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A nation in transition





With new eating trends emerging, dining halls in universities across the country are changing the way they cater to students, and Elon is no exception.


As memories of Hurricane Katrina fade, long-term volunteers—like those from Elon University—are becoming more crucial when it comes to rebuilding New Orleans.


Growing up in the North Carolina foothills, Eddie Bridges ’57 developed a passion for the outdoors that became a foundation for a lifetime of environment and wildlife conservation work.

Cover Story


As the United States loosens its economic sanctions and travel restrictions to Cuba, Elon students are discovering the island for the first time.

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Under the Oaks Phoenix Sports Alumni Action Class Notes Making a Difference

On the cover: Photo of Cuban street art by interactive media student Stephanie Schwartz.

I AM ELON Before finance major David Brown ’13 departs for Boston to work as an associate financial analyst for EMC Corporation, he’s chipping away at his Elon bucket list. For him, that means going to Midnight Meals, exploring every building on campus and winning Popsicles at bingo. David wants to “scoop it all up” before he bids Elon farewell. Although he’s embraced college life, David’s trajectory to Elon was anything but traditional. He began E.M.T. training at 15 in New Jersey and was a licensed firefighter by 17. “It stopped being a hobby and became a love,” he says. “These people became my family.” Situated next to a fire station that welcomes college student volunteers, Elon was an obvious choice for David. Throughout his college career, he continued training and responding to calls and was affectionately nicknamed “the Elon firefighter” by his peers. He also became many other things: junior class president, an active member of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ sales competition team and a dedicated boyfriend. “I met the person I love my freshman year,” he says. “We’ve done everything together, and it’s been great to have the one you love to share all of the Elon experiences with.” He and girlfriend Mary Peters are planning to move to Boston together after graduation. David recently bought his cap and gown and says he’s ready for graduation. Despite joking about tripping on the way to receive his diploma, he’s excited and a bit introspective. “I think getting the acorn as a freshman, then the sapling as a graduate, is perfect because you really do blossom into something new here. Hopefully I’ll become a big oak tree.” David is Elon. Visit to see more of David’s story, part of our “I Am Elon” multimedia series featuring Elon students in their own words.



xciting plans are shaping up to celebrate Elon’s 125th anniversary during the 2013–14 academic year (it’s called the quasquicentennial!) Chief among these is the opening of the new Martin Alumni Center, a renovation of “the little white house” that sits behind Belk Library on the corner of Haggard and O’Kelly avenues, formerly used as a student health center and later the Office of Financial Planning. Thanks to a generous gift from Chris Martin ’78, president and chief executive officer of The Provident Bank, and his wife, Nicolette, parents of Nick ’13, the house will be extensively renovated and expanded as a place of welcome for all Elon alumni and their family and guests.

E { Leo M. Lambert }

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Chris hopes the acronym for the building will take hold and that his fellow alumni will say, “I’ll meet you at the MAC!” The idea behind the Martin Alumni Center is a simple one. Alumni have long wanted a place on the historic campus that would serve as a point of welcome for returning alumni, somewhat akin to the experience prospective Elon students enjoy at the Admissions Welcome Center. You’ll be able to stop by the MAC, find convenient visitor parking, watch the new alumni video being created by Tim Johnson ’09 and Max Cantor ’10, take a campus tour, and meet with staff members from the alumni office who will be ready to help you become engaged with your alma mater. This is an exciting, tangible


step toward our Elon Commitment goal of creating one of the nation’s most vibrant alumni networks. The center will feature a living room/ gathering space and a porch and patio for informal gatherings. The Office of University Advancement is bringing back a popular opportunity for alumni to purchase inscribed bricks, which will be installed on the new alumni patio. It’s a great way to celebrate our 125th, put your personal touch on the campus and help fund the transformative educational experience benefitting current and future students. Look for details about the brick campaign on page 27. Another highlight of our year of celebration will be the publication of a new, richly illustrated history of Elon, titled From a Grove of Oaks: The Story of Elon University, by Professor Emeritus of History George Troxler. It has been 31 years since the publication of Professor Durward Stokes’ Elon College: Its History and Traditions. Troxler’s book not only brings the Elon story to the present day, but his painstaking and careful selection of photographs and illustrations from the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections brings our history alive. Our plan is to have the book available by Founders Day in March 2014. From my many conversations with alumni at gatherings around the country, I know there is considerable excitement about Homecoming 2013, set for Nov. 8–10. If you have not been back to campus recently, there is so much to explore, so please make plans now to visit Elon. Come and see Phase I of the new Global Neighborhood on the shores of Lake Mary Nell, and tour our other new facilities, including the Numen Lumen Pavilion, Lakeside Dining Hall, the Station at Mill Point and Hunt Softball Park. Students are planning a revitalization of the tailgating experience at Rhodes Stadium. And, of course, the highlight of the weekend is the rekindling of relationships with all the wonderful people invested in the Elon community. It will be a perfect way to begin a yearlong celebration of your beloved alma mater. Leo M. Lambert President

Dot and Zac Walker III ’60 receive Elon Medallions Elon Trustee Zac Walker III ’60 and his wife, Dot, received Elon Medallions during the Feb. 22 Night of the Phoenix event, in appreciation for their devotion and generous support to Phoenix athletics as well as scholarships and campus facilities. Zac Walker continues the legacy of excellence established by his father, Zachary Walker Jr., a 1930 Elon alumnus and football star, and his uncle, D.C. “Peahead” Walker, one of Elon’s all-time great coaches. The couple has endowed several scholarships at the university, including the Catherine N. Walker Scholarship in honor of Zac’s mother to assist education majors, the D.C.

“Peahead” Walker Athletic Scholarship, and the Zachary T. Walker Jr. Football Scholarship, helping to put the lives of young men and women on a path for success. They have also generously supported other important university initiatives, such as the construction of the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center, Rhodes Stadium, Alumni Field House and Hunt Softball Park, helping to complete Elon’s North Athletics Complex and keep the university competitive in Division I athletics. Elon Medallions are awarded in recognition of individuals who have contributed outstanding service to Elon over the course of many years.

Trustee Emeritus W. E. “Dub” Love Jr. ’48 dies A longtime Elon supporter, W. E. “Dub” Love Jr. ’48 died March 7 at his home in Burlington, N.C. The former chief operating officer of W.E. Love & Associates, Love was elected to the Elon University Board of Trustees in March 1990 and became a trustee emeritus in June 2000. He and his wife, Ann, were strong supporters of Elon athletics, athletics building projects and student scholarships. Love was born in Burlington on April 14, 1926 and graduated from Burlington High School in 1943. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he worked in banking and insurance before opening his own firm in Burlington. Love is survived by his wife and children, W.E. “Rusty” Love III ’72, Katherine Love and John Love.

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The Magazine of Elon spring 2013 | vol. 75, no. 2

FOUNDERS DAY HONORS MAYNARDS The Magazine of Elon is published quarterly for alumni, parents and friends by the Office of University Communications. © 2013, Elon University


Keren Rivas ’04 DESIGNER

Christopher Eyl PHOTOGRAPHER


Holley Berry Katie DeGraff Roselee Papandrea Eric Townsend STUDENT CONTRIBUTORS

Caitlin O’Donnell ’13 Sam Parker ’13 Jennifer Proto ’13 Gabriela Szewcow ’13 VICE PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

Daniel J. Anderson


The Magazine of Elon 2030 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244-2020 (336) 278-7415


Wesley R. Elingburg p’11 Greensboro, N.C.

The campus community celebrated Founders Day 2013 on March 12 during a special College Coffee and tree-planting ceremony that honored the late Reid A. and Grace M. Maynard. The Maynards were longtime supporters of Elon and one of the most prominent couples in North Carolina throughout much of the 20th century, thanks to their involvement with the textile industry. Reid Maynard served for more than three decades as an Elon trustee—the same number of years he devoted to the board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—and was part of the committee that selected former Elon President J. Earl Danieley to lead the school. Maynard received an honorary doctorate from Elon in 1970. “They understood the value of Elon College to this region and were deeply committed to its growth and development,” Danieley said. “And his experience on the Board of Trustees

{ James W. and Jo Anne A. Maynard }

at Chapel Hill, alongside Bill Friday, allowed him to be an unusually effective trustee here.” In testimony to the couple’s commitment to Elon and philanthropy, Maynard Hall, a residence hall in the former Story Center complex that first opened in 1982, was named in their honor. The name continues today on a residence hall in Danieley Center. After Grace Maynard’s death

in 1988, their stately two-story, Georgian-style brick home was bequeathed to Elon to serve as the president’s residence. “We’re honored and flattered to have this recognition for our parents,” James Maynard said following the tree planting. “I want to thank Dr. Lambert, the staff and students who worked so hard to put this together. … My parents would feel honored to know this happened today.”



Dave Dziok ’05



Members of the Elon Model U.N. Society won awards in competitions at the West Point Model U.N. Invitational and Model U.N. Turkey conferences earlier this year. At West Point, senior Kirsten Holland received the Outstanding Delegate award in the Special Operations Command Europe Committee; senior Robert Dean was given an honorable mention for his job as the Secretary of State in the National Security Council; and junior David Oleksak won an honorable mention for his portrayal of Sen. Todd Puga in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In Turkey, Dean was declared Outstanding Delegate in the U.N. Security Council after representing the United Kingdom, while Holland was given an honorable mention for her portrayal of the same country in a Future U.N. Security Council.

Clayton & Beverly Hollis p’13 Lakeland, Fla. BOARD OF VISITORS, CHAIR

Russell R. Wilson p’86 Burlington, N.C. SCHOOL OF LAW ADVISORY BOARD, CHAIR



William S. Creekmuir p’09 p’10 Atlanta, Ga. PHOENIX CLUB ADVISORY BOARD, CHAIR

Mike Cross Burlington, N.C.

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{ l-r: Seniors Anna McCracken, Robert Dean & Kirsten Holland }

Senior Elizabeth “Lizzy” Appleby is one of 181 students nationwide selected by Campus Compact as a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow, an award that recognizes campus leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.




{ COM : Media History, Media Today }


uring a visit to the United States in the 1830s, French historian Alexis De Tocqueville described the power of the media in these terms: “It rallies the interests of the community round certain principles and draws up the creed of every party. ...When many organs of the press adopt the same line of conduct, their influence in the long run becomes irresistible, and public opinion, perpetually assailed from the same side, eventually yields to the attack.” For David Copeland, the lesson of that observation is simple—what the media reports is important— and one he tries to impart in his “Media History, Media Today” course, which is offered every semester. He says the goal of the course, which is required for all journalism and communications science majors, is to show the tremendous influence of media in the development of the United States as a country, and its politics, economics and culture. “I think it’s an extremely important course, and I think it’s a mistake to think that you cannot look at history and understand where we’re going,” he says. Copeland grew up in Edenton, a small town in North Carolina, where children played with “cannons that were used in the Revolutionary War, like it was the normal thing to do,” he says. It was that upbringing that allowed his passion for history to grow, a love that is apparent in his class. A lot of the basic information stays the same each semester, but this past fall, Copeland incorporated a


{ David Copeland }

project in the syllabus about presidential elections. The project allowed students to look at three centuries of media and elections, taking a presidential election from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and comparing the use of media in those elections. “Because it was an election year, I decided this would be a good project,” he says. This project and all other projects and papers completed in the class allow students to look at historical events and use them as a way to understand media today. Copeland is excited to teach the class, and his passion for the subject has remained constant over the course of his teaching career. “I could teach it all day, every day. I absolutely love that class just because I think it’s so important,” he says. “It’s a course that allows us to see the power and the influence of media in all of its forms.”

Professor David Copeland joined the School of Communications faculty in 2001. The director of Elon’s graduate program in interactive media, Copeland was named the Elon Distinguished Scholar in 2006 and received the Elon University Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.

RECOMMENDED READINGS: A History of News by Mitchell Stephens Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception by Brooke Kroeger The Book: The Life Story of a Technology by Nicole Howard

MCBRIDE GATHERING SPACE DEDICATED Members of the campus community gathered March 1 in the Numen Lumen Pavilion, Elon’s new multi-faith center and the final addition to the Academic Village, to dedicate the building’s gathering space in honor of Chaplain Emeritus Richard McBride. The McBride Gathering Space is a place for receptions, meals, meetings and discussion forums. It opens to the building’s Sacred Space, a circular two-story room used for worship and Elon’s weekly Numen Lumen community gatherings. “I’m very grateful to have my name associated with this Numen Lumen Pavilion, a center that supports our founders’ vision for Elon, a place where the light of intellect

and the light of the spirit will meet,” said McBride, who served for 25 years as Elon’s spiritual leader, during the dedication. “This will be a place where the search for meaning and purpose, and the search for understanding, intersect.” The Numen Lumen Pavilion, which opened in late February, is a place for prayer, meditation and reflection in the heart of campus. Its construction is part of Elon’s efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. The building’s dedication as part of this year’s Spring Convocation on April 30 will be the focus of a feature story in the next issue of The Magazine of Elon.

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FACULTY/STAFF SPOTLIGHT Professor of Physics Pranab Das has been awarded a 200,000 research grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support his research on combining the dynamics of complex systems, the physics of emergent properties and philosophical work on emergence. The overall goal is to provide new insight across disciplines with implications for the study of science and religion.

Pamela Winfield, an assistant professor in Elon University’s Department of Religious Studies, has authored her first book, Japanese Buddhism: Kukai and { Pamela Winfield } Dogen on the Art of Enlightenment. Published this winter by Oxford University Press, the book explores the intersection of art and religion based on the writings and teachings of two Japanese Buddhist masters.

