Committee on Elon History and Memory

April 9, 2019, 12:30-2 p.m., Alamance 213

I. Approval of Minutes
II. Updates
III. The Question of Coordination
IV. Working Group Progress Reports
V. Three Test Cases
VI. Campus Conversation
VII. Agenda for May Meeting

I. Approval of Minutes from February 12 and March 12

Approved, with small edits and suggestion to incorporate—if possible—the draft flow chart for receipt of new information proposed at the March 12 meeting.

II. Updates

A.   Reported out on a multiplication of independent efforts
1. Faculty member researching Alamance Co. lynching and planning a ceremony in conjunction with the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
2. Chaplain’s office learning about options for coordinating with native leaders to issue some sort of apology for control of the land
3. President’s Office honoring Glenda Phillips Hightower and announcing new scholarships.

B. Brandon Bell and Charles Irons have applied for a Diversity Infusion Grant to inventory curricular and co-curricular work.

C. In the context of a discussion of the Hollins controversy, in which the university president removed access to online yearbooks until deciding how to handle them, Chrystal Carpenter reported that Elon had already placed a disclaimer on online yearbooks.

D. USS Conference – a substantial delegation from Elon attended March 14-16 at W&M.

III. Three Test Cases

A. We have periodically discussed the boundaries of our responsibilities—whether we are to concentrate our efforts on the creation of the spring 2020 report, or to begin to address questions about history and memory in the course of our work.  Moreover, we have not always known how to orient to new initiatives or controversies.  As a way of working through these decisions, we played through three scenarios.

B. Discussion about the name of the Long Building

C. Discussion about how to coordinate with CDICE on “Lest We Forget.”

D. Discussion about how to support the President’s Office and help make the Edna Scholars program a success (cf. the Georgetown lesson: “Nothing about us, without us.”).

E. Common themes/lessons?
1. In order to follow through on any substantial work beyond the creation of the report, we would need a full-time staff person to coordinate our efforts.  Specific kinds of work would include:

a. Primary research (e.g., on the Long family and William S. Long in particular)
b. Coordination across university offices (e.g., with CDICE, University Communications, those in charge of naming protocols, etc.)
c. Scheduling cultural events (outside speakers) and dialogues (with special attention to new mechanisms to engage students)
d. Injection of best practices into the overlapping discussions

2. Alternatively, we would at least need some sort of reorganization and increase in our size, but to do so would risk running afoul of other groups already doing the work.  If some version of the Committee on Elon History and Memory does become permanent, we can anticipate the need for staff, as peer and aspirant universities are discovering.  At what administrative level is open to discussion.

3. There are opportunities for dialogue regarding the good stuff that is already happening, but in silos.

4. Are there ways to share out best practices/values more effectively?

IV. May 3 Campus Conversation

A. The chair promised a draft of the communication to the faculty and staff by April 20.

B. Members of the group expressed a willingness to serve as table leaders for the discussion.

V. Draft Agenda for May Meeting

A. What type of product do we hope to create?  Cf. again Furman University’s “Seeking Abraham.”

B. Possible review of student presentations?

C. Agenda Setting for 2019-20 .


  • May 14 – Final scheduled meeting of academic year

Download PDF