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TABLE OF Contents The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

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.......... .......... Meet the Staff .......... .......... Introduction .......... .......... Alan Russell- The Roundabout road to teaching: A path to math .......... .......... Anthony Hatcher- Quick ascent to high standards .......... .......... Ayesha Delpish- headline .......... .......... Barbara Gordon- headline .......... .......... Barry Bradberry- headline .......... .......... Colin Donohue- headline .......... .......... Connie Book- If it’s good for the students, it’s good for Book .......... .......... Dan Anderson- headline .......... .......... David Copeland- headline .......... .......... Earl Danieley- headline .......... .......... Earl Honeycutt- headline .......... .......... Edie Alexander- Two decades, ‘positions,’ one heckuva gal .......... .......... George Troxler- headline .......... .......... Gerry Francis- headline .......... .......... Gerry Waterman- headline .......... .......... Hunter Bacot- Polling Elon into the future .......... .......... Janna Anderson- headline .......... .......... Jay Harper- The man behind the bills .......... .......... Jean Schwind- headline .......... .......... Jeffrey Coker- More than just a treehugger .......... .......... Jim Brown- Guiding the next generation of Elon leaders .......... .......... Jim Donathan- headline .......... .......... Jo Williams- headline .......... .......... Katie Nash- Leading the future by documenting the past .......... .......... Mallory Anderson- Leadership in action .......... .......... Mary Alice Bragg- Performing the soundtrack to Elon’s events .......... .......... Megan McCollum- headline .......... .......... Michael Williams- The Man of Moseley .......... .......... Nancy Midgette- headline .......... .......... Phil Smith- headline .......... .......... RENE ????- headline .......... .......... Rex Waters- A leader of leaders .......... .......... Richard McBride- headline .......... .......... Ross Wade - Career Center Superstar .......... .......... Smith Jackson- headline .......... .......... Susan Klopman- Elon as a life project .......... .......... Tim Peeples- headline .......... .......... Tom Arcaro- Using the gift .......... .......... Tom Nelson- headline

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders //

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The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // x

Editor-In-Chief, Producer Ashley Barnas Contributing Writers Alexa Milan Amanda Kennison Andie Diemer Anna Johnson Ashley Barnas Caitlin O’Donnell Camille DeMere Jack Dodson Jack Rodenfels Justine Schulerud Lauren Ramsdell Morgan Little Pam Richter Rachel Cieri Rebecca Smith Sam Calvert Samantha King Sara Pasquinelli Design Editor Miriam Williamson Contributing Photographers Justine Schulerud Jack Dodson Ashley Barnas Editors Amanda Kennison Ashley Barnas

Staff

Meet the

THE LEGACIES OF ELON’S LEADERS Ashley tells us all about what this is and why we did it and lots of other interesting fun things. undertaken as the Associate Dean of the School of Communications and one she will bring to her new role as Associate Provost of Academic Affairs. “You’re not necessarily the person in the front, but you provide people with a place to exchange good ideas, and when the consensus is that it’s a good idea, that you work toward empowering them with the resources to make it happen,” Book said. Book is someone who has always sought out the opportunity to lead because she enjoys building things. She enjoys being a part of change. “I get a lot of energy from seeing things materialize into events or departments or programs,” Book sar as well. Ross Wade, Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications, said Book is the best supervisor he’s ever had. “I really respect and appreciate all that she takes on and how she handles it and the way she interacts with people,” Wade said. “That’s something I strive to be like as well – straightforward, intelligent, fair, thinking big picture. She’s really innovative as well. She has a lot of the qualities that I value in a leader.” “When I’m in a quandary about a decision, I always ask myself, ‘Is this good for the students?’” Book said. “That’s my default position on any request that comes through this office. If what we’re doing is not good for the students then it’s not the right thing.”

GET TO KNOW Elon’s SPJ Sidebar explaining what SPJ is, when it started at Elon, etc. etc. etc.

Introduction


1 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 2

THE ROUNDABOUT ROAD TO TEACHING: A PATH TO MATH

Curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum. “Being part of two committees with ‘across the curriculum’ in the title led me to a general studies life,” Russell said. Now, he said, there are semesters during which he doesn’t teach any math classes at all. Upper-level general studies courses take up a lot of his time, including unique courses such as “Life Stories” and “Math Origami.” A boyhood fascination with origami developed into a lifelong love of folding, and once the need for a cross-curriculum general studies class was discussed, Russell stepped forward. “It’s cool that we can look at one thing and see it different ways,” Russell said. In his course, business majors learn folding and also develop ways of explaining the profit value of origami, art majors look at the delicate art of the paper, and history majors may explore the traditions and background of origami. Russell cites his innate gift of mathematical passion as a key reason for becoming a leader in the Elon math community, as well as his communication and listening skills. Also, as in his class “Life Stories,” Russell proves in tune with himself as a person. The class begins with several personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs. Russell is an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception), a combination that is known as “The Helper.” In keeping with his Myers-Briggs results, Russell is a frequent speaker at teaching conferences around the state. He says that helping other teachers become better is one of his most important lessons to teach. Math professor Jan Mays co-led a workshop for teachers in the surrounding area where Russell helped with his ability to teach teachers. “He motivated the teachers by introducing activities using everyday objects like sea shells and note cards to teach measurement,” Mays said. “His knowledge of education theory combined with his enthusiasm for math was contagious.” Mays said that as a colleague, Russell is a great motivator and problem solver. “This is what makes me to look to him as a leader: his ability to solve problems creatively, develop stimulating activities and his openness to new ideas,” she said. If he had known about being an ENFP sooner, Russell said, perhaps, he would have had a more direct career trajectory into teaching. “The more you understand yourself, the better off you’ll be,” he said.

Story By Lauren Ramsdell

GET TO KNOW Alan Russell Elon Arrival: 1997 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

Alan Russell joined Elon University in 1997 as the coordinator of developmental mathematics—all of the basic 100-level math classes offered at the university. For thirteen years, Russell has helped revamp the core math curriculum and also developed course niches that offer students the chance to really get to know themselves. But Russell hasn’t always known he was going to be a teacher. After graduating as valedictorian from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, Russell attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he majored in mathematics. “I was an only child, and that gave me a lot of time to sit and think and wonder,” he said. Presbyterian was another place where he could explore and be creative. In fact, he minored in physics and was one course away from graduating with a major in drama. The dramatic training proves beneficial in his current occupation. “There’s an aspect of theater to teaching,” he said. His teaching style is flamboyant, speckled with personal anecdotes, puns and references to pop culture. He cites his theater background and natural energy with making his teaching style so upbeat. After graduation, Russell thought about a career in banking but ended up selling nuts and bolts for a large distributer. “That was just so against my personality,” he said. Wanting something more, Russell decided to go back to school and get his master’s in mathematics from UNC Charlotte. Even that was not enough. “There had always been signs that I was an educator,” he said. “I was always tutoring, but it never occurred to me to be a teacher.” He went to the University of Georgia and obtained his doctorate in mathematics education. Then, he came to Elon. Russell proved an integral part in establishing a uniform, basic math class as part of the university’s General Studies requirement. Formerly, Elon students had to take college algebra, calculus, geometry or statistics. Now, statistics is part of every graduate’s curriculum. He also had an active hand in pushing for the new statistics minor and major. Russell’s success in paving the way for these requirements resulted, in part, from the several leadership positions he served in during his time at Elon. Within his first years at Elon, Russell joined both committees: Numeracy Across the

Alan Russell


3 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

QUICK ASCENT TO HIGH STANDARDS

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Anthony Hatcher

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amidst the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 4

GET TO KNOW Anthony Hatcher First Year at Elon: 2002 Hometown: Kenansville, NC “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do. Life’s been good to me so far.” - Joe Walsh, The Eagles


Ayesha Delpish

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The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 6

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Ayesha Delpish

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD


Barbara Gordon

Alan Russell joined Elon University in 1997 as the coordinator of developmental mathematics—all of the basic 100-level math classes offered at the university. For thirteen years, Russell has helped revamp the core math curriculum and also developed course niches that offer students the chance to really get to know themselves. But Russell hasn’t always known he was going to be a teacher. After graduating as valedictorian from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, Russell attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he majored in mathematics. “I was an only child, and that gave me a lot of time to sit and think and wonder,” he said. Presbyterian was another place where he could be creative and explore. In fact, he minored in physics and was one course away from graduating with a major in drama. The dramatic training proves beneficial in his current occupation. “There’s an aspect of theater to teaching,” he said. His teaching style is flamboyant, speckled with personal anecdotes, puns and references to pop culture. He cites his theater background and natural energy with making his teaching style so upbeat. After graduation, Russell thought about a career in banking but ended up selling nuts and bolts for a large distributer. “That was just so against my personality,” he said. Wanting something more, Russell decided to go back to school and get his master’s in mathematics from UNC Charlotte. Even that was not enough. “There had always been signs that I was an educator,” he said. “I was always tutoring, but it never occurred to me to be a teacher.” He went to the University of Georgia and obtained his doctorate in mathematics education. Then, he came to Elon. Russell proved an integral part in establishing a uniform, basic math class as part of the university’s General Studies requirement. Formerly, Elon students had to take college algebra, calculus, geometry or statistics. Now, statistics is part of every graduate’s curriculum. He also had an active hand in pushing for the new statistics minor and major. Russell’s success in paving the way for these requirements resulted, in part, from the several leadership positions he served in during his time

at Elon. Within his first years at Elon, Russell joined both committees: Numeracy Across the Curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum. “Being part of two committees with ‘across the curriculum’ in the title led me to a general studies life,” Russell said. Now, he said, there are semesters during which he doesn’t teach any math classes at all. Upper-level general studies courses take up a lot of his time, including unique courses such as “Life Stories” and “Math Origami.” A boyhood fascination with origami developed into a lifelong love of folding, and once the need for a cross-curriculum general studies class was discussed, Russell stepped forward. “It’s cool that we can look at one thing and see it different ways,” Russell said. In his course, business majors learn folding and also develop ways of explaining the profit value of origami, art majors look at the delicate art of the paper, and history majors may explore the traditions and background of origami. The Helper.” In keeping with his Myers-Briggs results, Russell is a frequent speaker at teaching conferences around the state. He says that helping other teachers become better is one of his most important lessons to teach. Math professor Jan Mays co-led a workshop for teachers in the surrounding area where Russell helped with his ability to teach teachers. “He motivated the teachers by introducing activities using everyday objects like sea shells and note cards to teach measurement,” Mays said. “His knowledge of education theory combined with his enthusiasm for math was contagious.” Mays said that as a colleague, Russell is a great motivator and problem solver. “This is what makes me to look to him as a leader: his ability to solve problems creatively, develop stimulating activities and his openness to new ideas,” she said. If he had known about being an ENFP sooner, Russell said, perhaps, he would have had a more direct career trajectory into teaching. “The more you understand yourself, the better off you’ll be,” he said.

