Ever Elon - Endowing Support of Engaged Learning
Goal $10 million
Elon’s vibrant learning community embraces the distinct intellectual heritage of the arts and sciences, sustaining premier professional programs in business, communications, education and law. Elon believes that the single most important aspect of a quality education is the direct, personal interaction between a professor and a student. Such interactions are the cornerstone of Elon’s collaborative learning community.

The five Elon Experiences

Elon emphasizes five programs collectively called the Elon Experiences:

  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Internships 
  • Service 
  • Leadership

Students track their progress on Elon Experiences transcripts. The transcript adds depth and perspective to degree work, and helps graduates stand out when applying for jobs or graduate school.

Undergraduate Research

During the summer months and the regular academic year, about 250 students work closely with faculty mentors, devising their own projects based on their intellectual curiosity. The rigor and focus required in these projects are invaluable preparation for graduate study and often provide our students “a leg up” in the job market. Additional funds will expand the number of projects and the increase the level of support. In addition, new funds will underwrite faculty/student teams engaged in summer research projects and provide additional opportunities for these teams to present their research at national and international conferences.

Study Abroad

Elon sends more undergraduate students to study abroad (71%) than any other master’s-level school in the nation. Sufficient endowment for study abroad will guarantee that every Elon undergraduate, regardless of economic circumstances, has access to an international experience. By adding locations where we have our own study centers and housing facilities, Elon also will greatly expand its offerings, allowing students access to international internships and service projects. 

Internships, Service and Leadership for the Common Good

About 80 percent of students complete internships. With financial support, more students would be able to undertake internships in cities where housing and living costs are high, here or abroad, or take exciting and career-making, but perhaps unpaid, internships. The role and importance of service is expanding at Elon, selected as one of the three top universities in the nation for community service by the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service. With better funding, for example, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning could offer more Student Initiative Grant Awards. Award winners receive up to $1,000 for projects they plan and implement to meet needs in the community. Other service learners would be assisted in their projects across the country and abroad, such as those initiated by Elon’s award-winning Project Pericles.

The National Survey of Student Engagement reported in 2008 that the percentage of Elon students who take part in co-curricular programs—like student government or club sports—is twice that of the national average. About one-third of all students hold at least one leadership position in the 150 campus organizations and programs.

About 97 percent of recent graduates praise Elon University for their overall experience, a rate exceeding the national average of 85 percent.

The Elon Academy

The university also seeks funds to support The Elon Academy, which engages dozens of Elon students and faculty in service learning each year. The Elon Academy is an academic enrichment and college access program that serves local high school students with financial need or no family history of attending college. Academy scholars enroll as rising sophomores and commit to a three-year program that combines three intensive four-week summer residential experiences at Elon with a variety of academic activities throughout the school year. Academy scholars are enrolled at no cost, and a new class of approximately 25 students is admitted each year. The goal of the program is to inspire and empower high school students to attend four-year colleges or universities, and to go on to assume leadership roles in their communities. Elon opened its academy in 2007 with support from Edna Truitt Noiles ’44 and her husband, Doug, of New Canaan, Conn.

Sample Engaged Learning Endowment Opportunities


 Undergraduate Research Funds
 Student Engagement Funds
 Elon Experiences Funds
 $25,000 - $100,000
 Naming of Elon Academy