Banquet celebrates Elon employees and Black Alumni Scholarship

The Elon Black Alumni Network honored five past and present Elon University employees Saturday night in a Homecoming banquet to celebrate influential people who contributed to the success of black students on Elon's campus and to the newly endowed Black Alumni Scholarship.

The Elon Black Alumni Network honored current and former employees, plus the Black Cultural Society, at an Oct. 23 dinner banquet held as part of Homecoming 2010. (Photo courtesy of Clint Walker ’01)

Betty Covington P’94, Janice Ratliff, Marsha Boone P’06, Lisa Ratliff Roper ’93, former Elon employee Annette Orbert ’90 and the late professor Wilhelmina Boyd, as well as the Black Cultural Society, were recognized for the myriad ways they have touched the lives of thousands of Elon students, and for their influence on the lives of African-American students in particular.

The Saturday event was the first in what alumni leaders hope will be a continuing series of annual Homecoming banquets. “This is our first year of recognizing staff and faculty for going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure kids are successful on campus and feel at home,” said Mike Duggins ’92, president of the Black Alumni Network.

Honorees for the award do not have to be African-American faculty/staff or alumni, but rather faculty/staff or alumni who have had a positive effect specifically on the experiences of black students at Elon.

The banquet also served as a celebration of the endowed Black Alumni Scholarship. Making an Elon education available to deserving students was the inspiration behind the scholarship, established in 2007 with gifts and pledges from African-American alumni.

Since the group’s founding in 2000, members have committed themselves to endowing a scholarship to ensure that financial circumstance is not a barrier to earning an Elon degree. The scholarship, which will be awarded for the first time next fall, will be given annually to a black student with demonstrated financial need and academic merit.

Additional donations to the scholarship ensure that the award amount will continue to grow.