Story By Lauren Ramsdell

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

7 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 8

GET TO KNOW Barbara Gordon Elon Arrival: 1997 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”


9 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 10

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Barry Bradberry PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

GET TO KNOW Barry Bradberry Elon Arrival: 2002 Hometown: Kenansville, NC “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do. Life’s been good to me so far.”


11 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 12

GLASSES ON, PLEASE.

Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Colin Donohue

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

Colin Donohue

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD


Connie Book

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 14

For Connie Ledoux Book, leadership is about the capacity to make change. This is a task she has undertaken as the Associate Dean of the School of Communications and one she will bring to her new role as Associate Provost of Academic Affairs. “You’re not necessarily the person in the front, but you provide people with a place to exchange good ideas, and when the consensus is that it’s a good idea, that you work toward empowering them with the resources to make it happen,” Book said. Book is someone who has always sought out the opportunity to lead because she enjoys building things. She enjoys being a part of change. “I get a lot of energy from seeing things materialize into events or departments or programs,” Book said. But Book gets the most energy from her students. She loves being their cheerleader and reminding them that they have what it takes to make their dreams a reality. “There’s no question,” Book said. “The best part of this is when you see a student take advantage of an opportunity that you helped create that fundamentally changes their professional or academic life.” Her students aren’t the only ones who view Book as a prime example of leadership. Her fellow faculty and staff members look up to her as well. Ross Wade, Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications, said Book is the best supervisor he’s ever had. “I really respect and appreciate all that she takes on and how she handles it and the way she interacts with

people,” Wade said. “That’s something I strive to be like as well – straightforward, intelligent, fair, thinking big picture. She’s really innovative as well. She has a lot of the qualities that I value in a leader.” Book’s own leadership influences range from Elon President Leo Lambert to Jack Stanley, a Time Warner executive. “(Jack Stanley) has been very influential in teaching me great lessons about people, about the power of second chances, about not backing people into corners, about knowing when to fold, just important leadership lessons,” Book said. But one of Book’s favorite leaders is a fictional character from Jean Auel’s novel “Clan of the Cave Bear.” “The story follows a woman named Ayla, and Ayla is awesome,” Book said. “She invents the sewing needle, learns to ride horseback, cultivates a garden, all during the clan of the cave bear times. I remember reading that and thinking, ‘Whoa, what a leader!’” No matter how many leadership positions Book takes on at Elon, her mission has been the same since she first started working at the university in 1999 – helping students realize goals they never imagined for themselves. “When I’m in a quandary about a decision, I always ask myself, ‘Is this good for the students?’” Book said. “That’s my default position on any request that comes through this office. If what we’re doing is not good for the students then it’s not the right thing.”

Story By Alexa Milan

IF IT’S GOOD FOR THE STUDENTS, IT’S GOOD FOR BOOK

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

13 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

GET TO KNOW Connie Book Position: Associate Dean of the School of Communications, will become Academic Affairs on June 1 Elon Arrival: 1999 Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA


15 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 16

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER “Being part of two committees with ‘across the curriculum’ in the title led me to a general studies life,” Russell said. Now, he said, there are semesters during which he doesn’t teach any math classes at all. Upper-level general studies courses take up a lot of his time, including unique courses such as “Life Stories” and “Math Origami.” A boyhood fascination with origami developed into a lifelong love of folding, and once the need for a cross-curriculum general studies class was discussed, Russell stepped forward. “It’s cool that we can look at one thing and see it different ways,” Russell said. In his course, business majors learn folding and also develop ways of explaining the profit value of origami, art majors look at the delicate art of the paper, and history majors may explore the traditions and background of origami. Russell cites his innate gift of mathematical passion as a key reason for becoming a leader in the Elon math community, as well as his communication and listening skills. Also, as in his class “Life Stories,” Russell proves in tune with himself as a person. The class begins with several personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs. Russell is an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception), a combination that is known as “The Helper.” In keeping with his Myers-Briggs results, Russell is a frequent speaker at teaching conferences around the state. He says that helping other teachers become better is one of his most important lessons to teach. Math professor Jan Mays co-led a workshop for teachers in the surrounding area where Russell helped with his ability to teach teachers. “He motivated the teachers by introducing activities using everyday objects like sea shells and note cards to teach measurement,” Mays said. “His knowledge of education theory combined with his enthusiasm for math was contagious.” Mays said that as a colleague, Russell is a great motivator and problem solver. “This is what makes me to look to him as a leader: his ability to solve problems creatively, develop stimulating activities and his openness to new ideas,” she said. If he had known about being an ENFP sooner, Russell said, perhaps, he would have had a more direct career trajectory into teaching. “The more you understand yourself, the better off you’ll be,” he said.

Story By Lauren Ramsdell

GET TO KNOW Dan Anderson Elon Arrival: 1997 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

Alan Russell joined Elon University in 1997 as the coordinator of developmental mathematics—all of the basic 100-level math classes offered at the university. For thirteen years, Russell has helped revamp the core math curriculum and also developed course niches that offer students the chance to really get to know themselves. But Russell hasn’t always known he was going to be a teacher. After graduating as valedictorian from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, Russell attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he majored in mathematics. “I was an only child, and that gave me a lot of time to sit and think and wonder,” he said. Presbyterian was another place where he could be creative and explore. In fact, he minored in physics and was one course away from graduating with a major in drama. The dramatic training proves beneficial in his current occupation. “There’s an aspect of theater to teaching,” he said. His teaching style is flamboyant, speckled with personal anecdotes, puns and references to pop culture. He cites his theater background and natural energy with making his teaching style so upbeat. After graduation, Russell thought about a career in banking but ended up selling nuts and bolts for a large distributer. “That was just so against my personality,” he said. Wanting something more, Russell decided to go back to school and get his master’s in mathematics from UNC Charlotte. Even that was not enough. “There had always been signs that I was an educator,” he said. “I was always tutoring, but it never occurred to me to be a teacher.” He went to the University of Georgia and obtained his doctorate in mathematics education. Then, he came to Elon. Russell proved an integral part in establishing a uniform, basic math class as part of the university’s General Studies requirement. Formerly, Elon students had to take college algebra, calculus, geometry or statistics. Now, statistics is part of every graduate’s curriculum. He also had an active hand in pushing for the new statistics minor and major. Russell’s success in paving the way for these requirements resulted, in part, from the several leadership positions he served in during his time at Elon. Within his first years at Elon, Russell joined both committees: Numeracy Across the Curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum.

Dan Anderson


17 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 18

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

David Copeland

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

GET TO KNOW David Copeland Elon Arrival: 2002 Hometown: Kenansville, NC “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do. Life’s been good to me so far.”


Elon Arrival: 2002 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

GET TO KNOW Earl Honeycutt

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Earl Honeycutt

21 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 22


Earl Danieley

19 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Earl Danieley

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 20

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS


23 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

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’s 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 own 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

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Edie Alexander

TWO DECADES, ‘POSITIONS,’ ONE HECKUVA GAL

be treated plays a huge role in maintaining strong work relationships, as well as 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 senior Sarah Vavreck, a 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 PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 24

GET TO KNOW Edie Alexander Elon Arrival: 1988 Hometown: Burlington, NC


25 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 26

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW George Troxler

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

George Troxler

Story By Camille DeMere PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS


Gerry Waterman

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 30

Alan Russell joined Elon University in 1997 as the coordinator of developmental mathematics—all of the basic 100-level math classes offered at the university. For thirteen years, Russell has helped revamp the core math curriculum and also developed course niches that offer students the chance to really get to know themselves. But Russell hasn’t always known he was going to be a teacher. After graduating as valedictorian from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, Ru “There’s an aspect of theater to teaching,” he said. His teaching style is flamboyant, speckled with personal anecdotes, puns and references to pop culture. He cites his theater background and natural energy with making his teaching style so upbeat. After graduation, Russell thought about a career in banking but ended up selling nuts and bolts for a large distributer. “That was just so against my personality,” he said. Wanting something more, Russell decided to go back to school and get his master’s in mathematics from UNC Charlotte. Even that was not enough. “There had always been signs that I was an educator,” he said. “I was always tutoring, but it never occurred to me to be a teacher.” He went to the University of Georgia and obtained his doctorate in mathematics education. Then, he came to Elon. Russell proved an integral part in establishing a uniform, basic math class as part of the university’s General Studies requirement. Formerly, Elon students had to take college algebra, calculus, geometry or statistics. Now, statistics is part of every graduate’s curriculum. He also had an active hand in pushing for the new statistics minor and major. Russell’s success in paving the way for these requirements resulted, in part, from the several leadership positions he served in during his time at Elon. Within his first years at Elon, Russell joined both committees: Numeracy Across the Curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum. “Being part of two committees with ‘across the curriculum’ in the title led me to a general studies life,” Russell said. Now, he said, there are semesters during which he doesn’t teach any math classes at all. Upper-level general studies courses take up a lot of his time,

including unique courses such as “Life Stories” and “Math Origami.” A boyhood fascination with origami developed into a lifelong love of folding, and once the need for a cross-curriculum general studies class was discussed, Russell stepped forward. “It’s cool that we can look at one thing and see it different ways,” Russell said. In his course, business majors learn folding and also develop ways of explaining the profit value of origami, art majors look at the delicate art of the paper, and history majors may explore the traditions and background of origami. Russell cites his innate gift of mathematical passion as a key reason for becoming a leader in the Elon math community, as well as his communication and listening skills. Also, as in his class “Life Stories,” Russell proves in tune with himself as a person. The class begins with several personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs. Russell is an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception), a combination that is known as “The Helper.” In keeping with his Myers-Briggs results, Russell is a frequent speaker at teaching conferences around the state. He says that helping other teachers become better is one of his most important lessons to teach. Math professor Jan Mays co-led a workshop for teachers in the surrounding area where Russell helped with his ability to teach teachers. “He motivated the teachers by introducing activities using everyday objects like sea shells and note cards to teach measurement,” Mays said. “His knowledge of education theory combined with his enthusiasm for math was contagious.” Mays said that as a colleague, Russell is a great motivator and problem solver. “This is what makes me to look to him as a leader: his ability to solve problems creatively, develop stimulating activities and his openness to new ideas,” she said. If he had known about being an ENFP sooner, Russell said, perhaps, he would have had a more direct career trajectory into teaching. “The more you understand yourself, the better off you’ll be,” he said.

