'A visionary who is hard-working, creative and strategic'
Students, faculty and staff shared their reactions to learning Monday that Dr. Connie Ledoux Book will serve as Elon University’s ninth president.
The news was shared by email on Monday morning at 8 a.m.: The Elon University Board of Trustees selected Connie Ledoux Book, a former Elon faculty member currently serving as provost of The Citadel in South Carolina, to succeed current Elon President Leo M. Lambert as Elon’s ninth president.
By the time Book was formally introduced to the campus community in a noontime ceremony at Alumni Gym, you could sense many things among Elon University’s students, faculty and staff: Pride. Anticipation. Curiosity. Even more than a hint of jubilation that Elon would see its first female president in the 128-year history of the institution.
Below are some of the reflections shared Monday by the campus community upon learning that Constance “Connie” Ledoux Book will soon serve as their new president, advancing Elon University with them together into the future.
“Dr. Book is a fantastic choice for president. Not only is she familiar with the university, but she has the experience required to lead us in today's demanding and always-changing society. Her knowledge in establishing new programs and her commitment to connecting higher education with neighboring communities is exactly the type of leadership that Elon needs to maintain its status as one of the best colleges in America." - Britney Boles, Class of December 2017, Elon Law
“I know that a lot of time, energy and resources were spent making this decision. Based on her past experiences and dedication to Elon, it seems Dr. Book will be a good fit and serve our school well.” - Matt Kushner, senior, finance & accounting major from Bryn Mawr, Pa.
“She has big shoes to fill because Leo is so well loved, but I’m so happy that we have a woman president. I hope she’s as dedicated to inclusion and campus climate as President Lambert was.” - Caroline Redd, junior, human service studies major from Atlanta
“I love that we have a woman in charge who will bring a completely new perspective that no one has seen before.” - Breia Kelly, junior, music theatre major from Durham, N.C.
“I’m here for it. This is the progressive continuity that Elon needs after Leo Lambert. He’s done a lot of progressive things for Elon, and this continues that.” - Arianne Payne, sophomore, creative writing and communication design double major from Chicago
“I woke up to the news and was excited that she’s the first woman to serve as Elon’s president. She’s more representative of the greater student population here.” Brian Sputh, junior, marketing major from Long Island, N.Y.
“I watched her video message sent to everyone and I was happy about how she believed in the mission of Elon as much as we do. It’s powerful to see that our Board of Trustees believes a woman can lead the university.” - Bree Statesman, junior, marketing major from Lynchburg, Va.
“I was really excited when I saw that Dr. Book was going to be our ninth president because I’m looking forward to what she’ll contribute to our educational experience.” - Natalia Romero, freshman, from Charlotte, N.C.
“It’s very humbling that such an historical event is happening when I’m at Elon. I’m excited to see how the university progresses with a female president.” - Lilly Persinger, freshman, Greensboro, N.C.
