This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Desegregation at Auburn University: A Historical Look at the Uses of Media




Willis, Lee

Type of Degree



Communication and Journalism


This thesis examines desegregation at Auburn University, focusing on the role of the media. Why is the desegregation of Auburn University less well known than other southern schools and what role, if any, did the media play in this? In addition to employing a communication history methodology, this thesis uses the Westley MacLean model of communication and boundary spanning theory to explain why Auburn’s integration did not result in the same notoriety as other southern universities. Auburn’s integration is less well known than the attempts at the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, and the University of Mississippi because Auburn University’s president heavily controlled the media’s access to information. The media therefore played a significant role to the extent that their messages were controlled by Draughon.