Elizabeth Porter selected as student marshal for Auburn University’s fall 2023 commencement
Elizabeth Porter, a graduating senior majoring in political science, has been named the fall 2023 graduation marshal for the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. A native of Andalusia, Alabama, Porter's journey has been defined by her commitment to academic excellence and her service in the Alabama Army National Guard.
“In my senior year of high school, I enlisted in the Alabama Army National Guard as a medic. The military was appealing to me because I always wanted to see the world while helping people,” said Porter. “I genuinely love my country and my state, so serving both at the same time was perfect for me.”
Porter served across the country and completed a tour in Europe. Throughout her time in the National Guard, Porter received an Army Commendation Medal, awarded by the Battalion Commander for outstanding military service; two Army Achievement Medals, awarded by the Battalion Commander for outstanding military achievement; and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, awarded by Commanding General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for service in Europe.
Coming to the Plains in 2020, Porter's decision to major in political science stemmed from her experience as a service member.
“When I first came to Auburn, I was a nursing major. I decided to switch to political science because of the military. I wanted to understand better the political climate of the United States and how that impacts me as a service member,” said Porter. “The faculty and staff here are incredible. Not only are they intellectually stimulating, but they are also encouraging and understanding. They treat each student as an individual and genuinely care about their success.”
During her time at Auburn, Porter was involved in the Auburn Student Veterans Association and served as a mentor for first-generation college students. She also served as a student caller in the Auburn University Office of Annual Giving’s “Phonathon” and as a driver for the Auburn University Office of Transportation’s jAUnt service.
Porter said she appreciates the flexibility and support the Auburn Family provided, allowing her to stay on track during her deployment. She looks back on her nontraditional student experience with gratitude, cherishing the understanding and encouragement she received from faculty and staff.
"My experiences in the last four years, as unconventional as they were, have encouraged me always to challenge myself and to seek higher education,” said Porter. “The faculty and staff here were all very understanding of my nontraditional student experience. They provided much-needed flexibility while I was deployed in Europe to keep me on track with my goals to graduate.”
Porter's experiences have fueled her passion for public service. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, she plans to continue her education at Auburn in the Master of Public Administration program. Her ultimate goal is to attend law school and become an immigration lawyer, focusing on helping individuals gain U.S. citizenship.
“Elizabeth’s outstanding passion for service, education and her country is admirable and embodies everything the College of Liberal Arts and the Auburn Creed stand for,” said Dean Jason Hicks. “We are thrilled to see Elizabeth lead our graduates through this momentous occasion and look forward to seeing her continue to be an example for all as she furthers her education.”
Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, in Neville Arena. Additional information is available on the commencement website. Information will also be posted on the Facebook and Instagram accounts.
All ceremonies will be live-streamed, with recordings available on the commencement website following the weekend festivities. Graduates and their families are encouraged to check the website regularly for updated information.