2005 Commencement
draws thousands to Elon


The morning was sunny and pleasantly cool as nearly a thousand graduates, 216 of them in Journalism and/or Communications, received degrees at Elon's 115th Commencement exercises, which began at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 21, 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 2005 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.

Jeanne Robertson, a native of nearby Graham, member of Elon's Board of Trustees and nationally known public speaker, delivered the commencement address. Robertson and her husband donated funds to help build Elon's track and field complex, and their son, Beaver, is a 1989 Elon graduate.

A number of other special events were held in conjunction with graduation. Members of the class of 2005 donated more than $5,000 to the senior class scholarship fund, which will provide financial help to a deserving Elon freshman in the fall. The presentation was made during the graduation celebration picnic May 19.

Elon Fellows graduates were honored in a pre-graduation ceremony May 20 titled "Leaders for the 21st Century."

Recognition was given to students who are graduating as Journalism and Communications Fellows as well as Elon's 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.

Included in this second-ever graduating group of Journalism and Communications Fellows were:

Matt Belanger, Josh Daniel, Lauren Durr, Erin Flynn, Dan Hanson, Kim Hayes, Caitlin Jacobs, Amy Jo Jenkins, Brandi Little, Kirsten MacMonegle, Jessica Patchett, Nick Rust, Kristen Simonetti, Jennifer Sposato, Jay Voelker, Meghan Walsh and Jennie Witt.

Since its first graduating class in 1891, Elon University has issued nearly 25,500 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. The 2005 School of Communications class included 202 students who earned Communications degrees (with a Broadcast, Corporate Communications and/or Film concentration) and 22 who earned Journalism degrees (eight of these were double majors).

Elon University had a total of 100 graduates in Journalism and Communications in 1997; 107 in 1998; 113 in 1999; 151 in 2000; 149 in 2001; 174 in both 2002 and 2003; 195 in 2004; and 224 in 2005.

Click here to see a gallery with more Commencement photos.



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School of Communications 
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Last Modified:  5/31/05
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