Call to Honor program celebrates Elon values

First-year students pledged to uphold the four virtues of the Elon Honor Code during the Call to Honor ceremony Sept. 15 in Alumni Gym.  

​​Elon University’s Class of 2021 gathered Thursday morning in Alumni Gym to affirm their commitment to the four values of the Elon Honor Code – honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect – during the 12th annual Call to Honor ceremony.

Led by Student Government Association President Morgan Bodenarain with additional remarks by Elon President Leo M. Lambert, Class of 2021 President Cam Waddell and Elon alumnus Olise Obi ’17, the ceremony emphasized the importance of practicing these core values daily throughout the collegiate experience and beyond.

SGA officers from each class signed their names to the honor code book during the event. Following the ceremony, students from the Class of 2021 received commemorative coins inscribed with the word “honor” and signed their names to copies of the Elon Honor Code.

“Elon’s academic and social honor codes have been joined into a unified code to remind us that Elon’s principles of honor apply to us both on and off campus,” Bodenarain said during the ceremony. “Whether we are in classrooms or residence halls, on a playing field or in the library, at an internship or at a party, studying abroad or using the internet, we are honor bound by the values of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect. These are more than just words; they should guide every decision we make throughout life.”

The speakers underscored the honor code’s significance not only in guiding students as individuals, but in unifying the entire Elon community. While students are responsible for applying the four pillars of the honor code to their own behavior, Bodenarain said they are also responsible for contributing positively to the well-being of others.

“I also want to encourage us to recognize that respecting others is a call to action, a charge to be bold and to move beyond what we may find comfortable,” Bodenarain said. “It calls us to actively engage and learn from others who may be different, including learning how to be involved in productive and, yes at times, difficult dialogues.”

Obi shared how the values of the Elon Honor Code have shaped his personal experiences, and advised students on how to use the code to facilitate their own development as they pursue success in a divided world. From his time as a public health studies major at Elon to his current work as an Elon-Alamance Health Partners Fellow, Obi said he has felt the impact of the honor code’s four pillars in the local community and around the world.

“My study abroad experience showed me that Elon students are known globally for being honest,” Obi said. “Our integrity is impeccable even when our principles are being tested. We understand that we are not perfect beings so we are willing to take responsibility for our actions and, finally, we respect all cultures and identities.”

​Each class represents one of the four pillars that together comprise the Elon Honor Code. The Class of 2018 represents responsibility, which involves being accountable for your actions and their effect on other people. Respect, represented by the Class of 2019, requires recognizing one’s own unique abilities, treating people with civility and upholding the dignity of others. Honesty, represented by the Class of 2020, necessitates being truthful in your work and your relationships.

The Class of 2021 represents integrity, which includes being trustworthy, fair and ethical. “Let your internal core values guide your behavior,” Waddell said. “Be true to your word and demonstrate that you can be trusted to carry out responsibilities and live up to your pledges.  Be committed to high moral and ethical standards in your treatment of others. Having integrity brings a special strength to our university community – it allows us to trust one another, work together and have the confidence to be our authentic selves.”

Lambert concluded the event by leading the class in reciting the Call to Honor:

Today we are entrusted with the honorable legacy of Elon University, dedicated to the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of all its members, to the advancement of knowledge for the good of all, and to the service of local, national and global communities. To that end, we affirm our commitment to the core values of our university:

  • We commit ourselves to honesty, being truthful in our academic work and in our relationships with others.
  • We commit ourselves to show integrity, being trustworthy, fair and ethical.
  • We commit ourselves to responsibility, being accountable for our actions and for our learning.
  • We commit ourselves to respect, being civil, valuing the dignity of each person, and respecting the physical and intellectual property of others.

With these commitments we join generations of Elon students as bearers of its honor.