HUNT SOFTBALL PARK AND BB&T FIELD DEDICATED Donors, student-athletes, administrators and friends of the university gathered Feb. 28 on North Williamson Avenue to dedicate Hunt Softball Park and BB&T Field, the new home of the Elon Phoenix softball team. Named for Vicky and Sam Hunt of Burlington, N.C., who gave lead gifts of more than $1.25 million for the project, the stadium has already witnessed record-setting performances by the Phoenix. The field, named BB&T Field in honor of BB&T Corporation, which also made a $500,000 gift for the park, features a natural turf outfield, synthetic turf infield apron and high-tech clay infield with optimal drainage. The new park was also supported by gifts from Zac Walker III ’60 and his wife, Dot, and the estates of Florence Kivette Childress ’37 and Camille Kivette ’41. “All of our donors have made a wonderful thing possible,” said Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. “You help us recruit great coaches … you help us recruit great students. This is an experience these women are having that is going to prepare them for leadership in life, and I don’t know if we’ve ever had a time where we need leadership more than we do right now.” Phase I of Hunt Softball Park includes brick grandstands with seating for 311 fans and a spacious press box; concourse and concessions areas; three batting cages and two bullpens. Work will begin soon on the project’s second phase, which includes a field house complete with a locker room, team lounge, coaches’ offices and training facilities.

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“It’s tough for parents to stop and engage with [bullying]. It can be humiliating for them. They can say, ‘What did I do wrong that my child is being targeted? Did I not give them confidence?’” Cynthia Lowen, co-filmmaker of “Bully,” which documents a year in the life of America’s bullying crisis, during an April 12 lecture to the Elon Teaching Fellows as part of Anti-bullying Week.


On any given day, Barry Bradberry ’75 can be spotted walking through campus in full suit and tie taking photos. It’s a habit the associate dean of admissions and financial planning has developed during his 38 years at Elon. Bradberry’s journey to Elon and admissions traces back to his high school days in Virginia Beach, Va. There, he was encouraged to apply to Elon by the school’s principal, the late Jeff Davis ’50, and vice principal, Shirley Roundtree. He followed their advice, becoming the first person in his family to attend college. Soon after graduation, he joined Elon’s Office of Admissions as a counselor, where he started mentoring promising high school students. A car enthusiast with a good eye for detail, Bradberry says he enjoys connecting with guidance counselors, students and families and seeking out the “human potential” of future Elon students. He also loves seeing how students grow under the oaks and beyond and makes it a point to stay in touch with them long after graduation. Mike Robinson ’81 and Scott Stevenson ’82 are good examples of Bradberry’s commitment to others. “Not only did Barry recruit me, but when I showed up on campus, he was always following up—going out of his way—showing vested interest in my wellbeing,” Stevenson says. Bradberry’s dedication made a lasting impact on Robinson as well. “Barry probably had the most profound effect on my life other than my mom,” he says. “[And] he looks exactly like he did in 1982, which isn’t fair by the way!” Though his title and responsibilities have changed with time, Bradberry is as passionate today about his job, particularly with the people he meets. “I give everybody a journal, old school,” he says, “… and there are people—it’ll be 20 some years ago—that will send me pages out of their journals: ‘I was here. I was traveling. I got homesick. I didn’t talk to any students, but Barry, I got a phone call from you saying that it’s going to be OK.’” What faculty or staff member do you think is uncommon? Send a suggestion to

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A generous lead gift from Chris Martin ’78 P’13 and his wife, Nicolette P’13, will help create a new home for alumni in the heart of Elon’s campus.

S { Chris Martin ’78 P’13 }

lated to open in the fall, the Martin Alumni Center, located at the corner of Haggard and North O’Kelly avenues, will anchor a campus visit experience designed specifically for alumni returning to their alma mater. “Creating such a prominent place on campus for an alumni center truly demonstrates Elon’s commitment to its alumni,” Chris Martin said. “For our family, this is an exciting project and something we are proud to support.” Martin has been a dedicated volunteer at Elon, serving as member and past president of the Elon

Alumni Board. In 2012 he was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his professional achievement, community service and contributions to the university. The couple, who live in Manasquan, N.J., are also longtime Elon benefactors. In 2010, they created the Martin Family Scholarship for students with financial need. The Martins are members of The Order of the Oak, the Aesculus Society and The Elon Society Founder’s Circle, giving societies that recognize Elon’s most generous donors. The couple’s son, Nicholas, is an Elon senior.

ELON DEDICATES SKLUT HILLEL CENTER On March 3, members of the Elon community dedicated the Sklut Hillel Center, a renovated building serving as the new home of Elon Hillel. The center is named for Eric and Lori Sklut P’14 of Charlotte, N.C., whose lead gift through the LevineSklut Family Foundation helped fund the project. “Beyond your financial commitment, I thank you for your vision and leadership,” Elon University President Leo M. Lambert said during the dedication as he recognized the Skluts and other donors for their support. “Like so many of our wonderful parents, you have stepped up and provided leadership when we needed it, to translate that vision into reality.” Located on East College Avenue, in the former Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life building, the Sklut Hillel Center features a spacious common area, modern kitchen, conference

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room and offices. An outdoor patio and sukkah are named for donors Steven Glazer P’08 and daughter Kimberly Glazer Emerson ’08. Among other functions, the center serves as the home for informal gatherings, cultural events and meetings often hosted by Elon Hillel, a member of a worldwide organization that fosters personal connections to Jewish life. “We are overwhelmed with the warmth and cheerfulness this house now exudes,” Lori Sklut told the crowd during the dedication. The updated facilities allow for different activities and collaborations. The expanded kitchen, for instance, enabled Emily Cable ’13 and others to start a chapter of Challah for Hunger, an initiative that bakes and sells challah and donates the proceeds to social justice causes. “In the past, Hillel borrowed space to bake challah just once a year. Now, we

bake challah once a week,” said Cable, whose parents Andrew and Deborah Cable P’13 contributed to the renovation project and serve as co-presidents of the Jewish Life Advisory Council with the Skluts. “This would not be possible without the Sklut Hillel Center.” The Skluts are active supporters of Jewish life at Elon. In 2011, they endowed the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies, a named professorship held by Assistant Professor Geoffrey Claussen. Their son, Elon junior Mason, has served on Hillel’s student board and helped found Elon’s recently colonized Jewish fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau. “The Sklut Hillel Center is about creating a Jewish community and Elon Jewish traditions that will last longer than any individual person or program,” Elon Hillel Director Nancy Luberoff said. “Now there will always be a place for vibrant Jewish life on our campus.”


LIFECHANGING LEGACIES March 12 scholarship dinner held in Elon’s new Lakeside Dining Hall gave many Elon students an opportunity to take part in the simple but important act of saying “thank you.” More than 250 guests attended the dinner, where donors and students exchanged stories about Elon and celebrated the impact of philanthropy at the university. The biennial dinner recognizes donors who have established need- or merit-based scholarships, helping the university attract gifted students with exceptional talent, athletic ability or financial need. The theme of the scholarship dinner, “Life-Changing Legacies,” detailed the story of three generations of philanthropy at Elon and featured remarks from Igor Pavlov ’94, an Elon graduate


who felt the impact of philanthropy as a student. Pavlov shared the role Elon Life Trustee Warren “Dusty” Rhodes and wife Peggy had in his education at Elon. As an international student from St. Petersburg, Russia, Pavlov came to Elon with very few resources. He met and grew close to Dusty and Peggy, longtime Elon supporters for whom Rhodes Football Stadium is named. They quickly adopted him into their family and offered much-needed support and resources. With their help, Pavlov went on to earn an MBA from Duke University. In honor of the Rhodes’ generosity, Pavlov and his wife, Mia, created the Pavlov Endowed Scholarship in 2007, offering access to an Elon education for the next generation of international students. The scholarship is currently held

{ l-r: Mason Sklut ‘14, Haley Sklut, Lori Sklut, Eric Sklut and Blair Sklut at the opening of the Sklut Hillel Center. }

by Toorialey Fazly ’14, an international studies major from Afghanistan well known at Elon for his campus involvement. Fazly, who is participating in Elon’s study abroad program at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, thanked the Pavlovs for their generosity via video message. “The assistance you have provided me at Elon has changed my life,” he said. ”It has changed the life of my family, and it will change the life of our community when I go back. Words cannot express our thankfulness.”

“I will use my education at Elon to make an impact and pay forward the generosity that has been extended to me time and time again, from those who tirelessly invest in and willingly support my journey.” – Grant Woody ’13, scholarship recipient

Photo by Bruce Boehm

Many scholarship recipients who attended the dinner echoed Fazly’s message of gratitude. “I am lucky to have been given the opportunity of being a student here at Elon University,” said sophomore Sandra Flores, recipient of the Honorable J. Fred Bowman ’51 Scholarship and the J.R. and Mary Simmons Stogsdill Scholarship. “My scholarships have allowed me to pursue different activities, like taking a service trip to Honduras and participating in Study USA courses in Washington, D.C., and Kentucky,” she said, adding she plans to become a social worker or police officer after graduation.

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ts historic season may have come to an end, but the Elon men’s basketball team shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As champions of the North Division with 21 wins this year—the most since the 1973–74 season—and after an appearance in March’s Postseason Tournament, their first postseason action since joining Division I, it would be easy for the players to take a break and pat themselves on the back. But that’s just not how they play the game. “It’s important that we get better and that’s the thought I had as we walked off the court and were in the locker room after the semifinals loss,” says head coach Matt Matheny, referring to Elon’s 68–60 loss to College of Charleston at the Southern Conference Tournament in March. “In order to expect to win you have to improve and I think our players understand that.” It’s an emphasis on work ethic that has been consistent throughout the season and defined the team’s { Lucas Troutman ’14 } mentality even when the team was enjoying a winning streak. “Regardless of [whether] you win four games, you practice like you just lost four in a row,” says junior forward Ryley Beaumont. “It’s really important because when things are going good, it can switch in a second. Other teams are going to get better. Everyone is practicing, everyone is playing hard, everybody is hungry.” Since arriving at Elon four years ago, Matheny has reinvigorated the program and created a winning tradition that has not gone unnoticed by the campus and community. “Fans now are getting excited to come to games … there is

{ Jack Isenbarger ’14 }

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more of a buzz about the program now that we’ve had some success,” says junior guard Jack Isenbarger. “People want to come and see winning teams play and that’s what we’re building here.” It’s a palpable energy from the fans— what junior guard Sebastian Koch describes as the “sixth man on the court”—that the team thrives on. “If we have a big play or dunk and the place erupts, it’s super exciting,” Koch says. “We have great students and their support is very important to us.” The support from the campus and community begins with the type of players Elon recruits and their excellence both on and off the court, according to Matheny. “What we try to do is recruit players who are good guys, that value the student-athlete experience, that aspire not only to be great basketball players but to take advantage of an education at a great institution,” Matheny says. “To me, that translates to guys who will work on their games on the court and the way they play together. As a result, we have a good team and I think that’s fun to watch.” Much of that success can also be traced to the close relationships the players share off the court, which equates to better communication and teamwork on it. “This is the first team I’ve been a part of that is completely united in what we’re doing or where we’re at,” says junior forward Lucas Troutman. “It’s something that is great about Elon. We are not afraid to pick each other up or tell each other when something is going wrong. To me, it’s a comfortable atmosphere to play and it helps us as a team to play better.” With five rising seniors and the success of this year as motivation, there’s a lot to look forward to. Isenbarger is already planning for well into the future. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is winning the conference tournament and going with my teammates and taking the program to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever,” he says. “I’m excited not only for the guys on the team, but for the Elon community and students who go to Elon because the campus is going to be going crazy. “Everyone else will be surprised by it, but for us it’s something that we expect and look forward to doing.”



t may not have ended with victory at the Southern Conference Tournament, but for seniors Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford, their four years on the court for the Elon women’s basketball team were worth every effort. “We knew going into this year that there was a lot of excitement and preparation, this is what we’ve all been working toward,” Ford says. “We wanted to come out and spend our last year here and just do what we’ve learned over the past four years.” The team, which concluded their season 19–14 with a loss in the semifinals of the SoCon tournament to Davidson College and a first-round win in the Women’s Basketball Invitational tournament, is characterized by strong relationships on and off the court. “There’s a special bond between teammates just because you’ve been through so much together,” Evans says. “You rally around when we have highs and lows. I think it’s something I will have forever— lifelong friends and sisters.” As leaders of the team, Ford says it was important to set an example for younger { Kelsey Evans ’13 }

players and establish expectations and traditions to sustain the program after they’re gone. “We like to keep the tradition going of working hard like the people who were before us,” she says, “and giving Elon a positive representation in the SoCon as a


team that’s in the top every year and is not going to be one of those teams that lays down easily.” Evans, who plans to attend medical school, says basketball not only { Ali Ford ’13 }

taught her about time management and leadership, but also how to face challenging situations. “Basketball has taught me a lot about work ethic, determination, perseverance,” she says. “It’s definitely going to help me in medical school and in being a doctor. There will be similar situations where you take the wins and losses and have to learn from the losses.” As for Ford, a sport and event management major, she plans to play the game she loves as long as she is able and apply the lessons she’s learned on the court to her future endeavors. Both hope they can be remembered by their teammates as caring, motivational leaders who pushed the team to its highest potential. “You always hear the old saying that people won’t remember what you said to them, but they will always remember the way you made them feel,” Ford says. “As people, I want us to be thought of in a positive way. “We all love each other. Leaving is going to be hard and looking back is going to be special.”

