Today I had lunch with Bobby Lowder.
Our six members of the newly formed Auburn Student Entrepreneurship Organization sat in the lavishly decorated Alabama Power Room at the top of the Edward L. and Catherine K. Lowder Building. Named after Bobby Lowder’s parents, the building is the crown of Lowder’s generosity towards Auburn.
I had little idea what to expect or what he would be like. Lowder is somewhat of a mythical figure here at Auburn. It is impossible to walk through campus without seeing the Lowder family name. After all, without him Auburn may not have a business school. Some stories paint Lowder as a hero, while others see him as a notorious booster. Either way you see it, the man has a presence.
The next next hour was filled with stories from his days in the military, and the lessons he took with him into the business world.
He discussed the importance of keeping in touch with others, and not going to them only when you need something. We talked about traits he felt the best entrepreneurs had: a good energy, an inquisitive nature, and a get things done attitude.
He asked us questions about our ideals, goal, and aspirations. And he did so with a sparkle in his eye. You know the kind, when someone is really engaged , when someone is really resonating with what you are saying. He was genuinely as excited to meet us as we were to meet him.
As our hour drew towards a close Bill Hardgrave, Dean of the College of Business, entered the room signaling the end of our discussion.
Behind him some 30 students entered the room, all Lowder Scholarship recipients.
People will have their own opinions about the man, but in that room there were 30 students who may not be in college if it wasn’t for him. He believes in education, he believes in entrepreneurship, and he believes in Auburn.