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23 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

Edie Alexander

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD


The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 24

ELON’S MISS SWISS ARMY KNIFE

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Leadership comes in a variety of forms at Elon. For Administrative Assistant Edie Alexander, it means more than two decades serving the Elon community. Alexander started working at Elon in 1988 for Chaplain Emeritus Richard McBride. Since then, she has worked with Elon veterans like President Emeritus Earl Danieley and Special Assistant to the President Jo Williams. She now serves the Associate Provost, Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Program. “As with everything at Elon, things change and evolve, and you wind up working for multiple people,” Alexander said. “I’ve probably worked for 15 different people here.” For Alexander, leadership is all about helping people. She said she especially enjoys interacting with students, but she also loves helping the faculty and staff. In addition to assisting her assigned departments, Alexander has jumped in to help out other offices during stressful times. “I think [leadership] is a matter of liking people and wanting to help, and of being productive and helping others be productive,” Alexander said. Alexander was raised with a particular work ethic – work hard, work efficiently and figure out how your own style fits into the work that you do. “I think [leadership] is a work ethic,” Alexander said. “I think it’s character, how you want to treat people, trying to do the best you can do. That doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes. It’s just that you learn from them and you try not to make them and you just move on.” Part of Alexander’s success in leadership comes from good relationships with her co-workers. Alexander said treating people the way you want to be treated plays a huge role in maintaining strong work

relationships, as well as possessing a willingness to help and good communication. Though she works hard, she maintains a positive attitude and doesn’t ever forget to have fun. “I like to laugh a lot,” Alexander said. “We try to laugh in this office.” One leader who inspired Alexander was her sister, a systems programmer who worked for U.S. Airways. She has since passed away, but Alexander said she was “a wonderful example of professionalism,” with a fierce persistence and independence. “She was a very technical person,” Alexander said. “She was working with computers way before women were working in that particular field.” The people she works for at Elon also foster a sense of leadership in Alexander, as their vast experiences and personalities have made her evolve as a professional. Above all, Alexander loves Elon, and she hopes she has left a positive mark on the university. “I would like to think that I’ve presented myself in a professional way and that I’m known to be helpful and caring,” Alexander said. According to Elon alumna Sarah Vavreck, a former student worker in the Honors office, Alexander doesn’t have to worry about the impression she’s made. Vavreck said Alexander’s assertiveness, organization and diligence make her a great leader and communicator. “Edie Alexander does more for Elon than one would imagine,” Vavreck said. “She has an incredible organization system to ensure that the Honors Program runs smoothly, that Undergraduate Research programs function, assists with the Associate Provost’s office and does so much more.”

Story By Alexa Milan

GET TO KNOW Edie Alexander Arrived at Elon in 1988 Hometown: Burlington, NC

Edie Alexander  

23 // e Legacies of Elon’s Leaders PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD Arrived at Elon in 1988 Hometown: Burlington, NC Story By Alexa Milan e Legaci...