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traditional Southern biscuits in the pizza ovens Biscuitville’s treasurer in 1988 and worked his and offering them with all the fi xin’s. The way up the leadership ladder. Yet, as he gained endeavor was a hit. experience in each aspect of Biscuitville’s “With the success of our biscuits, we wanted operations, he continued to face a significant to try an all-biscuit restaurant,” said Maurice, personal and professional challenge. quoted in a 2009 book about the restaurant “You have big shoes to fill being the son of written by High Point entrepreneur Phil the founder,” Burney says. “For me, the biggest Johnston. “Naturally, we called it Biscuitville.” challenge was developing my own way, recogThe first Biscuitville opened in Danville, nizing that I don’t have to fill his shoes – I can Va., in 1975, and a second quickly followed be my own person.” in A sheboro, N.C . T he And, he says, Maurice was biscuit business was so profmore than willing to accomitable, Maurice decided to modate his growth. convert all of his Pizzavilles into “He has the unique ability to Biscuitvilles. By 1982, the chain Did you know? give you a job, then let you do had grown to 25 restaurants. it without standing over you,” Lake Mary Nell Burney’s first real taste of the Burney says of his father. “He is named for family business came in high was able to let me learn and school, when he and his sister, make mistakes, which is very Maurice Jennings’ Fran, worked two-week stints in unusual for a father/son team. Biscuitville and Maurice’s other oldest daughter. We have a tremendous amount ventures. Burney’s interest was of trust between us.” piqued. He chose to attend Maurice officially passed the Elon, where he studied business, Biscuitville baton to Burney in finance and accounting. 1996, though he remains chair“I knew about Elon growing up, and I knew man of the company’s board of directors. it was a good school,” Burney says. “Even Under Burney’s leadership, Biscuitville has though my dad was on the board of trustees, expanded to 58 restaurants in North Carolina he didn’t push Elon on me, but it was a great and Virginia, employing more than 1,000 choice for me.” people and bringing in more than $50 milWhile Maurice didn’t pressure his son to lion in sales annually. Burney also has ably attend Elon, he worked tirelessly to advance carried on the family’s tradition of service to the institution. A leader in the corporate, social Elon, serving as a trustee since 2000 and giving and community circles of Burlington and generously of his resources and expertise to Greensboro, Maurice never attended a recep- support the university. He and his wife, Dina, tion, cocktail party, dinner or trip at which a 1987 Elon graduate, were founding donors to he wasn’t trying to interest someone in Elon the Elon University School of Law, and they or arranging to introduce Young to potential joined Maurice and his wife, Linda, in making donors, the former president recalls. a gift to endow the Jennings Professorship at “Not many board members or volunteers the school in 2008. associated with Elon during my 25 years “As a distinguished alumnus, Burney brings did more work for the institution outside wisdom, an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep our board meetings than Maurice,” Young commitment to Elon to the board of trustees,” says. According to Young, Maurice helped says Elon president Leo M. Lambert. “As a strengthen the connection between Elon and member of the board’s executive and developDalton L. McMichael, whose gifts funded the ment committees, as well as the recent strategic McMichael Science Center. He also helped planning committee, Burney has provided build Elon’s relationship with Jim Melvin, invaluable leadership during an exciting and former mayor of Greensboro and current challenging time in the university’s history.” president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, The Jennings family has returned to camwhose support was critical in establishing the pus as often as possible, including a trip in Elon University School of Law. August 2006, when Maurice received the Elon When Burney graduated from Elon in 1987, Medallion, which recognized his many contrihe immediately put his skills into action for butions to the university. Maurice and Burney the family business. After working briefly with again visited campus this past September, Maurice’s real estate holdings, Burney became when Burney shared words of wisdom with students at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ annual Legends of Business lecture. Burney hopes to see another family tradition continue. While his oldest children, Blake and Bailey, chose to attend Wake Forest University, he hopes one of his younger children, Mary Frances or John, both in high school, will mark the fourth generation of the Jennings family to attend Elon. Nevertheless, so long as there’s a sign with that familiar yellow rolling pin anywhere near campus, mornings at Biscuitville will continue to be a fixture in the lives of Elon students and a vital inclusion on any visiting alum’s itinerary. “We are proud of our relationship with Elon,” Burney says of Biscuitville, “and that so many students and alumni love our biscuits.” Alumni share Biscuitville memories on facebook “Biscuitville was the home-cooked breakfast you missed your mom making for you!” EVE YEDZINIAK HAMRICK ’92 “I remember that Biscuitville brought me good luck the day I took my Praxis exam. I had two biscuits with bacon, egg and cheese, and a large orange juice. I passed with flying colors!” ALEX KENNEDY ’03 “I still have to stop in Biscuitville when I travel from Atlanta to Maryland. I had to introduce it to my husband!” RACHEL EANES ’95 “It was our favorite Sunday morning spot. It was especially fun to see professors and administrators in their Sunday best while we were in T-shirts and sweatpants!” SHARON ANDERSON DAVIES ’04 “Our marching band leadership and our director, Tony Sawyer, would meet at Biscuitville on Huffman Mill Road for breakfast before every home football game. Go Phoenix!” DAVID MORROW ’07 L’10 “Oh my goodness, I do miss Biscuitville!” BOBBIE BOWLAND KEENAN ’91 “Matt Brolley ’07 brought me to Biscuitville for our first date. Six years later, we got married!” ABBY JOYCE BROLLEY ’07 the magazine of elon 25

The Magazine of Elon, Fall 2010

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