Elon dedicates new 'front door' to campus

The community celebrated Friday the alumni, parents and friends whose generosity made possible the Inman Admissions Welcome Center, which will greet generations of prospective Elon University students and their families.

Elon University leaders formally dedicated the Inman Admissions Welcome Center on Friday afternoon in a ceremony that showcased the beauty and openness of what was described as the new “front door” to campus.

Led by Elon President Leo M. Lambert, the ceremony on May 1, 2015, offered students, faculty, staff and administrators an opportunity to thank the many donors whose gifts supported construction of the new 32,000-square-foot building on what was once the Moseley Center parking lot.

The Inman Center completes a landscaped quadrangle formed by the admissions building, Moseley Center, Belk Library and North O’Kelly Avenue. It houses under one roof admissions staff, financial planning staff and welcome center staff, with a breathtaking lobby and atrium, conference rooms, two presentation theaters and office suites.

The building’s exterior incorporates features common to Elon’s campus, including brick arches, a cupola, brick paths and lush lawns.

“Spectacular is the only way to describe it,” said Greg Zaiser ‘90 MBA ‘95, vice president of admissions and financial planning, who noted that since the building opened in January it has already greeted just shy of 5,000 prospective students and their families. “What a great way to start their Elon experience.”

About 12,000 prospective students visited campus in 2013-14, and with strong growth in the number of incoming students from Illinois, Texas and California, on top of established interest in Elon from the Northeast, a welcome center had become a top priority for the university. “What we have seen here is a great Elon response to an important need,” Lambert said as he recognized donors.

The facility is named for Elon Trustee William Inman and his wife, Patricia, who are among the university’s most generous benefactors and the parents of Jackie Inman Burns, a 2000 Elon graduate.

Bill Inman represented his family at Friday’s dedication and drew laughs from his audience by crediting his wife for encouraging a lead gift to fund the building. He also reflected on two decades of associating with Elon, starting with his daughter’s arrival on campus.

Inman praised the university’s core studies and its attention to service-learning and community engagement, as well as its emphasis on studying abroad.

“These Elon experiences can only be found here,” he said.

The experiences of their daughter inspired the Inmans’ continued involvement at the university. In addition to annual contributions for the university’s greatest needs and the Phoenix Club, the Inmans have supported construction of Rhodes Stadium, the Koury Business Center, the Numen Lumen Pavilion and Lindner Hall.

The Inman Reading Room on the first floor of Lindner Hall in the Academic Village is named in their honor.

A graduating senior who offered an expression of appreciation noted the importance of introducing prospective students to Elon in such a warm and impressive fashion.

“First impressions are lasting impressions,” said Zora A.B. Stephenson, an admissions tour guide and member of the women’s basketball team. “When prospective students visit campus, this building will be the first place they visit. … They will remember this building and all the wonderful people who greeted them.”

The dedication recognized additional families and alumni whose gifts made the new building a reality. With scattered showers across the region earlier in the day, organizers had moved the dedication indoors to the Clohan Theatre, named for Robert A. Clohan III ‘67, who also saw two children and a grandchild attend Elon.

A reception afterward took place in the Nugent Atrium, named for Tracey Walser Nugent ‘84 and James R. Nugent Jr. P’15. Among other donors recognized in the dedication program:

  • Kelly and Sam Burke ‘89
  • The Cannon Foundation
  • William T. and Julie W. Heflin P’13
  • John R. Hill ‘76 and Lesley W. Hill
  • Beverly and Clayton Hollis P’13
  • Andrew and Muffy Fox P’14, P’15, P’17
  • Sarah and Thomas P. Mac Mahon
  • Anthony L. and Sarah H. Menchaca P’12
  • Jay and Daphne Shipowitz P’12
  • Carl and Jane Showalter P’15
  • John and Joy Tricoli P’13, LP’16, P’18
  • Susan and William Tucker P’16
  • Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker Jr. P’78, P’79, GP’06
  • Randall J. and Catherine P. Weisenburger P’14