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Legacy of Auburn history department alumnus Gordon Bond carried on through granddaughter


Emma Bond found more than just her history meeting the first time she entered the Department of History’s library.

As she walked into the meeting room, the words “Departmental Library in memory of Gordon Crews Bond” hung beside the door, surprising the first-year history education major. Emma knew her late grandfather was a prominent alumnus of Auburn, but was unaware of the impact he had on the university and especially on the history department.

Now, she is following in her grandfather’s footsteps and pursuing a degree in secondary social studies education, a career choice that seems to run in her blood.

Emma’s decision to attend Auburn was an easy one, and she describes her childhood as an immersed experience of Auburn football games and campus visits with her parents Michael and Angie Bond, both Auburn alumni.

“It was never really a question for me if I wanted to go somewhere else since Auburn has been a part of my life since before my birth,” Emma said. “I've always wanted to come here, so it really is a dream that I’m finally here.”

She grew up visiting the auditorium in which her grandfather used to lecture, Haley Center’s Room 2370, a room in which she now attends classes of her own. Even though Emma never met her grandfather, who passed away in 1997, her journey to Auburn was undoubtedly influenced by his life.

“I feel very close to him, because I'm walking where he walked and even learning in the room that he used to lecture in,” Emma said. “He loved Auburn, and he especially loved Auburn sports. He was a true Auburn man.”

Gordon Bond was a leader in the Auburn history department and College of Liberal Arts. He started at Auburn as a history lecturer in 1967 and eventually became head of the department before being named dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 1992. He served in that role until his death.

Gordon was loved by students and faculty alike and was highly successful during his time at Auburn. He is remembered by his former coworkers for bringing innovation and a host of new classes to the history department, greatly growing its size and scope. Auburn history Professor Emerita Donna Bohanan remembers Gordon fondly.

“He was an inspired and rigorous teacher whose students, freshmen to doctoral, recall with great respect and admiration the classes taken under him,” Bohanan said. “He was known far beyond Auburn University for his enthusiastic support of scholarship and participation in professional organizations. The university never had a more thoughtful and dynamic supporter.”

Left with a strong legacy to follow, Emma is honoring her grandfather by pouring into the next generation of history students. She plans to continue her degree of secondary history education while also participating in the undergraduate history club, held in none other than the Bond Library.

“I’ve always loved history, so I'm very happy to know that, in finding my place as an educator, I'm also following my grandfather's legacy,” Emma said.

Tags: History

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