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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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.