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President Leo M. Lambert to deliver 2018 Commencement address

With input from senior class officers, President-elect Connie Ledoux Book has selected Elon’s eighth president to address the Class of 2018 at the 128th undergraduate Commencement exercises on May 19.  

In his new role as Elon’s president emeritus, Leo M. Lambert will deliver the university’s 128th undergraduate Commencement address on May 19. President-elect Connie Ledoux Book made the selection after reviewing recommendations made by the senior class officers.

“I cannot think of a better way for President Lambert to cap his 19-year career than by delivering the final charge to the Class of 2018,” said Book, who begins service as Elon’s ninth president on March 1. “President Lambert welcomed them to campus four years ago and has been the leader of the institution throughout their undergraduate careers. The senior class officers and I felt it only fitting that he should give them a final send-off before they embark on their professional journeys.”

Leo M. Lambert will conclude his service as president on February 28 and take on the new role as president emeritus. He will give the spring 2018 Commencement address.

Lambert announced in February 2017 he was stepping down as Elon’s eighth president. One of the most influential figures in the history of the university, Lambert has served as Elon’s president since January 1999. During that time, he oversaw the transition from college to university and the transformation of the campus into one of the nation’s finest environments for learning. Throughout his presidency, Lambert has been an advocate for the highest levels of academic excellence, increasing resources for faculty and supporting development of the Elon teacher-scholar-mentor model. Enrollment has grown from 4,000 to more than 6,700 during his tenure, and full-time faculty numbers have increased from under 200 to 425. During this period of growth, student academic credentials increased, average class sizes decreased and the student-faculty ratio was lowered from 16-to-1 to 12-to-1.

Beloved by students, parents and alumni alike, Lambert made a nurturing and inclusive campus culture one of his top priorities. He and his wife, Laurie Lambert, have regularly hosted dinners, receptions and holiday gatherings at their home and at events across the country. They have often traveled with students and faculty on study abroad trips, cheered on Phoenix athletics teams and performing arts groups, volunteered their service alongside students and attended hundreds of campus events large and small.

Following a sabbatical year dedicated to writing a new book, Lambert will continue service to Elon as president emeritus and professor, and will be available to teach and support the university’s advancement and alumni engagement offices.

The 128th undergraduate Commencement exercises are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on May 19 at Scott Plaza. For more details, visit elon.edu/commencement.


Dan Anderson,
1/19/2018 10:35 AM