Two of the 12 students selected to represent their colleges at Auburn University’s 2021 fall commencement ceremony last weekend have ties to the Auburn-Opelika area.
Madeleine Norman (Samuel Ginn College of Engineering) and Jordan Fleming Sibley (College of Architecture, Design and Construction) from Auburn were selected to lead the procession of their respective colleges on Friday and Saturday.
Each college at Auburn enlists a special committee to select a student marshal who best represents the values and level of excellence within the college and carry its flag at the front of the commencement procession. Auburn’s fall commencement ceremonies take place on Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, contingent on weather, with Auburn Arena serving as the inclement weather option.
The university kicked off its graduation weekend at 5 p.m. CST on Friday, Dec. 10, with a commencement address from Auburn alumnus Joe Forehand Jr., the former chairman and CEO of Accenture. Open to all graduates and families, the evening included the group recognition of graduates with academic honors, conferral of degrees by the Auburn University Board of Trustees and the Graduate School ceremony for master’s and doctoral graduates.
The Friday night commencement address was immediately followed by the Graduate School ceremony for the conferral of master’s and doctoral degrees. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, the university hosted 10 undergraduate ceremonies at assigned times throughout the day.
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
Norman will be receiving a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, with a minor in German. While at Auburn, Norman served as a tutor in Engineering Student Services, was a member of the German Club and Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society. She also was the president of Eta Kappa Nu her senior year.
Norman gained much real-world experience, completing three co-op rotations with Mercedes Benz U.S. International in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She was runner-up for the Vandegrift Co-Op Student of the Year in 2020 and was chosen as the Outstanding Student in Electrical Engineering for 2021.
“The professors were my favorite part about engineering at Auburn,” Norman said. “They were always accessible and willing to help. I’ve gotten so much advice from them, especially as it got close to time to apply to jobs.”
Following graduation, Norman would like to work in research and development as an electrical engineer. She hopes to live and work abroad, which would give her the opportunity to use her German language skills, as well as her engineering degree.
“Maddie is the personification of the Auburn Creed, particularly where it reads ‘I believe in work, hard work,’” said Samuel Ginn College of Engineering quote Dean Christopher B. Roberts. “While she excelled inside the classroom as an electrical engineering student, even being named the department’s Outstanding Student of the Year, which is no easy feat, she has been even more inspiring outside of the classroom.
“Maddie has selflessly served as an engineering tutor, helping to raise up other students who might be struggling. In addition, her co-op experience with Mercedes Benz will serve her well as she utilizes her love of the German language to go out and change the world. What better example could you have to show what it means, and takes, to be an Auburn engineer?”
College of Architecture, Design and Construction
Sibley is graduating with a degree in Building Construction and has completed two internships with the Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the largest general contractors in the Southeast. He joined the Associated General Contractors Student Chapter his freshman year, served as chapter secretary from 2019-20 and vice president from 2020-21.
Sibley also was an ambassador for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, or CADC, from 2019-21 and was inducted into the Sigma Lambda Chi Construction Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2020.
“I really enjoyed the professors I had in Building Science, because they all have industry experience that they were able to bring to the classroom, which gave me insight into what my own career would look like,” said Sibley, a member of Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn. “I will use 3D modeling software to help project teams and trade contractors identify issues that could arise during construction and coordinate solving these issues before they occur in the field.
“My time at Auburn has been great, and I don’t think I would change anything about it.”
Following graduation, Sibley will begin studying at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, while also beginning work as an assistant virtual design and construction coordinator for Brasfield & Gorrie.
“Jordan has been an exemplary student and leader for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and he is a wonderful choice to be our fall graduation marshal,” said CADC Dean and McWhorter Chair Vini Nathan. “Jordan made the most of his time at Auburn and will enter the workforce an experienced and accomplished CADC graduate with a bright future. Through his role as an ambassador for CADC and his involvement with the Associated General Contractors Student Chapter, Jordan became a standout among our student body, and we know he will go on to do great things.”