by Dwayne Cox
University of Alabama Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-0-8173-1909-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-8975-8
Library of Congress Classification LD271.A6615C68 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 378.76155

Auburn University possesses a rich and storied past as well as an esprit de corps that is the envy of its rivals. Dwayne Cox’s The Village on the Plain traces the school’s history in fascinating detail from its origins as a private college through its emergence as a nationally recognized land-grant university.

Founded before the Civil War to provide a classical education, Auburn became the state’s land-grant college after the cessation of hostilities. This infused the school with a vision of the reborn South as a commercial and industrial power. By the 1880s, the applied sciences were at the core of Auburn’s growth and strength. Like most southern universities, Auburn never enjoyed financial abundance, and scarcity intensified internal debates over investments in liberal arts or science. Modest state funding for higher education also complicated Auburn’s rise. It became a source of competition with the University of Alabama. This rivalry was most intense between 1908 and 1948. The two schools did not meet on the gridiron but blocked and tackled one another in the legislature over the division of state funds.

On the idyllic plains of Lee County, Alabama, Auburn developed a unique, sometimes introspective culture, which is true of many universities founded far from urban centers. Long Auburn’s head archivist, Cox describes this culture with an insider’s insights and shows how it shaped the school's history and community.

Auburn University’s history is that of a small private college that rose to the challenges of convulsive state and national events, not only to survive but to emerge more vibrant and thriving. Offering much to students of higher education and Alabama history, as well as readers affiliated with Auburn University, The Village on the Plain tells the story of this complex and fascinating institution.

See other books on: 1856 - 2006 | Auburn University | Education | Plain | Village
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