Scholarship donors and students celebrate the power of philanthropy to change lives

The importance of scholarships at Elon took center stage Thursday night as members of the campus community gathered for the annual Scholarship Dinner. A record crowd of donors and students packed McKinnon Hall to share stories of philanthropy and academic success.

Student scholarship recipients shared their Elon experiences with donors at the annual Scholarship Dinner.
The dinner celebrates the generosity of Elon’sscholarship donors and enables students to meet the benefactors whohave made their scholarships possible.Students heard what inspired the donors to establish scholarships and shared with them their Elon experiences.

More than 275 people attended the dinner, which was the largest crowd ever for this event. In her remarks, senior Kaitlyn Day spoke eloquently about the role of philanthropy in making education possible for young people. She also encouraged students at the dinner to give back to Elon in the future. Day is the 2008 Kenan Honors Fellow at Elon.

Senior Matthew Shingledecker sang “Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the Opera.” Shingledecker, a recipient of the Wayne H. and Mable B. Perrine Memorial Scholarship, played the role of the Phantom in Elon’s performance of the classic Broadway musical in February.

Elon trustee Zachary T. Walker III and President Leo M. Lambert also spoke at the dinner. Walker and his wife, Dot, have made generous gifts to establish the Dorothy S. and Zachary T. Walker III Endowed Scholarship, the Zachary Taylor Walker, Jr. Football Scholarship and the Catherine N. Walker Scholarship.

Lambert thanked the donors for making a difference in the lives of students. He also saluted the accomplishments and talents of the student scholarship recipients and the contributions they have made to Elon.

Looking to the future, the president discussed the importance of additional need-  and merit-based scholarships at Elon through endowment gifts. He mentioned the recent historic $5 million scholarship gift by university trustee Furman Moseley ’56 in honor of his wife, Susan, which was the largest scholarship gift in Elon’s history.

Building the endowment is central to the university’s upcoming fundraising campaign. In addition to scholarships, endowment gifts support professorships to recruit and retain excellent faculty and give them additional time to mentor students, and maintain Elon’s beautiful campus, including its facilities.