Auburn Students Become Small-Town Citizens for the Summer

Auburn Students Become Small-Town Citizens for the Summer 1

Jeff Haller, Keyhole Photo, for The Chronicle

Blake Evans, a senior at Auburn U., is spending the summer in Linden, Ala., as part of the university's Living Democracy program, for which he wrote about a local man's restoration of a crumbling old Victorian home.

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Jeff Haller, Keyhole Photo, for The Chronicle

Blake Evans, a senior at Auburn U., is spending the summer in Linden, Ala., as part of the university's Living Democracy program, for which he wrote about a local man's restoration of a crumbling old Victorian home.

From his tiny apartment above the B.W. Creel Fire Station, Blake Evans is contemplating life in Linden, Alabama, population 2,123.

Residents of a small town—Mr. Evans, a rising senior at Auburn University, wrote in a recent paper—appreciate qualities that passing visitors often overlook. Although a visitor to this rural community, he is hardly passing through: He's one of seven Auburn students placed in towns across the state this summer as part of a civic-engagement