Elon community gathers for Martin Alumni Center dedication

The building renovation that was made possible by a generous gift from Chris ’78 P’13 and Nicolette Martin P’13 gives alumni a new place to gather on campus.

Elon President Leo M. Lambert, Taylor Madaffari ’11, Nick Martin ’13, Nicolette Martin and Chris Martin ’78
The Elon community gathered Friday to dedicate Martin Alumni Center during one of several events scheduled to celebrate Elon’s 125th Anniversary Homecoming.

Martin Alumni Center, named in honor of Trustee Chris Martin ’78 P’13 and his wife, Nicolette Martin P’13, opened this fall at the corner of Haggard and O’Kelley avenues and offers a variety of amenities to visiting alumni who are valued by the university.

“Our alumni are not about our university’s past but a part of our future,” President Leo M. Lambert said. “The future reputation of this university is going to be based on the accomplishments of our alumni body.”

The Martins, whose son Nick graduated in May with a business administration degree, are among the university’s most generous donors. In April it was announced that a gift from the family would fund the extensive renovation of the building that houses the center and formerly held Elon’s office of financial planning.

The building’s layout, which features spacious reception and gathering areas, inviting porches and terraces, a catering kitchen and offices for alumni engagement staff, is designed to accommodate events and informal gatherings. It also serves as a welcome center customized for alumni returning to campus.

The Martin Alumni Center is a place for families and for connecting with friends. It’s a place of pride and a place for legacy, Chris Martin said.

“It is mostly a place for reconnecting—a unique building that brings us back and connects all of us,” he said. “It’s a place where relationships can be renewed, and a meeting spot for young alums, who are such a vibrant group and energize everyone who meets and interacts with them.”

It is significant that Elon now has a place dedicated for alumni, Trustee Kebbler Williams ’98 said.

“This center sends the message to alumni everywhere that we are important, we are valued and our continued connection with the university is a priority,” Williams said. “Each time I return to this campus and see all the familiar faces, I am welcomed in the way that old friends commonly greet each other. It is as though I have entered a place that is truly magical. I feel very at home on this campus, and I am thrilled that my fellow alumni now have a dedicated space in a prominent location to call home.”

The terraces and walkways leading to the Martin Alumni Center showcase personalized bricks donated by alumni who participated in the Pave the Way giving campaign. Many alumni attended the dedication on Nov. 8, toured the facility and took the time to find their personalized bricks

At the end of the dedication ceremony, Chris, Nicolette and Nick Martin and Nick’s fiancee, Taylor Madaffari ’11, placed their inscribed bricks just outside the building’s door.

Informational displays located in the living room highlight Elon’s history and traditions, and a video celebrating the Elon alumni experience, created by Tim Johnson ’09 and Max Cantor ’10, is shown regularly. Alumni can sign up for campus tours at the center and learn more about future developments at the university.

“As alumni, this is your place to come back to,” Lambert said. “You are always welcome. This is your home base.”

In 2010 Chris and Nicolette Martin founded the Martin Family Scholarship for students with financial need. They also are members of the Founder’s Circle of The Elon Society, the Palladian Society and the Order of the Oak, giving societies recognizing Elon’s most generous donors. Nick Martin is a member of Elon’s 2012-13 senior class giving committee.

Chris Martin, who was elected to the university’s Board of Trustees in 2013, has been a dedicated volunteer, serving as a member and past president of the Elon Alumni Board. In 2012 he was named Elon’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his professional achievement, community service and contributions to the university.