Alumni launch fundraising effort to endow scholarship in memory of Matthew John Ford ’04

Matthew John Ford ’04

Friends and family of Matthew John Ford ’04 remember him as a loyal friend and proud Elon graduate who was as passionate about computers as he was about the Carolina Panthers football team.

Ford, 26, died last October following an accident at Southland Electric Supply in Burlington, N.C., where he had worked for four years. Ford’s family and friends, including many Elon alumni, are raising money to endow a university scholarship in his name.

“Elon meant a lot to Matt and to us, and we wanted to create a permanent tribute to him at Elon,” says Kristi Garton Hollins ’05, of Greensboro, N.C., who is leading the fundraising effort with her husband, Andrew Hollins ’05. “Once he embraced you as a friend, he’d do anything for you. He was a computer and electronic genius. He could fix anything from computers to cars.”

The goal is to raise $25,000 to fully endow the scholarship, which will assist computing science majors participating in the Elon Experiences, including study abroad, internships, research, service or leadership opportunities. Preference will be given to students with financial need.

Ford, of Greensboro, N.C., was chief information officer at Southland. He worked closely with Andrew Hollins, who remembers his friend as someone who “worked and played hard.”

“He was adamant about academics, and he used to lecture me about going to class,” recalls Andrew, who left Southland to pursue financial investing. “He’d figured out how much my parents were paying for each of my classes and told me I needed to go.”

When he wasn’t cheering on the Panthers, Ford liked to watch NASCAR, work on computers and organize group outings with friends. At Elon, he worked for The Pendulum student newspaper and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

Alumni have created a memorial page on Facebook honoring Ford, and his family has started a blog at

Alumni and friends may contribute to the scholarship online (click on the link to the right) or write a check payable to Elon University and mail it to 2600 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244. Please write Matthew John Ford Memorial Endowment on the memo line.