Auburn vs. Alabama: the Political Rivalry
Original Lecture Date and Time: April 19, 2006 at 4PM
Location: Special Collections & Archives, Ralph Brown Draughon Library
Speaker: Anthony Donaldson
About the Speaker
Anthony Donaldson, a doctoral candidate in history at Auburn University, is writing his dissertation on the longstanding political rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
About the Lecture
The rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Alabama began long before either school fielded and intercollegiate football team. Tuscaloosa and Auburn competed for the distinction of providing a home for the state's new land grant college. Isaac Taylor Tichenor, who served as president of Auburn from 1872 to 1882, complained that the rivalry between the two schools sapped the resources of both. During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the schools competed over state funding formulae and the elmination of duplicate programs, but gradually saw the wisdom of settling their differences behind the scenes. This same pattern appeared in other states, as schools such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State University competed on the athletic field and in the halls of the legislature.