Lowder pulls name from AU Trustee consideration

Governor Robert Bentley's office confirmed that longtime Auburn University Board of Trustee member Robert "Bobby" Lowder has withdrawn his name from consideration for reappointment.

Governor Bentley's office announced a scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustee Selection Committee for next week just a short time before WSFA 12 News confirmed Lowder's decision.

Lowder, who was appointed to the Board in 1983 by then Governor George Wallace, was among those whom Governor Bentley reappointed in mid-April. The decision to reappoint Lowder, at least in part, drew criticism from the Auburn community.

Lowder, a 1964 Auburn finance graduate, has given millions of dollars to the University over the years, even purchasing the naming rights to the Edward L. and Catherine K Lowder School of Business building that's named for his mother and father.

But despite all the financial contributions, Lowder has taken heavy criticism for what many consider his powerful, yet secretive roll as an Auburn booster. It was Lowder's private jet that spawned the term "JetGate" in 2003. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) put Auburn on probation and in its report cited, in part, the Board of Trustees as a contributing factor for the sanction.

Lowder was the founder and CEO of Montgomery, Alabama based Colonial BancGroup but retired shortly before its historic collapse in 2009.

Mr. Lowder has not publicly spoken on his decision to withdraw his nomination.
WSFA 12 News will have more information as it becomes available. 

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