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Elon names graduate admissions suite for Susan Klopman

Klopman, vice president emerita, led all of Elon's undergraduate and graduate enrollment, financial aid and admissions marketing operations at the time of her retirement in 2012.

Susan Klopman, center, cutting a ribbon at the newly named graduate admissions suite with President Connie Ledoux Book and Greg Zaiser, vice president for enrollment. 

For nearly three decades of service to the university, Elon on Monday named its graduate admissions suite in honor of Susan C. Klopman, vice president emerita who led all of Elon's undergraduate and graduate enrollment, financial aid and admissions marketing operations at the time of her retirement in 2012.

Klopman played a critical role in the growth and advancement of Elon's admissions operation during her 27-year tenure at the university. She joined Elon in 1985 as assistant director in Elon's Department of Publications and Public Relations, and would later become director of foundation and corporate relations in the university development office. She began serving as assistant to President J. Fred Young and the board of trustees in 1993 and then joined admissions as assistant dean in 1996. 

"No one could ever have been given a gift of life's work that is better than the one I enjoyed at Elon," Klopman told the crowd gathered outside the newly named Susan C. Klopman Graduate Admissions Suite. "I love Elon deeply because of each of you and our work together ."

Klopman's contributions to developing a sophisticated admissions strategy are readily apparent, said Greg Zaiser, vice president for enrollment. She brought to her role a keen intellect, collaborative leadership, careful planning and "a wonderful and truly endearing sense of humor," he said. Her former colleagues still ask "What would Susan say?" and "What would Susan do?" Zaiser said. 

President Book speaking to the crowd gathered to honor Klopman. 

"We talk a lot about mentoring at Elon, and I speak for my colleagues when I say that we are the professionals we are today because of Susan Klopman, an exceptional leader and an even better friend," Zaiser said. 

After joining admissions in 1996, she was named dean of admissions in 2000 and was promoted to vice president in 2006. From 2000 to 2011, Elon's annual applications for admission grew from 5,600 to more than 9,000, with the size of its first-year class increasing from 1,140 to 1,400. Elon added two graduate programs - the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Program — while expanding its efforts to recruit international students. For all she has done for Elon, Klopman was awarded the Elon Medallion in 2013, the university's highest honor. 

Klopman with her four grandchildren as she delivers remarks. 

​President Connie Ledoux Book described Klopman as a "true architect of contemporary Elon," noting that "the work of admissions and our financial planning teams are critically important to Elon's success." Klopman moved her team forward "with tenacity and a vision of making Elon stronger and better," Book said. 

Book made note of Klopman's efforts to ensure that an Elon education is within reach for students from a range of economic backgrounds, with her work on the development and growth of its Odyssey, Fellows and Engagement scholarship programs. "She was always an advocate for students and creating scholarships for deserving students," Book said. 

Joined by her four grandchildren, Klopman offered thanks for those who helped her along the way and contributed to her remarkable career at Elon while heaping praise on the work of past and present admissions and financial aid staff. "What an exceptional group of individuals to work with," Klopman said. 

Owen Covington,
11/26/2018 4:40 PM