Story By Lauren Ramsdell

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

29 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

GET TO KNOW Gerry Waterman Elon Arrival: 1997 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”


31 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

POLLING ELON INTO THE FUTURE

Elon Arrival: 2005 “I think about any student who is admitted to Elon has the makeup for leading in some capacity or form either on campus or later in life. You get practical experience, develop knowledge, acquire critical skills and learn to read and write.” “I think you have to have confidence, but it has to be based on knowledge, If you have those two, you can prove to be a leader and emerge as one.” PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

Hunter Bacot

From conducting surveys to instructing classes, Hunter Bacot has been a vital part of Elon’s campus since he first came to the university five years ago. Bacot, the director of the Elon University poll, has a degree in political science and has taught both graduate and undergraduate classes. When the position opened at Elon, he decided to make polling his career. Besides teaching two classes every year, which include a senior seminar in political science and American politics as well as public opinion polling, Bacot said he is heavily involved in every aspect of the polling process. This includes trying to get students to sign-up to conduct surveys, scripting questions, learning computer software and doing payroll. “I usually spend two to three hours a day surfing blog sites to find out what the main topics are in political and state government,” he said. The poll questions primarily involve issues within the state of North Carolina and must be a topic that people are genuinely interested in, he explained. “We must ask questions that are pertinent and salient to the citizens of the community,” Bacot said. “Sometimes you pick an issue that no one cares about. It’s disappointing because you put so much work into it and there’s no reward there.” Since Bacot took the position, he said he has seen the poll’s presence in the state become more prominent than it once was. He is most proud of raising the visibility and credibility of the poll. Now, if people want information, they will often ask for poll results. “Part of that is that I’m a native North Carolinian and I know how the state works, what goes on where, and what each region brings to the state,” he said. He has also implemented many changes to the polling techniques, which ensure that the process is as efficient as possible. These include making certain that questions are neutral, incorporating the ability to call cell phones to conduct surveys and increasing student buy-in. While the polling center used to struggle with filling the lab with students to make phone calls, Bacot said it is now rare to have an empty seat on any night of polling. “We have to make sure they’re comfortable because we want them to come back and do it again,” he said. “If you’ve done it before, it is a lot easier the second time and you’re more comfortable and productive, so it’s in my interest to have them return.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Hunter Bacot

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 32

Bacot also changed the structure of the polling staff by removing the position of polling fellow – a graduate from another school – and working with four interns from Elon each semester instead. This not only keeps the money cycle within Elon’s campus but also provides great opportunities for the students involved to gain experience and build their resumes. He has seen numerous students fall in love with polling and go on to graduate schools to study it. “Those types of things have been the most rewarding, seeing students move from just enjoying it to becoming interested to actually moving into the field,” he said. “Part of what we do is for the students, seeing the rewards and watching the students progress in confidence in working polls.” Bacot said the greatest challenge of the polls is making sure the information is timely. “Because it’s survey data, it is time-bound, so people only look at it when it’s fresh and new,” he said. “We have two or three days to get it out and make an impression.” Through the information, Bacot said he hopes the poll represents the entire voice of the community, not just the voters. “Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t care,” he said. “I think that being able to give everyone a voice in the process is a tremendous service that this university provides through the poll.” Bacot said that during his time at Elon, he has been particularly impacted by President Leo Lambert. “He has an almost unending passion to make sure people understand their place and give,” he said. “Where you live you take, so it’s only natural to give back.” Bacot himself has had a positive impact on his peers, particularly the assistant director of the poll, Mileah Kromer. “I am thankful every day to have someone as wonderful as Hunter as a faculty member,” she said. “He is an all around wonderful professor and a shining example of Elon’s message of engaged learning.” Though Bacot said he greatly enjoys polling, he would love to someday devote all of his time to working in a classroom. He said right now, much of his time is consumed with the polling process. “The day I don’t get recharged after a break is the day I need to walk away from the poll,” he said. “It could be next year or in five years, but I like politics and I like polling, so it’s hard to say.”

Story By Caitlin O’Donnell


33 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 34

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Janna Anderson

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

Janna Anderson PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD


Jay Harper

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 36

Had you asked Bursar Jay Harper while a freshman at Elon whether he would ever be back to work at the university, he would have said no. He had much bigger plans. “My freshman year I was pretty wide-eyed in the sense that I could go anywhere and do anything,” Harper said. “I had not planned on staying in the area. I had much bigger sights than staying in this area.” Harper grew up 30 minutes east of Elon in Hillsboro where he still lives today with his two sons, Pearson, 10, Cameron, 6, and his wife. In college, he was a workaholic. Instead of hanging out with friends and spending endless nights in the library, Harper commuted to Elon from his home with his parents in Hillsboro. He also worked part time in Durham. “I didn’t do a whole lot of visiting professors,” he said. “I just did what I was supposed to do. I didn’t hang around campus a lot.” After he graduated from Elon in 1994, Harper was offered a fulltime job at Carpenter’s Incorporated as a business manager. After working there for eight years, Harper began looking for another job and an opening at Elon happened to come up. “I didn’t just one day say, ‘I’m going to look specifically at Elon,’ but when I was looking, I looked mainly because of the great experience that I had as an undergrad,” Harper said. “My mother worked at Duke and I really got a taste of what working in higher ed was like. However, she said, ‘You don’t want to work at Duke.’” Harper said Duke was too big, and the sense of community is

unlike Elon’s. Elon, despite its growth, feels like a family. As Bursar, Harper collects tuition from students and parents. He has a regimented schedule of tasks he must accomplish everyday and while some parts of his job may seem mundane, his fear of failure really keeps him going. “If I’m in a position where I have to do x-y-z and if I do those things, I consider that being successful,” Harper said. Harper said the best part about his job is speaking with families and helping them in some way. “I get to talk to talk to people from different countries and from all over the United States. It’s great having a conversation with someone you otherwise might not get to,” Harper said. “I really do like that feeling of ‘You just don’t know how much you helped me with this.’” Although he loves his job, Harper is first and foremost a family man. Nothing makes him happier than spending time with Pearson and Cameron. Sports are a huge part of his life. Whether he is attending a Durham Bulls baseball game with the family, taking his sons to basketball practice or cheering on the Duke Blue Devils, sports are something that connect his whole family. Harper said balancing family and work is extremely important to him. But at the end of the day, he said, “I’m fine not being the person out there in the forefront, as long as I have a sense of accomplishment.”

Story By Sam King

THE MAN BEHIND THE BILLS

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

35 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

GET TO KNOW Jay Harper Elon Arrival: 2002 Hometown: Hillsboro, NC Favorite Leader: Pam Brumbaugh, Director of Experiential Education


Jean Schwind

37 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 38

Elon Arrival: 2005

“I think you have to have confidence, but it has to be based on knowledge, If you have those two, you can prove to be a leader and emerge as one.”

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

“I think about any student who is admitted to Elon has the makeup for leading in some capacity or form either on campus or later in life. You get practical experience, develop knowledge, acquire critical skills and learn to read and write.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW Jean Schwind

From conducting surveys to instructing classes, Hunter Bacot has been a vital part of Elon’s campus since he first came to the university five years ago. Bacot, the director of the Elon University poll, has a degree in political science and has taught both graduate and undergraduate classes. When the position opened at Elon, he decided to make polling his career. Besides teaching two classes every year, which include a senior seminar in political science and American politics as well as public opinion polling, Bacot said he is heavily involved in every aspect of the polling process. This includes trying to get students to sign-up to conduct surveys, scripting questions, learning computer software and doing payroll. “I usually spend two to three hours a day surfing blog sites to find out what the main topics are in political and state government,” he said. The poll questions primarily involve issues within the state of North Carolina and must be a topic that people are genuinely interested in, he explained. “We must ask questions that are pertinent and salient to the citizens of the community,” Bacot said. “Sometimes you pick an issue that no one cares about. It’s disappointing because you put so much work into it and there’s no reward there.” Since Bacot took the position, he said he has seen the poll’s presence in the state become more prominent than it once was. He is most proud of raising the visibility and credibility of the poll. Now, if people want information, they will often ask for poll results. “Part of that is that I’m a native North Carolinian and I know how the state works, what goes on where, and what each region brings to the state,” he said. He has also implemented many changes to the polling techniques, which ensure that the process is as efficient as possible. These include making certain that questions are neutral, incorporating the ability to call cell phones to conduct surveys and increasing student buy-in. While the polling center used to struggle with filling the lab with students to make phone calls, Bacot said it is now rare to have an empty seat on any night of polling. “We have to make sure they’re comfortable because we want them to come back and do it again,” he said. “If you’ve done it before, it is a lot easier the second time and you’re more comfortable and productive, so it’s in my interest to have them return.”

Bacot also changed the structure of the polling staff by removing the position of polling fellow – a graduate from another school – and working with four interns from Elon each semester instead. This not only keeps the money cycle within Elon’s campus but also provides great opportunities for the students involved to gain experience and build their resumes. He has seen numerous students fall in love with polling and go on to graduate schools to study it. “Those types of things have been the most rewarding, seeing students move from just enjoying it to becoming interested to actually moving into the field,” he said. “Part of what we do is for the students, seeing the rewards and watching the students progress in confidence in working polls.” Bacot said the greatest challenge of the polls is making sure the information is timely. “Because it’s survey data, it is time-bound, so people only look at it when it’s fresh and new,” he said. “We have two or three days to get it out and make an impression.” Through the information, Bacot said he hopes the poll represents the entire voice of the community, not just the voters. “Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t care,” he said. “I think that being able to give everyone a voice in the process is a tremendous service that this university provides through the poll.” Bacot said that during his time at Elon, he has been particularly impacted by President Leo Lambert. “He has an almost unending passion to make sure people understand their place and give,” he said. “Where you live you take, so it’s only natural to give back.” Bacot himself has had a positive impact on his peers, particularly the assistant director of the poll, Mileah Kromer. “I am thankful every day to have someone as wonderful as Hunter as a faculty member,” she said. “He is an all around wonderful professor and a shining example of Elon’s message of engaged learning.” Though Bacot said he greatly enjoys polling, he would love to someday devote all of his time to working in a classroom. He said right now, much of his time is consumed with the polling process. “The day I don’t get recharged after a break is the day I need to walk away from the poll,” he said. “It could be next year or in five years, but I like politics and I like polling, so it’s hard to say.”

