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Photo of Award recipient, Cathy Love, is pictured here with Mike Kensler, Director of the Office of Sustainability at Auburn University.

Award recipient, Cathy Love, is pictured here with Mike Kensler, Director of the Office of Sustainability at Auburn University.

Catherine Love — Staff

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Cathy Love has been working at Auburn with a variety of aspects of campus operations for several decades, and has worn many hats in that time. We honor her this year with a Spirit of Sustainability Award for her contributions to a more sustainable transportation system on campus, and her contributions to the promotion of bicycling in particular.

As the Master Plan Implementer, she was tasked with making sure the concepts and principles outlined in the Comprehensive Campus Master Plan became reality. The first Campus Master Plans reflected the desire of the campus community to become a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly campus, and Cathy led the effort.

Photos and stories tell us that Auburn has a long history as a “bike campus”, but ridership seemed lower than it had been compared to previous decades. Cathy worked to help rebuild the campus bike community through both culture and infrastructure.

Cathy served as the co-creator of Auburn’s current Campus Bike Committee, a group brought together to foster collaboration, identify needs of the biking community, and promote a positive biking culture on campus. Cathy presently Chairs the campus Transportation and Parking Committee, and served as Chair of the Transportation Working Group during the development of Auburn’s Climate Action Plan. In all of her roles, Cathy takes a holistic approach and promotes sustainable transportation solutions at all levels. She has been a continuous collaborator with the multi-organizational “Travel with Care” campaign to ensure that regardless of what transportation mode they are using, community members are safe and reduce the potential for conflict between modes.

There is little doubt that Cathy has been the individual with the single largest influence in comprehensively expanding bike infrastructure on campus over the past seven years. She has had direct and positive involvement with:

  • Bike carriers on Tiger Transit buses that allow riders to integrate and overlap transportation modes
  • Covered bike parking in commuter lots and residence halls
  • Off-roadway multi-use paths (e.g. South Donahue and Samford Ave)
  • Dedicated bike lanes included as campus roadways are upgraded
  • Creating a location for a campus bike shop that will ultimately support the War Eagle Wheels bike loaner program in cooperation with Student Affairs and SGA.

When funds were short, Cathy worked to seek grants and other sources of funding. She spearheaded the efforts to obtain funds from the campus Concessions Board for the first several waves of standardized bike racks installed on campus, increasing the quality and total amount of secure bike parking across campus. In addition, she led the effort to obtain $1.5 Million in grant support to build the Wire Road bike infrastructure. This effort allowed Auburn University to connect an integral route with the Auburn city bike network, and provide a safer bike commute for residents along Wire Road or biking to Kiesel Park.

All of these efforts go well above and beyond the scope of her “job description”, and it is always with a kind word, a smile, and professionalism that Cathy dedicates her time and creativity to motivate others, overcome challenges, and remove obstacles for creating and expanding a sustainable transportation system for Auburn.