Parent giving reaches new heights in 2012-13

Nearly 3,000 parents of current students and alumni showed their support for Elon in the last fiscal year.

From move-in day to Commencement Under the Oaks, Elon parents have always played a vital role in student success at the university. The 2012-13 fiscal year proved no exception, as parent giving soared past the $5.3 million mark for the first time in the university’s 125-year history and helped lift Elon’s overall fundraising total to a record $17.5 million.

“I am astounded at the level of financial support parents provide to Elon over and above annual tuition,” says Bill Sprague P’11 P’14 of Bronxville, NY, who serves on the Elon Parents Council as committee chair of the Parents & Grandparents Fund. “Nearly a third of all Elon parents contributed to the university last year. Nothing could make a stronger statement about their commitment and support of Elon.”

In the course of the fiscal year, which closed May 31, gifts from parents made a positive impact in a multitude of areas on campus. Contributions to Elon’s Parents & Grandparents Fund surpassed $1 million for the first time, and total annual gifts from parents equaled $2,162,279. Annual gifts are received and spent in the same year to sustain the university’s quality academics, scholarship programs, faculty development and premier facilities.

Parent support was also a key factor in bridging the gap between tuition and fees and the amount Elon spends to educate students each year. Currently, tuition covers roughly 80 percent of the university’s annual expenses per student. 

“In a very real sense, every Elon student is on scholarship,” Sprague says. “Year after year, Elon supplements the cost of each student’s education beyond tuition, and that is only possible with the generous support of parents, grandparents, alumni and other friends.”

Many Elon parents direct their gifts to the program, experience or organization that means the most to their student. Bill Sprague and his wife Liz, whose children participated in study abroad as Elon students, have supported international study. Other designations include specific academic schools and departments, and engaged learning experiences such as undergraduate research, internships, leadership programs and service learning opportunities.

For Jake Pope ’01 G’13, assistant director of parent programs, this support is an important measure of satisfaction with Elon’s performance.

“By giving to the university, parents demonstrate that they value the education their children receive on campus,” Pope says. “Their financial support further enriches the experiences and programs that make Elon such a remarkable learning community.”

Pope says many parents find a variety of ways to get involved in the university experience, from volunteering on campus during important events to sharing professional connections through the university’s Student Professional Development Center and The Elon Network group on LinkedIn.

“Elon parents are very committed to the university’s success,” Pope says. “In many ways, Elon would not be the campus it is today without their support.”

To learn more about getting involved at Elon through the Parents Association, which includes all university parents, please contact the Office of Parent Programs.