POLLING ELON INTO THE FUTURE

Story By Caitlin O’Donnell


GET TO KNOW Jeffrey Coker First Year at Elon: 2004 Hometown: Plymouth, NC “Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 40

MORE THAN JUST A TREE HUGGER When Dr. Jeffrey Coker thought about where he wanted his photo taken around campus, the first place that came to mind was a tree. But it’s not just any tree – it’s an American Chestnut, a species that represents everything that Coker stands for. This type of oak used to cover eastern North America before it was virtually wiped out by a foreign blight, and scientists are now working to develop a blight-resistant strain of the trees. President Leo Lambert doesn’t know it yet, but when the blight-resistant seeds are released, Coker will be campaigning to have them distributed at graduation in place of oak saplings. “It symbolizes putting something back that should have always been there,” Coker said. In fact, that idea is one of the core principles he teaches in Reinventing Life, a biology class for non-scientists he created that has become so popular, it’s been expanded to two sections each semester. Along with hearing Coker’s enthusiasm for the subject, Reinventing Life students get a glimpse of the legacy he hopes to leave at the university – an Elon Forest. Each semester he leads his classes on a 10-minute trek to a tiny segment of an old forest across NC-100 that he hopes the university will adopt one day. But he’s not just a tree hugger – he wants to be remembered as an advocate for general education. “I see the general education classes [as] more important to making sure people have quality, productive lives,” he said. “That people are able to write really well, that people have the skills in 10 years to be able to teach themselves. If we’re doing the general education courses right, people should be getting a tool bag of lifelong learning skills that will serve them well for their entire lives.” Coker has always valued a liberal arts education. As an undergraduate at Davidson College, he thought he wanted to be a doctor, but he’d always been interested in a variety of subjects. He wrote for the student newspaper and even traveled to Europe to study Greek and Roman art and architecture. As an undergraduate, Coker succeeded with the guidance of several mentors and role models, but two stand out as particularly influential. Verna Case, the biology department PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

39 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

head, “never seemed to be working,” but she was a master of “leading in ways that felt like you weren’t being led.” Dr. Beamon, a local family practitioner, taught Coker the value of treating people with respect, especially those having a difficult time in life. “I’ll never forget walking around nursing homes with him treating elderly people [whose] best mental days were behind them,” Coker said. “He constantly experimented with every patient to try to pull their medications back. He would just try to optimize peoples’ quality of life. On Dr. Beamon’s advice, Coker took a year off from school after earning his undergraduate degree. Even though he’s planned on going to medical school for years, he fell in love with teaching at a Raleigh junior high school. “I got about three months into that and realized that some people go their entire lives without finding anything that they really love to do,” he said. “And here I’ve sort of stumbled into something that I really love to do.” At the same time, Coker knew he wanted an intellectual challenge, which led him to pursue a master’s in science education and a Ph.D. in plant biology from N.C. State. “Unlike most professors, I went to grad school knowing I wanted to end up at somewhere like Elon,” Coker said, remarking that the university’s status as an up-and-coming institution that values research, teaching and a liberal arts education drew him here six years ago. Coker said he also admires the leadership of quite a few Elon administrators, including Lambert and Provost Steven House. “[House’s] leadership style is to find the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, and then to put them into the spotlight,” Coker said. “He doesn’t try to take the spotlight. He’s always serving as an advocate for the people with the best ideas.” As for Lambert, Coker said, “He’s completely unafraid of big ideas.” And so is Coker. Whether it’s an Elon forest or a class that evokes a passion for science in non-majors, Coker hopes to continue helping others come together and bring their ideas to life.

Story By Rachel Cieri

PHOTO BY RACHEL CIERI

Jeffrey Coker


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The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 42

GUIDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ELON LEADERS

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Jim Brown PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

About 20 wide-eyed freshmen stare nervously at Jim Brown during the first few days of his global experience class. Here’s a secret to those students – he’s nervous too. “The first couple days in class I’m still always nervous,” Brown said. “The only thing that saves me is that I know that the students are nervous, too.” Brown began teaching at Elon in 1994 after he graduated from the University of Minnesota with his master’s in history. “I always liked history, never thought I could make Any money it, but in the end it’s what I always loved to do,” Brown said. He may have always loved history, but he never immediately felt that way about teaching. Even after he applied to graduate school, he said he never imagined himself in front of a classroom. Luckily for Elon, this has changed. Brown said the best thing he has been involved with is the Periclean Scholars program. During the first year, with the class of 2006, Brown helped teach the beginning class. But, he became the sole advisor for the class of 2007. The class of 2007 focused on working in Honduras. In this project, Brown led a group of students to Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula. In addition, the class worked with an NGO that takes children from disadvantaged or abused homes and have them work on a farm. The students worked with this group as well during their trip to the country. “You have a class full of people that are really passionate people that are doing something,” Brown said. “They all want to be in the class. It’s like a class of passionate majors. They are engaged and want to be involved in some way. I would just come out of that class energized.”

For a man who has led so many since his time at Elon, the leader who has most inspired him is not a historical figure, but someone a lot younger – his daughter. During her junior year of college, Brown’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. “She didn’t drop out and finished on time,” he said. “Everything she went through she was so strong. It’s amazing that she could be as strong as that.” It’s quite obvious that Brown’s inspiration shines through during teaching. He said his most memorable work since he has been at Elon has been with the Periclean Scholars, but this energy and passion he talks about with the program, he often feels this while teaching during his global experience class. Each professor who teaches the class structures it differently. For Brown, he chooses several topics and his class delves into analyzing them and looking for answers to the important questions. “I think a lot of global is thinking, understanding those different perspectives,” Brown said. During this class Brown hits on some pretty heavy topics including genocide, HIV/AIDS and Islamic fundamentalism. At the end of each semester, Brown has students write a paper about whether or not the students were changed by the class. “At the end of the semester the papers are always pretty moving,” he said. “That’s the immediate response (I see).” For anyone who sits through Brown’s global experience class, one or two things tend to happen – they go back to their regular lives or they enter the world and take what they learned and make changes. “To see students two, three years down the line and they still talk about what you learned about or the skills they learned,” Brown said, “that’s what keeps you coming back.”

Story By Pam Richter

GET TO KNOW Jim Brown Elon Arrival: 1994 Hometown: Alexandria, VA “Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you change.” (Jesse Jackson)


Jim Donathan

Alan Russell joined Elon University in 1997 as the coordinator of developmental mathematics—all of the basic 100-level math classes offered at the university. For thirteen years, Russell has helped revamp the core math curriculum and also developed course niches that offer students the chance to really get to know themselves. But Russell hasn’t always known he was going to be a teacher. After graduating as valedictorian from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, Russell attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he majored in mathematics. “I was an only child, and that gave me a lot of time to sit and think and wonder,” he said. Presbyterian was another place where he could be creative and explore. In fact, he minored in physics and was one course away from graduating with a major in drama. The dramatic training proves beneficial in his current occupation. “There’s an aspect of theater to teaching,” he said. His teaching style is flamboyant, speckled with personal anecdotes, puns and references to pop culture. He cites his theater background and natural energy with making his teaching style so upbeat. After graduation, Russell thought about a career in banking but ended up selling nuts and bolts for a large distributer. “That was just so against my personality,” he said. Wanting something more, Russell decided to go back to school and get his master’s in mathematics from UNC Charlotte. Even that was not enough. “There had always been signs that I was an educator,” he said. “I was always tutoring, but it never occurred to me to be a teacher.” He went to the University of Georgia and obtained his doctorate in mathematics education. Then, he came to Elon. Russell proved an integral part in establishing a uniform, basic math class as part of the university’s General Studies requirement. Formerly, Elon students had to take college algebra, calculus, geometry or statistics. Now, statistics is part of every graduate’s curriculum. He also had an active hand in pushing for the new statistics minor and major. Russell’s success in paving the way for these requirements resulted, in part, from the several leadership positions he served in during his time

at Elon. Within his first years at Elon, Russell joined both committees: Numeracy Across the Curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum. “Being part of two committees with ‘across the curriculum’ in the title led me to a general studies life,” Russell said. Now, he said, there are semesters during which he doesn’t teach any math classes at all. Upper-level general studies courses take up a lot of his time, including unique courses such as “Life Stories” and “Math Origami.” A boyhood fascination with origami developed into a lifelong love of folding, and once the need for a cross-curriculum general studies class was discussed, Russell stepped forward. “It’s cool that we can look at one thing and see it different ways,” Russell said. In his course, business majors learn folding and also develop ways of explaining the profit value of origami, art majors look at the delicate art of the paper, and history majors may explore the traditions and background of origami. The Helper.” In keeping with his Myers-Briggs results, Russell is a frequent speaker at teaching conferences around the state. He says that helping other teachers become better is one of his most important lessons to teach. Math professor Jan Mays co-led a workshop for teachers in the surrounding area where Russell helped with his ability to teach teachers. “He motivated the teachers by introducing activities using everyday objects like sea shells and note cards to teach measurement,” Mays said. “His knowledge of education theory combined with his enthusiasm for math was contagious.” Mays said that as a colleague, Russell is a great motivator and problem solver. “This is what makes me to look to him as a leader: his ability to solve problems creatively, develop stimulating activities and his openness to new ideas,” she said. If he had known about being an ENFP sooner, Russell said, perhaps, he would have had a more direct career trajectory into teaching. “The more you understand yourself, the better off you’ll be,” he said.

Story By Lauren Ramsdell

ADD NEW CREATIVE HEADER

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

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The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 44

GET TO KNOW Jim Donathan Elon Arrival: 1997 Hometown: Midland, NC “You just serve because that’s what you should be doing.”


45 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

Jo Williams

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 46

GET TO KNOW Jo W illiams Elon Arrival: 1969 “For this is your duty, to act well the part that is given to you.” (Greek Philosopher Eictetus) “Leaders is getting others to work with you toward a common goal.”