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here was a time when memories of your college dining experience might have evoked images of drab cafeterias and flavorless food. It only takes a walk through some of the dining facilities on Elon’s campus today to realize that’s no longer the case. “We know student palates and lifestyles are changing,” says Karen Cutler, director of communications for ARAMARK, the leading provider of college dining in North America. “Today’s generation of students is more health conscious and really interested in what they are eating and where their food is coming from.” As new trends have emerged, the demand for fresher, healthier foods has increased at college campuses across the country. At Elon, this has resulted in offering a wider food selection and nowhere is this change more apparent than in Lakeside Dining Hall, which opened Feb. 4. The 38,000-square-foot, two-story addition to Moseley Center connects to the existing Irazu Coffee and features three stations that highlight locally inspired foods, home-style favorites and international cuisine with a different country represented each week. One can easily find paella and gazpacho on the menu one

week and Singapore spare ribs and char kway teow (stir-fried ricecake strips) the next. The dining hall also features the Winter Garden Cafe, which is home to Freshii, a Toronto-based restaurant chain that offers organically sourced, eco-friendly menu items including made-toorder salads, wraps, burritos, noodle bowls and soup. “There’s more food prepared in front of students than in the past, and with more dietary issues being addressed,” says Vickie Somers, director of auxiliary services at Elon University. “I’ve heard several students give this a rating of ‘A-plus.’” Another innovation is the Just4U: Food That Fits Your Life program, which helps students proactively manage their health and wellness goals by using colorful markers that make it easy to find selections lower in fat, calories and carbohydrates, as well as organic, vegetarian, vegan or locally grown foods. So what’s next for college dining? Around-the-clock service. “Not too long ago, a dining program would be three meals a day—breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, that’s no longer the case,” Cutler says. “Today’s students are busier than ever before and they are seeking quick, convenient options including 24-hour facilities, extended hours and more retail markets.”

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ater this spring, if all goes according to plan, an educator will move into 3524 Republic St., a modest white bungalow two blocks west of the London Avenue Canal in the Seventh Ward of New Orleans. It might be a teacher for the struggling New Orleans Public Schools, a professor at nearby Dillard University or a counselor for any number of private and parochial institutions that dot the city. Among other features, the house will have sanded and painted outdoor ironwork, an insulated bedroom ceiling, reglazed windows, new kitchen subflooring, and bathroom walls to replace mildewed and cracked tiles demolished by a dozen Elon University students and two staff advisers during a January service trip to the city. While the team worked, tens of thousands of revelers were streaming into town just a few miles south for other purposes: Mardi Gras and Super Bowl XLVII. With few exceptions, almost no one paid much attention to neighborhoods outside the downtown stadium area, French Quarter or Garden District, where nighttime parades left the streets strewn with colorful plastic beads and assorted debris. “I don’t think they really cared that much, to be honest,” Elon sophomore management major Chris Vigliotta says. “It’s been years since Katrina and they probably thought everything was good again. “It wasn’t, as we saw.” Vigliotta and his classmates visited New Orleans as part of an Alternative Break service trip between the end of Winter Term and the start of the spring semester. The group had partnered with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, or Youth Rebuild for short, an organization that purchases distressed and foreclosed properties, then renovates and sells them to educators to boost neighborhoods and the education system. Another Elon group followed in their footsteps over spring break.

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It’s the type of collaboration that’s becoming rare for Youth Rebuild. After years of welcoming volunteers from across the country, the organization can no longer count on the same level of interest as the urgency of rescuing a devastated city subsides in the national psyche. Why? Nearly half of Youth Rebuild’s volunteer base hails from the Northeast and for service organizations in search of longterm relief projects, the drive to a work site got a whole lot shorter due in part to Hurricane Sandy, which the National Hurricane Center ranked as the second-most destructive storm in U.S. history behind Katrina. “Building relationships with organizations like Elon are great ways of establishing connections with other communities,” Youth Rebuild Executive Director William Stoudt says. “You know next year you can assume Elon’s going to be back and ready to work. And if you don’t know that another group is going be there next year, it’s hard to base staffing projections. Operating as a nonprofit, that’s concerning.”

{ Brooke Jenkins ’15 was one of a dozen students who traveled to New Orleans in January. }

LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE Such praise is a point of pride for the university’s Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, particularly since Elon was among the first colleges and universities to send Katrina relief teams to the region in 2005. At first, the Kernodle Center focused on Bay St. Louis, Miss., organizing roughly two dozen rebuilding programs in the small city situated on the Gulf of Mexico that allowed students to partner with local agencies and a prominent Catholic parish. It was because of this long-standing partnership that residents provided assistance to an Elon alumna in her own hometown shortly after Hurricane Sandy. (See sidebar below.) By late 2011, little work remained in Bay St. Louis, and Kernodle Center staff started researching partnerships in New Orleans that would continue Elon’s legacy of Katrina relief. Administrators readily moved volunteer efforts to the Big Easy when student demand for meaningful service work persisted. At the height of rebuilding, Stoudt says, about 20 organizations maintained robust operations in the city, including many faithbased charities. A half dozen or so are all that remain. For Stoudt and his counterparts, there’s little doubt that fading memories and


more recent disasters now in the media glare have resulted in cost-conscious volunteer agencies no longer making the Gulf Coast their destination of choice for philanthropic endeavors. Volunteers who have remained faithful are becoming increasingly important in an area where there is still much to be done. “There’s something about Elon (and the Gulf Coast), with seniors talking with juniors talking with sophomores talking with first-years,” Kernodle Center Director Mary Morrison says. “Personally, I was expecting a drop-off two years ago, but I haven’t seen it.” That could be a boon for Youth Rebuild and similar charities focused on helping the estimated 8,000 families in Greater New Orleans that still cannot afford to rebuild

A gift to support service Watch a video about the New Orleans service trip at

Bob and Kathleen Patrick P’10 P’13 made a gift to the university in 2008 to support service on the Gulf Coast. Today, the Patrick Family Endowment for Service Learning Travel assists students with financial need interested in all Elon domestic and international service trips.

Back to Brick from Bay St. Louis While at Elon, Meghan Toomey ’08 traveled several times to Bay St. Louis, a small Gulf Coast city reeling from Hurricane Katrina. With every trip, her relationships grew stronger with parishioners of Our Lady of the Gulf, a church she helped rebuild through the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. But it wasn’t until a few years after her Elon graduation that the political science and public administration double major discovered the depth of those relationships. Last fall, Toomey, who works for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., watched on television as Hurricane Sandy wracked her hometown of Brick, N.J. In search of advice to share with family and friends, Toomey emailed the Rev. Michael Tracey, then pastor for Our Lady of the Gulf. Tracey shared the email with parishioners

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during Mass. In gratitude for her work years earlier, the church collected more than 12,000 to send to Toomey’s parish, St. Dominic’s Church, in New Jersey. “The fact that they were willing to donate money while they’re still rebuilding is heartwarming,” Toomey said. “It shows the importance of what the Kernodle Center and EV! is doing by taking students to the Gulf.” Such is the benefit of building long-standing partnerships with distant communities in need of support. “We know students who participated in our early relief efforts to Bay St. Louis were deeply impacted by the experience and created relationships with the people in the community that they continue to maintain,” said Kernodle Center Director Mary Morrison. “They know how much Elon and Elon students contributed to their community and wanted to pay it back.”

their homes. “We have clients sleeping in gutted houses, clients sleeping in vehicles, clients still sleeping in trailers,” says Zack Rosenburg, chief executive officer of St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit he co-founded the year after Katrina. “These are people who achieved the traditional American dream and had owned their homes before the storm. The needs here are still urgent.” The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a comprehensive survey in 2010, and its report, “New Orleans Five Years After the Storm: A New Disaster Amid Recovery,” revealed that 70 percent of residents felt most Americans had “forgotten” the difficulties and challenges still facing the city. Only half of city residents thought progress had been made at making affordable housing more available at a time when New Orleans was still trying to grow its population back to preKatrina numbers. While the Gulf Coast continues to struggle, rebuilding organizations are changing their missions to better serve needs elsewhere. Community Collaborations, which coordinates university service relief trips, is a good example. The organization maintains an established presence in Biloxi, Miss., but anticipating future demands, it transferred resources to New Jersey and New York shortly after Hurricane Sandy. “Once things fall out of the media, people forget about it,” says Candace Lynn, a project coordinator for the nonprofit. “When you’re down in the South, it’s a commitment to make the trek. ... In Jersey, there are so many schools within four hours or less.”

BEYOND THE HEADLINES Even among the dozen Elon students working on Republic Street in January, Hurricane Sandy had briefly compelled some to reconsider their own service plans. Applications for the New Orleans trip were due weeks before Sandy made landfall. After watching news coverage of the storm, at least a few students intending to travel south in January gave passing thought to instead driving north. “This trip is labeled Katrina relief, but it’s been eight years, so I know the immediate

relief has been taken care of. With Sandy, the desperation was right there,” Elon senior and psychology major Sophie Biggar says. “I eventually stopped thinking of it as Katrina relief and more as ‘service in New Orleans.’ Whenever I’d say ‘Katrina relief,’ people would look at me and say, ‘What about Sandy relief?’” Biggar wasn’t alone in her emotional reactions to Sandy. “It would have been more of an immediate response, and in parts of the city we’ve seen in New Orleans, you wouldn’t have known that any devastation had occurred,” Elon freshman Erin Luther says. “(With Sandy) I was seeing it as it was happening and couldn’t imagine going through that kind of destruction.” Both students decided the advantages of visiting Louisiana outweighed a desire to volunteer elsewhere. One benefit that resonated with all the January volunteers was a stop at the Hurricane Katrina exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum. For more than an hour on a Sunday afternoon, students saw seats pulled from the Superdome, walls torn from homes where residents chronicled their wait for rescue, and interactive kiosks that demonstrated the way levees failed that summer. Another feature that made the most recent New Orleans trips unique was a tie-in to the university’s 2012–13 Common Reading selection, Zeitoun, which recounts the story of a Muslim painting contractor who rode out Katrina in the city. “It was a humbling experience and it challenged us to think about the

United States in a different way,” says senior Leslie Gilman, a psychology major who organized the service trip with her sister, sophomore Rachel Gilman. “Since many students were underclassmen it was the perfect opportunity to realize that even though we want to go abroad and deal with issues, there are places here that are overlooked by media now.” The sense of accomplishment within the January group was palpable the final workday. After putting away the paint cans and power saws, the team stood on the front stoop of the house for a group picture. Though it’s likely none of them will soon revisit 3524 Republic St., they know Youth Rebuild has already acquired other distressed properties ready to refurbish. Work continues in New Orleans with no end in sight. As other schools and organizations elsewhere move on, Morrison and the Kernodle Center staff don’t know if student interest in Hurricane Katrina relief will hold strong. They certainly hope so. “I’ve learned how much patience and perseverance it takes to complete [rebuilding] projects,” sophomore Grace Troccoli says. More importantly, she adds, the visit to New Orleans provided a look at the benefits a community can find in neartotal destruction. “The storm really served as a catalyst to attack deep-rooted problems with the city,” Troccoli says. “When you rebuild, you have a chance to change.”

{ Allie Barteldt ’16 inside the Louisiana State Museum }

Students volunteer for Sandy relief program Several Elon University students helped with Hurricane Sandy cleanup in January along the Jersey Shore. The volunteers from the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement who took part in the Disaster Relief Alternative Break trip to Brigantine, N.J., spent a week gutting houses, removing drywall, moving furniture and assisting a local community center and food bank. “The best part of this trip was hearing the stories of the community members who have been affected by Sandy,” senior Alexis Deprey said. “Their hopeful spirits and optimism were infectious. Going on this service trip over Fake Break was the best decision I could have made.” Travel plans took shape within days of the storm’s October landfall. Organizers in New Jersey who worked with the Elon volunteers praised their dedication. “It was a phenomenal group of students and staff who came to work with us,” said Candace Lynn, a projects coordinator for Community Collaborations, a nonprofit volunteer staffing agency. “There was nothing the group couldn’t do.” Evan Small, the special programs coordinator in the Kernodle Center who traveled with the group to New Jersey, said the winter visit laid the foundation for partnerships that will benefit both the communities impacted by the storm and Elon volunteers. “Perhaps the most meaningful experience for many of our students was getting a chance to put a face to the disaster through our interactions with residents of the local communities,” Small said. “Getting to hear not only their experience during the storm, but their struggles with cleanup, government assistance and rebuilding truly helped us understand the full scope of the disaster.”

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CONSERVATION MAN Growing up in the North Carolina foothills, Eddie Bridges ’57 developed a passion for the outdoors. Now 79, he devotes most of his waking hours to promoting environment and wildlife conservation in the state.


t’s a cold morning in March. The sun has not yet peaked through the horizon but Eddie Bridges ’57 is already up, preparing for a day of phone calls, fundraising and park visits on behalf of the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation. “I tell people that I work far more now than I ever did when I had a real job because I do this seven days from daylight to dark,” says Bridges, whose passion for the environment marks the rhythm at his home in Greensboro, N.C. “I dream about it, and it’s just extremely important to me.” It’s a passion that was planted during a childhood spent in the foothills of Morganton, N.C., put on hold during four years at Elon College and reinvigorated with involvement in local wildlife clubs and state committees as an adult. It’s also one that has earned Bridges a number of accolades over the years, most recently Field and Stream’s Conservation Hero of the Year title. The award by the national magazine included a reception in Washington, D.C., a Toyota Tundra and $5,500 toward the Habitat Foundation, an all-volunteer organization Bridges founded in 1994. “It was a great honor, and it adds to our ability to grow the foundation,” says Bridges, who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight but welcomes what the award means for the foundation. “It motivates and inspires us to keep going.”

