By Brandon Moseley
A new study shows that Auburn University and its alumni have made a $5.63 billion economic impact on the state of Alabama, including creating more than 27,000 jobs. This is on top of the thousands of jobs that the university itself employs.
“Even during this challenging pandemic, Auburn has been a critical economic engine for Alabama," President Jay Gogue said. “With nationally recognized academic programs, along with our capacity to build partnerships and foster innovation through our renowned research and outreach efforts, Auburn benefits individuals, organizations and communities all across our state.”
The study noted that Auburn’s instruction, research and outreach resources, active faculty and student engagement and extension presence across the state are major assets for Alabama communities statewide.
Republican insider former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R-Montgomery) is an influential Auburn University graduate.
“As the number one choice for in-state students, the size of the economic impact of Auburn does not surprise me,” Hooper commented on the study’s findings. “The impact of Auburn Alumni such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales are international in scope. However, as a premier Alabama university, its focus is on Alabama as it should be. Auburn Alumnus Raymond Harbert has personally stepped up to the plate to assure the business school remains world-class. Alumnus Samuel Ginn has done the same for the school of engineering. From engineering and architecture to crop science, from Osteopathic medicine and pharmacy to veterinary medicine, Auburn has a positive impact on all Alabamian’s lives. Also, don’t forget Auburn’s first-class athletic program. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger.”
The study found that the university has a direct economic impact of $2.2 billion, representing Auburn’s in-state expenditures, such as payroll and purchases, student spending on local housing as well as food, construction and spending by visitors to the various Auburn University events.
Auburn University also adds tremendously to Alabama by increasing the state’s available human capital from Auburn’s high-quality educational programs.
Both Governor Kay Ivey (R) and Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth (R) are Auburn University graduates.
“This study confirms again that the university greatly contributes to the quality of life in Alabama, especially during difficult times such as we’ve all faced with COVID-19,” said Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach. “The university is a significant component of the state’s economy and human capital while providing access to educational resources and services into the community for the well-being of all our citizens.”
Researchers based the study on recent statistical and financial data from Auburn’s main campus, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which has offices in all 67 counties. The study was conducted by Economic Research Services in Montgomery and Auburn’s Division of University Outreach, which has coordinated the ongoing impact studies for Auburn since 1996.
Auburn’s $5.63 billion economic contribution to the booming Alabama economy is a 1% increase from the previous study.