For more than 100 years, eagles have been associated with Auburn University's football program. From a static presence on the sidelines to rousing flights over the field, War Eagle has become an Auburn icon. Eagles stir emotions in many people as they have come to symbolize strength, power, and courage as well as other important values such as freedom, American heritage, and the preservation of our environment.
The role of Auburn University's eagles is to promote wildlife conservation as a part of the education initiatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the College of Veterinary Medicine's Southeastern Raptor Center. The USF&WS permits the Raptor Center to house eagles and use them on hundreds of educational presentations each year — including Auburn's home football games.
Auburn's most famous eagle was Tiger (War Eagle VI), who was hatched in captivity in 1980 and came to live at Auburn University in 1986. A frequent sideline fixture, she was the first eagle to free fly at the Wyoming game on Aug. 31, 2000. She flew prior to many games as well as at educational programs and the 2002 Winter Olympics. At the Georgia game in November 2006, Tiger made her last stadium flight and retired. A halftime ceremony at that game recognized her contributions to the Auburn community and to the USF&WS conservation mission. Tiger died on June 18, 2014 at age 34, outliving the average lifespan of a golden eagle.
Although not titled War Eagle VII until November 2006, Nova's first pre-game flight was at the Kentucky game in 2004. Nova was hatched in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and came to Auburn in 2000. Nova looks similar to Tiger but has a smaller stature because he is a male. Like Tiger, Nova appears in scores of educational programs every year.
Spirit is the only bald eagle that has ever flown in Jordan-Hare Stadium. His first game flight was in 2001. You can recognize Spirit soaring before kickoff because unlike the golden eagles, Spirit has bright white head and tail feathers. In 1995, Spirit was discovered as an injured fledgling in Florida. He came to Auburn in 1998 and joined the educational collection at the Raptor Center. His damaged beak makes him non-releasable. Bald eagles are found throughout Alabama and wild ones can sometimes be seen soaring in Auburn skies.
The Tiger Walk at Auburn University is one of the most imitated traditions in all of college sports.
Each gameday, the Tigers walk from the Athletics Complex down Donahue Drive to Jordan-Hare Stadium. But the team doesn't make the walk alone; they are cheered on by the thousands of Auburn fans who line the street and, in the process, create one of the great scenes in college football. The walk begins two hours before each game.
The tradition began in the 1960s when groups of kids would walk up the street to greet the team and get autographs. It has grown to become one of the most treasured of Auburn traditions.
The most famous Tiger Walk took place on Dec. 2, 1989, the day Auburn welcomed Alabama to campus for the first time ever. Previously, the Auburn-Alabama series had only been played at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Auburn officials estimate that 20,000 fans lined Donahue Drive for the Tiger Walk that day. ESPN.com college football writer Ivan Maisel, who was there that day, wrote "the height of emotion [the Tiger Walk] reached in 1989 will be a watermark for years to come."
Other institutions need to give descriptive names to their bands in order to praise them. The quality of the music, the precision of its drills, and the fine image that it portrays have made it unnecessary for us to say more than “This is the Auburn University Marching Band.”
For more than a century, the Auburn University Marching Band has captivated audiences across the nation with spectacular performances. Whether marching before the home crowd or away, the Auburn Band has attained a position of national distinction and a reputation for excellence second to none.
Band members are chosen by audition, and represent virtually every school and curriculum on the Auburn campus. About 75 of the 375 members are music majors preparing for careers as performers or teachers. The band includes members from more than 20 states as well as throughout Alabama.
The Auburn University Marching Band has built an international reputation for its precise, entertaining, and colorful performances on the field, unyielding and spirited support for its sports teams, and prideful ambassadorship for Auburn University. The marching band was named the 2004 recipient of the Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy, the nation's highest and most coveted award for college and university marching bands.
With 380 members, the current marching band is the largest in university history. The band performed at the 2014 BCS National Championship Game and the 2013 SEC Championship Game. Other prominent appearances include the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, 2010 Outback Bowl and the 2008 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. The band was one of only six collegiate marching bands selected by ESPN to participate in its 2008 Battle of the Bands promotion.
Throughout its history, one of the primary goals of the Auburn University Marching Band has been to foster the Auburn Spirit. With more than 30 performances and exhibitions starting early in the fall and extending through the bowl season, the Auburn Band does exactly that.
For more information, please visit band.auburn.edu.
When it comes to gameday spirit, no one embodies it better than the Auburn University Cheerleaders and Tiger Paws Dance Team. Whether it’s on the field or in the arena, the two squads have long-been fixtures on Auburn sidelines, leading the crowd in traditional cheers and showing neverending support of the Tigers.
Toomer’s Corner is where you’ll find the celebration after a big win at Auburn. The intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue is where Auburn's campus and the City of Auburn meet. It’s also home to the famed Toomer’s Drugs, where the tradition of rolling the corner is said to have begun. The local drug store had the only telegraph in the city, so when employees received news of an Auburn victory at an away game, they would throw the ticker tape onto the power lines of the intersection.
There is no clear consensus on when the tradition changed to throwing toilet paper into the trees.
The original Auburn Oaks were found to have been poisoned in early 2011. The university attempted to save the trees, but had to remove them once it was determined they would not survive. Two new trees were transplanted in 2015. The oak on Magnolia Avenue did not survive the move, so it was replaced a few months later. The tradition of rolling the trees was temporarily suspended until the 2016 football season to give the trees time to adjust to their new surroundings.
University officials suspended rolling of the Magnolia Avenue tree after it was severely damaged by fire during the 2016 football season. When it was determined the College Avenue tree would not survive either, officials found two replacements of similar size and appearance. The two new live oaks were planted on February 18, 2017. The rolling tradition will not return to the corner until it’s deemed the new trees can tolerate it.
More information is available at auburn.edu/oaks.