming and birding. Current interest groups include bridge, daytrippin’ and ladies to lunch.

Over 75 years, Campus Club members have experienced and enjoyed the purposes of Campus Club which are to: promote fellowship among members, furnish opportunities for beneficial association, welcome newcomers to the campus community and to further the interests of Auburn University.

Current officers are Sue Hooper, president; Susan Stanley, immediate past president; Barbi Townsend, vice president of programs; Karen Wright, vice president of membership; Michelle Reed, vice president of interest groups and special events; Carole Ann Fowler, secretary; and Susan Lee, treasurer.

Advisors are Susan Stanley, Susan Housel and Sharon Sartain.

“Campus Club, from its beginning, has welcomed people to the Auburn community, providing experiences that entertain, inform and encourage members, while offering opportunities to develop friendships, support scholarships and impact lives,” Housel said. “Now, in 2021, as we honor the past and anticipate the future, we appreciate and celebrate 75 years of Auburn Campus Club.”

Members have also enjoyed sharing good food together at kickoffs and interest group meetings over the years.

“I did not grow up in Auburn or attend Auburn University,” said current President Sue Hooper. “I married into it. When we moved here from Tallahassee, Florida, in 2013, I immediately fell in love with Auburn. Shortly after arriving, I joined the Auburn Campus Club. It is such a wonderful and welcoming organization. I have met so many wonderful people that have become close friends. I have learned so much about Auburn University and the surrounding communities through the special events and interest groups Campus Club offers. I quickly learned why Auburn is really the ‘Loveliest Village of the Plains.’ War Eagle.”

Following is a sampling of recipes from a few of the hundreds of members who support the university and the community with their time, talent and resources.

Cipperly can be reached at

 Slow Cooker Tuscan Garlic Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sue Hooper, president of Campus Club

This recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare, and then you let your slow cooker do the rest of the work. Enjoy this recipe as-is, or serve over rice or pasta for a satisfying meal!

6 to 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes, optional

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)

2 cup spinach (chopped, packed)

To prepare your chicken recipe: heat oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add the cream and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, then set heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken.

Meanwhile, place chicken thighs at bottom of slow cooker. Season chicken thighs lightly with Italian seasoning, crushed red chili pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper. Top chicken thighs with sun-dried tomatoes.

When the cream sauce is ready, lower heat and whisk in Parmesan cheese, little by little until smooth. Adjust seasoning for cream sauce if needed.

Pour cream sauce over chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Get as much sauce as possible on top of chicken thighs.

Cook for 3 to 4  hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. When cooking time is over, gently remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside.

Turn the slow cooker on high if it isn’t already. Add chopped spinach to slow cooker and stir for a few minutes until spinach wilts.

Return chicken to the slow cooker and spoon liquid, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes on top, or just pour them over Tuscan chicken when serving. Serve as-is or over noodles.

Grilled Brined Chicken Breast

Kathey Davidson

president  in 2011 and 2012  and cookbook co-chairman 2 large whole or 4 half chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, 6-8 oz. each

¼ cup coarse salt

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

15-20 whole peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup hot water

3 cups cold water

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Olive or vegetable oil to coat chicken

Trim sinew and fat from breasts. Rinse in cold water and blot dry. Place in large, non-reactive container. Place salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and chili peppers in large glass bowl. Add hot water and whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in the cold water and cool to room temperature.

Pour brine over breasts and stir in lemon, onion and garlic. Cover container and leave in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning breasts once or twice.

Remove from brine mixture and coat with oil. Grill over charcoal or gas until cooked, approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Note: Chicken breasts will remain extremely moist.

Wine suggestion: Riesling or California Chablis

Sheila’s Mexican Chicken

Susan Housel

President in 2008, 2009 and 2010

3 to 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes and peppers

½ tsp. chili powder

½ green pepper, chopped

½ onion, chopped

½ cup chicken broth

3 cups nacho flavored Doritos

Grated cheese to taste

Scallions to taste

Mix soups, Rotel, chili powder, green pepper, onion and chicken broth. Stir in chopped chicken. Break up Doritos and stir gently into chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with cheese and scallions.

Wine suggestion: Dry white, such as California Chablis or Sangria

Apple Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Cathey Donald

Cookbook сo-chairman

2 cups unbleached or regular all-purpose flour

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup grated zucchini

1 apple, cored and chopped

¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

¾ cup golden raisins

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

3 lg. eggs

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease two 12 cup muffin pans. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, pecans, carrots, zucchini, apple, coconut, raisins, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix well and make a well in the center.

In a second bowl, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour into well in the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to combine. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans.

Bake muffins about 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. On wire racks, cool muffins in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn muffins out of the pan. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 24 muffins.