FINDING HIS TRUE PATH There isn’t a single event that led Bridges down the conservation path, but rather a lifetime of experiences. He fondly remembers hours spent in the “fields, streams and open spaces” of his childhood home, something that made him appreciate the natural world around him. “I spent a lot of time there hunt-

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ing and fishing and was blessed to be in an area where there were many opportunities to participate in outdoor activities,” he says. But it was his athletic ability, honed during his time playing for Morganton High School, what earned him a scholarship to Elon College. He was recruited by baseball coach Jim Mallory but instead ended up playing football and running track for legendary coach Sid Varney. While his interest in conservation work took a back seat, Bridges says the close relationships he made at Elon encouraged him in what would eventually become his life’s passion. “Many people at Elon inspired and motivated me unbelievably and some of them don’t even know it,” Bridges says, noting President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley, with whom he maintains a close relationship, Alan White, Elon’s former athletics director (“he has been an exceptional role model for me”) and coach Varney (“he is responsible for making me a much better person today than I would have been otherwise”). After graduating from Elon with a degree in physical education, Bridges planned to coach and teach. That’s when what he calls “divine order” stepped in. “You have ideas about things and I guess the Lord wants you to do something else sometimes, so he sends you in another direction,”Bridges says. On a whim, he joined a friend in opening a sporting goods store in Greensboro. Within a few years, he had opened his own store, Carolina Athletic Supply, which he owned for 30 years. Soon, he became more involved in outdoor activities and local and national conservation groups. He joined Ducks Unlimited, a worldwide wetlands and waterfowl conservation nonprofit, and was instrumental in bringing the organization to his hometown. In 1977, as his reputation in wildlife circles

grew, then-Gov. James Hunt appointed him to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, where he was surrounded with influential community members who shared his passion for the environment. “It changed my whole life,” he says of that experience, adding that at the time, the commission was “scrambling for funds” to stay afloat. That’s when he had the idea of selling lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, something that evolved into the creation of the North Carolina Wildlife Endowment Fund. So far, the program has generated about $200 million to support the commission.

BRANCHING OUT In 1994, a few years after leaving the state wildlife commission, Bridges launched a new program, the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation. Its mission is to help acquire, manage, protect and restore wildlife habitats in the state and promote conservation education. “I felt like there were other things that could be done so the general public could be involved and help support [conservation] programs,” he says. So far, the foundation has raised more than $3 million and spent $1 million on conservation programs, including the Sandhills Quail Habitat Project near Hoffman and the Frank A. Sharpe Jr. Wildlife Education Center in Greensboro’s Bur-Mil Park, which each year welcomes thousands of visitors, most of whom are children. “I think the environment and wildlife conservation are a very important part of a well-rounded education,” Bridges says. “A lot of that are things that young people don’t get in public schools today.” Teena Koury, vice chairperson of the foundation, has worked with Bridges for two decades and describes him as “100 percent devoted to the cause.” “All the man lives and breathes is the foundation,” she says. “He gets up thinking about it and goes to bed thinking about it.” Michelle Sharpe, Bridges’ daughter and

Eddie Bridges ‘57 teaches his 3-year-old grandson, Hudson Sharpe, how to fish at Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro, N.C.

a member of the foundation’s board, agrees. When her father is not contacting potential donors, sending letters or speaking to community groups, she says, he is following up with volunteers or working with young conservationists in the area. “He’s like Daniel Boone,” she says. “He’s been passionate about wildlife and conservation all my life. This is what he’s always done for as long as I can remember.” She says her father is very careful with the foundation’s funds and always tries to find the best possible project to invest in, something that resonates with donors and explains why he’s such a successful fundraiser. Even in his spare time, Bridges’ life revolves around his deep love for the out-

doors. He particularly loves spending time hunting and fishing with his family and grandchildren. He believes instilling a love for the outdoors at an early age is important. “If I can do some things to make it better for my children and future generations, then I feel really good about that,” he says. “I feel really good about giving something back.” Bridges also devotes much of his time to his alma mater, including serving on advisory committees and supporting endowed scholarships. In return, the university recognized him as the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. “There are two things in life I’m most involved in now—habitat work and my fondness for Elon,” he says. “I went to Elon

with two pairs of jeans and two T-shirts, but I haven’t missed a meal since then. … I take an awful lot of pride in being a product of Elon and hope I’ll be able to repay my debt.” At age 79, Bridges has no plans of slowing down his conservation work. “I’m very blessed to be in as good a condition,” he says, pointing to the fact that he doesn’t wear glasses or need a walker. “It’s still not over. I’ve taken a lot from it, and I can’t think of anything better I can do to give back to society.”

To learn more about the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation, visit

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As the United States loosens its economic sanctions and travel restrictions to Cuba, Elon students are discovering the island for the first time.


People go about their business in Old Havana, the area mostly designated for tourists visiting Cuba. Recent policy changes are making it easier for U.S. students to visit the island. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Schwartz.

hen thinking about Cuba, it’s hard not to imagine a country stuck in the 1950s, full of old buildings, breathtaking natural beauty and vintage cars. It’s a romantic idea that simplifies the reality of a country full of paradoxes. Defined tourist areas, all mostly in the Old Havana section, and a dual currency system—visitors are required to use Cuban convertible pesos while the locals use the less-valued Cuban peso—make for complicated money exchanges. Just outside the airport, visitors are greeted with anti-U.S. billboards, a reminder of the strained relationship between the two countries. Yet the lure of the island is hard to resist. When interactive media student Rachel Brent found out her Winter Term fly-in course was taking her to Cuba, she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm. “If I remember correctly, my first reaction was to go ‘EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’ and jump up and down for a few minutes,” she wrote in her course blog. “It’s been said before, but with good reason: this is a once-in-a-lifetime [opportunity].” Indeed, for more than half a century, the idea of visiting Cuba was almost unthinkable for most Americans. Soon after Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959, relations deteriorated between the two countries. By 1962, the United States enacted an economic embargo and severed diplomatic relations with the island. Additional educational travel restrictions imposed in 2004 drastically affected the number of U.S. study abroad programs on the island. During the 2003–04 academic year, about 2,148 U.S. students studied on the island, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2005 report. By 2010–11, the number decreased to 375.

And while U.S.-Cuba relations remain tense, the loosening of travel restrictions in 2011 has opened a window of opportunity for U.S. colleges—including Elon. Earlier this year, two groups of Elon students visited Cuba as part of their Winter Term studies. Brent was one of six students in the interactive media graduate program who spent five days on the island under the guidance of communications faculty member Randy Piland, reporting and producing material for an organic farm on the outskirts of Havana. Two communications seniors traveled with the group as part of a project for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Meanwhile, Kevin O’Mara, professor of management, and Art Cassill, the Wesley R. Elingburg Professor of Accounting, led a group of 23 students as they made stops in the Cayman Islands and Cuba to explore the impact of globalization and how countries make decisions in a globally competitive world. “Five years ago, we wouldn’t have thought about it,” says Woody Pelton, Elon’s dean of global studies, whose office gave guidance to Piland and helped O’Mara coordinate the program through a Canadian educational tour agency. “It’s still a challenging place to go to; it still requires a certain license.” But, he adds, “It’s a new opportunity.”

‘FROZEN IN TIME’ Preserved by a combination of political and social roadblocks, Cuba has remained virtually untouched for the past half century. “Only blocks outside the tourist part of Old Havana, the city is literally crumbling; we were told two or three buildings collapse every day,” O’Mara says. “It is difficult to look at the conditions in the streets and the buildings people are living in. Most people live on $20 per month and receive rations from the government to assist them. Their lives are basic, limited and difficult.” As part of their course, O’Mara and his students looked at the different dimensions of Cuban society

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and compared them to what they found in the Cayman Islands. They looked at the trade-offs, implications and ramifications of how these two Caribbean countries have shaped their societies. On one hand, Cuba’s socialist choices have limited its access to the financial benefits that come with globalization but also allowed it to retain its connection to its history and culture, something that sets the country apart. On the other hand, the Cayman Islands have experienced tremendous financial benefits from ‘plugging

into’ globalization but compromised their history and culture along the way. “It becomes a question of balance. In terms of globalization, the question becomes how to balance a level of embracement of globalization with the impact that this embrace will have on [a country’s] culture and, perhaps, sovereignty,” O’Mara says. “In our previous courses we certainly talked about the choices and trade-offs, but it is impossible to replicate the impact of actually visiting countries living under two very different set of choices and philosophies.” Senior Nathan James agrees. When he visited Grand Cayman, he says he was “impressed with its economic power given its small size,” while his time in Cuba gave him a better appreciation of the “life and privileges” he enjoys as an American. Despite their societal restrictions, O’Mara says, Cubans have an enormous sense of pride. Among other things, they take pride in resisting the U.S. involvement back in the 1960s, their education system and history, as well as past economic position within the Caribbean. The term ‘Cuban Pride,’ which is often used in exchanges with foreigners, is more than a cliché for the residents of the island. This reality did not escape the graduate students who traveled with Piland. “Cuba is beautiful, absolutely gorgeous, but in a very

Students in the interactive media graduate program documented life at Cuba’s Organopónico Vivero Alamar. Upon their return to North Carolina, they created an interactive website,, to educate people outside the island about the farm’s sustainable and organic practices. Photos courtesy of Randy Piland and Alexandra Dare Porter.

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unique way, much like the country itself,” interactive media student Stephanie Schwartz wrote in a blog entry for her class. “Nearly everything has a coat of rust, a sense of dilapidation about it,” and yet, the cracks and faded colors are as much a part of the country as its proud inhabitants. This contrast of a public that is educated but poor and largely without Internet access, Schwartz continued, “has given it that ‘frozen in time’ look, a phrase often repeated, but the citizens are as modern and forward-thinking as you would find in other, more developed countries.”

A COUNTRY IN TRANSITION Beyond the rundown buildings, visitors are also struck by the resourcefulness of people on the island. Scarcity has taught Cubans to find inventive ways to survive, from learning how to fix old cars without new parts to becoming agricultural innovators. At the Organopónico Vivero Alamar in a Havana suburb, Schwartz and her peers documented the work of a fully functioning urban cooperative farm. They later created a website geared specifically to educate people outside the island about the farm’s sustainable and organic practices. The 25-acre farm, which began as a vegetable garden in the 1990s, has grown to include animals, fruits and medicinal plants. It sells its produce to nearly 50,000 people from the nearby neighborhoods each year. “We have a lot to perfect; there is an infinite field of possibilities in all directions,” farm president and founder Miguel Salcines López said in one of the video interviews with the students. “But we can say without a doubt that the cooperative is going to raise the living standard of its members, of their families.” Projects like this one, coupled with recent economic and social reforms by leader Raul Castro, who took over the reigns of the country from brother Fidel in 2006, bring a sense of optimism that can be felt around the island.

“We left days before the government somewhat relaxed its travel restrictions and many of the people we met with spoke with excitement of an upcoming planned trip,” O’Mara says. Though small, Castro’s reforms are expanding the Cuban economy into new territories. Reports suggest there are roughly 244,000 more people working in the private sector today than in 2010. In a bolder move, Castro recently announced he would step down in 2018, at the conclusion of his five-year term. “It is another indication that the Cuban government may have concluded that changes must be made in order to retain its power and the support of its citizens,” O’Mara says. It’s hard to predict what the future may hold. Depending on whom you ask on the island, you may get a different answer. “The tour guides, they are very upbeat about the future,” Piland says, adding that more than one person told him a different story. “They’d say, ‘It may look good but the people are hurting. Cuba is hurting. We don’t see any relief.’”

BENEATH THE SURFACE In a country where censorship rules and the vast majority of people work for the government, it’s difficult to distinguish between the official message and the voice of the people. “We were told by representatives from three different groups that Cuba is a democracy; a different form of democracy than the U.S., but certainly a democracy,” O’Mara says. “All three individuals used similar phrasing and talking points so we were left wondering how much of this statement was for us or intended for them.” Now that they’ve taken the first step and started to develop relationships on the island, both professors would like to return to explore more in-depth the lessons the country offers. “We want to get more into the lives of the people,

Most of the buildings in the historic section of the island, like many of the ones seen above, are falling apart. Photo courtesy of Randy Piland.

CUBA EXTRA To find out more about the interactive media graduate program’s work at the Organopónico Vivero Alamar and read the stories seniors Kassondra Cloos and Rachel Southmayd wrote for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, visit

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see more than just the surface,” Piland says, adding government guides were very protective of who they approached. “They tell you people don’t want to talk about their lives.” The few unscripted interactions with people on the streets or inside the hotel seemed to indicate otherwise. Piland would like to return to take a closer look. A recent move by the U.S. government to license a Texas-based independent study abroad provider will likely offer more educational options for U.S. students who visit the island. Considering that Central and South America will be important economic regions for U.S. companies in the near future, O’Mara says, the Caribbean presents a great opportunity for Elon’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business to be among the first to develop a network

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and presence in the region while other schools focus on Europe and Asia. He and Cassill plan to take MBA students to both countries next January and would like to expand the course to include Elon Law students as well. As Cuba’s economy continues to open, it becomes a perfect laboratory to study globalization. After all, O’Mara says, all countries, including the United States, wrestle with balancing how much they are willing to sacrifice in exchange for economic growth. “Our elections are our mechanism to indicate the type of balance our society wants to pursue,” he says. “If our students make their own political decisions based on a better understanding of the factors and issues of globalization, they will not only become better business people but better informed citizens as well.”

