Exciting plans are shaping up to celebrate Elon’s 125th anniversary during the 2013–14 academic year (it’s called the quasquicentennial!) Chief among these is the opening of the new Martin Alumni Center, a renovation of “the little white house” that sits behind Belk Library on the corner of Haggard and O’Kelly avenues, formerly used as a student health center and later the Office of Financial Planning.
Th anks to a generous gift from Chris Martin ’78, president and chief executive officer of The Provident Bank, and his wife, Nicolette, parents of Nick ’13, the house will be extensively renovated and expanded as a place of welcome for all Elon alumni and their family and guests. Chris hopes the acronym for the building will take hold and that his fellow alumni will say, “I’ll meet you at the MAC!”
The idea behind the Martin Alumni Center is a simple one. Alumni have long wanted a place on the historic campus that would serve as a point of welcome for returning alumni, somewhat akin to the experience prospective Elon students enjoy at the Admissions Welcome Center. You’ll be able to stop by the MAC, find convenient visitor parking, watch the new alumni video being created by Tim Johnson ’09 and Max Cantor ’10, take a campus tour, and meet with staff members from the alumni office who will be ready to help you become engaged with your alma mater. Th is is an exciting, tangible step toward our Elon Commitment goal of creating one of the nation’s most vibrant alumni networks.
The center will feature a living room/gathering space and a porch and patio for informal gatherings. The Office of University Advancement is bringing back a popular opportunity for alumni to purchase inscribed bricks, which will be installed on the new alumni patio. It’s a great way to celebrate our 125th, put your personal touch on the campus and help fund the transformative educational experience benefitting current and future students.
Another highlight of our year of celebration will be the publication of a new, richly illustrated history of Elon, titled From a Grove of Oaks: The Story of Elon University, by Professor Emeritus of History George Troxler. It has been 31 years since the publication of Professor Durward Stokes’ Elon College: Its History and Traditions. Troxler’s book not only brings the Elon story to the present day, but his painstaking and careful selection of photographs and illustrations from the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections brings our history alive. Our plan is to have the book available by Founders Day in March 2014.
From my many conversations with alumni at gatherings around the country, I know there is considerable excitement about Homecoming 2013, set for Nov. 8–10. If you have not been back to campus recently, there is so much to explore, so please make plans now to visit Elon. Come and see Phase I of the new Global Neighborhood on the shores of Lake Mary Nell, and tour our other new facilities, including the Numen Lumen Pavilion, Lakeside Dining Hall, the Station at Mill Point and Hunt Soft ball Park. Students are planning a revitalization of the tailgating experience at Rhodes Stadium. And, of course, the highlight of the weekend is the rekindling of relationships with all the wonderful people invested in the Elon community. It will be a perfect way to begin a yearlong celebration of your beloved alma mater.
Leo M. Lambert