6 Auburn Traditions, Myths, and Legends

When family members come to visit Auburn, there can be an overwhelming amount of things to take in: all of the beautiful buildings, the friendly people, the traffic on College Street, Samford Hall, and many other great things Auburn has to offer. However, there can be a bit of confusion about some of the things Auburn University holds dear: our traditions, myths, and legends. Spending time on campus you'll notice these little quirks that make Auburn a fun and enjoyable place to visit, and you'll be able to act as a tour guide when they pop up.


1. The Creed

George Petrie, an auburn professor who brought football to Auburn in 1891, wrote the Auburn Creed, a set of beliefs and ideals for those associated with Auburn. It’s supposed to encompass the spirit of Auburn and be recognized in the members of the Auburn family. You can see it on the wall of the Student Center bottom floor, but here it is:

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, a sound body, and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and brings mutual helpfulness and happiness for all.

I believe in my country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.


2. Tiger Walk

On home football game days, Donahue Drive is a chaotic mess of pumped up fans trying to get into Jordan-Hare. Two hours before kickoff, however, is when those fans line the street to cheer on the Auburn Tigers as they make their way into the stadium. This tradition was started in the 1960s, and today the team is led by Gus Malzahn as they shake hands and greet their supporters. Fun fact: the largest Tiger Walk was on December 2, 1989 before the first ever Iron Bowl home game, when an estimated 20,000 fans showed up.


3. Toomer's Corner

One of the most well-known traditions of Auburn University is the rolling of Toomer’s Corner. The intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street is home to Toomer’s Drugs, home of the best lemonade around.  In 1937, two oak trees were planted on the corner right on the edge of campus. Whenever there is a reason to celebrate, usually football game wins, the Auburn community rolls the trees with toilet paper. This is said to have begun when Toomer’s Drugs had to only telegraph in the city. When an away game win was announced, the employees would throw ticker tape onto the power lines, but there are other “theories” about when the trees began being rolled.


4. “War Eagle” Battle Cry

Walking around Auburn, it’s hard not to see all the “War Eagle” merchandise or hear a cheerful “War Eagle” as you pass others. It can be most commonly heard, however, at football games, usually for kickoffs. In 1930, Auburn received a live golden eagle mascot named “Tiger,” and today Auburn has “Nova” and “Spirit.” Before home football games, an eagle flies around the stadium before landing at mid-field. According to the Auburn website, in 1892 Auburn and Georgia had their first football game against each other. A Civil War veteran’s pet eagle soared over the stadium as the Auburn team charged the Georgia end zone and had their first win over Georgia. Unfortunately, the eagle crashed into the field and passed away, but the “War Eagle” battle cry honors it many years later.


5. The Bronze Seal

If you sit in front of Langdon Hall for a few minutes, you’ll notice something: Auburn students are very careful to avoid a bronze seal on the ground when walking to class. The caution stems from a legend that says if a student steps on the seal, they will not graduate in four years, they will not find their true love at Auburn, and they’ll have seven generations of Alabama fans in their family. While there are many other versions shared, not many Auburn students want to risk these curses. There is a way to reverse the curse if you’re unlucky enough to step on the seal. Drinking water from the Centennial Pond (now filled) would reverse the curse, but now taking a dip in the President’s fountain on the leap day of a leap year will save you (but the next leap year isn’t until 2020!).


6. The Lathe

On the side of Samford Hall, hidden by trees, is an old lathe from the Civil War. It was built in Selma to manufacture military supplies for the Confederate Army during the war. It was eventually moved to Columbus, Georgia to prevent it from being seized by enemy troops. In 1952, it was presented by Alpha Phi Omega according to the plaque. The legend says that if an Auburn man is dating an Auburn women, he can check if she is unfaithful by bringing her to the lathe at midnight to kiss her. If the wheel of the lathe doesn’t move, she’s honest and faithful.