The weekly gathering on Phi Beta Kappa Commons offered the campus community an opportunity to thank House for his 10 years as provost and welcome Volety into the role
Phi Beta Kappa Commons offered a fitting backdrop on Tuesday to offer thanks to Provost Steven House for his years of service to the university, including his role leading a team that brought a chapter of the prestigious honor society to campus in 2010.
The occasion was a special College Coffee to recognize a significant leadership transition at Elon, as House concludes 10 years of service as provost and Aswani Volety begins his work for the university in the post, Elon's top academic administrator. Volety took over as provost on Sept. 1 as House shifted his focus to serving as executive vice president through the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
"We talk a lot about the power of relationships," President Connie Ledoux Book told the crowd. "We're so grateful for Steven's relationship with all of us, and his being a constant champion of all that we do."
House joined Elon in 2001 as the founding dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and provided leadership for 17 academic departments and 19 academic programs and overseeing significant increases in the faculty ranks as well as the student body. He was promoted to provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2009 and oversaw growth across the campus, including the establishment of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Elon in 2010.
In his remarks, House recounted how Elon continued to grow and prosper during the past decade even as there has been turmoil nationally, globally and within higher education. He recounted comments from the head of the team assessing Elon's application for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter who had noted how everyone at Elon was committed to advancing the better interests of the greater Elon community.
"My job has been to tell stories," House told the crowd gathered on the commons. "You have an amazing story to tell, and you should all be proud. You are part of an amazing story at an amazing institution."
Louisa Sholar '20, executive vice president of the Student Government Association, announced that in recognition of House's service to the university, the annual academic major fair that students participate in annually has been officially renamed the Steven D. House Academic Opportunities Fair. "Thank you for always thinking of us — the students — and striving to make us better in every way," Sholar said.
Tuesday marked the first College Coffee for Volety as Elon's new provost, and provided a chance for the campus community to welcome him. SGA President Jack Johnson '20 presented Volety with a coffee mug that will serve as his official College Coffee mug, and said Tuesday was a celebration of new beginnings. "It is a home for all of us, and we hopt you make it a home for you as well," Johnson said.
Volety comes to Elon from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he had most recently served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and executive director for the Center for Marine Science. At UNCW he served as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer for one of the school's largest academic units that comprises more than 10,000 students and 26 departments across the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences.
"I am excited and thrilled to be joining the Elon family," Volety said. "I am going to build upon what Steven and his colleagues have done for Elon and take it to the next level."