Auburn University announces new deanship in honor of College of Human Sciences Dean Emerita June Marcum Henton

June Henton sitting behind her desk in Spidle Hall.
College of Human Sciences Dean Emerita June Marcum Henton

The Auburn University College of Human Sciences announced the June Marcum Henton Deanship in honor of June Henton, the longest serving dean in the modern history of Auburn University. The deanship is being established with an initial gift from Henton’s two children and their spouses.

Connor Lowry, Henton’s daughter and College of Human Sciences alumna says, “I have witnessed first-hand the evolution of the field of the College and the passion and vision brought by my mother’s leadership. She transformed a small predominately woman’s School of Home Economics into the College of Human Sciences, setting the standard for national and international programming.”

Additional gifts are being accepted with a goal to endow the fund at $1 M within five years. Once endowed, the College of Human Sciences dean will be forever known as the June Marcum Henton Endowed Dean. “The establishment of the deanship is a fitting honor for dean and professor emerita Henton and will allow Auburn University to recruit and retain distinguished leadership for the College of Human Sciences in perpetuity,” said Provost Vini Nathan. June Henton captained the College of Human Sciences for 34 years. Her visionary leadership touched the lives of faculty, students and industry partners, and continues to do so following her retirement in 2019.

During her tenure as dean, Henton led the charge to define the human sciences as a discipline that enhances the quality of life for individuals, families and their environments. Today the College of Human Sciences has one school, three departments, the Hunger Solutions Institute, and multiple initiatives and centers. Henton also passionately worked to globalize the college. In collaboration with her International Board of Advisors, she insured every program in the college had a global element, which included the college creating the only permanent, year-round academic overseas campus located in Ariccia, Italy.

Beyond promoting global competence, Henton was committed to social awareness and philanthropy as central tenets of the human sciences mission. Jalyn Henton, Henton’s son remarked, “The opportunity to establish this endowment which will honor and preserve her legacy, demonstrates her commitments to issues related to women and girls, diversity, pressing global issues as well as creating the next generation of thought leaders.”

She also elevated the recognition of leaders who have made significant and lasting contributions to individual, family and community well-being through the annual International Quality of Life Awards (IQLA). Past IQLA honorees over the award’s 30-year history have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, legendary pro athlete and entrepreneur Bo Jackson, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Henton’s legacy has laid the foundation for the college’s continued excellence. With the new deanship, the College of Human Sciences – and its nationally ranked programs and global reputation – will continue to grow, adapt and lead in academics, research and community engagement.

“The deanship will be a gift for the entire College of Human Sciences,” said Susan Hubbard, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “Once established it will enable the future deans of the college to have more financial flexibility to innovate and take advantage of high impact opportunities for the betterment of our students and faculty. On a personal note, I have great respect for Dean Henton as a leader, mentor and friend. She is incredibly deserving of this honor.”

The endowment is designed to support the Dean of the College of Human Sciences in promoting the College’s mission and strategic priorities. The holder of the June Marcum Henton Deanship will demonstrate a courageous commitment to improving the quality of life through the development of the next generation of leaders and the advancement of the field of human sciences.

“First I’m grateful to my family for establishing this honor and publicly recognizing my deeply felt commitment to the core values of what makes the human sciences a unique research, teaching and outreach community. Moving forward, those who consider contributing to this endowment will be supporting future Human Sciences deans with the necessary funds to respond to the growing challenges in an ever-changing world. It was my greatest privilege to serve as the Dean of the College for 34 years at Auburn University.”

For information about how to help endow the June Marcum Henton Deanship at $1 M within five years, please contact Michelle McBride.