‘It is an amazing place to grow up because of the excellent school systems’

By Emily Sparacino

Photograph Contributed


Since being crowned 2016 Miss Auburn University, Hoover native and Spain Park High School graduate Susanna Bagwell has balanced public appearances and advancing her platform, Confidence and Character for Life through Education, with academics, extracurricular activities and volunteerism.

Bagwell, 21, is a senior at Auburn University studying Secondary Mathematics Education. She is serving her fourth year on the Auburn University Tiger Paws dance team.

Bagwell is vice president of Mortar Board Honor Society, member of Cardinal Key Honor Society and College of Education Student Ambassadors.

She is the middle child of three girls, or as she likes to say, “the cream of the Oreo.”


What do you love about Shelby County?

I love the stability and hospitality that Shelby County offers. It is an amazing place to grow up because of the excellent school systems and the welcoming community atmosphere.


As 2016 Miss Auburn University, what experiences have you had since being crowned in October?

Being Miss Auburn University has been an absolute dream and I have loved every second of my reign. I have been able to make several community appearances throughout the city of Auburn. It is an honor and privilege to give back to a community that has given so much to me. One of my proudest accomplishments was completing a school supply drive for a local elementary school. I recently represented Auburn University at the Miss Alabama competition in June where I placed in the Top Twelve and received over $3,000 in scholarship.


Have any Miss Auburn University appearances brought you back to Shelby County?

One of my favorite appearances this year was going back to Riverchase Elementary School on my 10-year anniversary from graduating from there to talk to students about the importance of education. It was so fun to return to Shelby County and be able to share my experiences with students.


Could you tell me about your platform?

My platform is Confidence and Character for Life through Education, which focuses on the inequalities in our education system helping to give all students an equal opportunity to a great education. I truly believe that education is the most powerful tool a student can gain to have a positive future. I have done several things this past year to make this platform known on Auburn’s campus and in the community. I am a weekly volunteer at the Auburn Boys and Girls Club in the Linking Learning Tutoring program where I help 3-4 5th grade students on their math, reading, and other schoolwork. I have volunteered over 70 wonderful hours at the Boys and Girls Club and I will continue to pour into this place long after my reign of Miss Auburn University is over. My favorite event I did for my platform was a campus wide school supply drive for a local elementary school. We raised over 900 items for “Susanna’s Supply Closet” so that students will never feel inadequate or less confident than their peers when they don’t have a school supply item. My goal of my platform is to help give students confidence in the classroom so that they can be the best student they can be.


What are your plans after graduation?

It has always been a dream of mine to return to my alma mater, Spain Park High School, and teach math. I want to obtain my master’s degree in mathematics education and later go on to receive my doctorate degree in administration to be a school principal.


What is some of the best advice you’ve received?

Love Auburn and it will always love you back. I ran into a former Auburn head football coach at a local restaurant in Auburn and he said those wise words. Not only can I apply this to my Auburn experience, but also life outside of Auburn. If I can love the things I am a part of and the people I’m around, I will always receive love in return.


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Disney World. It truly is the happiest place on Earth.