More than 250 reunion volunteers combined to help raise over $1.5 million for the university this year.
By Sarah Graves ’12 and Chandler Thompson
Elon’s milestone reunion programs had a successful year at Homecoming 2014. Eleven class reunions and seven affinity reunions joined together on campus Oct. 17-19 to celebrate a year of planning and outreach.
This was the inaugural year for Reunion Zero, a reunion for the most recent graduating class. The class of 2014 joined the other milestone reunions and celebrated their first reunion just a few months after their May graduation. Reunion Zero attendees were invited to a special class of 2014 tailgate and raised $37,069 as their class gift, which included senior class giving and additional funds raised since May.
The Class of 1964 led the way for class reunions with 43 percent participation and a class gift of $95,817. The Golden Alumni Luncheon was a highlight for many of the members of the class during Homecoming weekend. This annual luncheon is a way for the members of the 50th reunion class to be inducted as Elon Golden Alumni.
Among affinity reunions, Phi Beta Sigma achieved a leading 55 percent participation, followed by strong showings from Pi Kappa Phi and Delta Delta Delta. A total of $295,950 was raised from affinity reunion groups. The key to success for these reunions and others centered on the work of dedicated volunteers.
Elon trustee Noel Allen ’69 P’07 served as a 1969 reunion volunteer and contributed a successful matching gift with the class, helping them raise the highest dollar amount of $406,273. Allen and the volunteers worked together to reach out to their classmates while also reminiscing about times at Elon from 45 years ago.
“This was my first experience as a reunion volunteer and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Allen said. “It was great to connect with old friends and see the impact of our reunion giving efforts.”
Thanks to the work of volunteers like Allen, more than 400 class reunion gifts came in during a two-month outreach period to classmates. Two classes, the class of 1969 and 1989, had successful matching gifts from alumni. Matching gifts help reunions increase participation while also raising the impact of the class gift at Elon.
Katie Howell Fayard ’04, co-chair of the 2004 reunion committee, reflected on the opportunity to give back to Elon and connect with alumni. “I loved working as a reunion volunteer and being able to give back to Elon after all of these years.” she said. “It definitely sparked my interest in the Elon community again, and I look forward to connecting with fellow alumni throughout the years thanks to programs like reunions.”
Fayard added she was proud to work with Jen Hildebrand ’04, reunion co-chair, and present a check of more than $40,000 on behalf of the class of 2004 to President Leo M. Lambert at the Homecoming opening ceremony. “After years of thinking that college is only a four year commitment, I realized that we truly are partners, advocates and investors for life. Go Elon!”
If you are celebrating a milestone reunion next year and would like to serve as a volunteer, contact Elon’s associate director of annual giving, Jeremy Allen ’07.