Elon shines in New York City

Alumni, parents and friends attended the annual Evening for Elon event at the Waldorf Astoria that celebrated the strength of the alumni network and the power of relationships formed at Elon.

Elon President Leo M. Lambert
David Beahm '83
One of the biggest events of the year took place in New York City on Sept. 10 as more than 800 Elon University alumni, parents and friends filled the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan for the annual Evening for Elon event in the city.

The event focused on the strength of the alumni network in New York and across the world. It highlighted the stories of alumni and parents whose engagement with the university is impacting programs on campus and advancing alumni careers.

“Our alumni network has never been more vibrant and now stretches all across the world, including our emerging markets in Chicago, Denver, Dallas, San Francisco, and now in London,” said Brian Feeley ’03, director of alumni engagement, during his opening remarks. “Tonight, we are celebrating the network that each of you is building here in New York, which is one of Elon’s most important strategic markets.”

He added that Elon’s programs in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have become a national model for excellence in academic internship experiences. For instance, this year the Elon in New York program enrolled 75 students interning in companies and organizations including Major League Baseball, Sony Music Entertainment, The United Nations and 60 Minutes.

Katie Chung ’12, a music theatre alumna, shared stories of alumni and parents who have strengthen the Elon network in New York, including:

  • Sam Burke ’89 P’19, a loyal supporter of Elon athletics and the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business whose influence at Pricewaterhouse Coopers has translated into a dozen Elon interns being hired each year for the past five years.
  • Daniel Watts ’04, who besides helping bring national attention to Elon and its renowned music theatre program through his spoken word projects often returns to campus to share his gifts with Elon students.
  • Chris Martin ’78 P’13, an Elon trustee who together with his family—wife Nicolette and son Nick—made possible the Martin Alumni Center, the home base for all alumni when they visit campus.
  • Gabrielle McGee ’06 and Molly Heffernan ’11, who are making an impact at the Tory Burch Foundation, where together they lead innovative digital initiatives to empower women entrepreneurs.
  • Andy and Muffy Fox P’14 P’15 P’17, who have opened their homes to host admissions events and to welcome new students and parents into the Elon family.
  • Shane Powers ’99, who in his 16 years at Credit Suisse has helped recruit more than 20 Elon alumni and student interns, helping to advance their careers.
  • Erica Ayala ’08, who for the past 10 years has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund to improve the lives of young people in her community and mentored students through prior service on the Young Alumni Council.

The crowd also heard from President Leo M. Lambert, who gave an update on the School of Communications expansion and highlighted the important role alumni and parent philanthropy play in building the university’s endowment to support scholarships and access to the Elon Experiences.

“The great work for the next 50 years is to build our endowment to keep Elon as affordable and accessible as possible,” he said. “I hope we can count on each of you to support our university to ensure that Elon remains an ever changing, innovative, and student-centered campus that elevates the minds and souls of students and—with your help—continues to rise, grow, and change the world one graduate at a time.”

He also thanked Elon parents Ed and Joan Doherty ’07 for once again hosting the event. The Dohertys have been generous supporters of the university and served as Elon Parents Council members before Ed joined the Board of Trustees in 2006. They also serve as chairs of the Comprehensive Campaign Planning Committee. In 2007 the Dohertys made a $1 million gift to endow The Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Elon’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.

David Beahm ’83, one of America’s prominent event designers, closed the event by paying tribute to the faculty who helped him find his passion and purpose at Elon. A Loyal Alumni Celebration was held immediately after the event for graduates who have supported the university each year. More than 300 alumni donors were in attendance.

Evenings for Elon are held to build strong connections between the university and alumni, parents and friends in cities around the country. The New York Evening For Elon was one of several Evening for Elon events scheduled for the 2015-16 academic year.