AUBURN UNIVERSITY-- The late Jim Fyffe, "Voice of the Tigers" for 23 years, will continue to influence Auburn fans and alumni through a newly created diabetes research fund bearing his name. Fyffe suffered from diabetes and died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in May 2003.
The Jim Fyffe Diabetes Research Fund at Auburn University will honor the longtime broadcaster by supporting graduate students conducting diabetes research and by providing funding for diabetes research projects. The fund has been established by Auburn University, Auburn Network and Jim Fyffe's widow, Rose Fyffe.
"In talking with the university and his family, we felt this would be a great way to honor Jim and help others who are searching for a cure to this disease," said Jon Cole, vice president of Auburn Network.
Donations will go toward diabetes research in the College of Veterinary Medicine's Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program, which studies diseases that affect both humans and animals. The program is funded through an endowment established in 1995 by the National Diabetes Association, formerly the Diabetes Trust Fund, in honor of its founder, the late Dr. Buris R. Boshell, a noted diabetes researcher who attended the veterinary college before enrolling in medical school.
"Jim Fyffe's life and untimely death have greatly increased public awareness of the devastating reality of diabetes," said Dr. Robert Judd, the AU Boshell chair. "I was always impressed with Jim's love for Auburn and for his devotion to finding a cure for diabetes."
The university will have a special half-time tribute to Fyffe during the Aug. 30 game with Southern Cal.
"We also plan to use all of Auburn Network's resources such as radio, television, print and the Web site to generate interest and support for this fund," Cole said. "We are also re-releasing audio and video tributes about Jim, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the new fund."
The updated versions include Fyffe's 20th anniversary audio CD and a DVD-video highlighting Fyffe's career with never-before-seen video footage. In addition, any licensed product with Fyffe's name on it will generate funds through a portion of the royalties.
"Nothing would honor Jim more than having this diabetes research fund named for him," Rose Fyffe added. "He hated the disease, although he lived with it as successfully as he could. Diabetes finally took his life, but it didn't take his spirit. He will live on as long as these wonderful researchers are out there trying to find a cure."
Donations can be made to the Jim Fyffe Diabetes Research Fund and sent to the A.U. Foundation, 317 S. College St., Auburn, AL 36849.