Mary Lou’s Goat Cheese Spread

Mary Lou Matthews

President in 1993 and 1995 and former scholarship and plant sales chairman

8 oz. soft goat cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives

2 tsp. grated lemon peel

Salt and pepper

½ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives

2 Tbsp. capers, chopped

Blend goat cheese and cream cheese in food processor until smooth. Add parsley, thyme and lemon peel; pulse to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Form into a log and sprinkle with a bit of the chopped capers, olives and lemon peel. Cover and refrigerate.

Let stand at room temperature 1 hour when ready to serve. Serve on toast points that have been brushed with olive oil and baked until golden and crisp.

Note: A must serve at Campus Club kick-offs.

Quick and Easy Venison Chili

Shirley Bartels

president in 1998

1 lb. ground venison

2 can tomatoes

2 cans kidney beans

1 can beer

2 cup water

1 pkg. Chili-O chili mix

Brown venison. Place in crock-pot. Add additional ingredients. Simmer 4 to 6 hours. Garnish with grated cheese, chopped onion, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

Serves 4-5.

Wine suggestion: Syrah or Malbec

Last-Minute Company Chicken

Carolyn Neal

president in 2005

4 cups chicken, cooked and diced

2 cans cream of chicken soup

½ cup melted margarine

2 cups cracker crumbs

2 cups sour cream

½ cup broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine margarine and cracker crumbs in bowl; blend well. Spoon half of the crumbs into shallow 9×13-inch  casserole dish. Cover with chicken. Combine sour cream, soup, broth, salt and pepper in bowl; blend well. Pour over chicken. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 12 servings.

Wine suggestion: Chardonnay

Blue Cheese Slaw

Joanne Schrantz

president in 2014

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups shredded purple cabbage

¼ cup chopped onion

2 tsp. chopped chives

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

¼ cup crumbled crisp cooked bacon

¼ chopped green bell pepper

Toss cabbage, onion and chives in large bowl. Add the dressing and mix until coated. Stir in cheese, bacon and bell pepper. Cover. Chill for  3 to 4  hours.


½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

¼ cup buttermilk

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/16 tsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients in food processor and process to desired consistency.

Herbed Monkey Bread

Sharon Sartain

President in 2015 and 2016

½ cup butter or margarine

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1 tsp. dried chives

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano

2 pkg. refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (12 oz. each)

Melt butter or margarine. In a bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, parsley flakes, chives, basil and oregano. Dip biscuits in the butter mixture; arrange in a greased 10 in. fluted tube pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ronda Hardgrave

president in 2017

2 grilled, precooked chicken breasts

2 cans (10 ¾ oz. each) cream of chicken soup

1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso enchilada sauce, mild or medium

2 cups fat free milk

1 red bell pepper

1 cup shredded, reduced fat Mexican cheese

¼ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. cumin

Tri-colored tortilla strips

Dice 2 chicken breasts in ¼ inch cubes. In blender, puree chicken soup, red bell pepper, and skim milk. In 3 qt. saucepan over low heat, add puree from blender, enchilada sauce, diced chicken, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and cheese. Stir occasionally until hot.

Serve with tri-colored tortilla strips.

Eggplant Casserole II

Trudy Baker

president in 2000 and former scholarship and plant sales chairman

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes

2 Tbsp. butter or 1 Tbsp. each butter and olive oil

¼ cup milk

4 saltines, crumbled

2 eggs, separated

1 cup grated cheese (sharp cheddar recommended)

In saucepan cook eggplant in small amount of water until tender. Add onion when eggplant is almost cooked. Drain. Add butter. Cool. Add milk, saltines and egg yolks. Set aside.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until firm. Combine all ingredients in greased casserole dish. Sprinkle more cheese and cracker crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Ann Garner’s Almond Pear Bread

Libba Stinson

2 cups sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

2 cups fresh grated peeled pears

1 cup chopped almonds

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. almond flavoring

Cream sugar and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift in flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Add grated pears and beat on medium speed in an electric mixer until well mixed. Add vanilla, almonds and almond flavoring. Stir well.

Bake in  two greased and floured  9×3-inch loaf pans at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done to the touch.

Makes 2 loaves

Festive Tossed Salad

Cathy Dillon

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

3 Tbsp. butter

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

¼ tsp. salt

12 cups torn mixed salad greens (combination romaine and green leaf lettuce recommended)

¾ cup dried cranberries

4 oz. crumbled feta or blue cheese

In a skillet, cook and stir walnuts in butter until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, pepper and salt. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts. Set aside.


¼ cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley sprigs

¼ cup chopped red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. dried oregano

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Place the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle dressing over salad to taste. Toss to coat. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any remaining dressing.

Serves 12. 


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