AUBURN, AL - Mike Lutzenkirchen, father of former Auburn student and football player Philip Lutzenkirchen, will visit Auburn's campus to share "Lessons from Lutz" on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Auburn Arena.
The event is open to all Auburn University students and members of the community. Doors to the arena will open at 6 p.m., and attendees are requested to be seated by 6:45 p.m.
Since Philip's death last summer, Lutzenkirchen has been sharing his son's story with college students and youth groups across the country to convey important lessons about alcohol misuse, seatbelt safety and the lasting impact of life choices.
A former Auburn tight end, Philip Lutzenkirchen was a multiple-year starter and member of the championship-winning team in 2010. He was tragically killed in an alcohol-related single-vehicle accident in June 2014.
"As a parent, I have a responsibility to share Philip's story with young people in the hopes that no other family has to experience the loss of a child like we have," said Lutzenkirchen. "As a member of the Auburn Family, I know how much Philip meant to the university. He was a true Auburn man whose character, service and faith inspired everyone around him."
"Lessons from Lutz" will provide Auburn students and members of the community with the opportunity to learn about Philip's life and final days, and supports many of the university's alcohol and drug prevention initiatives.
In 2014, the university began encouraging all new students to complete AlcoholEdu and Haven, prevention programs designed to empower students to make more informed decisions about drug and alcohol use.
"Mike has a powerful message that I think every young person can benefit from hearing," said Auburn Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Boosinger. "As a university, our responsibility is to support the health and safety of our students while they are here. My hope is that they leave Auburn with positive health habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. Unfortunately, that is not always the case."
An All-Southeastern Conference selection and two-year team captain, Philip Lutzenkirchen holds the university record for the most touchdowns by a tight end in Auburn history with 14, with seven occurring during the 2011 season.
Following his death, the Lutzie 43 Foundation was established by the Lutzenkirchen family to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith.
"Philip made a major mistake his last day on earth," said Lutzenkirchen. "However, there is a bigger meaning beyond his tragic death, a lesson that resonates with his life and legacy."