Dr. June Henton is dean and professor emeritus of Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences. From 1985 to 2019, she provided overall visionary leadership for teaching, research, and outreach in the College’s academic departments and the Office of the Dean. Her deep commitment was to producing graduates who were not only technically competent but also globally aware and socially engaged.
During her tenure at Auburn, Dr. Henton was instrumental in launching a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including: the National Textile Center University Research Consortium in 1991, federally funded by the Department of Commerce to enhance the viability of the U.S. fiber/textile/fiber products/retail complex; the International Board of Advisors in 1992, ushering the college into an era of globalization; and the International Quality of Life Awards in 1994 in conjunction with the United Nations Year of the Family.
Her lasting contributions to academic success within the College of Human Sciences are seen in the Elmer and Glenda Harris Early Learning Center, a partnership with city government and the private sector, creating a model childcare center located near the Civil Rights District of downtown Birmingham; the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program, located in Bernini’s Palazzo Chigi In Ariccia, Italy (16 miles south of Rome), which serves as Auburn’s only permanent year-round overseas campus; and the University/Industry Hospitality Partnership, formed in 2013 with Capella Hotel Group CEO Horst Schulze (co-founder and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company), integrating practitioner experience for Hospitality Management students and transforming the Hotel at Auburn University to serve an academic function. In 2022, the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, an unprecedented state-of-the-art teaching, research, and outreach facility for the hospitality and culinary sciences, and a project Dr. Henton was foundational in launching, will open its doors.
Further, Dr. Henton established the Women’s Philanthropy Board in 2022, now encompassed within the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, which helps individuals to achieve independence as financial donors and decision-makers, as well as mentoring the next generation of philanthropists. The strides Dr. Henton made in ending hunger culminated in Universities Fighting World Hunger, a partnership with the UN World Food Programme that involves a coalition of more than 300 universities engaging students directly in strategies to eliminate hunger locally and globally; and the Hunger Solutions Institute, established at Auburn to promote best practices in the fight against domestic and global hunger, giving leadership to such initiatives as End Child Hunger in Alabama, as well as Presidents United to Solve Hunger, which is made up of more than 70 universities taking collective action against food insecurity.
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