Laura was the oldest child of Leroy and Nan Hanks, born July 26, 1963 in Huntsville, Al.
She attended Chaffee Elementary, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands Elementary, Whitesburg Middle schools, and graduated from Grissom High in 1981. She was a member of Latham United Methodist Church.
Laura was Auburn, through and through, from her earliest years and eagerly looked forward to attending Auburn University. She enrolled in the fall of 1981, 1st goal accomplished. 2nd goal, regrettably this goal would not be accomplished, was to get a degree from Auburn, with the dream of a law degree, corporate law. She was popular with classmates and instructors, she never met a stranger.
However, just after starting her junior year a dramatic event changed her life forever.
She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and given about one year to live.
She underwent two surgeries, radiation and an experimental treatment. During all this she still wanted to go back to Auburn. She did make a few visits back and re-enrolled one term, but after two weeks had to drop out.
As you can tell, Laura had a deep and abiding love for Auburn University. She thought “The Auburn Creed” was a good guide for how one should conduct themselves and always kept one in her possessions. Laura died April 30, 1985 and is buried in Valhalla Cemetery. On the left corner of her tombstone is written "Miss Sunshine", on the right corner is "The Auburn University Emblem". This signifies her personality and the University she loved so much.
Laura’s dad went to Auburn ’58, with scholarship help. Her brother, Chris, and sister-in-law Missy, are Auburn graduates 89‘. All are Auburn Alumni Association life members.
Laura’s family and friends started a scholarship fund in her memory. In 1991 Ms. Marian Moore and Laura’s dad discussed combining the Hanks fund into the Huntsville Madison County Auburn Club fund. It was presented to the then Board of Directors and they thought it was a good idea that would help the awareness of the Scholarship program, and approved the merger. The Huntsville Madison Auburn Club would name their scholarship “The Huntsville Madison County Auburn Clubs, Laura E. Hanks Memorial Scholarship”.
If you have questions, please contact our Scholarship Chair, Ashley Walls