On March 11, 2014, we celebrated Elon's 125th anniversary in grand style. What was remarkable and special about this year's Founders Day was the inclusion of thousands of alumni in the celebration, mostly brought about through the power of social media. The Twitter hashtag #ElonDay trended nationally for a time and alumni shared creative photographs about how they were celebrating in their workplaces and homes all over the world through Facebook and Instagram. Alumni also set a record for participation in giving to Elon on that day.
In many important ways, our quasquicentennial year has been the "Year of the Alumni." We opened the Martin Alumni Center in the fall, staffed with several new alumni engagement officers. Attendance at Homecoming hit an all-time high. The New York Evening for Elon at the Plaza Hotel in September attracted more than 700 alumni and friends of the university who enjoyed the premiere of the new alumni video produced by Tim Johnson '09 and Max Cantor '10. Similar events are being held all over the country this year, including a recent gathering at the Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Thirty-two alumni professional networking events were hosted all over the nation in January, proving that The Elon Network is robust and thriving. A new alumni committee of the Board of Trustees has been formed to ensure that Elon is doing everything it can in support of one of the key pillars of the Elon Commitment strategic plan—building a vibrant, active alumni network.
As part of our continued emphasis on alumni development, more than 2,400 of you took the time to respond to an alumni survey about your relationship with Elon. A detailed analysis of the survey results was shared with the Alumni Board and the Young Alumni Council in March and I am pleased to share some highlights with The Magazine of Elon readers:
From my vantage point, we have crossed an important threshold in this "Year of the Alumni." Today, it feels like alumni are an omnipresent part of daily campus life, our campus mindset, and ongoing institutional planning and decision-making like never before. And beyond the campus, The Elon Network has gained significant traction, and alumni are connected to helping current students and each other in professional advancement in new and powerful ways. This is pivotal because, as I have stressed often this past year and believe with every ounce of conviction, Elon's future reputation rests upon the accomplishments of its alumni. Based on the creativity and drive and innovative spirits of the alumni I know, that future will certainly be bright.
Leo M. Lambert