The couple's generous $500,000 gift will support the Elon Academy, a university-run academic enrichment program for high school students in the Alamance-Burlington school system. Read this note for details of the gift, which will be counted as part of the university's upcoming fundraising campaign.
Elon trustee Frank R. Lyon ’71 and his wife, Natalie Lyon, of New Canaan, Conn., have made a $500,000 gift to support the Elon Academy, a university-run academic enrichment program for high school students in the Alamance-Burlington school system.
The Frank R. Lyon ’71 and Natalie Lyon Endowment will help the university attract the best faculty and Elon student mentors to the three-year program, which seeks to inspire academically talented students with financial need or no family history of attending college to earn college degrees, build leadership skills and serve their communities.
Deborah Long, associate professor of education and academy director, says the Lyons’ gift will enhance a program that empowers students who are often underrepresented on college and university campuses.
“To make the Elon Academy successful, we need to recruit the most talented faculty and Elon students to serve as teachers and teaching assistants,” Long says. “Endowment gifts to the Elon Academy sustain the program for the long term and give us the resources to be creative in developing our programs.”
The Lyons have been generous donors to Elon, contributing to scholarships, the Phoenix Club, the Elon Fund and the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center. The couple are members of The Elon Society President’s Circle and the Aesculus Society, which recognizes donors who have given between $100,000 and $499,999 to Elon in their lifetime.
Last summer, the couple came to Elon and spoke with academy students and their parents. They were impressed by what they saw.
“Education is very important to my wife and myself, and we wanted to give to something that is meaningful and that we can follow,” Frank Lyon says. “The Elon Academy is a spectacular program, and we want to keep it going. It’s great that we get these fabulous kids into this program, but I’d love to see us set up an endowment for scholarships to help them get into college.”
Frank Lyon is executive vice president of BK International Insurance Brokers and has served as an Elon trustee since 1991.