Help Auburn diversify its student body and honor a trailblazing Auburn Tiger by supporting the new Dr. Josetta Brittain Matthews Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
The Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors approved the creation of the scholarship to support Auburn University’s goal of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion among its student body, which is key to its educational mission.
The scholarship will provide support to undergraduate students in Alabama whose financial need makes attendance at Auburn cost-prohibitive.
Matthews was the first Black student to earn a graduate degree from Auburn, earning a master’s degree in 1966 and a doctorate in 1975, both in education. She was also the first Black faculty member at the university, joining the College of Liberal Arts as a French and history instructor around 1972. In 2005, the Auburn University Board of Trustees awarded an honorary doctorate to Matthews, who died in 2019.
Matthews’ daughter, Heidi B. Wright ’20, who teaches special education at Auburn University, said her mother not only made history, she also loved it.
“My mom was a true historian,” Wright said. “I loved listening to her explain history to me in her unique way that made me understand things happening in the world. She had a knack for making you understand any world event by bringing history into the future. She could give you the historic background information on wars, culture, gender differences and politics that made you understand the world around you.
“She told me, ’I love what I do!’ I know she is smiling from heaven on Auburn University.”
Help us give underserved high school students the resources necessary to join the Auburn Family.
You may help provide the means for the next Auburn trailblazer.
Like Josetta Matthews.