Above and right: Images of people, places and daily life in the island taken by Randy Piland and Stephanie Schwartz.



t’s difficult to feel lonely in Cuba. Everywhere you go, especially if you’re wearing the dead-giveaway backpack of a “gringo” tourist, people shout “¡Buenos días!” “Hello lady, you want to look at this?” they cry to women. I stopped and bought a few figurines for friends back home from a woman at a small table covered with typical Cuban tourist souvenirs—wooden dancers, beaded necklaces and butterfly magnets. After I paid her, the woman said something to me and grabbed my elbows in the traditional Cuban greeting for a friend or acquaintance, putting her soft cheek against mine and making two short quick kissing sounds. And just like that, I felt the Cuban people embrace me. Cubans never seem to be in a hurry. Along the sea wall that separates Havana’s outer road from the Atlantic, hundreds of people stand around, leaning languidly along the tan stones, chatting with friends or just watching cars go by. Deeper in the city, an old woman in a faded flower hat smokes a cigar as she sits on the stoop of a home with a crumbling doorframe. A man naps in the seat of the worn out pedicab he uses to shuttle tourists around. Cubans are used to waiting. Most of their lives, it seems, are spent waiting for one thing or another. They wait in line at state stores to trade in their vouchers for food rations. They wait for permission from the government to leave the country to visit their family or

friends or just to take a vacation (although this wait is now much shorter, thanks to new policies that were implemented in January). They wait years for permission to move to a new home or apartment, something very scarce, especially in Havana. Those owning cars wait outside tourist hotels and attractions to offer taxi rides. “Classic car? Classic car?” they’d ask enthusiastically, proud of the antique cars most tourists find a novelty. If I’d politely but firmly say “No, gracias,” two or three times, they’d smile, nod and just go back to leaning on the hoods, watching and yet again, waiting. Anything other than basic necessities is a treat, something only the tourists can afford. At the baseball park of the Industriales, one of the most popular teams in all of Cuba, a baseball costs an entire month’s salary for a well-paid Cuban, said our tour guide, Maria, who asked that I not use her real name. Aside from tips, she earns the equivalent of about $13 a month as a tour guide for a government agency. Even with the tips, it’s not enough to easily afford luxuries, such as going out to a restaurant, so she also works as a private English teacher. She still lives in an apartment with her parents even though she’s an adult; her nails are impeccably manicured and she sports a fairly recent cell phone that rings with the tune of a popular American hip-hop artist. Maria, like most Cubans we met, is just living her life, not lamenting the lack of fashion

Senior Rachel Southmayd was one of two Elon students who traveled to Cuba as part of a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting project. An unedited version of this column, “Cuba: Next Time You Come to Havana, You Stay With Me,” was first published on the center’s website.

boutiques or a Starbucks on every block. She is loud and sassy and intensely proud to be Cuban. If Maria longs for a different life, she does it in the privacy of her own home. Not a single Cuban we met on our trip seemed to want to complain about the state of their lives. They would ask us if we liked Havana and would offer to have us come for dinner or stay in their homes the next time we came to the country. Maybe that’s all a show for the outsiders, but maybe not. Maybe it’s genuine joy of living a simple life in an aging city where national pride runs in every vein and pulsates from every crack in the pavement, rev of an engine and note of the salsa music that can often be heard floating through the air. But no matter how it’s described, there’s no arguing that there’s something special about that Cuban spirit in its strength, its tolerance and its inherent grace, something I learned in the embrace of a woman with long black hair streaked with gray and a table full of beaded necklaces and butterfly magnets.

winter 2013 25


THE TIME IS NOW Dear Elon alumni,


ver the past several years I have attended many outstanding alumni events. If there is one thing I feel immediately at these events, it’s the sheer energy in the air—the kind that is magical and contagious. And when this energy is focused, amazing things can be accomplished. I’ve been especially impressed by the many young alumni I have met. Even though I am often the oldest guy in the room, they are warm, friendly and genuinely interested in my experiences at Elon. It’s this kind of camaraderie, which cuts across alumni of all ages, that is very special. If you have not had the opportunity to experience it, your time has come. Elon’s 125th anniversary celebration, which kicks off in the fall, will be highly focused on the alumni experience. We will have a number of wonderful events to encourage people to visit campus so they can experience Elon’s incredible transformation over the years. If it has been a few years or you have never made it back to campus since you graduated, 2013 is the year to do it. You won’t want to miss Homecoming. With new events, a remodeled tailgate experience and 125 years of history to celebrate, this year’s Homecoming will be one to remember. It will also be the perfect time to celebrate our new centrally located Martin Alumni Center, as well as see friends you may have missed for years. There is a huge collaboration between Elon’s alumni boards and university staff to make alumni engagement easier than ever. Make 2013 the year you experience everything Elon University has to offer. John Hill ’76 President, Elon Alumni Board

26 the magazine of elon

Welcoming our new interim director Tait Arend ’96 G’00, who first joined the Office of University Advancement in 2009 as a major gifts officer, has been appointed interim director of alumni engagement. Arend will oversee the Office of Alumni Engagement’s efforts to open the new Martin Alumni Center in the heart of campus, grow The Elon Network on LinkedIn and lead a dynamic staff in the creation of new engagement opportunities for Elon alumni. “Tait’s background and leadership abilities will catapult us forward in many of our goals as we work toward building a vibrant alumni network,” said John Barnhill ’92, assistant vice president of university advancement. Arend will return to his position as associate director of major { Tait Arend ’96 G’00 } gifts after the conclusion of his interim term in May 2014.

Top 10 Under 10 Alumni recipients honored Touted as leaders in their profession, difference-makers in their communities and loyal supporters of their alma mater, 10 Elon alumni were honored as the 2013 Top 10 Under 10 award winners at an April 20 banquet held in the new Lakeside meeting rooms. “We are so deeply proud in our hearts for your accomplishments and the good you do in the world and how well you represent your alma mater,” Elon President Leo M. Lambert said during the ceremony. “We salute you.” Honored were: » Brett “Coop” Cooper ’05, Arlington, Va.

» Amy Reitnouer ’09, Los Angeles, Calif.

» Hilary Corna ’07, Austin, Texas

» Katie Sherman ’04, Brooklyn, N.Y.

» Ashley White Creech ’03, Rock Hill, S.C.

» Cecelia Thompson ’05, Greensboro, N.C.

» Mark Hendrix ’04, Ann Arbor, Mich.

» Peter Ustach ’09, Burlington, N.C.

» David Morrow II ’07 L’10, Washington, D.C.

» Christian Wiggins ’03, Charlotte, N.C.

Each year, Elon’s Young Alumni Council and the Office of Alumni Engagement recognize 10 outstanding alumni who have graduated during the past 10 years. If you are interested in nominating an alum for the 2014 Top 10 Under 10 awards, please visit and complete the form today. For more information, contact Colleen Cooper ’08, coordinator of young alumni and student engagement, at



YAC welcomes new members

Elon’s 123rd Commencement is May 25. Below are some of the alumni events being planned for the occasion.

May 19 Lavender Graduation, Isabella Cannon Room, 4 p.m. All alumni are invited to this informal ceremony that celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ undergraduate seniors and graduate students.

May 23 Reception for African-American graduates and their families, Oaks 212, 6:30 p.m. Join the Black Alumni Network and Multicultural Center in honoring the achievements of African-American seniors. All alumni are invited to attend and celebrate this great occasion.

May 24 Legacy reception for graduates and their alumni parents, grandparents and siblings, Johnston Hall Alumni Center, 5:30–7 p.m. Questions? Call the Office of Alumni Engagement at (877) 784-3566.

Elon’s Young Alumni Council and the Office of Alumni Engagement are pleased to welcome 10 new members of the Young Alumni Council. The council serves as a link between the university and the young alumni body. The following alumni have been selected to serve for three years: » » » » »

Kate Catlin ’06 Andy Fox ’08 Evan Glover ’12 Lauren Kelly Griffith ’08 Pat Irvine ’09

» » » » »

Stacy Laue ’09 Greg Mader ’11 Taylor Martin ’12 Elizabeth Molloy ’10 Chelsea Peabody ’09

We would also like to thank the following alumni who have completed their service on the Young Alumni Council: » » » » » »

Kara Anderson ’06 Matt Belanger ’05 Michael Bumbry ’07 Bonnie Brackett ’08 Danielle Durst ’09 Ryan Fairchild ’03

» » » » » »

Dan Hanson ’05 Mark Horsburgh ’07 Carolyn Klasnick ’09 Amy Carraux Price ’07 Eric Thorp ’05 Joey White ’04


PERSONALIZE YOUR BRICK AT As Elon approaches its 125th anniversary, the university is offering an exclusive opportunity for alumni to pave the way for future generations of students and alumni and make their mark at Elon’s new Martin Alumni Center, which will open in the fall. For a gift of 125, Elon will engrave a brick in honor of an alumnus or alumna and have it installed at the center, which will serve as a home for all alumni when they return to campus.

TO LEARN MORE about this campaign or to reserve a brick visit or contact Sarah Bailey at and (336) 278-7436.

spring 2013 27

Association. For more information about this year’s events, visit

several alumni registered their own service work with the Alumni

all, 14 alumni chapters and clubs held service events. In addition,

park cleanup day in Seattle. In

children’s shelter in Boston to a

serving meals at a women’s and

a month full of activities—from

the country were gearing up for

Spring Break trips, alumni across

on campus from their Alternative

As students were arriving back

April marked Elon’s Nationwide Month of Service.

Alumni answered the call to “Rise Up and Serve”



information to Interested in getting involved in your chapter/club board? Contact Amanda Robinson, coordinator of regional alumni engagement, at or (336) 278-7423.

the 8th Annual Fac/Staff Social at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

on May 6. The fall lineup of “Evening for Elon” events will be published

in the summer edition of The Magazine of Elon.

have recently moved, please email your updated contact

Keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area. If you

» Columbia, S.C. » Dallas » Kentucky » Los Angeles » Orlando, Fla. » Pittsburgh » Tampa Bay, Fla. » Wilmington, N.C.

new alumni chapters and clubs to the family:

The Elon Alumni Association welcomes the following


N.J. { March 19, pictured} » Philadelphia { March 20 } » Knoxville, Tenn. { April 3 } » Richmond, Va. { April 23 }. A final event took place in Charlotte, N.C., as alumni celebrated

this spring: » Orlando, Fla. { March 4 } » West Orange,

friends who attended one of the five “Evening for Elon” events held

We’d like to thank the hundreds of Elon alumni, parents and

“Evening for Elon” events a success

team. Next year, it’s only going to get better.”

“It’s been a dream season. Every game, I’ve seen the players get closer and play more like a

events,” said Amy Hendrickson ’69, who considers herself to be one of the top 10 Elon fans.

took place March 9 & 10 at Scully’s restaurant. “It’s like a family reunion to come to these

Tournament. The Alumni Association partnered with the Phoenix Club for the events, which

N.C., to support the men’s and women’s basketball teams during the Southern Conference

More than 100 Elon alumni, parents and friends attended pre-game social events in Asheville,

SoCon Tournament alumni and friends pre-game socials

CLASS NOTES “I love how Elon has grown while maintaining respect for its traditions and history.” –eric hall ’76

What do you love about Elon? In honor of the school’s 125th anniversary celebration, which kicks off this fall, we are compiling a list of 125 things alumni love about their alma mater. Go to and submit your comments today!

Len Fesmire ’51

Isaac Fesmire ’39


now enjoying retirement and all her wonderful memories, fondly remembers her sorority, Phi Kappa Tau, and her two business professors, whom she worked for in the business department. Elon holds a special place in her mind and heart. She is thankful to Elon, where she developed a lifetime of memories and met her husband of 67 years, with whom she raised three successful children and has 22 great grandchildren. To students, Margarette says to “not go into college with a negative outlook. Enjoy your college years. They hold the key to many memories and the direction to your future.” Jacqueline Perry Matlock, married to the late Cary R. Matlock ’51, is now retired, enjoy-


ing friends, church, family and reading. Mostly, she spends her time doing the things she wants to do. She recently saw a photo of the old snack shop in Mooney, and it reminded her of the time when the snack bar was on the first floor of Alamance—a place where she shared many fun times with friends. Jacqueline fondly remembers Dr. L.E. Smith 1910, Dr. A.L. Hook 1913, Dr. D.J. Bowden and professor J.W. Barney, as well as the wonderful friends she made as a student and during the 40 years she spent working in admissions. She still has many friends at Elon and tries to attend as many events as possible. Elon’s tremendous progress since 1942 amazes her, and she continues to be very proud of the school. Jacqueline encourages today’s students to not only study hard and take classes seriously, but also to enjoy friends and other opportunities that are available. “It is a wonderful period in your life,” she adds.


Mac McInnis ’71 & Ryan Petitti ’11

Hilda Malone McNeeley, re-

tired from the Burke County School System, fondly remembers wonderful times at Elon and specifically recalls Mrs. Bartley, a science teacher, Margaret Rawls and fellow alumni. She visited the campus recently and was amazed by the transformative changes that have been made to the ever-beautiful campus. She encourages students “to study hard and have fun.”

 30 the magazine of elon

Margarette Oakley Day,

John Dale Moody Jr., husband of Faye R. Moody ’65

and father of Clair Moody ’77, cherishes the memory of his Elon graduation and relationships with Dean Bowden and A.L. Hook 1913. He encourages students to “get to have a close walk with Jesus Christ.”


Max C. Littlejohn, now re-


Len T. Fesmire reports he

tired, happily remembers his Elon friends, hanging out in the dorms and playing intramural sports. Also, he recalls that instructors appeared to be genuinely interested in their students. Today, different publications keep him aware of what is going on at Elon. Max reminds students to be friendly and respectful. tries to play tennis and golf as often as he can and participates in his high school lunch bunch. His greatest Elon memory is having the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of his late father, Isaac Fesmire ’39, a basketball star at Elon during the 1930s, by establishing a scholarship fund with the help of his former roommate, James F. Jones. Len lives in Ohio and because of the distance, he is unable to be active in campus events but he encourages students to “be a better student than [he] was, which won’t take much.”


Flake Colen Hodgson, vice

president for Miller Oil Co., fondly remembers Dr. Sloan and professors A.L. Hook 1913 and Barney. He makes small donations to Elon each year. To students, Flake says: “Do your best. Learn all you can. Be a good citizen.” Besides going to the doctor, John W. Hurst Sr. spends a lot of his time in Durham, N.C., visiting his fiancé. He remembers playing football with lifelong friends “Poco” and “Spider Webb” and the late Bob Lewis. John also fondly remembers a science professor and a calculus professor who convinced him to transfer to N.C. State to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, which he completed in 1954. To today’s students, John says: “Make your studies your #1 priority. Select some important courses that lead to good careers—one that pays an adequate amount.” John G. Truitt Jr., husband of Dolores Hogan Truitt and father of Melina Leigh Truitt ’85, delightfully remembers cheering at many sporting events


and spending time with A.L. Hook 1913 and Earl Danieley ’46. Elon continues to be a major part of his family, and he encourages students by saying: “As Elon has blessed you, return a blessing to Elon.”


