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Elon employee celebrates 85th birthday

Sherley White

When it comes to life longevity at Elon University, Sherley White’s got everyone beat. Even Dr. D.

White, a part-time clerk in Belk Library, celebrated her 85th birthday on May 18. Her colleagues recognized that milestone a day later with a small celebration in the second-floor periodicals office where the one-time Town of Elon alderman works.

A native of Indiana, White started with Elon two decades ago when the library was housed in the McEwen building, today home to the School of Communications. She catalogs the dozens of daily newspapers and nearly 1,000 magazines that the library receives each month.

“The school really has changed,” White said as she recalled her service as an elected Town of Elon official (the first ever woman to hold such a position) in the 1970s. “I remember when they had 721 students here, and when they hit 1,000, we almost went insane.”

Life circumstances pushed White to take a job with the school in the late 1980s, and because of the support of colleagues, despite a significant loss of vision, she plans to continue working at Elon for as long as possible.

“This is a good school to work for,” she said.

For the record: Former Elon President J. Earl Danieley, born in July 1924, is a little more than 14 months younger than White.

And White said on Monday that she believes she is the last remaining World War II veteran working for the university. She enlisted with the Coast Guard at the age of 20.

Eric Townsend,
5/19/2008 12:57 PM