Graduation celebration
begins Under the Oaks


The morning was sunny and muggy as 889 graduates, 193 of them in Journalism and/or Communications, received degrees at Elon's 114th Commencement exercises, which began at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 22, before a crowd of 10,000 people Under the Oaks in the historic area in front of West Residence Hall.

Members of the class of 2004 took a line of march that led them from Jordan Gym, across Young Commons, through a tunnel of Elon faculty members on the east side of Fonville Fountain and through West Dormitory to their chairs on the lawn Under the Oaks adjacent to the School of Communications, in the tradition of recent Elon commencement exercises.

President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley, a 1946 graduate and a staff member for 58 years, delivered the commencement address. Danieley, 79, who served as Elon's president for 16 years, is a legendary figure on campus. He came to Elon as a student in the fall of 1941, joined the faculty in the fall of 1946 to teach chemistry, went on to become dean and was named president in 1957. At the time, he was one of the youngest college presidents in the country. During his 16 years as president, he guided Elon to a new level of quality. He still teaches courses. Appropriately enough, his address was interrupted by the noise of a train, rolling through loudly enough for him to give pause and say, "Well, I've had my talks interrupted this way more than a few times over the past several decades."

Among the key participants in the smooth functioning of commencement were School of Communications faculty members Dr. Connie Book, who read the names and honors of half of the hundreds of graduates, and Associate Dean Brad Hamm, who assisted as a marshal.

A number of other special events were held in conjunction with graduation. Members of the class of 2004 have donated more than $5,400 to the senior class scholarship fund, which will provide financial help to a deserving Elon freshman in the fall. Nearly 300 seniors made donations totaling $5,465 to the fund. The presentation was made during the graduation celebration dinner May 20.

Elon Fellows graduates were honored in a May 21 pre-graduation ceremony titled "Leaders for the 21st Century." Recognition was given to students who are graduating as Journalism and Communications Fellows, in addition to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows, Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows, Elon Science Fellows, Social Science Scholars, Arts and Humanities Scholars, Jefferson-Pilot Business Fellows and Elon Honors Fellows. Professor Ray Johnson introduced the first graduating class of Communications Fellows. Included in the group were Sharon Anderson, Alexander Baur, Adriane Bradberry, Lindsay Bradshaw, Anna Brodrecht, Jason Chick, Erin Cooper, Heather Graf, Jennifer Hildebrand, Julie Leven, Alyssa Martin, Caitlin Malloy, Megan Myers, Chad Nason, Katrina Taylor, Tamara Yates and Kathryn Zach. Katie Beaver, another member of this group, graduated a year early, in 2003.

Many School of Communications graduates were Elon Honors Fellows. The group included Sharon Anderson, Anna Brodrecht, Erin Cooper, Erin Cunningham, Lauren Kleinhans, Rady Large, Julie Leven, LaToya Marcus, Alyssa Martin, Lauren Melfa, Eric Morse, Julie Smith, Laura Williams and Kathryn Zach.

Since its first graduating class in 1891, Elon University has issued a total of 24,475 diplomas. There were just three graduates in that first year of 1891. By 1945, there were 27 graduates; in 1965, 159 graduates; in 1985, 468 graduates; and in 1995 there were 698 graduates. Over the past decade, from 1993-94 to 2003-04, the School of Communications has had 1,372 graduates.




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Last Modified:  5/23/04
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