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Elon holds 114th Commencement exercises

Elon University awarded 889 degrees during its 114th Commencement exercises, held under the oaks on campus May 22. Details...

A photo from Elon's graduationPresident Emeritus J. Earl Danieley, a 1946 graduate and staff member for 58 years, delivered the commencement address. Danieley, 79, told the Class of 2004 that they should set high standards for themselves and stick to them.

"Let me earnestly urge you with every fiber of my being to establish and uphold the very highest standards for yourself, your living and your work," Danieley said.

"Standards of quality are not relative, they are absolute. The keys to excellence are courage and honesty, creativity and originality, applied intelligence and genuine effort. Treat your own standards as unalterable; be willing to defend them with all that you have and are. To do less than your best is to cheat yourself and those with whom you live and work."

(Click here to read the full text of Dr. Danieley's address.)

Senior class president Lindsey Parker offered thanks to family, friends and faculty. "On behalf of the graduates, thank you for helping us build our ships, set our course and raise our sails," she said. Parker followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, who offered a similar speech to his high school graduating class in 1928.

Graduates and their families had a chance to celebrate along with Elon faculty and staff at a post-commencement reception on Scott Plaza.

A photo from Elon's graduation
Kerry and Pauline Smith came from Raleigh to see their daughter, Shelley, walk across the stage. "It feels absolutely terrific to be here. It's a wonderful school –- Shelley loved it," said her father. Shelley, a leisure and sport management major, is already working as a management trainee at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham.

Mark and Willa Tanner drove in from southern Ohio to see their youngest child, Elizabeth, get her degree. "It's wonderful, but bittersweet that the four years are over and our daughter's grown up," said Willa.

Elizabeth, who majored in accounting and business administration, will be attending graduate school at the University of Kentucky. Her parents came to town Thursday night to help her start packing and are just about done. "That’s the big job!" added her mother with a smile.

David Hibbard & Mandy Byrd,
5/24/2004 9:42 AM