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Making a Difference: Elingburgs join Elon’s most generous donors

In the transition from Elon supporters to Elon parents, Wes and Cathy Elingburg take giving to new heights.

Elon parents Wes and Cathy Elingburg of Greensboro


For years, Wes Elingburg’s affiliation with Elon was rooted firmly in the business world.

As LabCorp’s chief financial officer, his first connection to the university came as he developed the company’s internship program for Elon business students. He went on to join the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business advisory board in 2000 and five years later, Elon’s Board of Trustees. 

But in 2007, Wes found himself forging a more personal connection to the university when son, Nolan '11 G '12, enrolled at the university. Wes, who now chairs Elon’s Board of Trustees, and his wife Cathy, an Alamance County native, were thrilled to make the transition from Elon supporters to Elon parents. 

“We always thought Elon was the perfect place for Nolan, but it was important for him to make his own decision,” says Wes, who retired from LabCorp in 2005 after a successful 25-year career.

“I’ll never forget sitting in the car at McMichael after finishing the parents’ tour,” he continues. “As Nolan walked up to the car, he grinned from ear to ear and gave us a thumbs-up. That’s when our interest in Elon went to another level.”

That interest has translated into a degree of generosity that places the Elingburgs among Elon’s most benevolent donors. As part of the Numen Lumen Society, which recognizes donors whose gifts to Elon equal $1 million or more, the couple’s support has improved programs and facilities across the university.

“We are very fortunate to count Wes and Cathy Elingburg as partners in moving Elon forward,” says Elon President Leo M. Lambert. “Their contributions will have a lasting impact on Elon students, both today and in the future.”

A recent gift from the Elingburgs made possible a project close to the heart of perhaps every Elon parent: the completion of the recently opened Student Professional Development Center, which houses career services as well as corporate and employer relations. At the center of the new facility is the Wes and Cathy Elingburg Room, a fully furnished space that can be used to host premiere university functions and serve as a meeting area for recruiters and students.

They have also given generously to Elon’s Love School of Business. Inspired by Wes’ background in business and his five-year term on the Love School of Business Board of Advisors, the couple endowed the Wesley R. Elingburg Professorship in 2007 to attract and retain top faculty in the school. They are also supporters of the Elon Academy, a university-run academic enrichment program for high school students in the Alamance-Burlington School System.

The family’s passion for sports—Wes is now a managing partner of the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team and Nolan works for Duke Athletics—also applies to Elon, as the Elingburgs are avid Phoenix fans and are often on the sidelines of various Elon sporting events. The couple have made contributions to the construction of Alumni Field House at Rhodes Football Stadium and the extensive renovation of Alumni Memorial Gymnasium. The student-athlete lounge in Alumni Field House and the player’s lounge in the Alumni Gymnasium men’s basketball locker room are both named to honor their gifts to Elon Athletics.

For Wes, it is easy to name the inspiration behind such tremendous generosity.

“We give to Elon because we know what Elon did for our son and I know what it is doing for a lot of students,” Wes says. “When you see firsthand how Elon provides students that strong foundation and helps them grow into worldly citizens, that hits home. We watched our son develop and we owe that to all the great professors and opportunities that he had at Elon."

Megan McClure,
2/19/2013 7:59 AM