Font Size

content body

Font size

The Alabama Senate on Thursday confirmed Walter Woltosz and reconfirmed Elizabeth Huntley, Quentin Riggins and Timothy Vines to the Auburn University Board of Trustees.

Walter (Walt) S. Woltosz earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn in aerospace engineering, in 1969 and 1977, respectively. He also obtained a master's in administrative science from the University of Alabama at Huntsville in 1976. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Auburn in 2021.

Woltosz joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school and spent nearly four years in the Strategic Air Command. He was tapped for a college/commissioning program and sent to Auburn in 1967. Following graduation, he worked in the aerospace industry, developing simulation and modeling software for the design of solid propellant rocket motors and missile systems.

In 1981, Woltosz and his wife Ginger founded Words+ Inc., a leader in augmentative communications systems for people with severe disabilities. When renowned astrophysicist Sir Stephen Hawking’s ability to communicate was compromised by ALS, it was the Words+ Equalizer and Words+ EZ Keys programs that allowed him to continue his groundbreaking work.

Woltosz served as CEO of Words+ until 1996, when he and Ginger founded Simulations Plus, and he became an acknowledged leader in the emerging science of computational biopharmaceutics. Today, Simulations Plus products are used by more than 200 pharmaceutical firms, including the world’s Top 25. In recent years, Woltosz has served as a technical assistant on several films and has written two screenplays, co-directing and co-producing one as a full-length feature film.

Woltosz holds the Distinguished Auburn Engineer Award, the Auburn Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. He has served the university in numerous areas of leadership including the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council, the Engineering Strategic Leadership Team, the Auburn University Foundation Board and the Auburn University Research Advisory Board.

The Woltoszes have provided significant giving to nearly every college and unit on campus, supporting numerous students, faculty, programs, facilities and sports teams. He is a member of Auburn University’s 1856, Petrie and Foy giving societies, as well as Athletics’ Pat Dye Society and Engineering’s Eagle, Keystone and Ginn societies.

“Walt is the epitome of an ideal candidate,” said Zeke Smith, a trustee member of the constitutionally prescribed Auburn University Trustee Selection Committee. “He brings impressive experience and insight to the board, and we know that Auburn will benefit greatly from his service.”

Huntley is an author, child advocate and civil litigation attorney with Lightfoot, Franklin & White in Birmingham. Huntley was first confirmed to the board to represent the sixth district in 2012.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn and a law degree from the University of Alabama. She is an active member of the Alabama State Bar Association, a member of multiple boards and president and co-founder of the Hope Institute.

Riggins is senior vice president of Governmental and Corporate Affairs for Alabama Power. Riggins’ past experience spans a quarter of a decade in Alabama government, including serving as a member of Gov. Bob Riley’s cabinet as director of legislative affairs.

An Auburn alumnus and former student-athlete, Riggins was confirmed to serve his term on the university’s board of trustees in 2017. He has served in numerous leadership capacities on the board, including currently serving as president pro tempore.

Vines serves as president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. He was appointed to fill the remainder of Gen. Lloyd Austin’s term and was confirmed by the Alabama Senate in April 2021. Thursday’s confirmation marks the beginning of Vines’ first seven-year term. Vines received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn. He serves on the boards of Regions Financial Corporation, the Business Council of Alabama and the Birmingham Business Alliance.

“We are thrilled to have Liz, Quentin and Tim reconfirmed to the board,” added Smith. “The university is fortunate to have such outstanding leaders who prioritize the advancement of Auburn’s mission, campuses and student-centered experience. We are thankful for their steadfast support and continued service.”

All candidates were nominated by the Auburn University Trustee Selection Committee, which forwarded the names to the state Senate for approval. The four begin their seven-year terms immediately.