Former Republican Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard is a convicted felon with no possibility of a further appeal before Alabama courts. Still, his name appears on the Hubbard Center For Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce at Auburn University.
Hubbard did not attend Auburn, and he did not personally contribute to funding the facility. Besides helping to secure money from then-President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Hubbard gave nothing to the building that bears his name.
He is scheduled to turn himself in to the Department of Corrections in the next two weeks, yet Auburn students and faculty attend classes and teach in a building named for a criminal.
The first verse of the Auburn Creed reads, “I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.”
Hubbard used his elected office to illegally take millions of dollars, not from hard work, as the creed denotes, but from illegal acts.
The Auburn Creed
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.”
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
-George Petrie (1943)
Another verse states, “I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.”
Hubbard lied to his House colleagues, the governor, and other officials. He cheated businesses and betrayed Alabama’s people.
He never lived by even a portion of the Auburn Creed, but somehow a building is named in his honor.
The Mike Hubbard Center was dedicated on September 13, 2013, while Hubbard was under investigation by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
He was indicted a year later in September 2014, for criminal violations of the very ethics laws he championed and passed.
“I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all,” is another passage from the creed.
Hubbard didn’t believe in obedience to the law, and that his name adorns a facility at Auburn University sends a resounding message that not all lawbreakers are treated equally.
It is long past time that Hubbard’s name should be stricken from Auburn University to serve as a reminder that the Auburn Creed is more than lip service but words to live by every day.