Faculty/Staff Ever Elon profile: Paul Parsons
Some people think they give to Elon through their work. Paul Parsons thinks there is more to giving than that.
“The act of giving back makes us more connected to the place we work,” Parsons says.
This points to the value of giving money as well as effort, says the dean of the School of Communications. He is a generous and long-time donor to the Faculty/Staff Campaign. And he encourages everyone to give what he or she is able to give.
Parsons says philanthropy benefits both the giver and the recipient.
“I am a believer in philanthropy. I give to institutions of higher education that I love,” Parsons says. “I give to Baylor, my alma mater, because it prepared me well for my career. I give to the University of Tennessee, where I got my Ph.D., because it gave me the experience and credentials that have propelled my career. And I give to Elon University, where I’ve invested my career and which is my academic home.”
“I give a larger gift to Elon, primarily, I suppose, because I can see more directly the impact of the gift. My giving is oriented toward the School of Communications. I like knowing the people – whether faculty, staff or students – who benefit.”
In addition to annual giving in support of the School of Communications and Elon athletics, the dean contributes to the Brad Hamm International Communications Scholarship. Established by the faculty, staff and alumni of the School of Communications, this scholarship is awarded to a rising junior or senior enrolled in the School of Communications who is either an international student or has demonstrated strong international interest.
“Especially during hard economic times, scholarships make a big difference, both practically by offsetting the cost of an Elon education, as well as psychologically, by demonstrating to students that the university is invested in their success,” he says. And there is a larger impact, he argues, when members of a community join together in support of each other. “Each of us, deep down, can feel that we have helped students, faculty and staff and have helped make something important happen.”
Faculty and staff members may contribute to Ever Elon by downloading this printable contribution form in pdf format.