Robertsons awarded Elon Medallions
Longtime Elon benefactors Jeanne Swanner Robertson and Jerry R. Robertson received the university’s highest honor at the annual Night of the Phoenix event.
Elon University trustee Jeanne Swanner Robertson and her husband, Jerry R. Robertson, were honored with Elon Medallions at the tenth annual Night of the Phoenix event in Alumni Gym on Feb. 17. Elon Medallions are the university’s most prestigious honor, awarded at the discretion of the president to those who have contributed outstanding service to Elon over many years. The Robertsons were introduced by their longtime friend, retired Elon athletics director Alan White, with the medallions presented by President Leo M. Lambert.
The Robertsons, of Burlington, N.C., are among the university’s most loyal supporters, with a special affinity for Phoenix athletics. A professional speaker and humorist, Jeanne Robertson provided the headline entertainment at the Night of the Phoenix, a fundraising event organized by the Phoenix Club Advisory Board and Elon’s Department of Athletics.
White noted that the Robertsons have been supporters of Elon and its athletics programs since 1984. “In addition to their personal attendance and support of the teams in games, the Robertsons have been significant donors to the athletics scholarships program,” White said. “Also, Jerry and Jeanne have continually been among the first to step up in aiding the development of Elon athletics facilities.”
“Jeanne and Jerry Robertson are important people to Elon University and to Phoenix Athletics,” said Dave Blank, director of athletics. “They have been long-time supporters of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators and we are very grateful for all of their support. There are none more deserving of the Elon Medallion than the Robertsons, and we thank them for being such an important part of Elon University.”
In 2014 the university named the Jerry and Jeanne Robertson Track and Field Complex in their honor following their gift to fund improvements of the facility. In 2010 they made a lead gift to fund renovations of Alumni Gymnasium where Elon’s basketball and volleyball teams compete. The gym’s Robertson Court is named in their honor. They have also supported development of the Schar Center, a 5,400-seat convocation center that is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in fall 2018.
The Robertsons also made gifts to honor White and his wife, Norma. The Dr. Alan and Norma White Field at the track complex, and the Alan J. White Bell Tower adjacent to the football, baseball and soccer stadiums were named by the Robertsons in recognition of the Whites’ service to Elon.
In 2007, the Robertsons were honored with the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their exemplary leadership and support of Phoenix athletics.
Jeanne Robertson, who has gained a national following for her speaking engagements, YouTube videos, and programs on the Sirius XM Radio “Laugh USA” comedy channel, was elected to the Elon University Board of Trustees in 2003. She has provided wise guidance to the full board and the board’s academic affairs, athletics policy and campus life committees.
The Robertson’s son, Bailey “Beaver” Bowline is a 1989 Elon alumnus and a former basketball player, and their grandson, Ryder Bowline, a current member of the men’s basketball team, will graduate this spring.