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CELEBRATE! preview

Students perform during weeklong showcase

by Amanda Kennison,
  • Senior Maddie Phillips leads the all-female A Capella group Sweet Signatures last year at CELEBRATE! week. Photo submitted.

  • Dance majors showcased their abilities during an improvised dance session at last year’s CELEBRATE! Photo submitted.

  • Elan performs a mix of popular music from the past and today at last year's CELEBRATE! Photo submitted.

The past two springs have seen Elon bring together the artistic and academic sides of campus in a way unique to other colleges and universities across the country. CELEBRATE! fuses events from undergraduate research projects to art exhibitions to musicals in a weeklong celebration that honors the many talents of the student body.  

In the fall, a large group of faculty from various departments meet to plan out CELEBRATE! week. It is responsible for picking the date, organizing the events and deciding what type of presentations will be shown, but at the heart of CELEBRATE!, students are the driving force.  

“This week celebrates the work already going on around campus,” Steven House, dean of Elon College, said. “The work our students do is so incredible; you won’t understand it until you see it.”  

From April 27 to May 3, Elon will showcase notable projects that demonstrate student achievement. Besides the established SURF projects students present, CELEBRATE! goes beyond research. Students can look forward to a number of readings, dance and music recitals and film projects that display their peers’ hard work and originality.  

Each year CELEBRATE! follows a certain pattern. But as the event continues to grow, the individual programs become more varied and unique. Some of this year’s highlights include a slide show of “Physics Photography” and a cultural study on the changing perceptions of Japanese Kimonos. 

More than 50 other events will be going on around campus during this congratulatory week. Student presenters and entertainers put a great deal of effort into getting their acquired abilities and knowledge out into the community.

“Students are the heart and soul of CELEBRATE! week,” said Rebecca Pope-Ruark, assistant professor of English. “It is their performances, their readings, their research presentations that we celebrate during the week.”

Student involvement begins even before the actual week comes. Every year since its induction in 2006, students have also been responsible for creating the official CELEBRATE! week program. This year, junior Andrew Maurin and sophomore Erin Stevenson were the pamphlet coordinators.  

“We get the event information together for all of the week’s events and SURF presentations,” Maurin said. “Then we organize the information and format it for the pamphlet. It’s pretty time consuming, but we end up with a great product at the end of the day.”

CELEBRATE! week represents something more than just another awards ceremony. While recognition of excellence is at its core, CELEBRATE! week is truly a celebration. It offers the opportunity for the community to come together and for individual students to demonstrate the wide variety of passion and dedication found throughout Elon. Without certificates or medals, CELEBRATE! provides another outlet for students to receive the recognition they deserve.  

Supporting the idea that people never stop learning, CELEBRATE! week is doing something new this year and will honor professors around campus as well. Kicking off CELEBRATE! week, before College Coffee on April 29, a number of professors will be presenting their own scholarship research. 

The Recognition of Faculty Scholarship is just one way that CELEBRATE! week continues to evolve. Students and other faculty members are urged to come and support their teachers and colleagues, to experience the quest of knowledge that does not stop once undergraduate years are finished. 

Class on Tuesday April 29 is cancelled for SURF presentations and other programs. It is the perfect time to support friends, classmates and peers and maybe be inspired to show your own work.  

Copies of this year’s CELEBRATE! pamphlet will be available soon in building across campus. They will not be placed in every mailbox as in previous years, so be sure to pick up one.