“She worked here for a while, which is good, having someone who knows the school. She’s also Elon’s first female president. That’s exciting, to see her make history, and I can’t wait to see what she does.” - Francesco Storm, sophomore, political science & economics major from Boston
"Although my days left at Elon Law are rapidly dwindling with our December graduation approaching, I am overjoyed to know that the Elon legacy will continue to soar far into my years as an alumna with Dr. Book as our new president. As a female leader myself at Elon Law and a student eager to enter a traditionally male-dominated profession and make a positive difference, I am inspired by her selection as Elon’s first female president and am pleased with the knowledge that this milestone will inspire many other students, too." - Veronica Townsend, Class of December 2017, Elon Law
“I wholeheartedly congratulate Dr. Book on being selected Elon’s ninth president. In the brief time I worked with Dr. Book on the Residential Campus Initiative, I was impressed by her knowledge, commitment, and drive to create an optimal learning environment for all Elon students. Most of all, she understands and appreciates the role of student life as a valuable component of the university. On this historic day, I look forward to working with our new president as we continue to lift up the Elon mission statement to transform the ‘mind, body and spirit’ of our students.” - Cherrel Miller-Dyce, assistant professor of education and Faculty Fellow for The Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Connie prior to her departure for the Citadel and I am very excited to learn of her return as president. Her confidence, calm leadership style, and knowledge of our institution all make her an excellent choice! Welcome back, Connie!” - Fred Rubeck, professor and chair, Department of Performing Arts
“Connie Book is a superb pick because she is a visionary who is hard-working, creative and strategic. She is driven by a boundless passion to see Elon and its students succeed, but at the same time she is a leader who is always compassionate, understanding and fair.” - Sharon Hodge, associate professor of marketing
“In President-elect Book, the Board of Trustees has selected a strong leader that will be an unyielding advocate for faculty and students. As a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences I am excited to see where she will lead us to in the future.” - Stephen Bailey, professor of physical therapy education
“During her previous time at Elon, Connie and I shared many of the same research interests in media law and regulation, technology, and the First Amendment. She was an innovative scholar and a thoughtful administrator, and she always had a keen interest in the Law School and its success. I am excited she’s returned, and I very much look forward to working with her again.” - Enrique Armijo, associate dean of academic affairs at Elon Law
“I am excited for the possibilities that exist due to Dr. Book’s combination of understanding of Elon’s culture and history, and a fresh perspective resulting from her time at The Citadel. Her leadership will help Elon University both build on its existing strengths and explore new frontiers.” - Jeffrey Carpenter, associate professor and director of the Teaching Fellows Program
“I am thrilled. When she asked me to serve of the Communications Fellows director, she gave me something to be excited about. That experience shaped my entire time at Elon.” - Naeemah Clark, associate professor of communications
“I was so excited when I read the announcement that Dr. Book had been chosen by the Board of Trustees. When Dr. Book served as the associate provost at Elon, I worked with her on the Residential Campus Initiative and she was heavily involved in ensuring admitted students were being connected to Elon’s intellectual environment through ‘Are You Ready?’ I know she will continue to enhance the academic environment at Elon while working with faculty and staff to provide the best possible Elon experience for students.” - MarQuita Barker, senior associate director of Residence Life
"Dr. Connie Book will be a tireless advocate for Gender & LGBTQIA identities and topics. Her experience as a trailblazing pioneer and the first on many levels aligns strongly with Elon's continued rise in inclusive excellence around gender, sexuality, and serving students across multiple intersecting identities." - Matthew Antonio Bosch, director of Elon’s Gender & LGBTQIA Center
“I am thrilled to hear that Dr. Connie Ledoux Book has been selected as the next President of Elon University and as its first female president. During her time at Elon previously, she was always supportive of the Elon Catholic Campus Ministry community, especially with her presence at our 25 Anniversary celebrations in the fall of 2014.” - Trung Huynh-Duc, director of Catholic Campus Ministry
“During her previous tenure at Elon, Dr. Book’s leadership was a tremendous asset to the University. Her experience and background make her uniquely qualified to be the next president of Elon University, and I am very excited for the future under Dr. Book’s leadership.” - Faith Shearer, Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator
“There was an excited buzz through the Physical Plant this morning as we learned that our old friend, Connie Book, will be returning to Elon. It was great to hear how many of our staff members submitted her name for consideration and I have no doubt that President Book is going to hit the ground running!” - Tom Flood, associate director of Physical Plant/director of landscaping and grounds
“As a double alumna and a staff member at Elon Law, I see Dr. Book’s selection as Elon’s ninth president as a tremendous moment in our history. She will come to us with a deep appreciation of Elon’s history and culture, while being able to implement the next strategic plan and build upon the work of President Lambert and previous university leaders.” - Melissa Duncan ‘06 L’09, director, Office of Career & Student Development at Elon Law
“It’s a great hire. It’s appropriate that Dr. Lambert gave her an acorn today because she embodies all of the attributes that an Elon University president needs to be successful. Welcome back!” - Michael Williams, director of campus center operations and conferences