The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in October 2012.
Jay Gogue has served as Auburn University’s 18th president since July 16, 2007.
Gogue was born and reared in Waycross, Georgia. His family operated a nursery and sold plants, so when he enrolled at Auburn, he declared his major as horticulture. His maturation into a serious student was fostered by some “wonderful teachers” who he says “took him under their wing." He is a two-time Auburn graduate, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1969 and a master’s in 1971. In 1973, he earned a doctorate from Michigan State University.
He spent eleven years working for the National Park Service, including a stint in Washington, D.C., where one of his most memorable tasks was stocking a pond with trout overnight for Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to fish in during the Camp David peace talks.
Gogue began his career in academic administration at Clemson in 1986, serving as vice president for research and vice president/vice provost for agriculture and natural resources. After stints as provost of Utah State University and president of New Mexico State University, he was elected president of the University of Houston and chancellor of the University of Houston System in 2003, positions from which he resigned to return to Auburn. Shortly after returning to his alma mater, Gogue engaged the talent and insight of the Auburn family toward development of a new, forward-looking strategic plan to guide the university into the future. In the years since then, Auburn has accomplished more than 75 percent of the plan’s objectives to strengthen academics, research, and outreach; develop human capital; and improve operational efficiency.
During his tenure, the academic strength of each incoming freshman class has exceeded the record of the previous year, surpassing in 2010 the goal set for 2013. Auburn has also established a new research center in Huntsville, Alabama, a common book program that generates a shared academic experience among students, outreach partnerships with underserved schools in surrounding areas, and programs in which undergraduate students can earn credit toward a master’s degree. His leadership during reductions in the university’s state appropriations protected Auburn’s academic quality and prevented elimination of academic programs.
He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies, Sigma Chi Fraternity, Sigma Xi scientific research society, and the National Society of Scabbard and Blade, the honorary military society for all branches of service. He also serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, appointed by Secretary Janet Napolitano. The council, comprised of prominent university presidents and academic leaders, is charged with advising the Secretary and senior leadership at the department on several key issues. In this role, Gogue will provide advice and recommendations on issues related to student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research; campus and community resiliency; security and preparedness; and faculty exchanges.
Gogue met his wife, Susie, in the 8th grade, and they married during their undergraduate years at Auburn. They are the proud parents of three children and have one grandchild.