Rotary Club names Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Citizen of the Year


FROM: City of Auburn

Auburn, Ala. – Auburn Mayor Bill Ham, Jr. was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Auburn Rotary Club at its meeting on Wednesday, April 4. Mayor Ham has served as Auburn's Mayor since 1998 but was first elected to Auburn City Council in 1986.

Since he took office as Mayor, the City of Auburn has experienced great success in every area of government service.  Mayor Ham has shown an unwavering commitment to Auburn's award-winning public school system, and has played a key role in recruiting approximately 50 industries which have invested more than $800 million in Auburn.

During Mayor Ham's tenure Auburn has been named a "Top 10 Best Place to Live in the U.S." by U.S. News & World Report (2009), the "Best Affordable Place in Alabama" by (2011) and a "Best Small Place for Business and Careers in the U.S." by (2009, 2010). Auburn's citizens have given high marks to the value received for their tax dollars in the Annual Citizen Survey, and consistently rank Auburn as a great place to live, work and raise children.

Much of Mayor Ham's time is spent giving back to the community through various civic groups. He has been a member of the Auburn Kiwanis Club for 15 years and served on the board of directors of several organizations including the Achievement Center, the Auburn Center for Developing Industries, the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau, the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, the Auburn University School of Human Sciences, the Auburn University Research & Technology Foundation, the Lee-Russell Council of Governments, and the Auburn Airport Advisory Board on which he served in the capacity of chairman. However, out of all of his dedicated service, his commitment to serving on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County is the role he finds most rewarding.  In addition to his many civic duties, he remains a lifelong member of Auburn United Methodist Church.

Mayor Ham was born and raised in a home on South College Street in Auburn just a few houses down from Auburn University.  As a young child at Wright's Mill Road Elementary, he enjoyed playing in the Dixie Youth Baseball League, a passion that led him to play on the Auburn High School Baseball Team as a teenager.  Mayor Ham graduated from Auburn University in 1977 and soon after married his wife, Carol, with whom he has proudly raised two children – Forrest and Ashley.

The Auburn Rotary Club is a service organization focusing on service in the community, in the workplace and around the world. Through just some of its community initiatives, the Auburn Rotary Club grants more than $30,000 annually to local nonprofit organizations and elevates the ideals of citizenship through its annual Citizen of the Year Award.