Ronald E. Black, married to

Carole Ann Bateman Black, is retired as a professor emeritus from Cecil College in Cecil County, Md. He fondly remembers concerts and choir trips with Choir Director John Westmoreland, who along with Judy Ingram and James Rhodes ’53 made his time at Elon special. Ronald still talks to students about attending Elon, and advises them to do their best and make an honest effort.

Charles G. Crews’ greatest Elon memory is meeting his late wife, Jo Ann Wright Crews ’56. Charles is also grateful for the role Professor A.L. Hook 1913 played in making his Elon experience so special. Today, he attends various Elon sporting events and performances by the choir. To students, he says: “A good education is [an] … experience that lasts forever.”


Carolyn Abernathy Jones, daughter of Margaret H. Abernathy ’33 and Rufus H. Abernathy ’33, and wife of John T. Jones ’55, has many happy Elon


memories including the 15-minute evening break and going to the soda shop, the fire drills, football and basketball games, and being a cheerleader. She also fondly remembers Dr. Earl Danieley ’46, Professor Reddish, John Foster West and Dr. Cunningham. A retired teacher, Carolyn continues to be a proud Elon graduate. While teaching, her Elon education was her foundation. She encourages students to enjoy their time at Elon but also to be serious about preparing for the future.


Ronald W. Bergman served

as a United Methodist pastor in the Peninsula Delaware Conference for 32 years. A year after retiring in 2003, Ronald became the chaplain of the Methodist County House, a retirement home, in Wilmington, Del., where he is now completing nine years. He and wife Mary Lew Davis Bergman have been married for 51 years and have two sons, Ronald W. Bergman Jr. and Joseph D. Bergman, and four grandchildren. His favorite


memory is being a member of the Elon memories include spending 1958 football team, which remains time with the children at the Elon the only undefeated Elon football Home for Children, serving as team, and defeating Lenoir-Rhyne. the president of the student body and participating in Homecoming “With Coach ‘Sid Varney’ as our coach, we were scared to lose,” he events. Ronald also remembers says. He fondly remembers Dr. the Rev. John Evans, Dr. Farris Reynolds, kitchen worker Mary Danieley ’46, coaches Varney and Covington, night watchman Cliff Bryson and many students, includand fellow workers in the mess ing Faye ’61 and Jim Humphrey. hall. To students, Ronald remarks: Today, Robert is thankful he was “Be yourself, study hard and enjoy able to attend college with the as many opportunities as possible help of a football scholarship and while in school.” Maria Cecilia get his Elon degree. He says his Elon education has made all the Noronha Burrowes is now retired, difference in his life. He and his enjoying her four grandchildren. wife, Emily, have four children, She fondly remembers having the privilege of being a member of Tau all college graduates contributing to society, and 11 grandchildren. Zeta Phi during the one year she Robert and Emily have given was at Elon on a scholarship. She back to Elon through the Varney also fondly remembers Dean A.L. Scholarship in hopes that someone Hook 1913, roommate Rebecca Ann Kivett and many other friends like him can have the opportunity to go to Elon and take advantage including Faye and Lou Ann. of all the opportunities the school Maria reminds students to always has to offer. To students, Robert believe in themselves and follow shares two things Coach Varney their dreams. Phillip H. Loman, said often and posted in the footnow retired, spends his time travball locker room: “It’s OK to get eling, playing golf, enjoying time knocked down, but you had better with his wife and grandchildren get up” and “When the going gets and meeting with a group of tough, the tough get going.” friends every morning. His favorite Elon memory is graduation, Jim Buie and Bob Saunders and he remembers Dr. A.L. Hook have been selected to 1913 and Dr. Danieley ’46. Phillip serve on the 50th Class Reunion admires how well Elon has grown. Committee. They want to encourTo students, he says: “Study—and age all classmates, spouses and finish.” Lloyd A. Parker has been friends to celebrate this milestone retired for 31 years from the school at Homecoming on Nov. 8–10 as system of Dade County, Fla. He Elon celebrates “125 glorious years.” especially remembers Doc “Parker,” They write: “Lots of fun activities the football team’s trainer. Dr. Earl are planned, and we are reserving Danieley ’46, also special to Lloyd, a block of hotel rooms. See you offered him a job coaching footthere!” ball at Elon without him applying for the job. Now, he reminisces Donald S. Carroll Jr., fondly about his Elon experience and called “Chip,” authored and enjoys talking to his wife’s friend’s independently published a book, grandson, Brandon Kacer ’15, who Memoirs of an Impurfect Salesman: Truths Taught through Forty Years attends Elon and plays on the of Experience. Elon University baseball team. is mentioned in the book, and John D. Brady spends much Chip suggests students in the of his time now taking care Martha and Spencer Love School of his wife, Marjorie. He cherishes of Business might find it helpful. his friendship with Earl Danieley It can be previewed and ordered ’46 and their memories together online through Chip’s website, from inside and outside of the, and over classroom. Elon still has a place the phone at Trafford Publishing’s in John’s heart today as he thinks number, (888) 232-4444. If anyone of the many friends he met while has questions, Chip can be reached studying here. To students, he at (908) 303-9125. says: “Work hard and prep for the future.” Robert F. McLean Mac McInnis retired with his wife in 2010, and they moved worked as a teacher for four years to Hawaii’s Big Island. While and then 40 years as a Nationwide shopping on the island of Oahu insurance agent. His favorite Elon





{ Students work in a typing lab in Duke Building circa 1950s. }

CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES CAN PROVIDE INCOME FOR LIFE a charitable gift annuity of $10,000 or more to Elon will guarantee you a fixed income for the rest of your life. With market interest rates near historic lows, a gift annuity is an attractive way for you to increase your income and make a gift to Elon at the same time. You will receive immediate tax benefits and can defer capital gains. The payment rate of a charitable gift annuity depends on your age at the time of the gift—the older you are, the higher the rate.

rates as of january ,  ONE BENEFICIARY






60 65 70

4.4% 4.7% 5.1%

60/65 67/67 71/73

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Annuity rates are subject to change. The annuity rate remains fixed once your gift is made.

To calculate a gift annuity for you, your spouse or a family member, visit

Talk with us today about how you may benefit from a life income gift to Elon and other gift planning opportunities. please contact: Carolyn DeFrancesco, Director of Planned Giving (336) 278-7454 • •

spring 2013 31


during a January weekend away, Mac and his wife were surprised to meet a fellow Elon alumnus, Ryan Petitti ’11, who now manages Kahala, an island retail store.


Kathy Nelson Streeter Morgan was inducted into

the Hendersonville High School Hall of Fame on 10/5/12. This honor recognizes Kathy for her many achievements in her career

as an educator and dedicated service to others through organizations such as the American Red Cross, the United Way and the Henderson County Rape Crisis Center. While at Elon, Kathy played on the first women’s volleyball and basketball teams. After college, she returned to Hendersonville’s junior high school to teach physical education and then went to work at Hendersonville High School a few years later.


Chris Martin, president and

chief executive officer of Provident Bank, recently hosted an Evening for Elon reception for Elon alumni at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, N.J. More than 130 alumni, parents and friends of the university attended the meet-and-greet event, including President Leo M. Lambert, who spoke at the reception.

Rebecca Allison Romig Parks ’97

Jon Guza ’97

Kelly Collins Truesdale ’99, Jason Truesdale ’00 & sons

Carolynne Erwin Morris ’02 & Jamie Morris

David Van Buskirk ’97

Jaime Blaydes Gilliam ’02


Bryant McCray Colson was

recently elected vice president of the board of directors of the Orange County (N.C.) Rape Crisis Center, which works to stop sexual violence and its impact through support, education and advocacy. He has also served as a board member since September 2009. In this position, Bryant assists the executive director, hosts a variety of fundraisers, engages with donors and reviews policy. Bryant lives in Hillsborough, N.C., with wife Karen Funderburk Colson and their three daughters, Kabrya, Kyra and Krysten.


Kelly Adkins-Leach is a se-


John D. Denning has taken a

nior grievances and appeals analyst for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. She and husband Kyle Leach live in Bumpass, Va.

Christine Waterman Parthemore ’01, Bryan John Parthemore & children, Tyler John & Sydney Jo-el

Kim Hansman Ermer ’03, Jake Ermer & son Preston

Lauren Fernicola Till ’01, Robert Till & twins Charli Marie & Bryce Robert

Lindsay Van Cleave Severn ’03, Bill Severn & son William “Liam” Glenn

32 the magazine of elon

Liane Champagne Clairmont ’02 & Matthew Clairmont

Gayle Bandy Catterlin ’04 & son Oliver Bandy Catterlin

joint appointment with the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina community college system and the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction as the state director for K–12 and postsecondary alignment initiatives. In this position, John will be working to connect all service areas of higher education to the state’s K–12 districts, including increasing communication and policy alignment efforts across secondary and postsecondary education. In doing so, John will be directing statewide policy engagement strategies for career

and college readiness as well as administration of the state’s “Core to College” grant funded by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This past winter, Jon Guza visited his Elon oak tree at his former home in Abingdon, Va., within view of the Appalachian Mountains. Jon reports the tree has grown to an amazing height and was holding onto its leaves even in the bitter cold. He now lives in Whitsett, N.C. In February, Meg Jordan published a book called Code 1. She lives in Pleasant Garden, N.C., with husband Dale. Rebecca Allison Romig Parks has been selected as one of the (N.C.) Triad’s Top 40 Under 40 Leaders for 2013 by The Business Journal. The annual award recognizes the region’s most accomplished young professionals in their industries and communities. Rebecca lives in Snow Camp, N.C. David Van Buskirk has been named a principal with the national financial services firm Edward Jones. He was one of 37 named from the firm’s more than 42,000 associates, so it is quite an honor.



Kelly Collins Truesdale and husband Jason Truesdale

’00 welcomed son William Elijah “Eli” on 1/14/12. Baby Eli joins big brothers Ethan Matthew and Eric Clifton. The family lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Tiffany Stephens, Holly Briel ’00, Shaunda Legg ’02 and Jenny Gustin ’04 participated in the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3 Day 60 Mile Walk.


Lora Taylor Abernathy, a

fourth grade teacher at Brookdale Avenue School in Verona, N.J., and husband Paul welcomed daughter, Shiloh, in February 2012. Shiloh joins older sister Olivia and older brother Sean. Melissa Beth Anderson Davison and husband John Robert welcomed son Cooper Marshall on 10/3/12. He joins big brother Elliot. Melissa works as a Youth Services Librarian at Forsyth County Public Library in North Carolina. Sean Maroney was recently promoted to legal officer and special assistant to the registrar at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Sean’s




hile 6 p.m. signals happy hour or dinnertime for many young professionals in Washington, D.C., for Brendan O’Connor ’09 and Ryan Ulbrich ’09 it’s more like a second lunch break. “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” says O’Connor, who lives with Ulbrich in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. “We even got rid of our TV. We make dinner, and we get to work.” “Work” refers to RaiseDC, a social fundraising organization the duo, who met as freshmen at Elon in 2005, founded last year to benefit nonprofit organizations in the D.C. area. Their events cater to Washingtonians in their 20s and 30s with limited expendable income who seek a “virtuous nightlife”— an outing that goes a few levels deeper than just having cocktails with friends. “All 20-somethings go out in D.C. on a Saturday night,” says Allison Starks, an event planner and frequent RaiseDC guest. “RaiseDC’s purpose sets it apart. When I go to a RaiseDC event, I’m making a contribution and a connection to the community.” Neither O’Connor, who works as an account manager for Tauzin Consultants in D.C., nor Ulbrich, an ethics consultant for CEB in Arlington, Va., run RaiseDC full time. Yet the idea began percolating in fall 2011, after the pair held an event for an acquaintance who was running from Canada to Mexico to honor his mother and raise funds for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Within three weeks, O’Connor and Ulbrich booked a venue, promoted the event and donated the proceeds— about 1,100—to the foundation. After that success, they asked themselves: “Why not create an organization that does the exact same thing, all over the city, to benefit local nonprofits?” The pair spent the next six months meticulously developing the blueprint

{ Brendan O’Connor ’09 & Ryan Ulbrich ’09 }

for RaiseDC. Events would be held about once every six weeks and involve four stakeholders: a nonprofit organization headquartered in the Washington area that invested the majority of its funds locally, as well as an under-the-radar venue, musician and photographer or visual artist. Before their first event, O’Connor and Ulbrich approached Joe Callahan, executive director of 826DC, which helps D.C. schoolchildren develop important creative and expository writing skills. At first, they sought advice about working with nonprofits. Later, they asked Callahan to partner with them for RaiseDC’s debut party. “From the first pitch, they were different,” Callahan says. “They talked about a ‘theory of change’ in their business model—and you just don’t see that very much.” He agreed, and the event raised more than 2,600 for 826DC. Perhaps more importantly, it also raised awareness about the organization. “At our next volunteer open house, we had about twice as many people as we typically had before,” Callahan

says. “I attribute a large part of that to our RaiseDC event.” So far, RaiseDC events have raised more than 10,000 for six D.C.-area charities. Tickets are typically 12-15 in advance and 20 at the door. O’Connor and Ulbrich want to diversify the themes and venues but such changes cost money, and RaiseDC can’t afford to price out its target audience. To address this challenge, O’Connor and Ulbrich recently incorporated their venture as Raise Your City LLC, enlisted an advisory board of local nonprofit and business leaders, and began recruiting corporate partners. As RaiseDC continues to grow in size and scope, the pair have no intentions to leave their careers to run the organization. But that doesn’t mean they plan to pull back the reins on what they’ve built. “It’s a good busy,” O’Connor says. “We can stop at any time, but we’re both proud of what we’re doing. We’ve only scratched the surface of what this organization can do.”


RaiseDC »


spring 2013 33


responsibilities include diplomatic relations between the Special Court, Sierra Leone’s government and the United Nations, as well as legal issues covering a wide range of topics that include the enforcement of sentences, prisoner detention rights and cases at trial and appeal. Lauren Fernicola Till and husband Robert welcomed twins Charli Marie and Bryce Robert on 12/20/11. Lauren is a fourth grade teacher at Brookdale Avenue School in Verona, N.J.