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

During the last 45 years, Elon University has gone through many changes. Jo Williams, Special Assistant to the President, has been one of the constant pillars at Elon for almost half a century. She has served under the last four presidents — Dr. Leon E. Smith, Dr. J. Earl Danieley, Dr. J. Fred Yong and Dr. Leo Lambert. Williams and her seven siblings were raised in Anson County and all attended Elon College. They were always taught to appreciate education. “I have been influenced by so many people in my life,” Williams said. “I have had so many great teachers, and my parents always valued education. There were never any questions about me getting an education.” In 1955, she earned a degree in education. During the next 14 years, she taught at public schools in Burlington, Concord and Alamance County. “I have always loved teaching,” Williams said. “I’m a people person, I like people. I like looking at people and their special talents and helping people capitalize on those talents. I enjoy helping people succeed.” Danieley taught Williams chemistry during her freshman year, and in 1969, he invited her back to Elon to teach in the department of education and psychology. In 1977, Williams was named associate dean of academic affairs and director of the learning resource center. While she was working at Elon, Williams was also continuing her education. She earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1979, Williams became the vice president of development

until she retired from that position in 1995. She was asked to take the job as special assistant to the president. “Serving in so many different roles has made my career at the institution always exciting and challenging,” Williams said. Williams has been at Elon for 45 years and has had a unique opportunity to really see the school change. “I just have a passion for Elon,” she said. “I always had a vision for what Elon could become, and now my dreams have become a reality. What an unparalleled joy it has been to be a small part of the progress of the institution and see the changes unfold.” As the school has grown and received recognition, the community feel of Elon has remained, Williams said. “Elon means a lot to me, especially the values of the institution,” she said. “Regardless of the size, we’ve remained close, we have remained a family.” Her passion for Elon was recognized in February 2008 when she received the university’s Frank S. Holt, Jr. Business Leadership Award. She was recognized because of her service to not only Elon, but the surrounding Alamance County. Williams said she is not ready to leave Elon and plans on staying at the school that she has turned into her family. She enjoys meeting with students and wants to help current students do everything they can while at Elon. “Students should take advantage of everything offered here,” she said. “They should embrace not just academics, but also extracurricular activities and programs like study abroad. It’s a special time in anyone’s life.”

CREATIVE HEADER GOES HERE

Story By Rebecca Smith


47 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 48

LEADING THE FUTURE BY DOCUMENTING THE PAST

Whether it is working with a faculty member who is retiring to try to get his or her papers, helping students with projects or serving on a faculty committee, Nash has led Elon through creating the archives as a resource at Elon for faculty, staff, students and the public. “A good leader is a good communicator and an effective communicator,” she said. “I also think that to be a good leader you have to be humble and you have to expect the best of the people that are working for you and with you.” In addition, Nash said those who work for an effective leader never want to disappoint the person in charge. Personally, she said her dad has been an influential leader in her life. “With leadership, you have to work with all different types of people,” she said. “He’s a great leader and was a great leader in his career in the Navy.” In a short time at Elon, Nash has made her impact on the archives as well. Recently, the library launched its first-ever digital project. Nash worked with an intern to launch an online digital postcard collection of the university’s old postcards. She said that has been one of the best projects she has worked on since she’s been at Elon and would like to see the archives do more digital projects in the future. “I am fortunate to be working on the university history five years after Katie became archivist,” said George Troxler, professor emeritus of history. “She has made remarkable progress in gathering and inventorying our collections and making them available to researchers. Katie is enthusiastic about her responsibilities and helpful beyond what can be reasonably expected of an archivist. It is wonderful to have her help and advice.” When students present projects that Nash has assisted them in working on, or when projects from the archives are publicized, such as the digital postcard collection, Nash remains out of the limelight. “I’m pretty humble,” she said. “It’s always nice to see because the work here is more behind the scenes. When it comes out to the main public view, (it’s nice) because I know what it took to make it happen. It’s always rewarding to see the public reaction.”

Story By Pam Richter

Elon Arrival: 2005 “Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface.” (Confucius)

PHOTO BY JACK DODSON

Walking into the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections on the second floor of the Elon Library, the cabinets of books immediately catch the eye. Some are older, while some are newer books as they are part of the Elon Authors Collection. Then, around the corner, sits a quaint office, which houses some of the most important documents in the history of the university. Here, there are old cultural programs, photographs, student publications and countless other documents that serve as a guide for the university’s history. And behind all of these documents and artifacts, there is one woman: Katie Nash. Nash, the special collections librarian and archivist in Belk Library, tries to explain that her job consists of more than dealing with “old stuff.” “My main duty is to collect documents and preserve every aspect of the university’s history,” Nash said. “It’s dealing with the history of the university, which can be yesterday or it can be 100 years ago.” Nash was hired in June 2005 and became the university’s first full-time archivist. Before arriving at Elon, Nash worked part-time at the Greensboro Historical Museum in the archives and also at the Interlibrary Loan office at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But it took a little encouragement for her to apply to Elon. “I remember reading the job experience asking for all these different things that I don’t have experience with or not long enough,” she said. “I didn’t really think I had a shot.” Luckily for Elon, Nash was encouraged to apply by several coworkers and a short time after that, she was hired and began to make her mark at the university. “Since I am the first full-time person, I have been able to create my own personal path and also a path for the archives,” Nash said. Documenting every aspect of the university’s history may be overwhelming. Everything from cultural programs, to photographs, to building blueprints, to academic catalogs, to old memorabilia, there is nothing about the history of the university that doesn’t fall under Nash’s radar.

GET TO KNOW Katie Nash

Katie Nash


49 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

LEADERSHIP IN ACTION

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Mallory Anderson

From her years in college to her time working at Elon, leadership has always been a significant part of Mallory Anderson’s life. Before becoming the Director for the Center of Leadership at Elon University, Anderson studied business management at Appalachian State and then worked as an events planner. She quickly realized her passion was working with college students and decided to work on a college campus. After studying college student affairs administration at the University of Georgia, Anderson came to Elon to serve as the director of orientation and organization development. Two years later, she took over the Center for Leadership. As director for the center, she oversees the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program, Adventures in Leadership and the experiential learning requirement. “I believe that leadership is something that can be taught, it’s not just innate in who you are,” she said. “It’s been awesome to have had the opportunity to be a part of so many moments of learning.” Since she took the position, Anderson said she has worked hard to define learning outcomes and objectives for leadership workshops and infuse relevant literature into the program. “Something I am proud of is the intentionality behind the things we do, think and plan,” she explained. She has also spent time working with Elon’s strategic plan. “It encompasses a lot of different facets of leadership and it’s something I’ll be proud to leave because people can follow it and work toward the included goals,” she said. These facets of leadership include cultural leadership, a focus on study abroad and the inclusion of diversity within group dynamics. “As we move into the future, I would like to see more learning about leadership from a cultural perspective,” she said. “Leadership isn’t just the four-year program, it’s an opportunity for students to be involved and developed in their roles, too.” Anderson said that even on a bad day, she still loves her job and what she does, particularly the interaction with students. “I think I learn just as much from them as they are hopefully learning from me,” she said. She explained that she is often motivated by the positive relationships she has cultivated with both students and faculty at Elon. “I get excited about creating opportunities, whether it’s one where

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 50

there might be a failure and we learn from it, or a success that we celebrate,” she said. “There really is an energy created by working with students.” Despite the success she has had in the position, Anderson has experienced some setbacks. With so many different parties involved in decision-making, she said her priorities aren’t always on the forefront, which can be disheartening. “It’s just picking yourself back up, dusting yourself off and plugging along,” she said. “You realize that in time, maybe it will come around and you have to keep working toward the goals that you believe in.” As a part of Elon’s campus, she said she has had opportunities that might not have been possible elsewhere, such as co-instructing a study abroad course. “I have really been able to see the bigger picture and develop student leaders both in academics and extra-curricular programs,” she said. “I have also become better at creating a sense of balance for myself and seeing certain things as opportunities rather than just more work.” For Anderson, college is the formative years in which to develop strong leadership skills, which she believes can change society for the better. “There is so much poor leadership everywhere,” she said. “If we can develop skill sets now, I can only imagine what our world will look like with stronger leaders!” Anderson was chosen for the Outstanding Service to Students award at this year’s Organization Awards and Inaugural Ceremony “because of her hard work and dedication to the student lives that she impacts everyday,” SGA Special Events Committee Chair Cedric Pulliam said. “She devotes after office hours to the advancement with students of Elon University. She also goes beyond Leadership and helps out with other facets of the University to aid students or faculty advisors whenever needed.” Though Anderson will be leaving Elon’s campus in June to earn her Ph.D. in recreation and leisure with a focus on using the outdoors as a medium for leadership training, she said she will always remember how her time at Elon has impacted her. “When I interviewed, there was such a spirit of community between faculty, staff and students,” she said. “Elon is like a family. You must have a system of community, and that is something I will look for everywhere I go.”

Story By Caitlin O’Donnell

GET TO KNOW Mallory Anderson Elon Arrival: 2005 Elon Legacy: “When I think about all of the things I have done or worked toward, I think it would be a legacy of strengthening the intentionality behind why we do what we do.”


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PERFORMING THE SOUNDTRACK TO ELON’S EVENTS

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Mary Alice Bragg PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

As thousands of students and their families file in Under the Oaks each May for graduation, a beautiful sound slowly begins to emerge from Whitley Auditorium. On the day of graduation, Mary Alice Bragg, the university organist, escapes the commotion of graduation and plays in Whitley with just a team of brass musicians and a technical director. “We used to be outside before we got the new organ,” Bragg said. “People were right on top of you. We’re totally on our own. It’s as if we’re playing for ourselves.” Bragg began here as the university organist in 1997. Before this, she had done some accompanying for the university as her husband was the chairman of the music department. In addition to playing the organ, she also taught several classes, but retired from teaching in 2008. “I miss the interaction with students,” she said. “I had students sometimes for six to eight semesters and I knew them very well and had a vested interest in them being successful. I wouldn’t let them not be successful. To me, that was important.” Senior Melanie Binder had Bragg during her freshman and sophomore years. “More than anything, she taught me how to think for myself instead of simply saying what I thought she wanted to hear,” Binder said. “Mary Alice taught me how to learn and grow with dignity and self-confidence. Aside from being one of the best professors I’ve ever had, she was always there for us if we needed something. She got to know us as individuals - our strengths, our weaknesses, our personalities- so that if anything seemed to be going wrong, she could identify it and push us back in the right direction.” Bragg said she was influenced by several teachers she had. She received her bachelor of arts in organ and church

music from Meredith College. She took several graduate classes at Florida State University before finishing up her master’s degree at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Before being hired at Elon, Bragg said she did fulltime work in music at a church in Burlington. And her relationship with the organ or Elon doesn’t look to be coming to a close anytime soon. She said as long as it is a positive experience for both the university and herself, she looks to keep on playing. “It’s a wonderful place to work in my opinion,” Bragg said. “It’s been a perfect fit for me.” She has seen the school change in many ways, but one of the most evident ways is in the graduation ceremony. When she first began, there was only one graduation. Now, there are several ceremonies to accommodate the graduate programs and the law school. “The number of students has increased significantly,” Bragg said. “The main graduation lasts a lot longer. They added 30 to 45 minutes for calling so many names.” During her time here, she has led students in the classroom, but also the university by playing at all of the university’s special events such as convocations, the opening of the school, all of the graduations and baccalaureate. “If you are a leader, you are a team person and you want everyone to be successful that you work with,” Bragg said. Binder can support that statement, as she said Bragg still comes to her students’ concerts and recitals, never failing to support them in their endeavors. “Students will be telling her stories for many years to come, and for good reasons, Binder said. “There are some people that have a profound, lasting impression on your life and for me, Mary Alice Bragg has done just that.”

