Driven by dozens of dedicated volunteers, reunion giving programs helped raise more than $1.4 million for the university this year.
Each of Elon’s milestone reunions was well-represented with more than 1,500 alumni donating generously.
Leading the way in terms of participation for class reunions was the Class of 1963. Members of Elon’s Golden Alumni 50th reunion group participated at an impressive rate of 51 percent with a total of $83,233.
Elon’s affinity reunions had a strong showing at Homecoming as well, with the sorority Zeta Phi Beta also achieving 51 percent participation, followed by fraternities Kappa Sigma and Tau Kappa Epsilon with 36 percent and 34 percent participation, respectively. Alpha Xi Delta, Sigma Kappa, Omega Psi Phi, Habitat for Humanity and Elon Volunteers! also celebrated reunions.
This year’s success centered on the outreach efforts of dedicated alumni from each reunion group, such as Class of 1983 volunteer Lisa Johnston Smithdeal ’83 P’12.
“I enjoyed working on the reunion committee,” Smithdeal said. “It was a fun way to reconnect with old classmates and feel like I was a part of the planning for our reunion. I love staying involved with the university and helping out wherever I can.”
The strong sense of pride tied to reunions was clearly evident at Elon’s 125 Anniversary Celebration & Awards Ceremony during Homecoming weekend where Smithdeal and other volunteers presented checks to President Leo M. Lambert in front of a crowd of more than 350 cheering alumni.
“Homecoming weekend presents an outstanding opportunity for our volunteers to see and experience the results of their hard work,” said Jeremy Allen ’07, associate director of annual giving. “Months of planning and outreach culminate in a few days of fun and celebration, and the end result is a lasting impact on the university.”
Kebbler Williams ’98, Elon Trustee and member of the Elon Black Alumni Network who served as reunion chair for the Class of 1998, also reflected on the excitement of the weekend, saying that reconnecting with others at Homecoming was a fantastic experience.
“Memories flowed freely of our time on campus and we were instantly reunited,” she said. “There was an aura of pride around us as we discussed being students at Elon. Our lives have diverged in many ways since we graduated, but the one constant that will forever and always be the same is our love for our alma mater.”
Funds raised by reunion volunteers such as Williams and Smithdeal will support the university in a variety of ways, including student scholarships, academic programming and the Elon Experiences.
“There is much to be done to maintain Elon’s status as an excellent university,” Williams said, looking to the future. “But if each of us gives a small portion of our time and talent, we will surely soar.”
Elon is currently recruiting volunteers to help with Homecoming 2014. Visit the Class Reunions Website for a list of groups for next year’s homecoming, or click here to view the various affinity groups celebrating a reunion in 2014.