First Lieutenant, USA
The City of Auburn and the Auburn Veterans Committee are pleased to recognize Dr. Douglas J. Watson, First Lieutenant United States Army Infantry, with the 2008 City of Auburn Distinguished Veteran Award. This award seeks to recognize veterans who have made a contribution to Auburn both through their service in the Armed Forces and to the Auburn community. Dr. Watson served in the United States Army Infantry from 1968 to 1971, including service in Vietnam. Following his tenure in the military, Dr. Watson began a distinguished career in municipal government, including 21 years as Auburn's City Manager. Dr. Watson also served as a member of the Auburn University Public Administration faculty.
As City Manager, Dr. Watson sought to ensure that Auburn veterans were recognized for their many contributions to the community and oversaw the creation of the Auburn Veterans Memorial Monument, located at the corner of Ross Street and Glenn Avenue. Plans for the Memorial were announced on May 31, 1999 at the Mayor's Memorial Day Breakfast.
During his career in municipal government, Dr. Watson received numerous awards for his work, including the National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration/National Academy of Public Administration; the L.P. Cookingham Award for Career Development from the International City-County Management Association (ICMA); and the Orin Nolting International Award from ICMA. In recognition of his outstanding service to the City of Auburn, the City Council authorized the designation of three buildings on Ross Street housing City services as the Douglas J. Watson Municipal Complex.
Upon retiring from city management in 2003, Dr. Watson accepted a position of tenured professor at the University of Texas at Dallas where he served as Professor of Public Affairs and head of the undergraduate and graduate programs in Public Affairs. Dr. Watson retired from UT Dallas in 2010. He and his wife Patricia have relocated back to Auburn.