Story By Pam Richter

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 52

GET TO KNOW Mary Alice Bragg Elon Arrival: 1997 Undergraduate: Meredith for organ and church music Graduate: Florida State, UNCG


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THE MAN OF MOSELEY

Elon Arrival: 2005 “I think about any student who is admitted to Elon has the makeup for leading in some capacity or form either on campus or later in life. You get practical experience, develop knowledge, acquire critical skills and learn to read and write.” “I think you have to have confidence, but it has to be based on knowledge, If you have those two, you can prove to be a leader and emerge as one.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Michael Williams

From conducting surveys to instructing classes, Hunter Bacot has been a vital part of Elon’s campus since he first came to the university five years ago. Bacot, the director of the Elon University poll, has a degree in political science and has taught both graduate and undergraduate classes. When the position opened at Elon, he decided to make polling his career. Besides teaching two classes every year, which include a senior seminar in political science and American politics as well as public opinion polling, Bacot said he is heavily involved in every aspect of the polling process. This includes trying to get students to sign-up to conduct surveys, scripting questions, learning computer software and doing payroll. “I usually spend two to three hours a day surfing blog sites to find out what the main topics are in political and state government,” he said. The poll questions primarily involve issues within the state of North Carolina and must be a topic that people are genuinely interested in, he explained. “We must ask questions that are pertinent and salient to the citizens of the community,” Bacot said. “Sometimes you pick an issue that no one cares about. It’s disappointing because you put so much work into it and there’s no reward there.” Since Bacot took the position, he said he has seen the poll’s presence in the state become more prominent than it once was. He is most proud of raising the visibility and credibility of the poll. Now, if people want information, they will often ask for poll results. “Part of that is that I’m a native North Carolinian and I know how the state works, what goes on where, and what each region brings to the state,” he said. He has also implemented many changes to the polling techniques, which ensure that the process is as efficient as possible. These include making certain that questions are neutral, incorporating the ability to call cell phones to conduct surveys and increasing student buy-in. While the polling center used to struggle with filling the lab with students to make phone calls, Bacot said it is now rare to have an empty seat on any night of polling. “We have to make sure they’re comfortable because we want them to come back and do it again,” he said. “If you’ve done it before, it is a lot easier the second time and you’re more comfortable and productive, so it’s in my interest to have them return.”

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GET TO KNOW Michael W illiams

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Bacot also changed the structure of the polling staff by removing the position of polling fellow – a graduate from another school – and working with four interns from Elon each semester instead. This not only keeps the money cycle within Elon’s campus but also provides great opportunities for the students involved to gain experience and build their resumes. He has seen numerous students fall in love with polling and go on to graduate schools to study it. “Those types of things have been the most rewarding, seeing students move from just enjoying it to becoming interested to actually moving into the field,” he said. “Part of what we do is for the students, seeing the rewards and watching the students progress in confidence in working polls.” Bacot said the greatest challenge of the polls is making sure the information is timely. “Because it’s survey data, it is time-bound, so people only look at it when it’s fresh and new,” he said. “We have two or three days to get it out and make an impression.” Through the information, Bacot said he hopes the poll represents the entire voice of the community, not just the voters. “Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t care,” he said. “I think that being able to give everyone a voice in the process is a tremendous service that this university provides through the poll.” Bacot said that during his time at Elon, he has been particularly impacted by President Leo Lambert. “He has an almost unending passion to make sure people understand their place and give,” he said. “Where you live you take, so it’s only natural to give back.” Bacot himself has had a positive impact on his peers, particularly the assistant director of the poll, Mileah Kromer. “I am thankful every day to have someone as wonderful as Hunter as a faculty member,” she said. “He is an all around wonderful professor and a shining example of Elon’s message of engaged learning.” Though Bacot said he greatly enjoys polling, he would love to someday devote all of his time to working in a classroom. He said right now, much of his time is consumed with the polling process. “The day I don’t get recharged after a break is the day I need to walk away from the poll,” he said. “It could be next year or in five years, but I like politics and I like polling, so it’s hard to say.”

Story By Caitlin O’Donnell


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Elon Arrival: 1986 The one person she has learned the most from at Elon is Gerry Francis. In addition to her parents, she credits her high school history teacher as one of her biggest mentors. She is a firm believer in the educational power of field trips.

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Nancy Midgette

The mentality Nancy Midgette has about trying new things is one that was instilled in her at a young age, when her parents would tell her she wouldn’t know about a certain thing until she tried it. Sometimes this dealt with the broccoli sitting on her plate, but other times it pertained to larger, life-altering issues. “That ‘Why not?’ question has always been a part of my decision making process,” Midgette said. “You weigh the pros and cons, the potential serious downsides of a decision and you have to figure out if it looks like a reasonable course of action and you’re not burning any bridges. Why not give it a try?” This approach is one she’s carried with her throughout life and she credits for her success today. Midgette has been the Associate Provost at Elon since 2001, which includes her overseeing the academic schedule and curriculum, Honors Program, Undergraduate Research, General Studies, Registrar, Academic Advising, and Career Services. But back in the summer of 1984, it was a completely different story. Midgette first arrived in the area when her husband started a new job. She had already obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in American history from North Carolina State University, and she had just finished up her Ph.D. in American History at the University of Georgia. Midgette applied to every academic institution within 35 miles of her house and first started her career at High Point University, but in December Elon called to see if she could teach a history class in January. “So, of course I did,” she said. “And the rest, they say, is history.” Midgette has been at Elon ever since. She said she instantly knew Elon was a great place, and even as a brand new adjunct professor she felt welcomed by the entire community. In 1986, after a year and a half as an adjunct professor, she was offered a position in the history department and has continued working full time. For 15 years she taught an array of history courses, served as the department chair, and sat on various committees. She had never really given extensive thought to moving up into the administration, but when the opportunity presented itself she defaulted to her natural decision making process. “It was kind of that old ‘Why not?’ question,” Midgette said. “If you don’t try things, you won’t know if it would have been good or not, so you might always wonder. So I decided I would try it.” Initially she didn’t commit to a long-term role, but she stayed in the position until this year, when she announced she will step down and return to teaching history. As she assists Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gerry Francis transition to his new role as Executive Vice President, she is also focusing on

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GET TO KNOW Nancy Midgette

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 56

revamping the courses she used to teach and developing new ones. “As we go throughout life there are different periods of time when different types of work are attractive,” Midgette said. “If I was going to go back to teaching, I wanted to do it with several years left so I’ll have enough time to develop courses.” Francis hired Midgette when she first started at Elon and said her legacy will be from supporting the concept of community while moving the university forward on many fronts, including academics and support services, because she is a team player who values everyone’s contributions. “She is so well tuned in to faculty needs and understands their concerns — for this she has been indispensible,” Francis said. “She can read the tea leaves, can solve problems before they become difficult and has great trust from all. Her leadership has enhanced the feeling of a campus community.” Midgette said the greatest joy of teaching is when students “get it,” especially because history classes can have a stigma that make some students unwilling to learn the material. But in her eyes the discipline is about understanding patterns and behaviors, which she considers to be a skill that can be translated to anything in life. “It’s a lot of fun for me when people understand that, after studying history, because then I know they’ve truly gotten a life lesson, something that will stick with them for the rest of their life. And it won’t matter if they know who was elected president in 1820,” Midgette said. These are lessons that can also translate to being a leader. Midgette said she also considers good self-awareness and knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses essential. “At some point in time we’ll all be called upon to step up to the plate, wwhether it’s a short or long span of time, big or small event. And everybody has to be ready to do that when they’re called upon and when they (recognize) they have the skills that are needed in that situation,” Midgette said. She said if she was going to give anyone advice, it would be to stay alert to situations and the environment around oneself and notice when one can be useful. “Don’t assume that somebody else will solve the problems,” she said. “Because sometimes that somebody else has to be you.” Though she is also looking forward to the next stage of her career, retirement, Midgette said she hopes she has helped make a difference in the lives of the students she has crossed paths with at Elon. “That’s a lot more important to me than anything else,” she said. “The impact you have on other people.”

Story By Andie Diemer


GET TO KNOW Ayesha Delpish Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

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Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Phil Smith

Story By Camille DeMere

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Rex Waters

Celebrating his 20th year at Elon, Associate Dean of Students Rex Waters has worked with a countless number of students as a professor, advisor, director, or mentor, and he continues to pursue his passion of shaping young people and drawing out their potential on a daily basis. Waters, who received his bachelor’s degree in education and his master’s degree in higher education administration at Virginia Tech, was working as the Director of Student Life at the University of South Carolina until 1990 when he moved with his wife and four children further north to be closer to their extended family. A position opened at Elon and he was hired as both an assistant professor and the Director of Campus Recreation. Waters was attracted to the positions because of the potential for growth and development—especially within Campus Recreation. “One of the things that has kept me at Elon is the community,” Waters said. “The opportunities that have been presented as Elon has evolved over the years have been very motivating and rewarding. But, it’s been the opportunity to stay connected with the motivation I went into this profession with, which was to work with young people to develop their potential.” After he held that position for two years and helped expand the program, he was promoted to Assistant Dean of Student Life. Waters stayed in that position until 2005, when he was promoted to his current role. Waters pointed out that at some universities, the position he has would involve him just sitting at a desk. But at Elon, Waters works in a capacity that supports and challenges students to grow in rich, engaging arenas where they are provided with experiences and knowledge that can help them flourish. In his current position, Waters’ main responsibilities include directing the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Program and overseeing the Center for Leadership, Student Organization Development, New Student Orientation, Campus Recreation, and Student Media. Senior Patrick McCabe is a Leadership Fellow who served as the 2009 Senior Director for the Center for Leadership and has worked directly with Waters since he was a freshman. He said Waters routinely goes beyond his daily duties to ensure students are happy and prospering. PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

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“He does so much work with our student body as a whole that he’s definitely become a strong leader for the university, but also an advocate for our students,” McCabe said. “He’s been really good at making sure the students are happy and involved and he’s definitely encouraged our student body to grow in an extracurricular aspect.” McCabe said Waters helps turn Elon’s active students into effective leaders that can make a difference across campus. “I think an important piece is seek first to understand where the student is and how to best connect them in a place or a program where they feel vested and they can become involved,” he said. “Then there’s this progression.” He said the partnerships and collaboration Elon offers is important, because if a student has a good experience, they will naturally want to move on to a larger role in the organization. “It’s creating that opportunity or invitation in a way that a student can embrace it that is my initiative,” Waters said. “Sometimes that has to be a gentle nudge, other times it’s just merely exposing opportunities to students to consider.” Waters views leadership as relational and about the process, not just a position or outcome. He said this can be reinforced by taking theories and lessons from the classroom and applying them in a world that’s full of imperfections, inconsistencies, and vague communication, since it will help students gain these skills to navigate life post-graduation. “That may not always be fun or pretty, but leadership is hard work,” he said. “So it’s important to have students exposed to that process. Finding those passions that lead to things they want to impact and change will hopefully translate into more Elon leaders in the global community exercising their rights, their citizenship.” He said by having students engage their education they better understand where they’re coming from, where they are, and where they want to go, and this will enable them to make wiser choices. It is these students that Waters has helped to shape and continues relationships with that he values most about his time at Elon. “Seeing what they are doing in their lives and being successful (at) I think validates what I believed in from the standpoint of student development and leadership education,” he said.

