Gary Winston Brindley Scholarship in History

The Gary Winston Brindley Scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding history major who is a rising junior or senior. The Brindley Scholarship has been established by Linda Brindley Thompson in honor of Lt. Col. (Ret.) Gary Winston Brindley, a 1956 Auburn graduate and Air Force veteran with a passion for the study of history. This scholarship is intended to give an impassioned student of history the opportunity to continue his/her study of our past and use that knowledge to shape the minds of future children to appreciate history.

The scholarship carries with it a stipend of up to $1000 to defray tuition costs.


Apply for this scholarship using Auburn University Scholarship Opportunity Manager (AUSOM).


Lt. Col. (ret) Gary Winston Brindley was born February 7, 1934, during the height of the Depression into a blended family with little extra money. He was the youngest of eight children and the only one who attended college. When he started elementary school, the country experienced the Pearl Harbor attack and was plunged into World War II. He spent hours collecting cans and paper for the war effort. He was taught love of country and patriotism along with reading and writing both at home and school. During those early years, he read all the stories he could find about the American West and the 13th Air Force, the “Jungle Air Force,” where American pilots were fighting the Japanese across the Pacific. This reading excited his imagination, and he became determined to be a fighter pilot.

During college, he worked in Birmingham on the coke ovens during the summer and at the post office during Christmas to help pay for his education. He graduated from Auburn University in 1956 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He received his wings the following year and served his country as fighter pilot and staff officer for the next 26 years throughout the United States and overseas. During the Vietnam War he flew combat missions in the F-4 out of Udorn, Thailand over South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and Laos. He served in Japan and on the staff of the 13th Air Force in the Philippine Islands. He also served in the Panama Canal Zone during the transfer of the area back to Panamanian sovereignty.

Over the years he instilled in his children a love for travel and adventure along with respect and appreciation of other cultures. He read and studied these cultures and people. He was always teaching his children and grandchildren about them. While living in Virginia, he insisted the family make weekend trips to Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields to learn first-hand about the sacrifices suffered to make this country free and whole. On many trips to Washington, D.C., the children were taken to the National Archives, the monuments, the Smithsonian, and Arlington Cemetery to give them pride in their country. Williamsburg and the antebellum homes along he James River were visited to make history and historical figures more lifelike.

After retirement, Gary spent the next 10 years with a concentrated study of the Americas with special emphasis on the expansion of the United States during the 1800s. He traveled in a motor home during these years reading and studying about the places he was seeing. He read and studied at least 300 books during these retirement years. He studied documents and maps, visited old forts, battlefields and burial sites, and read autobiographies, biographies and other historical accounts of mountain men, cavalry officers and soldiers, Indians and missionaries. One summer, he took two of his grandsons on a nine-week road trip in his motor home to teach them the history of the West and to experience the vastness of the country.

For more information

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Matt Malczycki

Matt Malczycki

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Thach 306B
(334) 844-7638
Office Hours: By appointment only

Last Updated: February 27, 2018