Annual Programs

Below are some of our "signature" programs which are unique to Elon.  They touch the lives of students both at the beginning of their college careers and as they prepare to leave.   These programs encourage students to appreciate the communities they have come from and the one they will experience at Elon.

Holiday Festival of Light

Hot chocolate, carol singing and hundreds of luminaries lining the walkways will mark Elon’s annual Festival of Holiday Lights.

Turning 21 Celebrations

Since the spring of 1998, Elon has celebrated the 21st birthday of thousands of juniors and seniors. This quarterly program brings together students and their faculty or staff mentors at a commemorative dinner.

Senior administrators, including President Lambert, have welcomed the students to this rite of passage ceremony. Elon focuses on this 21st birthday transition to help students fully accept their new adult status in life and move with greater confidence into the future.

Faculty members offer inspirational after-dinner talks, sharing the wisdom of their life experiences. Each program ends with the toast: "The best is yet to be!"

Interfaith Immersion

The Truitt Center is deeply committed to providing opportunities for students to learn about and engage with religious and spiritual traditions outside their own.  We believe that students learn and grow in powerful ways through meaningful engagement with difference.  Therefore, the Truitt Center offers programs throughout the year which are aimed at creating opportunities for this type of interfaith engagement.  Some examples of signature Truitt Center programs include: an Interfaith Lunch and Learn series during Winter Term (Winterfaith), site visits to diverse places of worship, and an interfaith immersion trip to Morocco. 


H. Shelton Smith Lecture on Religion & Society

The H. Shelton Smith Lecture Series honors a native of North Caroilna and a 1917 graduate of Elon College.  Dr. Smith was the founding director of graduate studies in religion at Duke University and founder of the North Carolina Council of Churches in 1935 and served as its first president.  His vision of the Council was that it would be "an interdenominational agency to deal with problems of social justice, racial relations ... or problems that confront the churches."

The Truitt Center is proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Smith by continuing the conversations he began on the issues of social justice, racial relations and the church’s role in society.

2017    Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
"Agreeing to Disagree: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently"
2016    Dr. Todd Green
"Islamophobia: An exploration of why the West fears Islam and why this matters"
2015    Dr. Joel Lohr

"Using and Abusing the Bible: Is there method in the madness?"

2013    Dr. Charles Kimball

"When Religion Becomes Evil and When Religion Becomes Lethal"

2011    Dr. Tony Campolo

2010    Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III

"From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: The Power of Young People"

2009    Dr. Al Staggs

"A View from the Underside: The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer"

2008    Dr. Al Staggs

"Clarence Jordan and the God Movement"

2007    Dr. James Dunn

"Religious Liberity:  In Jeopardy?"

2006    Attorney Melissa Rogers

"Religious Freedom at a Crossroads: Church-State Issues and the U.S. Supreme Court"

2005    Dr. John C. Green

"The Twelve Trives of American Politics"

2004    Dr. Donald W. Shriver, Jr.

"Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds"

2003    Dr. Stanley Hauerwas

"On Truth and Politics: Bonhoeffer on America"

2001    Dr. Beverly Wildung Harrison

"The New Ecumenical Challenge: Relating to People of Other Faiths"

1999    Dr. Isabel Rogers

"The Power of One: For Good or For Evil"

1998    Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain

"Which America? Whose Religion? Religion and Public Life"

1993    Dr. Marin E. Marty
Centenary Celebration of the Life and Work of H. Shelton Smith

"Human Nature, Human Nurture, Human Hatred, Divine Love: Professor Smith's Legacy, Our Challenges"