Elon Traditions

Acorn & Oak Tradition

The tradition began in 1991 when Furman Moseley spoke to the graduating class.  Moseley, a 1956 graduate of Elon, incorporated his career in the timber business by giving each alum a redwood sapling.  Dr. J. Fred Young, president of Elon from1973 to 1998, decided to make the gifting of saplings a permanent tradition in 1992.  Instead of a redwood sapling, however, he opted to give each student an oak sapling in accordance with the meaning of the school’s name.  When Dr. Leo Lambert became president, he built upon the tradition by also giving each new student an acorn.  At the end of the New Student Convocation ceremony, all students receive an acorn to symbolize the beginning of their college careers.  Upon graduation, each graduate is given a Shumard oak sapling to celebrate the growth they have experienced throughout their time at Elon as well as the growth they'll encounter as lifelong learners. 

Call to Honor

This event takes place every fall for incoming freshman to make their commitment to the Elon Honor Pledge.  The core values of honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect serve as the backbone of the Elon Honor Code.  Each of the four class presidents light a candle on stage to represent the four core values.  Freshmen are joined by numerous alumni members and students to receive the symbolic honor coin and recite the Call to Honor.

Celebrate Week

During this week, more than 100 students share their research findings with students, faculty, and staff.  In addition to sharing their research through poster sessions, students also make presentations across campus.  Many students refer to this event as SURF, Spring Undergraduate Research Forum.

Numen Lumen

Numen Lumen, formerly called College Chapel, is among the oldest of Elon student traditions, serving as a weekly reminder that the purpose of an Elon education is to see each student as a whole person, whose mind, body, and soul deserves respect.  Numen Lumen is voluntary and open to people of different faith traditions. Students, faculty, and staff meet for reflection and informal worship.  Numen Lumen is the perfect time to quiet your soul and rejuvenate your spirit.  Numen Lumen is held each Thursday from 9:50 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. in the Numen Lumen Pavilion, and is open to the entire Elon community.

College Coffee

College Coffee is one of Elon's oldest and most appreciated traditions.  This weekly community event brings Elon faculty, staff, and students together for a time of friendship and fellowship.  College Coffee offers conversation in a relaxed atmosphere and also provides snacks and beverages.  This event is every Tuesday from 9:40 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. on the Phi Beta Kappa Commons. Special events and inclement weather necessitate relocation.  Please call 278-7271 for location.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Luminary Ceremony  

The Elon community gathers each year to share hot chocolate and cider, sing Christmas carols and other seasonal songs, light the Menorah in celebration of Hanukkah, and stroll through more than 2,000 luminaries around the center campus quad.  Campus buildings and trees are lit with more than 50,000 holiday lights.  Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Elon community join together for this joyous celebration.

Holiday at the President’s House

Right before winter break, all students are invited to the President’s house to celebrate the holiday season with hors d’oeuvres and desserts.  Students also have the opportunity to take a holiday picture with the President that is sent to their home over winter break.

Honors Convocation

This is a recognition ceremony for students who have received honors during the past academic year.   To learn more about how you can be an academic honor, visit the Academic Honor Societies Web site.

Family Weekend

This weekend is for family and friends of Elon students to return to campus to visit and participate in numerous scheduled events. For more information visit the Family Weekend Web site.

“Long Live Elon!”

Thad Eure was elected secretary of state in 1936 and served under 13 North Carolina governors.  He was a champion of common citizens and children, and insisted that the door to his office never be closed to the public.  Eure had extensive family ties to Elon.
Remaining faithful to Elon, he joined the board of trustees in 1942.  Eure had a booming voice and gave powerful speeches on campus, ending with the pronouncement, "Long Live Elon!"  This tradition continues today at Commencement, when graduates join with the University President in hailing Elon.

New Student Convocation

The opening convocation for new students is a formal ceremony marking the start of your college career. The opening convocation signifies that each students' educational journey is supplemented with the support and help of others.  New students are surrounded by Elon faculty, staff, parents, relatives, and friends, marking the transition from the nurturing world of family to the caring mentorship of Elon’s academic community.  Each new student is given an acorn as a symbol of the promise of an Elon education (Elon is the Hebrew word for oak). 

“Wear Your Maroon”

The “Wear Your Maroon” campaign was designed to promote Elon’s school colors.  "Wear Your Maroon" also serves as a tag line to promote Elon athletics, encouraging all Phoenix fans to show their school pride when attending an Elon athletic event.
T-Shirts are available for new students and their family members.