Celebrating Success
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Jake, Tripp Haston shape Auburn across generations

For Jake and Tripp Haston, the Auburn Family means more than a father and son sharing an alma mater. Across two generations, the Hastons strive to build a better, stronger Auburn that transcends mental and physical borders.

Tripp Haston ’90 earned a degree in history and economics from Auburn before attending law school. He is currently a partner and serves as chair of the Life Sciences Litigation Team with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. His son, Jake, will graduate from Auburn in 2023 with a degree in journalism and minor in German.

Though their Auburn journeys are different, the father and son share this above all: giving back to Auburn.

Foundations of an Auburn family


ripp Haston was all set up to attend SMU in Dallas, Texas, when he first visited Auburn. Only a month before graduating high school, Tripp’s uncle convinced him to visit the Plains. His uncle, along with his grandfather, were Auburn graduates.

Once Tripp saw the campus, he said he fell in love with Auburn and his decision to attend was the best he ever made.

“My grandfather told me when I got to Auburn, that it wasn’t just about Auburn. It was more about life,” Tripp said. “The more you put into something, the more you get out. That’s absolutely what my experience at Auburn has been. I was rewarded tenfold with experiences, with friends and with great memories.”

While at Auburn, Tripp served in various positions within the Student Government Association, or SGA. He was also selected as a member and officer of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the official hosts and hostesses of Auburn. There, he met Cara Adams Haston, who would change his life forever.

Decades later, their son was accepted to the same organization that brought them together.

“I met my wife, Jake’s mother, Cara, the night that we both made War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen on the steps of Cater Hall. Auburn’s just been a huge part of our life ever since,” Tripp said. “So, it was a real special event for us when Jake made WEGP, since that group is basically responsible for his existence.”

When it was Jake’s turn to choose a university to attend, he had a wealth of choice. He was accepted to several honors programs around the country and toured more than 15 universities, but in the end, the Vestavia Hills High School student chose what was right in front of him.

“Auburn is a really special place,” Jake said. “That sounds so cliché, but I saw that firsthand when I went and visited all of these other university campuses. I just kept on comparing them to Auburn and found, consistently, that they just did not measure up.”

As part of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, Jake carries on the legacy of excellence, tradition and dedication of both the organization and his parents.

Like his father, Jake also became involved with the Student Government Association. But unlike Tripp, who ran for president against his best friend and roommate his senior year, Jake went on to hold the student organization’s highest office as its president, as well as serving as a member of Auburn University’s Board of Trustees.

“When I decided to run, I ended up deciding, well, if I lose, my dad came in third and he had a pretty good life. So, if I don’t win, then I’ll probably be okay,” Jake said. “I’m very thankful to have parents that support me the way that they have and very grateful to Auburn and all it’s given me. And I hope that I can give it all I have through this role.”

Advancing Auburn across borders


uring his freshman year, Jake’s mentors strongly encouraged him to join the Freshman Forum—the entry point into SGA for many Auburn students. Following that selection, he served in the legislative branch of SGA, the Senate, for two years.

When Jake decided to run for president, his platform emphasized four priorities: academics, student life, social advancement and SGA changes. His guiding philosophy as president centers around the central goal of bringing people together at Auburn.

“My reasoning behind running was all about trying to get people to see their commonalities and not focus first on their differences. And how wonderful it would be if Auburn could be a safe haven in a world of distrust and conflict and be a place where people don’t worry about their differences, but people focused on their commonalities and people found community in that. And so any role that I could have to try to promote that through the future of Auburn, that’s what I wanted to do.”

Jake hopes that by focusing on commonalities, open conversations about differences are easier and more productive between people at Auburn.

So far, Jake has worked hard to get more people involved with SGA around the common goal of making Auburn a better place for everyone. He recently launched a new branch of SGA, called “the expansion branch,” that offers one-time opportunities for students to participate in student government.

“As Auburn students, we all have Auburn in common and that’s a wonderful thing to rally behind and focus on,” Jake said. “Every student that wants to serve Auburn through SGA should be able to get involved in some way and feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.”

While Jake is improving the student experience through SGA, Tripp supports CLA’s academic foundation in the classroom. Tripp has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for more than a decade, and throughout his tenure, worked to stay connected with the college.

In the spring of 2022, Tripp was asked to become an adjunct instructor for the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Political Science. The courses he teaches, Introduction to the Legal Profession and Introduction to International and Comparative Law, run parallel to his law practice and his involvement and leadership in the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Tripp said the Introduction to International and Comparative Law course is especially important to learning across barriers to produce more globally-minded future attorneys.

“When I put the syllabus together, a fundamental goal was to introduce students to lawyers from all over the world,” Tripp said. “It’s important that people understand how much in common we actually have with everybody else. Teaching this class has been a way, for me, to hopefully open minds and people to new relationships. If they’re hearing from a lawyer in Nairobi, Kenya or Singapore and have different backgrounds, they can see how much they have in common with them and see that there isn’t this yawning gulf of difference between people.”

Building a better Auburn


eyond the class or meeting rooms, the Hastons also work to build long-lasting relationships between campus and community. For Tripp, this idea culminated in the Harold Melton Scholarship. For Jake, this culminated in working to enhance Auburn’s diversity, equity and inclusion among its student body through his service as SGA president and a member of Auburn University’s Board of Trustees.

Former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Harold Melton was the first person of color to be elected SGA president. Melton mentored Tripp as a student, and Tripp repaid that guidance by helping spearhead a scholarship fundraising campaign with other committed Auburn alumni in his name that supports student success, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Tripp said he’s excited by the commitment Auburn has made to enriching its student body since he was a student and looks forward to how it will grow next.

“We truly love Auburn,” Tripp said. “We want it to thrive. We want it to excel. We want it to remain relevant and valuable and be part of the conversation going forward. It was a great place when I was there. It’s an even better place now and that’s been a thrill to see.”

Jake and Tripp Haston embracing togehter
All fathers are proud of their sons and I’m very proud of my son. I’m not in Jake’s lane, we’re doing two different things, but we’re both giving back to Auburn. To be able to share some time and space together before he goes off and does what he’s going to do, it’s special to me. It’s been wonderful to have a closer view of all he’s accomplished.
Tripp Haston ’90
And for his son, Jake, to be such a change agent during his own time at Auburn, is special to the Haston family.

“All fathers are proud of their sons and I’m very proud of my son,” Tripp said. “I’m not in Jake’s lane, we’re doing two different things, but we’re both giving back to Auburn. To be able to share some time and space together before he goes off and does what he’s going to do, it’s special to me. It’s been wonderful to have a closer view of all he’s accomplished.”

Jake will continue to serve as the SGA president until he graduates. Afterward, he plans to apply for competitive scholarships that would allow him to study abroad before ultimately attending graduate school for a law degree or advanced business degree. Regardless of his immediate path, he said he’s confident that Auburn has set him up for success.

Until then, he will continue to support Auburn as a second home for its students.

“Dad and I feel the same way in that we just want to leave Auburn better than we found it,” Jake said. “It’s our responsibility to continue to make sure that the university is evolving and growing and continuing to serve students in the best way it can.”