Christine Waterman Parthemore

and husband Bryan John welcomed daughter Sydney Jo-el on 9/18/12. She joins older brother Tyler John. Christine is a special education teacher in Malvern, Pa.


Heather Elizabeth Ball

married Charles Cecil Hardy Jr. on 10/11/12 in a small ceremony in Virginia Beach, Va. Andrea Henderson Smith read a poem during the ceremony. The

couple reside in Chesapeake, Va., where Heather teaches in the public school system. Liane Champagne married Matthew Clairmont on 10/20/12. The couple reside in Laconia, N.H., close to where Liane works as a marketing director. Carolynne L. Erwin married Jamie A. Morris on 8/11/12. Carolynne is a police officer in the Burlington (Vt.) Police Department’s recruitment division, where she hires, trains and prepares new officers. The couple live in South Burlington. Jaime Blaydes Gilliam recently started working at JBG Management LLC, an event management company that oversees operations and events at Magnolia Manor in Colfax, N.C. Jaime books and manages special events such as weddings, parties and corporate events in addition to overseeing daily operations. She lives in Whitsett. Christine Glatsky

married Eric Archer on 11/3/12 in Philadelphia. Alumnae who participated in the wedding include Kelley Kruse Bronson ’01, Ali Luchetti ’01, Courtney Wells ’01, Liane Champagne Clairmont, Kathleen Zalos Shumake and Kellie Glatsky Strine ’05. Alumni in attendance included Marshall Glass ’00, P.J. Kennedy ’01, Amy Grzeskiewicz Barcliff, Sara Beaty ’03, Stafford Lewis Kim ’03, Anne Grosvenor Neumann ’03, David Vichesky ’03, Caitlin Lutz Ward ’03 and Kristen Dixon Yost ’03. Mike Kanner, a vice president, financial advisor and portfolio manager with Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Office in Vero Beach, Fla., was named to the Century Club, an elite group composed of the firm’s top financial advisors. The appointment recognizes Mike’s consistent creativity and excellence in providing a wide range of investment products and wealth management services to his clients.


Sean Branson ’03 & Erika Larson Branson ’04

Lindsey Parker Tanona ’04, Anthony Tanona & children, Audrey & Kenneth Benjamin

Lauren Pomponio Pillsbury ’04 & Rory Pillsbury

Jennifer Collier Frantz Gayden ’04 & Gregory David Gayden

Anne Clark Lee ’04, Kenn Lee & children, Calleigh & Elisha Carter

Sean Dyer Branson and Erika Kristine Branson ’04

of Dallas, were married on 9/14/12 at B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, Calif. Alumni in attendance included Aaron Dube ’02, Halee Riehle Erbe ’02, Matthew Erbe ’02 {DPT ’07}, Bekah Huie ’04, Cherie Bowlin Madison ’04, David McKnew ’04, Shannon Kilgariff McKnew ’04, Catherine Cameron Rudolph ’04, Melissa von der Heide ’04, Kristin White ’04 and Kevin Tonkin ’05 {Law ’11}. Sean is a senior marketing coordinator for Austin Commercial and Erika is a strategy analyst with American Airlines. Kim Hansman Ermer and husband Jake welcomed son Preston on 6/1/12. The family lives in Annapolis, Md. Lindsay Van Cleave Severn and husband Bill welcomed son William “Liam” Glenn on 11/5/12. The family resides in New York. Lindsay works in advertising and owns her own fashion accessories company, Everistta. Nicole C. Wright recently accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She will be responsible for teaching and researching the epidemiology of musculoskeletal diseases.

Courtney Harris Jackson ’05, Adam Jackson & son Braylon Keller

Julie Akers Wilkes ’05, Chris Wilkes & friends

William L. Mangum ’05 & Katie Pesce Mangum ’06

Christopher Howard ’06, Molly Steinberg Howard ’06 & son Noah Robert

Alexander James Kreitman ’06 {G’10}, Emily Carolyn Doelling ’09 {G’10} & friends

34 the magazine of elon

Laura Iannacone ’06, Evan Ives & daughter Madalyn Paige Ives

Maggie Santry Morton ’08, John C. Morton & friends


Gayle Bandy Catterlin and

husband Mike welcomed son Oliver Bandy Catterlin on 5/20/12. The family lives in





ornelius Muller’s second film didn’t turn out the way he’d planned. Following the success of his first film, “Brother’s Keeper,” the 1993 alumnus, filmmaker and entrepreneur set out to create a second project, “The Devil’s Dog Food.” The film was to highlight perseverance and the power of faith and love to carry an individual through hardship. But when Harry Cohen—a senior quarterback at Williams High School in Burlington, N.C., and a student in Muller’s training studio, Xplosion Plyometrics—died unexpectedly of an accidental pain killer overdose, Muller readjusted his vision. “The original concept for the film had already been written a year before Harry passed away,” Muller says. “When Harry died, we added that component and tweaked the story a little bit.” He changed the movie title to “Find A Way” to mirror Cohen’s senior year mantra and desire to win in a sportsmanlike manner. “There was a mutual relationship and fondness for one another,” Muller says of Cohen. “People call it the ‘It’ factor, and he had it. When Harry walked into the room, you knew he was there. There was something about his personality and energy that made you want to be around him.” Muller says “Find A Way” serves as an inspirational tribute to Harry and other youths who lose their lives every year. “Within any tragedy either great or small, there are wonderful things that come out of it,” he says. “When those things happen, it quickly reminds you of what’s important

Photo by James Freetly

We first caught up with Cornelius Muller ’93 in the spring of 2011. At the time, he had just released his first film. Earlier this year, he released his second.

{ Cornelius Muller ’93 }

in life. Love for your fellow man is most important when all else fails.” The film premiered in January in the most fitting of places: Cohen’s high school. The film is now in postproduction, and Muller plans to showcase it around the country with the help of Burgess Jenkins, who directed the film and is known for his work in the film “Remember The Titans.” “With his connections within the industry, we’re hoping someone will allow us unlimited theatrical release,” Muller says. “I think we have a legitimate shot at widespread distribution, a TV premiere and a DVD.” Muller says Elon faculty and staff, including Rhonda Belton, Kyle Wills, Dave

Blank and Connie Book, and several students helped to make the film’s production seamless. “They rolled out the red carpet in terms of [allowing me to] contact and work with the student body and film on their facilities,” he says. “I couldn’t have done it without them.” As for the future, Muller plans to work toward making it in Hollywood. “I’m just going to try to hit the industry from both angles, primarily by making my own films,” he says. “And, if I do well enough, hopefully Hollywood will come calling some day. But if I need to produce my own films for Hollywood to give me a shot, then I’ll do that.”

For more information about the movie and Muller’s productions visit

spring 2013 35


Santa Clara, Calif. Jennifer Collier Frantz married Gregory David Gayden on 7/28/12 at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lynchburg, Va. Lauren Cook Petty and Kristen Kelly were both bridesmaids. After a twoweek honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean the couple now work and reside in Fort Worth, Texas. Anne Clark Lee and husband Kenn welcomed son Elisha Carter on 12/30/12. Elisha joins big sister Calleigh. The family lives in San Jose, Calif. Kara Fultz married Frank Miller on 8/25/12. Alumni in attendance include Brett Greene ’03, Mary Griffin ’03, Laura Kriby Lemons ’03, Elisa Easley Pettigrew ’03, Brad Winstead ’03, Amy Flower, Heather Taxis Greene, Kim Covington

Hobbs, Alison Edwards McCarthy, Justin McCarthy, Janey Holstein Prince, Taylor Prince and Emily Welton. Sarah Dent Freeman

has been promoted to fitness team leader at the Fauquier Health Wellness Center in Warrenton, Va., where she works as an exercise physiologist, personal trainer and wellness instructor. Her responsibilities include health, fitness and wellness programming and education in addition to personal training and group exercise instruction. She and husband Brant live in Delaplane. Amy Elizabeth Ocheltree Schaaf and husband Chris welcomed son Christopher Broderick “Brody” on 9/5/12. The family lives in Charlotte, N.C. Lauren Pomponio married Rory Pillsbury on 12/15/12 in Charlottesville, Va. Ruth Woodling Griggs and Lindsay Bradshaw Mahoney were in attendance. The couple reside in Washington, D.C. Joey White opened his own law office, the Law Office of Joseph H. White, Jr., in Knoxville, Tenn. He practices in the areas of family law, bankruptcy and general civil litigation. Katie Sherman has been name senior copy director at Vogue. She writes high-end fashion and beauty campaigns for advertisers in the magazines, and Vogue.TV. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. After serving for one year with City Year New Hampshire, Sam Slaughter has moved to Deland, Fla., where he is pursuing a master’s degree in English at Stetson University. Besides working on his thesis, Sam has a job at Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company. Lindsey Parker Tanona and husband Anthony welcomed son Kenneth Benjamin on 7/25/12. Kenneth joins big sister Audrey. The family lives in Miami Shores, Fla.

U.S. Army Capt. Joey Fix ’08 is deployed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat in Wardak Province in Afghanistan. His wife, 1st Lt. Kimmy Fix ’10, is in the same unit stationed in nearby Logar Province. They arrived in the height of the fighting season last summer and are close to being redeployed. Joey and Kimmy have been at separate combat outposts for more than seven months and have only seen each other a handful of times during the stressful deployment. This past December, the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary at the Forward Operation Base Shank’s dining facility. Surprisingly enough, while eating dinner, they happened to see Elon playing Duke in basketball on the television. They were incredibly proud and honored to watch their school compete from the other side of the world. Full of pride, the couple pulled out their Elon flag and snapped this photo. From Afghanistan, Joey and Kimmy cheer, “Go Phoenix.”

36 the magazine of elon

Julie Akers married Chris Wilkes on 9/22/2012 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Alumni in attendance include Courtney Lynch Jones, Tarn Jones, Stephanie Chanpimol Sukeforth and Tyler Sukeforth. The couple reside in Portland, Maine, where they own a music and dance academy. After one year of service, Brian J. Gill was promoted in October from patrolman to detective within the Chester Township Police Department in New Jersey. As a detective, Brian investigates


various types of cases including narcotics, assaults and burglaries. Courtney Harris Jackson and husband Adam welcomed son Braylon Keller on 1/29/12. Courtney works as the account manager and wellness coordinator for Gallagher Benefit Services. William L. Mangum married Katie Pesce ’06 on 5/12/12 in Marco Island, Fla. They met during Katie’s first week of her first year at Elon. Karen Baum ’06 was a bridesmaid and Mark Gustafson ’04, Allie Mordas, Bob Koons ’06, Keri Koons ’06, Matt Lardie ’06, Shelby Peterson ’06, Erryn Gallasch ’07, Jenn Heilman ’07 and Meghan Toomey ’08 were in attendance. The couple live in Perkasie, Pa.


Andrew Barnes works in

institutional retirement plan sales for TIAA-CREF. In 2012, he received the accredited investment fiduciary designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies and the accredited retirement plan consultant designation by the Society of Professional AssetManagers and Record Keepers. Andrew and wife Lindsay Paquette Barnes have a daughter, Hartley. The family lives in Charlotte, N.C. Greta Franklin married German Alejandro Matos on 6/30/12 at her parent’s farm in Indian Valley, Va. Kate Crist, Lacey Whitmer and Lara Nicotra ’07 were part of the bridal party. The couple live in San Francisco. Christopher Howard and Molly Steinberg Howard welcomed son Noah Robert on 9/15/12. The family lives in Lafayette Hill, Pa. Laura Iannacone and husband Evan Ives welcomed daughter Madalyn Paige Ives on 11/21/12. The family lives in Raleigh, N.C. Alexander

James Kreitman {Interactive Media ’10} married Emily Carolyn Doelling ’09 {Interactive Media ’10} on 10/20/12 in Charleston, S.C.

They met while completing their master’s degrees in interactive media at Elon. Alumni attending the wedding included Jennifer Pisano ’05, Dominic Barrett, Scott Eikenberg, Mike Graves, Chris Hickey, Rob Kiser, Ian McNabb, Carrie Monteleone, Jackie NelsonTaylor, Benjamin O’Meara, Tiffany Ovbey, Brian Parker, Jim Saia, Rick Schlieper, Andrew Taylor, Zack Benjamin ’07, Brendan Clearkin ’07, Chelsea Lintelman Eikenberg ’07, Ashley Schlieper



{ Sarah ’09, Ryan ’07 Addison with Benjamin }


t was supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives—the day Sarah Garrison Addison ‘09 and Ryan Addison ‘07 learned the sex of their unborn baby. Sarah and Ryan were thrilled they were having a boy, although the excitement waned as soon as the high-risk obstetrician walked into the room. “I was really nervous,” Sarah recalls. “I thought he was there to talk about the baby.” He was actually there to discuss managing cancer during pregnancy. Sarah’s body had been changing daily. She noticed a lump in her breast and thought it was just part of pregnancy. Following her midwife’s advice, she had an ultrasound and biopsy just to be safe. Cancer was the farthest thing from Sarah’s mind. “I remember the doctor said to Ryan and I, ‘You guys look like you just got hit by a bus.’ Well, we did just get hit by a bus,” Sarah says. Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which is often aggressive, doesn’t respond to hormone therapy and is more likely to recur, Sarah immediately started chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. On Nov. 6, while she was seven months pregnant, she had a double mastectomy. “There is no sort of maintenance medication,” Sarah says. “I’m on my own hoping it doesn’t come back so I decided to be aggressive.”