A LEADER OF LEADERS

Story By Andie Diemer

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 64

GET TO KNOW Rex Waters Elon Arrival: 1990 Credits his family, especially his grandfathers, fo his values Has four children (two sets of twins)


Richard McBride

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Elon Arrival: 1969 “For this is your duty, to act well the part that is given to you.” (Greek Philosopher Eictetus) “Leaders is getting others to work with you toward a common goal.”

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GET TO KNOW Richard McBride

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 66

During the last 45 years, Elon University has gone through many changes. Jo Williams, Special Assistant to the President, has been one of the constant pillars at Elon for almost half a century. She has served under the last four presidents — Dr. Leon E. Smith, Dr. J. Earl Danieley, Dr. J. Fred Yong and Dr. Leo Lambert. Williams and her seven siblings were raised in Anson County and all attended Elon College. They were always taught to appreciate education. “I have been influenced by so many people in my life,” Williams said. “I have had so many great teachers, and my parents always valued education. There were never any questions about me getting an education.” In 1955, she earned a degree in education. During the next 14 years, she taught at public schools in Burlington, Concord and Alamance County. “I have always loved teaching,” Williams said. “I’m a people person, I like people. I like looking at people and their special talents and helping people capitalize on those talents. I enjoy helping people succeed.” Danieley taught Williams chemistry during her freshman year, and in 1969, he invited her back to Elon to teach in the department of education and psychology. In 1977, Williams was named associate dean of academic affairs and director of the learning resource center. While she was working at Elon, Williams was also continuing her education. She earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1979, Williams became the vice president of development

until she retired from that position in 1995. She was asked to take the job as special assistant to the president. “Serving in so many different roles has made my career at the institution always exciting and challenging,” Williams said. Williams has been at Elon for 45 years and has had a unique opportunity to really see the school change. “I just have a passion for Elon,” she said. “I always had a vision for what Elon could become, and now my dreams have become a reality. What an unparalleled joy it has been to be a small part of the progress of the institution and see the changes unfold.” As the school has grown and received recognition, the community feel of Elon has remained, Williams said. “Elon means a lot to me, especially the values of the institution,” she said. “Regardless of the size, we’ve remained close, we have remained a family.” Her passion for Elon was recognized in February 2008 when she received the university’s Frank S. Holt, Jr. Business Leadership Award. She was recognized because of her service to not only Elon, but the surrounding Alamance County. Williams said she is not ready to leave Elon and plans on staying at the school that she has turned into her family. She enjoys meeting with students and wants to help current students do everything they can while at Elon. “Students should take advantage of everything offered here,” she said. “They should embrace not just academics, but also extracurricular activities and programs like study abroad. It’s a special time in anyone’s life.”

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Story By Rebecca Smith


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Ross Wade PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

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CAREER CENTER SUPERSTAR For Ross Wade, leadership means helping others become leaders. Wade became Elon’s first Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications two years ago. In the short time he’s been at the university, he has helped students transition out of the Elon bubble and into their careers.“Everything is for the students,” Wade said. “Frankly, I see how hard they work and that inspires me to work just as hard, because it wouldn’t be fair otherwise.” To Wade, the most important thing is for students to feel valued. He loves encouraging them to tackle internships and leadership positions and do what they really care about. “I’ve never had a mentor, and I’ve never really had anyone say, ‘You’re special, and I want to help you become such and such.’ I think that’s what has inspired me to be a leader myself so I can be that for other people,” Wade said. “I feel like everyone deserves that.” Wade especially enjoys working with students oneon-one, because each student’s goals, dreams, and personality are different. He loves hearing success stories from students who have graduated and seeing students realize that their goals are attainable. “I guess my success is determined by the success of my students,” Wade said. “I’ll feel really good if in 10 years, I have students who are not only successful in their job but happy in their job.” Wade said he has no idea how he came to be considered a leader at Elon, other than that he took on a job no one else had done before. “I’m the first person to have this position in the School of Communications, so in a sense I had to pioneer it,” Wade said. “I had to make it my own.” Professor of Communications David Copeland, who

calls Wade “Ross Wade Superstar,” thinks Wade has made his mark on Elon in the two years he’s been on staff at the university. “Ross Wade is a perfect example to Elon students of someone who commands respect because of his great knowledge about how to find jobs and best present oneself to potential employers, and because he naturally relates to students,” Copeland said. “He uses his own experiences as a means to lead students.” Before going to graduate school and starting his job at Elon, Wade worked a “hodgepodge” of media jobs, ranging from production company jobs to TV internships. He received a piece of advice that has stayed with him from a co-worker at the Raleigh-based multimedia production company Centerline Productions: “Never come to me with a problem. Always come to me with a solution.”“People always know what the problem is, but they rarely know what the solution is. So if you can provide that, that’s something meaningful,” Wade said. Wade’s other leadership influences range from Associate Dean of the School of Communications Connie Book to humorist David Sedaris. “(Sedaris) is just utterly himself,” Wade said. “He makes no excuses about who he is or where he comes from, and he’s becoming very successful off of that.” Copeland thinks Wade uses a similar tactic of just being himself to lead others. “He’s simply a great leader, because we can see ourselves in him and see how well he has turned out,” Copeland said. “He leads by example, he leads through his great knowledge base, he leads through his caring attitude, and he leads because we see through Ross that going the extra mile no matter the subject will pay dividends.”

Story By Pam Richter

GET TO KNOW Ross Wade Elon Arrival: 2008??? Hometown: Durham, NC “Never come to me with a problem. Always come to me with a solution.” (Former co-worker at Centerline Productions)


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Smith Jackson PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

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GUIDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ELON LEADERS About 20 wide-eyed freshmen stare nervously at Jim Brown during the first few days of his global experience class. Here’s a secret to those students – he’s nervous too. “The first couple days in class I’m still always nervous,” Brown said. “The only thing that saves me is that I know that the students are nervous, too.” Brown began teaching at Elon in 1994 after he graduated from the University of Minnesota with his master’s in history. “I always liked history, never thought I could make Any money it, but in the end it’s what I always loved to do,” Brown said. He may have always loved history, but he never immediately felt that way about teaching. Even after he applied to graduate school, he said he never imagined himself in front of a classroom. Luckily for Elon, this has changed. Brown said the best thing he has been involved with is the Periclean Scholars program. During the first year, with the class of 2006, Brown helped teach the beginning class. But, he became the sole advisor for the class of 2007. The class of 2007 focused on working in Honduras. In this project, Brown led a group of students to Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula. In addition, the class worked with an NGO that takes children from disadvantaged or abused homes and have them work on a farm. The students worked with this group as well during their trip to the country. “You have a class full of people that are really passionate people that are doing something,” Brown said. “They all want to be in the class. It’s like a class of passionate majors. They are engaged and want to be involved in some way. I would just come out of that class energized.”

For a man who has led so many since his time at Elon, the leader who has most inspired him is not a historical figure, but someone a lot younger – his daughter. During her junior year of college, Brown’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. “She didn’t drop out and finished on time,” he said. “Everything she went through she was so strong. It’s amazing that she could be as strong as that.” It’s quite obvious that Brown’s inspiration shines through during teaching. He said his most memorable work since he has been at Elon has been with the Periclean Scholars, but this energy and passion he talks about with the program, he often feels this while teaching during his global experience class. Each professor who teaches the class structures it differently. For Brown, he chooses several topics and his class delves into analyzing them and looking for answers to the important questions. “I think a lot of global is thinking, understanding those different perspectives,” Brown said. During this class Brown hits on some pretty heavy topics including genocide, HIV/AIDS and Islamic fundamentalism. At the end of each semester, Brown has students write a paper about whether or not the students were changed by the class. “At the end of the semester the papers are always pretty moving,” he said. “That’s the immediate response (I see).” For anyone who sits through Brown’s global experience class, one or two things tend to happen – they go back to their regular lives or they enter the world and take what they learned and make changes. “To see students two, three years down the line and they still talk about what you learned about or the skills they learned,” Brown said, “that’s what keeps you coming back.”

Story By Pam Richter

GET TO KNOW Smith Jackson Elon Arrival: 1994 Hometown: Alexandria, VA “Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you change.” (Jesse Jackson)


Susan Klopman

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GET TO KNOW Susan Klopman Elon Arrival: 1985 Favorite Leaders: Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, Jr., her own daughter and Nan Perkins PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

“You must have a vision for what you want to accomplish, no matter where you find yourself. Then your role is conveying that vision and enabling people to use their talents to meet the goal with you.”

