Our Vision:

To lead global education in thought, access, rigor, and scale.

Our Mission:

To develop and facilitate experiential opportunities for the Elon University community that promote understanding of the self, the world’s peoples and cultures, and that provide a framework for lifelong intercultural learning.

Who is the GEC:

Who is Isabella Cannon

Elon’s Isabella Cannon Global Education Center is named after Dr. Isabella Walton Cannon, Elon Class of 1924, former mayor of Raleigh and one of North Carolina’s most distinguished leaders.

Involved in public service most of her life, Cannon made history in 1977 when, at age 73, she became the first woman elected mayor of Raleigh. Known as the “little old lady in tennis shoes,” she had never run for office before her election. Working 16-hour days and using a no-nonsense style, she developed a comprehensive plan that still guides the growth of the city.

Born May 12, 1904 in Dunfermline, Scotland, Cannon emigrated with her family to the United States at age 12. She graduated from Winecoff High School in Concord, N.C., before graduating from Elon in 1924. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Elon in 1978. She married Claude Cannon, Elon’s registrar and business manager, in 1924. His subsequent career in diplomatic service took the couple around the state and the world. They lived in Liberia, West Africa and Iraq before returning to Raleigh, where Claude Cannon died in 1954.

Cannon held jobs in a variety of fields related to education and community service. She was a teacher at Elon College High School and Burlington Business College, served as assistant registrar and manager of the bookstore at Elon College, and was a bookkeeper and payroll manager at WRAL radio station in Raleigh. She also worked in Washington, D.C., as a supervisor with the French Supply Council and as an interviewer with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Cannon was also active in many community organizations and a member of the Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh.

Cannon’s commitment to service earned her recognition and accolades around the state, nation and world. In 1999, she was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Jim Hunt, one of the state’s most prestigious awards, for her dedicated service to North Carolina. She was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998.

She was devoted to her alma mater and served Elon in many ways. In 1999, her $1 million gift endowed the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center at Elon, which offers extensive study abroad opportunities for students and recruits international students and visiting scholars to campus. She also endowed two scholarships; the Isabella Cannon Room, which serves as the university’s art gallery and formal meeting space; and the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows program, which identifies and prepares students to share their leadership skills with others. She received Elon’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1983 and was awarded the Elon Medallion by President J. Fred Young in 1991.

Cannon was a frequent visitor to Elon and loved to meet students and talk about their life plans. In 2000, at age 96, she delivered the commencement address at Elon, reflecting on her life’s experiences. She urged graduates to think globally and act locally, getting involved in their communities and neighborhoods.



About our Staff

Supporting Committees

The GEC is advised by two faculty committees:

  • The Global Education Center Advisory Committee (GECAC) supports and offers advice on all aspects of the Global Education Center. It is made up of faculty members from the various colleges and schools, except for the Elon University School of Law, and various staff members who have close relationships with the Global Education Center, including the GEC Library Liaison and the Director for the new Center for Research on Global Education. The following positions in the GEC are members of the GEC Advisory Committee: the Dean of Global Education, the Assistant Dean of Global Education, Director of Study Abroad, Director of Study USA, and Director of International Students and Scholars.Faculty members are appointed for three years by the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Dean of Global Education and based on expressed interest. Particular responsibilities of the Committee include vetting proposals for faculty-in-residence at the Elon Centers Abroad and developing and monitoring of the five-year International Elon Plan.
  • The Global Education Curriculum Committee (GECC), formerly called the Study Abroad Committee (SAC), is a standing committee appointed by the Academic Council.  Faculty members representing all of the colleges and schools, except for the Elon University School of Law, are appointed.   There are eight or nine faculty members, each with a three-year appointment.  The Director of Elon Core Curriculum is also part of the GEC.   Representing the GEC, but without a vote, are the Dean of Global Education, the Assistant Dean of Global Education, Director of Study Abroad, and Director of Study USA.The role of the GEEC is to act as a proxy of the Curriculum Committee in approving courses proposed for short-term faculty-led programs abroad.  In addition to reviewing and deciding on approval of the proposals, the GEEC approves policy decisions related to short-term faculty-led programs and offers advice to new faculty members in putting forward proposals.