Lauren Thornton (’15)
“I had the opportunity to attend the Campus Ministry Leadership Institute during my time at CBU. That program brought out fond memories of working together across campuses, cultures, and backgrounds to become better servant-leaders for our community and beyond. Everyone there had Lasallian principles in their personalities, and I was able to spot those right away with my experience from CBU.”
Lauren Harrett Thornton came to CBU from her hometown of Fort Mitchell, KY, in the suburban Cincinnati area, where she graduated from Highlands High School in Fort Thomas. As a Civil and Environmental Engineering major, she was very active in the Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), serving as its President and receiving the TN Section ASCE Student Member of the Year award after her efforts to host the first-ever Deep South Conference competition for CBU. She also served as a President’s Ambassador and was active in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Science and Engineering LLC, Campus Ministry, and the Honors Program. Outside of the classroom, Lauren served as a student member of the Board of Directors of the Page Robbins Adult Day Center throughout her time at CBU.
Lauren was also an active student-athlete at CBU, competing and lettering in Golf and Tennis. She is the only CBU female golfer to receive Gulf South All Conference First Team honors and was named to the GSC Spring Academic Honor Roll all four years of her NCAA DII career. She also served as captain of the Lady Buc Golf team from 2013 to 2015.
During her senior year, she was selected as one of the five members to the CBU Lasallian Fellows Class of 2015, the highest student honor at CBU. She was honored at Commencement with the Presidential Recognition award, Featured Civil Engineering Student Award, and the Outstanding Civil Engineering Graduate Award. She also received her Engineer Intern (EI) certification during her senior year.
Following her graduation from CBU, Lauren was hired by Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. as a Structural Engineering EI. Today, she is still at Smith Seckman Reid, promoted to Project Manager in the Structural Division, where she manages projects and structural design in the industrial and manufacturing fields, marine engineering, architectural and commercial spaces, and affordable housing sector. She also serves as President of the Society of Women Engineers, Memphis Professional Section. She was selected as the Featured Engineer for the SWE Memphis Professional Section in 2018.
Lauren is also still very active in community service. She still serves on the board of the Page Robbins Adult Day Center, currently in the office of Vice President. She has also served in the choir, as a catechist, and as a general volunteer for events at St. Peter Catholic Church, her parish in downtown Memphis. She was selected to participate in the New Memphis Institute’s Embark program, which she completed in 2017, and served on the advisory board for CBU’s Gadomski School of Engineering from 2015 to 2020. She currently serves on the board of directors for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Memphis.
Lauren met her husband, Adam Thornton (Mechanical Engineering ‘13), at CBU. They now have two beautiful daughters — with another little one on the way. “I could not imagine my life without those people in it,” she says, “so I am forever grateful for the impact CBU has made on me and the life I live now.”
The inclusive community at CBU and promoting the Catholic faith were a couple of the principles I learned about through Lasallian traditions, and I strive to carry with me every day. CBU provided me with the quality tools to succeed in whatever I chose to do, remembering the importance of service back to the community as a priority.