Elon staff prepares for ’06-’07 year with law school visit

Elon held its annual staff information sessions on July 31 with a visit to the new School of Law facility in downtown Greensboro. Read this note for details about planning for the upcoming academic year…

Staff from Elon’s home campus were bused to the School of Law for a tour of the building and a chance to meet the school’s faculty and staff.

President Leo M. Lambert thanked staff members for their months of work in bringing the school to life, and said the opening is historic for Elon.

Lambert said this is “one of the most challenging years in the history of the university,” as he detailed plans for the opening of school. In addition to opening the law school on Aug. 10, Elon will open the new Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center and The Oaks, a new student residence complex. Construction will continue this fall on five major buildings, including two new pavilions in the Academic Village as well as a new dining hall and two new residence halls adjacent to the Koury Business Center.

Lambert also talked about planning for the university’s next fundraising campaign, which will emphasize raising money for Elon’s endowment. “The next five years will be very exciting as we work to keep Elon strong for future generations,” Lambert said.

Provost Gerald Francis and Alan Woodlief, associate dean for admissions and administration at the law school, gave an update on the opening of the school. A total of 535 applications have been received to date, with about 35 percent accepted and 111 expected to enroll. The enrolling students have a median LSAT score of 152 and a grade point average of 3.3. The median age of the students is 24, and the class is 53% male/47% female. About 9 percent represent ethnic minorities. Enrolling students come from 46 colleges and universities, with the greatest number from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Elon, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina State University.

Francis also talked about the university’s other academic initiatives for the upcoming year, which include an accreditation visit for the School of Education, the submission of an application to shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and a university-wide academic summit that will explore the current level of academic challenge for students.

Susan Klopman, vice president for admissions and financial planning, gave an update on the incoming undergraduate freshman class. Elon received more than 9,200 applications, a 3 percent increase over last year, and expects to enroll about 1,280 freshmen. The class has an average grade point average of 3.85 and an average combined (verbal and math) SAT score of 1215. Twenty-seven percent of the class qualifies as presidential scholars. Forty-two percent of the class is male and 58 percent female, with about 11 percent representing ethnic minorities.

North Carolina students make up 26 percent of the incoming class. The other top states (in order of enrollment) are Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

The top intended majors of incoming freshmen are business, communications, education, biology, psychology, journalism, political science, history, exercise science and engineering.

Smith Jackson, vice president for student life and dean of students, discussed the remaining construction schedule for The Oaks residence hall complex. Jackson has developed a plan to house students in alternative housing if all of the four buildings are not completed prior to the opening of school. Affected students are being contacted by telephone and letters with details of the special accommodations.

Gerald Whittington, vice president for business, finance and technology, discussed the many changes taking place on campus after a busy summer construction season.

The Koury Business Center will open on schedule, but construction on the additional three adjacent buildings over the next year will mean special arrangements to allow pedestrian access to the new business center. Also added this summer east of the Koury Business Center site are a new parking lot with 243 spaces and a new tram road running to Danieley Center.

Long Building, which formerly housed the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, is being renovated as the new home of the psychology department.

Powell House, home of the sociology department, has been moved from Haggard Avenue to College Avenue next to the Truitt Center. Two new parking lots are being completed between Powell House and the softball field.

The Stewart Fitness Center in Koury Center has been doubled in size, with the move of the dance studio from Koury Center to the Center for the Arts. The art department has expanded space and classrooms thanks to its move from the Center for the Arts to Elon West, located just west of the central campus on Haggard Avenue.

New lighting is being added to Hunt Field (football practice facility), Rudd Field (soccer) and the softball field. Revisions are being made to Phoenix Club Sports Fields on South Campus, with the baseball field moving to the fire station field on Willliamson Avenue.

Elon also expects delivery on three biodiesel alternative fuel buses in support of the university’s sustainability initiative.

Kyle Wills, senior associate athletics director for business and operations, spoke on behalf of new athletics director Dave Blank, who was out of town. Wills said a special season ticket drive for Phoenix football has resulted in the sale of an additional 600 season tickets. He said Blank and new head football coach Pete Lembo are working to increase community involvement in Phoenix athletics. Last year, Elon earned its first Southern Conference championships in men’s basketball, men’s tennis and baseball, while four coaches earned coach-of-the-year recognition.