Project Pericles

Hosting a Periclean-In-Residence: Some Helpful Questions & Answers

Who qualifies as a Periclean-in-Residence (PIR)?

In the past, a Periclean-in-Residence has been someone who is an expert in the field of study either due to their own research or personal experience with the issue at hand.  He or she should be able to provide insight into the issue, the severity of the issue and why it is important and, possibly, present new information and a new way of looking at the problem. This person should also be comfortable speaking in front of audiences of all sizes and be incredibly passionate about the issue at hand.

How do you contact the PIR?

A Periclean-in-Residence can be initially found through personal contacts or networking.  Once an appropriate candidate is found, one should call, email, or send a written letter telling the person about you, your organization, and why you are interested in having them speak.

How can the PIR’s presence benefit the campus?

A Periclean-in-Residence potentially benefits the entire Elon University staff and student body, and the local community at large.  Especially since Elon prides itself on being a global community, having a PIR speak can provide information on issues going on in the world that should be of great importance to everyone. PIR’s can use their knowledge and presence to greatly impact and educate people in various organizations and can be a call to action to both students and staff involved in an issue.

What types of audiences will the PIR appeal to?

Especially if the PIR has different themes they can discuss each night, he or she will appeal to a wide range of audiences. This includes local community organizations with similar missions, empowered groups of Elon organizations/clubs, specific academic departments and majors, or even simply to individuals with an interest in the subject matter.

What events can be held?

There can be a wide range of events held; however, the main purpose of the PIR is to benefit the Elon community.  This includes attending classes, speeches to large groups, discussion panels, and question and answer sessions.  In addition, PIRs can be involved in community events related to the issue, for example, fundraisers.

How long can they stay?

A PIR should stay long enough to fulfill their purpose of teaching various aspects of an issue to a wide range of people and organizations.  A week and a half to two weeks would be an appropriate time period.

Where do they stay?

In the past the PIR’s have stayed in various locations, including hotels, students’ houses, and professors’ homes; depending on the PIR’s relationship with your organization, you can determine where they would feel most comfortable during their time at Elon.

Where does the funding come from?

Funding the visit of a PIR can come from limitless places; it is imperative to tap into all of your resources.  Often other academic departments who would be interested in sharing the PIR with their students will be more than happy to co-sponsor.  You must be mindful of budget cycles or various organizations and plan far in advance.

How do you schedule them?

Make sure you contact the PIR in advance to finalize their schedule.  Double check with Elon’s master calendar as well, to make sure they are scheduled for when they are suppose to be scheduled. It is important to have the PIR’s schedule pretty structured with events before they arrive, but still leave some room for flexibility if other opportunities arise.

Do PIRs get paid?

They have not been paid in the past, but their plane ticket has been purchased for them and all accommodations and meals are provided. 

Do they need transportation?

They would probably need a student to several student volunteers to be willing to chauffer then around.  It would be helpful if a sign up sheet was made previous to their arrival.  This is helpful for several reasons in that it takes the responsibility off of one sole person to transport them everywhere and it helps organize in that everyone will know who is in charge when. 

How do you thank them?

A PIR makes a great personal sacrifice to travel and come to Elon, so it is necessary to thank them accordingly.  Personal mementos, such as a scrapbook of their visit to show off their accomplishments are an excellent gesture.

Where do they hang out?

They can hang out with students, on campus, etc.  We have had several activities for past PIRs such as lunch and dinner with students and even trips to the State Fair and Chapel Hill.  Again, it is probably a good idea to make a sign up sheet to know what students will be responsible for the PIR when and where. 

What time of the year do they come?

We have normally had ours come in the fall because this is when we have had class.  However, now we are having one in the spring since class is year round.  I guess whatever works best for the speaker and Elon’s schedule.

How do you prepare for their arrival?

Decide where they will stay
Make a schedule of activities (academic and entertainment)
Make a list of questions to ask them to become more knowlegable on the subject.
Everyone should be caught up on the subject so there are questions to ask
Advertise their coming and events and what will be happening at each event

How far in advance should you invite them?

Between 2 or 3 months in advance gives the PIR time to prepare as well as have more options open in the campus calendar.  It also allows the PIR enough time to make appropriate travel arrangements.

How do you promote events?

Take advantage of all of the on-campus marketing tools!  These include:
  • E-net
  • Posters in Moseley
  • Advertising the PIR’s visit at a Moseley table
  • Flyers around campus
  • Student speakers coming to classes
  • E-mail list servers (different organizations, facstaff, etc)
  • WSOE
  • ESTV

Who do you invite to events?

There can be a wide range of groups to invite to different events during the course of the PIR’s visit.  These can include:
  • The whole campus
  • Certain classes/majors
  • Closed group events with just the Periclean Scholars
  • Outside campus events/community/cultural events