Elon caps 125th anniversary week with 'A Thousand Thanks'

The fourth annual gratitude event celebrated the impact of philanthropy on Elon’s campus.

Students took time to write thank-you notes on March 12.
For hundreds of students, faculty and staff members, the celebration of Elon’s 125th anniversary on March 11 also included the opportunity to express their appreciation to donors who have helped make their Elon experience possible.

Participants in A Thousand Thanks wrote more than 1,100 notes to Elon donors, exceeding the event’s previous record of 564 notes written in one day. The event also garnered the support of an anonymous Elon employee, who pledged to give the university $1 for each note written.

“I’m glad to see that this event is becoming an Elon tradition,” says Kelly Smith ’14, student organizer of A Thousand Thanks. “Because tuition doesn’t cover the entire cost of attending Elon each year, every Elon student is on partial scholarship in a sense. Donors bridge the gap, and we have them to thank for the professorships, facilities and programs that make Elon the special school it is.”

The event, held March 12, included six locations around campus where members of the Elon community could write thank-you notes. The stations were staffed by members of various Elon student organizations. President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley ’46 paid a visit to the Moseley Center’s Thousand Thanks table and wrote several notes.

Notes were written on postcards featuring the prompt, “Because of Elon donors, I…” and the responses covered a wide range of topics including Elon’s study abroad program, campus facilities, scholarships, faculty, cultural programs, athletics and academic programs.

“Because of Elon donors, I am able to thrive in a small classroom setting with personal connections with professors,” wrote one student.

Another expressed gratitude for the opportunities for growth at Elon, saying “Because of Elon donors, I figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Thanks for supporting an institution that promotes curiosity and academic exploration.”

The reach of A Thousand Thanks extended far beyond Elon’s campus, with students submitting thank-you notes electronically from study abroad programs around the world.

Senior Brian Sullivan, who volunteered on behalf of Elon’s Phonathon at the Thousand Thanks table located in the Writing Center in Belk Library, noted the many different ways philanthropy plays a role at Elon.

“Since no two students have an identical Elon experience, it was great to see what donors and supporters have done to make every student’s experience so unique and special,” says Sullivan.  “Events like A Thousand Thanks really show Elon students’ true colors and prove again and again why we are all so lucky to be a part of this community.”

For more information about A Thousand Thanks, visit twitter.com/Elon_Thanks.