In August 2018, President Connie Ledoux Book announced the launch of the Elon Commemoration Project to explore questions related to historical memory and collective identity at Elon University. Provost Steven House subsequently appointed a university-wide committee of 12 faculty, staff and students to carry out the work, thereby joining the ranks of colleges and universities who are revisiting the stories institutions of higher education tell about themselves.
Provost House charged the committee to examine our institutional history in a transparent, participatory and intellectually rigorous manner, and to guarantee that we tell Elon’s story in a manner consistent with Elon’s values.
Members of the committee will not serve as gatekeepers of Elon’s complex and dynamic history or produce an “authorized version” of events. Rather, they will:
- engage the broader community in important conversations about our shared past;
- inspire those with relevant training and expertise to uncover hidden stories;
- advise those seeking to tell a more democratic and rigorous version of our history; and
- share more broadly the excellent work students, faculty and staff are already doing.
To achieve these goals, the committee may establish best practices, propose mechanisms for sustaining the work and/or solicit proposals for new initiatives. If, after community feedback, the group believes it will better be able to fulfill its charge under a different name, it may recommend a change. The committee will make recommendations to the Provost on an as-needed basis and, when appropriate, make requests for funding through the regular university budget process. The group will serve for two years, at which time it will submit a report to the Provost on ways to sustain the work.
This committee will consult actively with others across the Elon community, and there will be many opportunities for anyone interested to engage with the work of the committee.