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Elizabeth Hobbs thought she was destined for community college.

The daughter of two elementary school teachers, Hobbs felt that her modest upbringing made a four-year institution like Auburn University out of reach financially.

But achieving a score of 30 on the ACT opened doors to a host of merit scholarships that made attending Auburn a reality. The Athens, Alabama native made her way to the Plains as a freshman in August 2020.

Still, the merit scholarships only went so far, leaving a $2,000 gap between her financial aid and tuition costs. That gap could have meant the difference between fully immersing herself in the Auburn Experience or toiling away at a part-time job – if not for the vision of Jean Howard Lowe, a 1973 alumna who studied marketing.

The planned gift Lowe created through her IRA left behind an endowed scholarship that supports marketing students like Hobbs in perpetuity.

“I know $2,000 may seem like a measly amount to a donor, but it’s made a world of difference for me,” Hobbs said. “I think that’s been the biggest blessing of college because there’s no way that I would have been able to be as involved as I have been had it not been for the scholarship.”

And gotten involved she has. During her time at Auburn, the senior has worked with the Harbert College of Business Executive Society, the student-run WEGL 91.1 radio station, “The Auburn Circle” literary magazine, and the High School Leadership Conference, including as president. In between all those activities, she has even found the time to work four internships.

These pursuits have helped define Hobbs’ Auburn Experience. At Auburn, she’s been able to find her passion for leading and organizing and hone her ability to think analytically.

“I have been so supported, and loved, and have learned so much through Auburn, the Harbert College of Business, and my involvement,” Hobbs said. “There’s no way that I could have built up that confidence and skill set had I gone to a community college. I wouldn’t have had to push myself outside my comfort zone.”

Hobbs recognizes the tremendous impact of planned giving donors like Lowe, and she hopes it can lead to a snowball effect in which current scholarship recipients are one day able to support the next generation of Auburn students.

“This could have the potential to change a student’s life and give them the opportunity to have transformative experiences at Auburn,” Hobbs said. “And once they experience career and life success, they can then give some of what they have and pass that on to someone else.”

For more information about making a planned gift, contact or 334-844-7375.