For Vice President of Admissions and Financial Planning Susan Klopman, Elon represents more than a beautiful campus bustling with busy students and professors. Rather, she considers it her life project. In her position, Klopman oversees virtually all of the gateways into the university. Since she first arrived at Elon 25 years ago, she has not only reshaped the admissions process but also brought a passion and purpose to the job that her peers admire. As an English major, Klopman first planned on becoming a teacher. But, after marrying during college and starting a family early, she finished her degree with no discernible job. “I was ready to go to work, but there was not a clear career path,” she said. “What I had no idea was such an asset, was the ability to write and to write well.” After working as a children’s librarian in a small town in North Carolina, Klopman’s family moved to Elon where she worked as an office assistant for a small real estate firm. While living in Elon, she enrolled in a 4-year degree program to earn her master’s in theology through the University of the South. During the course, Klopman met Nan Perkins, who was already working at Elon and hired Klopman to write for the university. In her first decade working at the school, Klopman wrote the employee newsletter, the Magazine of Elon, press releases, marketing materials, as well as various other reports and grants. “I realized I knew as much of this university as anyone here,” she said. “It was incredible preparation for the rest of my career.” In 1996, Perkins, the Dean of Admissions, offered Klopman a position as Assistant Dean to manage a whole wing of the department. She became Dean in 2000, and in 2006, she moved to the position of Vice President. Since taking the job, Klopman has transitioned the admissions office from operating on rolling deadline to deadline admissions and has seen the number of applications almost double. “Whenever your system increases exponentially, you often can’t do things the way you’ve always done them,” she said. “You can only grow doing the same thing so much, and then you have to rethink.” As a result, Klopman has worked to re-invent how admissions decisions are made, which she said is now much more complex and challenging. She is in the process of developing a more effective system of managing the

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overwhelming number of requests for campus visits and appointments with admissions staff. Klopman explained that there is simply not enough space to accommodate everyone, and for the first time ever, they have had to tell families there is simply no room for them in the guided tours. “So, we are revamping the whole campus visit program to make this place work to the degree of excellence that we all appreciate and expect,” she said. Students are now more heavily involved in the process and not only lead campus tours, but attend information sessions to share some their Elon experiences as well. Klopman explained that her favorite part of the job is her chance to work with prospective students and their families. “Without question, a leader has to really like and value people,” she said. “If that’s not at the top, then I think your leadership may be somewhat misguided.” She often struggles with telling students and their parents they will be unable to attend the university. “I’ve changed the course of their lives, in their opinion,” Klopman said. “When we say ‘no,’ we have reframed their thinking and it’s painful, because I know the impact I’m having.” Counseling is often involved in the job, as the staff tries to help students make good decisions about whether Elon is right for them. Klopman said she hopes she has brought creativity to the university and made Elon a better university, or place for the people involved in it, through her work. “If I have made anyone’s life better or enabled them to have a more rewarding career, that would be all I ask,” she said. Marsha Boone, who has served as Klopman’s executive assistant for 10 years, said Klopman is a joy to work with and brings passion to all that she does for the university. “She loves to see our staff happy and pursuing our dreams, no matter what they might be,” Boone said. “Everyone should have a supervisor and coworker like Susan Klopman.” In the same way, Klopman said she has been positively impacted by her peers at Elon, who she sees are worth her time and best efforts. “The people of this university have always been there to say, ‘you can do it, step out, take a risk,’” she said. “Through this, I have had a voice in the growth and development of this university, and what an incredible opportunity it has been.”

ELON AS A LIFE PROJECT

Story By Caitlin O’Donnell


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Elon Arrival: Hometown: “.”

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

GET TO KNOW T im Peeples

One look at Anthony Hatcher’s desk and a casual observer can immediately tell that a leader spends his time here. Amid the papers crammed with research for the new multifaith center and the portfolios he stayed in his office until 11 p.m. one night to return to his senior seminar students, are little reminders. A pen holder sits against the windowsill, emblazoned with a quote from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success, to live your life in your own way.” And hanging on the wall, a more whimsical prompt – “No Whining.” “That one’s there more for me than anyone,” Hatcher said of the whining warning. The journalism professor’s colleagues and students would be hard-pressed find him whining, but it is apparent Hatcher subscribes wholeheartedly to Morley’s words. His “own way” led him to Elon in 2002, after being promoted to the chair of the communications department at Pfeiffer University in Durham after only one year teaching there. “I was hired to step into that position,” he said. He later found out the step reflected well on his leadership potential, and his soon-to-be employers at Elon University were being told Hatcher would be a workhorse. “But if you look at our staff, everyone is basically a workaholic,” Hatcher said with a smile. At Elon, Hatcher has combined his love of journalism with his other passions. A former religion writer, he has formed close ties with the Truitt Center for Religious Life and often is called upon to escort religious leaders when they visit campus. He also has stayed connected to his journalism roots by writing for both the News and

Observer and the Charlotte Observer during the summer months. As the “unofficial coordinator” of the public speaking courses, Hatcher oversees all instances of the General Studies course, and Professor Sharon Eisner said that he was a driving force in making the class mandatory for Communications students. “He really puts his actions where his beliefs are, and he is a tremendously sincere person,” she said. “If he believes in something and he can do it, he will.” That spirit and dedication showed itself the week after spring break 2010, when the halfsemester public speaking courses were just beginning. Eisner, who practices the Jewish faith but had never taken off for Jewish holidays, was in a bind. Passover Week and the first day of classes coincided. “My family was getting together, my parents were coming in from Israel, but it was stressful,” she said. “But when I discussed it with Dr. Hatcher, he basically offered up his entire day to me.” Hatcher took on the task of introducing the coursework to all three of Eisner’s classes that day, on top of his already busy schedule. “I felt that he went beyond the norm in terms of making himself available because something was important to me,” Eisner said. To Hatcher, leadership is more than just a title and a prestigious position. “As important as committee work is, leadership is more interaction with students in terms of good teaching,” he said, “not, ‘Am I doing a good job on a committee?’”

Story By Camille DeMere

Tim Peeples

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD


Tom Nelson

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 78

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

77 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

People fall in love, fall into place, and in the case of Tom Nelson, fall into a job. Nelson was driving from Florida to Connecticut over spring break when he got off 85-N at Huffman Mill to eat at Ruby Tuesday. While on his way to eat, he saw a sign for Elon University. “I saw the sign and ended up at Sidetrack,” Nelson said. “I looked around campus and it was a pretty place. I wrote to the head of the journalism program and got a job.” Nelson attended Boston College where he got a B.A. in history and then he went to Syracuse where he got an M.S. in radio, television and film. He was working as a television news reporter, when he fell into another opportunity. “Becoming a teacher was all accident,” Nelson said. “I was a news reporter and was changing planes when I saw an advertisement that said a school needed a professor because the previous professor, Richard Bond, died.” Nelson said he was drawn to Elon University originally because it reminded him of his undergraduate experience at Boston College. Over time, he has found a new appreciation for Elon. “Students have become much more sophisticated,” Nelson said. “They are much more applied, serious and focused in general.” Nelson feels that in order to be a good leader, one must have the proper mix of physical and spiritual. “There are exceptions to the rule where people who are not impressive physical specimens make excellent leaders,” Nelson said. “But the spiritual element needs to be there. A good leader understands what moves people forward – it’s not just chemicals, but also ideals. It is not enough to say to a bunch of

guys on a landing craft ‘kill, or they will,’ you need to tell them to kill for a higher purpose.” Over the years, Nelson’s perception of a leader has changed. He said that early on he felt leadership was strictly a matter of personality. Now, he sees that personality is a superficial trait. “This is cliché, but when I was growing up, I admired the leadership of President Kennedy,” Nelson said. “We were young and he was cool. It was America. He was all personality. But Washington was a remote man, but he was a leader.” Nelson said he continues teaching because he thinks people are funny. He enjoys coming to work each day to interact with the students. Every student stands out for some reason. Nelson stands out for students as well. “He’s provided a good mix of classroom and life skills,” said sophomore Lindsay Humbert. “He’s also not shy with sharing stories, either current or oldies. It’s nice to have a teacher not be afraid to show his or her human side, too. He gets that his students are people.” Nelson has also been working on a project outside of the classroom. He just finished creating a project called “Prisoners of Plenty.” It is about German military members captured during World War II who were sent to a prisoner’s camp in Kansas. His work reflects what he teaches in the classroom—this is a globalized world where everyone is connected. “I think just as the citizen needs spirituality to feel the connection to the oversoul, so too does the citizen need globalization to feel the connection to the body politic,” Nelson said.

Story By Rebecca Smith

LEADERSHIP IN ACTION

GET TO KNOW Tom Nelson Elon Arrival: 1996


75 // The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders

The Legacies of Elon’s Leaders // 76

USING THE GIFT

Favorite Leaders: Gandhi “Humanity is the only true nation.” (Paul Farmer)

Tom Arcaro

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARNAS

Elon Arrival: 1985???

PHOTO BY JUSTINE SCHULERUD

GET TO KNOW Tom Arcaro

Dr. Tom Arcaro is a professor of sociology who challenges students to consider how their individual actions can impact the larger community. His belief in Paul Farmer’s notion that the “only real nation is humanity” defines his role at Elon University. As the director of Project Pericles, he works with Elon students and faculty in implementing global development projects. The program emphasizes the importance of global partnership and scholarship as effective mechanisms for personal growth for all parties involved. Fervent optimism defines Arcaro where he describes his position at Elon University as a privilege and gift. He cites a favorite Steve Prefontaine quote stating, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Arcaro takes this statement quite literally. “I am passionate about honoring the absolute privilege I have to be in this position to facilitate the simultaneous growth of students and their reaching out to people in the world,” Arcaro said. He not only preaches about global citizenship, but he is an active participant as shown by a recent donation. As a part of Elon faculty, he receives a gift for every five years of service. He thought about getting a “grown up watch,” something he has never owned. Although he may have wanted this watch, he realized that he could use “his gift” for something that others may have needed. Arcaro chose instead to donate his gift of a tent and two sleeping bags for Haitian relief efforts. He describes this

action as reflecting what he would like students to do. He hopes that his students consider how they can also use their gifts to benefit others. This belief is representative of Arcaro’s selfless leadership. He is not one to boast of accomplishments, but rather points out the achievements of those surrounding him. “I am humbled daily by peers and colleagues by leadership they show in all kinds of ways and levels,” Arcaro said. “I’m only a conduit through which the essence of Elon is being channeled.” Katie Strickland, a 2010 Periclean and Lumen Scholar, works with Arcaro on her honors thesis. He serves not only as an academic colleague, but also as a personal mentor. Strickland noted her relationship with Arcaro as “a great experience because he is very driven to make a change, to do work that means something, and that inspires me to do the same. Many times we just sit around talking about the problems in the world and how we can solve them. It renews my passion for my work and keeps me going.” Sitting at his sunlit desk, Arcaro explains that “I want to honor this gift thoroughly and diligently by passing on whatever I have to students and continuing to help them learn as much as they can (while) at the same time reach out as much as they can.” Elon University has undoubtedly benefited from Arcaro’s gift for leadership.

Story By Sara Pasquinelli

The Legacies of Elon's Leaders  

A nearly finished draft of "The Legacies of Elon's Leaders"

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