Powell BuildingOffice of the President

Climbing still higher: The Elon Commitment Strategic Plan

Following the board of trustees’ approval of the Elon Commitment strategic plan last December, work on new projects and programs is already under way. Most visible on campus this summer are several construction projects. Three new Colonnades residence halls and five new Greek houses in Loy Center represent the start of a major initiative to add 1,600 beds in new congurations of living and learning communities, substantially increasing the percentage of students living on campus. Architectural planning is also under way to replace the Harper Center and Story Center residential complexes near Lake Mary Nell with creative new housing and dining options.

Alumni Gymnasium is undergoing a renovation thanks to a major gift from trustee Jeanne Robertson and her husband, Jerry. This project will provide a major boost to Phoenix athletics until the convocation center envisioned as part of the Elon Commitment is realized later in the decade. Alumni Field House adjacent to Rhodes Stadium is on schedule for a December 2010 opening. The playing surface at Latham Park is undergoing a complete renovation, adding a new artificial turf infield and an irrigated outfield.

While construction projects evolve before our eyes each day, much less visible but critically important work is being done to move Elon from the cusp of national recognition to a university of national stature by the end of this decade. Among the initiatives are the following:

  • Complete a review of the general studies curriculum, ensuring Elon’s excellent and innovative undergraduate foundation prepares students for leadership as global citizens
  • Expand the national and international fellowships advising office, providing students with support as they compete for prestigious graduate fellowships
  • Begin an international fellows program to attract more undergraduate students from around the world to Elon, enriching the learning environment for all
  • Complete planning and design of a campus multi-faith center, a visible symbol that expresses Elon’s desire to support the spiritual development of all students and encourage religious tolerance and understanding
  • Raise funds to launch a physician assistant graduate program and provide expanded space for the existing doctor of physical therapy program, both of which meet great societal needs
  • Plan, in cooperation with the Town of Elon, to create a more vibrant retail district near campus that will attract private enterprise and provide appealing services to the campus community
  • Welcome Tim Peeples as a new associate provost for faculty affairs to support and advance greater opportunities for faculty scholarship and creative endeavors, one of the best investments we can make in strengthening the campus learning environment and advancing Elon’s reputation for first-rank academics
  • Launch a new faculty and staff leadership development program, because in order to achieve our institutional ambitions, strong leadership at every level of the university must be carefully cultivated.

The ascent envisioned in the Elon Commitment is steeper and more challenging than any of our previous strategic plans. I am confident that by our common vision, our continued quest toward excellence, and our natural instinct to be creative and innovative in all things, we will achieve the next summit.

Leo M. Lambert