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        Alumni, Business

        Business graduate receives Auburn Alumni Association 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award

        February 27, 2023 By Kate Larkin, Auburn Advancement

        All News


        Bobby Lowder portrait

        Congratulations to Harbert College of Business alumnus Bobby Lowder.

        Harbert alumnus Robert E. “Bobby” Lowder (business administration, 1964) received the Auburn Alumni Association’s 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award February 25—one of five recipients to receive the organization’s highest honor.

        Lowder was a member of the U.S. Army ROTC and a member of Delta Sigma Pi and Sigma Nu fraternity while earning his degree in business administration. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army from 1964-66 before returning home to Montgomery, where he joined the Alabama Army National Guard, reaching the rank of captain. 

        In 1966, he created the Colonial Company, a holding company with interests in real estate, mortgages, construction and insurance. In 1981, Lowder purchased the Exchange National Bank of Birmingham, changing the name and founding Colonial Bancgroup. He led aggressive expansion and acquisitions for over 27 years and oversaw a bank group with 352 locations in five states with total assets of $26 billion.

        He also established Colonial Broadcasting in 1978, with radio stations in four states.

        Lowder served Auburn University on the Board of Trustees from 1983-2012. He also served as an Auburn University Foundation Board ex-officio and member and president of the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1977-83. He also was a member of the Tigers Unlimited Foundation Board of Directors, the Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor’s Advisory Board and the Auburn University Business Advisory Council.

        In 1988, he was inducted as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. He was named Outstanding Alumnus in the Harbert College of Business in 1989.

        This news brief was republished from an article by Kate Larkin, Auburn Advancement