The surgery rid her of the cancer cells, but the baby’s erratic heartbeat kept her in and out of the hospital that month. When Benjamin was born on Nov. 25, six weeks early, he was healthy—a relief to Sarah and Ryan. But along with the joy of motherhood came a slew of new worries. Sarah felt all the wonder and pressure associated with caring for a newborn as well as fear for her own life. Three weeks after the baby was born, she had surgery to begin the reconstructive process. On New Year’s Eve, she started a second round of chemotherapy. Radiation treatments started at the end of February, in time for her to go back to work full time. She will have another reconstructive surgery this summer. Swarmed by so many heavy thoughts, from concerns about losing her long hair to facing her own mortality, Sarah struggled to make sense of it all. “There are a lot of phases to go through,” she says. “I wondered, ‘Am I going to die?’ I’m pregnant and bringing life into the world. I had a difficult time processing that—bringing a child into the world and then possibly leaving him.” She credits Ryan with making it all manageable. “He is so positive. He broke the treatment down into seven parts,” she says. “We focused on each part.”

The couple met at Elon. She was a freshman, he was a junior and right fielder on the baseball team. They were introduced at one of Ryan’s games and started dating soon after. They got married in August 2010. They both work in information technology sales and their jobs led them to Denver where they now live. Sarah hopes that one day she’ll make it through an entire day without thinking about cancer. “I don’t want to bury my pink shirts and pretend it never happened,” she says. “But I don’t want to be ‘Miss Cancer’ and let it consume my life.” If nothing else, she wants to be a resource for other young women battling a similar fate. At age 25 and with no family history, Sarah discovered she’s fairly young to face breast cancer. “I hope I can help someone else move forward,” she says. “This had to happen for a reason, and I guess the reason would be so I can help other people.” And while there is no correlation between Sarah’s pregnancy and the disease, it definitely led to a quicker diagnosis. “We joked from an early time that the baby saved my life,” Sarah says.

spring 2013 37


’07, Rebecca Alten ’09, Jessica Beasley ’09, Sam Montgomery ’09, Perkins Morgan ’09 and Jessica Walter ’14. The couple live in Mt.

Pleasant. Ryan and Sarah Addison ’09 welcomed son Benjamin Cawley on 11/25/12. The family lives in Denver. Grace Masquelette Ramsdell and husband Ramsdell welcomed daughter Olivia Ciel on 2/7/13. The family lives in New York. Billy Ziegler was recently promoted to associate production manager on PBS’s “NewsHour.” He manages logistics and the budget of the daily program. Billy lives in Vienna, Va.


Kyle Michael Cerminara ’09, Brittany Lee Heffernan Cerminara ’09 & friends

Hunter Gros ’10 & Natalie Lampert ’11

Kristen Thaxton Mirek ‘09, Paul Mirek ’10 & friends

Tara Moore Hinote ’11 & Justin Hinote ’11

In Memoriam William Bernice Hester ’38, St. Louis, Miss. 1/20/13. Dwight L. Gentry ’41, Conway, S.C. 3/5/13. Evelyne Moore Graham ’41 , Suffolk, Va. 1/5/13. Dr. George Wallace Kernodle ’41 GP’06, Elon, N.C. 2/1/13. Dorothy Shepherd Hilliard ’48, Elon, N.C. 3/18/13. Walker Eve “Dub” Love Jr. ’48 P’72, Burlington, N.C. 3/7/13. Paul Harold Ridge ’48, Burlington, N.C. 3/11/13. Lawrence Jehu Gaither ’52, Greensboro, N.C. 3/13/13. Gurney D. Baines ’56, Macon, Ga. 2/7/13. Joe Ann Wright Crews ’56, Greensboro, N.C. 3/12/13. Charles Bernard Jones ’57, Hertford, N.C. 11/9/12. The Rev. Dwight William Moore ’58, Hampton, Va. 1/11/13. James “Dale” Shepherd ’59, Greensboro, N.C. 1/8/13. Clarice “Clare” Leland Moore ’60, Burlington, N.C. 1/24/13. Gwendolyn Lee DeShong ’66, Hollywood, Fla. 1/25/13. David Wycliffe Marshburn ’67, Clinton, N.C. 12/18/12. Donald Lee Tarkenton ’70, Siler City, N.C. 12/25/12. Robert Scott Baily ’72, Little Rock, Ark. 12/27/12. A. Ray Soule ’72, Suffolk, Va. 1/22/13. Geri Tarrant Collins ’75, Durham, N.C. 12/18/12. Patrick Chilton O’Dell ’09, Van Nuys, Calif. 11/20/12.

Friends Kenneth Paul, Gibsonville, N.C. 3/28/13. Ken was

a former Elon associate professor of business administration. He taught from August 1993 until his retirement in 2007.


Megan Coyle held her first

solo exhibit in Washington, D.C., at the Arts Club of Washington in February. Since her senior thesis exhibit at Elon, Megan has continued to perfect her collage technique, which she calls “painting with paper.” Her art was recently published in two books: Bourgeon, an anthology of articles by D.C. artists, and Flowers in Art by Cindy Ann Coldiron, which features depictions of flowers by international artists. Flowers in Art is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also find out more about both books at Josh Donde and Amy Schilling ’09 were married on 7/28/12. Chris Hood was Josh’s best man. Alumni in attendance included Christian Wiggins ’03, Brian O’Shea ’04, Gregg Davis ’07, Chris Kaas ’07, Bethany Massman ’07, Dan Mott ’07, Dave Pugh ’07, Dan Ragna ’07, Will Warihay ’07, Will Black, Becky Brackett, Johnathan Hatch, Cassie Hickey, Gray Hunter, Pat McCamy, Ashley Pearson, Kim Poe, Alex Satterfield, Rob Saunders, Kyle Shade, Andrew Wilen, Sarah Findle ’09, Anne Garfinkel ’09, Meredith Gibson ’09, Bana Kopty McCamy ’09, Cory Morrison ’09, Chase Rumley ’09, Karlee Averett ’10, Julie Bennett ’10, Hunter Cavell ’10, Kate Hopkins ’10, Brittany Lee ’10, Jerome Lewis ’10, John Lynn ’10, Josh Tate ’10, Jenny Ward ’10, Kelly Bednarski ’11, Gina Giuricich ’11, Lauren Hawkesworth ’11, Claire James ’11, Marie Jarvis ’11 and Katherine Mantz ’12. The couple live in Charlotte, N.C. Carol Lilley founded Rosy Cheeks Organizer, an interior organizing business providing services, tips

38 the magazine of elon

and resources. The business focuses on organizing offices and homes to promote efficient and peaceful lifestyles. As a member of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties in N orth Carolina, Carol enjoys working with others in the community and positively impacting lives. Visit for more information. Maggie Santry married John C. Morton on 9/15/12. Kimberly Glazer Emerson and Michelle McBride Foley participated in the wedding. Other alumni in attendance included Becca Dilday Blackmore ’07, Anne-Harris Jones ’07, Heather Tally Mowell ’07, Beth Roberts ’07, Katie Barley Williams ’07, Nikki Allem, Courtney Caparaso, Jake Emerson, Brian Foley, Charissa Evans Gotcher, Nicole Nogueras, Drew Redman, Lisa Dawn Akers Thompson and Suzi Rice ’09. Maggie is an analyst for Under Armour in Baltimore, where the couple reside. Jane Quinn Sizemore and husband Christopher welcomed daughter Lacy June on 1/12/13. The family lives in Raleigh, N.C. Chad W. Zimmermann passed the Pennsylvania Bar examination in October and accepted a position as an associate attorney with James Clark & Associates in Lancaster, Pa. He and wife Katherine live in Carlisle.


Kyle Michael Cerminara and Brittany Lee Heffernan

were married on 10/20/12 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clinton, N.J. The reception was held at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge. Alumni present at the wedding included Thomas Frick, Kasey Joseph, Jeremy Kitts, Liz Lenahan, Emily Paradowski and Preston Williams Jr. The couple honeymooned in the Turks and Caicos and reside in Newtown, Conn. Alisha Corbin started working in January as a forensic DNA analyst for DNA:SI Labs in Burlington, N.C., where she lives. W. Bradford Lammi, who holds a business degree from Elon, graduated from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law in May 2012 and now resides in Louisville, Ky. Kristen Thaxton and Paul Mirek ’10 were married on 10/13/12 at Castle Ladyhawke in Tuckasegee, N.C. Alumni participating in the wedding


were Amanda Thaxton ’06, Ryan Sweeney ’10, Michelle Baxter ’11, Matt Blalock ’11 and Summer Thaxton ’11. Alumni in attendance were Brittany Smith ’08, Cole Gorman, who was the couple’s photographer, and Moriah Phares ’10. The couple live in Mebane.


Amanda Brown and Jeff

Marusiak were married on 9/1/13. Megan Prilutski, Sara Riek and Kristine Silvestri were bridesmaids, and Anna Hulett ’11 attended. The couple live in

Help us keep you in touch with your classmates and Elon. If you have moved, send us your new address and telephone number.

Houston, Texas. Susan Cogswell Eggleston recently started a new job as an executive assistant at Arima Health in Richmond, Va., where she and husband Cary live. She manages the professional and personal schedules of the chief operating officer, who owns six medical practices. Additionally, Susan attends meetings on behalf of the CEO and makes purchasing decisions. Hunter Gros and Natalie Lampert ’11 met up in December while at a Fulbright

regional conference in Kathmandu, Nepal. Through Fulbright, Hunter and Natalie are teaching English in Kolkata, India and Colombo, Sri Lanka, respectively.


Melanie Binder and Christopher Bunn were mar-

ried at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Va., on 10/7/12. Samantha Bass Gelatt ’10, Laura Fraase Walsh ’10, Joey Accordino and Tony Rizzuto participated in the wedding. Several other alumni were in attendance, including

Turn yourself in!

Melanie’s sisters from Alpha Chi Omega and Chris’s classmates from the Communications Fellows program. Justin Hinote and Tara Moore were married in October in Nashville, Tenn., where the couple live.


Tara K. Nager is the program

director at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Burlington, N.C. Tara is responsible for after-school and summer programs, and she also helps to coach sports teams.

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spring 2013 39




s a high school student, Kelli Palmer ’98 wasn’t planning a visit to what was then Elon College during a tour of several other North Carolina schools. Yet, as she traveled the stretch of Interstate 40 between N.C. A&T and Meredith College with her mother, a highway sign spurred an impromptu tour of the campus and a promising conversation with former associate director of Elon admissions L’Tanya Richmond ’87. The rest, as they say, is history. “I knew I was going to attend Elon by the time I got back to my mother’s car,” Palmer says laughing. Years later, when Palmer’s role as assistant to the president at the University of Virginia provided an opportunity to attend a planned giving seminar, her thoughts turned to Elon. She had been named executor of a relative’s estate, and the match between planned giving and Elon quickly materialized. “Choosing a planned gift allowed us to give to a place that my family unanimously agrees has had the single greatest impact on this generation of our family, which is Elon,” said Palmer, who was named Elon’s Young Alumna of the Year in 2007 for her contributions to higher education and her community. “It also simplified my role as executor, because once I relinquished the funds to the university, my job was done,” she says. “It was wonderful to put

40 the magazine of elon

something into place that met so many needs and benefited Elon at the same time.” After all, Elon is where Palmer discovered her deep love of learning, a passion that drove her to excel in Elon’s Honors program and later earn a master’s degree at Wake Forest University and a doctorate at UVA. Palmer’s undergraduate experience at Elon also fueled her desire for a career in higher education, as she pursued a path that allowed her to affect the lives of college students the way Elon’s student affairs staff had affected hers. By designating funds from the estate gift to Elon’s Black Alumni Network Scholarship, Palmer has done just that. Endowed by the Black Alumni Network in 2010, the scholarship benefits African-American students with academic merit and financial need. Palmer was a founding contributor to the fund, working alongside alumni Priscilla Awkard ’95 and Darryl Smith ’86 to build support for the scholarship. “The Black Alumni Network Scholarship allows for the best and brightest students in the AfricanAmerican community to be present at Elon,” says Palmer. “The best way for me to honor the role Elon has played in my life is to make that experience possible for the next generation of students.”

LEARN MORE A planned gift to Elon University in your will, trust or through your retirement plan enables you to support Elon's mission and make a difference in the lives of future generations of students.

You can make a planned gift by contacting Carolyn DeFrancesco, director of planned giving, at (336) 278-7454 or Visit for more information.

Photo by Barbara Tyroler

LASTING IMPRESSION Somewhere in the depths of the Duke Forest, students in alumna Caitlin Trapani’s second-grade class let out a loud “Long Live Elon” cheer. It was a chant the class had perfected in the fall during a visit from School of Education Dean David Cooper, who came to the classroom bearing both Elon gifts and information about the value of a college education. “The whole incentive behind it is that we just want them to start thinking about college and how that should be their future goal as early as possible,” said Trapani ’07, who teaches at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, N.C. Each classroom at the school is named after the teacher’s alma mater, and in preparation for Cooper’s visit, Trapani introduced her students to elements of an Elon education, including convocation, study abroad and the symbolism of the oak tree. When Cooper arrived in his full academic regalia, the students were eager to share their knowledge. Following the visit, they wrote thank-you notes, complete with illustrations of acorns and the Phoenix, as well as narratives of the day. Trapani says her students take every opportunity they have to talk about Elon and the special visit. As part of a reading unit, the class took a hike through Duke Forest and passed a woman wearing an Elon sweatshirt. After sharing her affiliation with the university—both her son and daughter attend—the students shared their cheer and spoke about Cooper’s visit. “Even if they go to a different college, I think that they’ll definitely remember the conversations about study abroad and traditions,” Trapani said. “They connected his visit to so many other components of college life. It had a lasting impression.”

Office of Alumni Engagement PO Box 398 Elon, NC 27244 Toll Free: (877) 784-3566 Change Service Requested

{ Students rocked Alumni Gym April 12–13 as part of ELONTHON 2013, a student-run dance marathon benefiting Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, N.C. In all, students raised 212,728 to help families with treatment and medical expenses. }

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The Magazine of Elon, Spring 2013  

The Magazine of Elon, Spring 2013

The Magazine of Elon, Spring 2013  

The Magazine of Elon, Spring 2013