Elon family makes gift supporting scholarships, The Inn at Elon

The generous gift by John Sadler ’81 P’19 ’20 and his wife, Miriam P’19 ’20, will establish an Elon Engagement Scholarship and honor their sons and one of Elon’s most beloved staff members. Their gift is part of the Elon LEADS Campaign.

As a student at Elon, John Sadler ’81, P’19 ’20, was a campus leader. He was an adviser in his residence hall for three years, a fraternity member, served as yearbook editor and was student body president his senior year. After graduation, he worked in Elon’s Admissions Office for five years.

“I was all in for Elon,” Sadler says today from his home in Baltimore. Sadler and his family are still strongly connected to Elon. He and wife Miriam are parents to William ’19 and Johnny ’20. They also have twin nephews, Neil Ragan ’20 and Sean Ragan ’20 at Elon.

“I have lots of great memories at Elon. There is nothing better than to see it grow,” Sadler says. “As one of the Elon’s presidents once said, ‘The best schools are the ones that are never finished.’ Elon lives that with a passion.”

The Sadlers are supporting the university’s continued growth with a generous gift to the Elon LEADS Campaign to support the Inn at Elon and establish the Sadler Family Elon Engagement Scholarship. The Inn at Elon is an asset owned by the university’s endowment with profits supporting scholarships.

In making their gift, the Sadler family is supporting several priorities of the Elon LEADS Campaign: Elon’s iconic campus facilities, deepening scholarship funding and increasing access to the Elon Experiences, the university’s high-impact engaged learning programs.

Elon Engagement Scholarships are designed for promising students who embody the spirit and values of the university and are eager to take advantage of the Elon Experiences: Study Abroad/Study USA, Undergraduate Research, Internships, Leadership and Service Learning. Engagement Scholarships include a one-time grant to be used for one of the Elon Experiences.

“The inn was a piece of the puzzle Elon was really missing,” Sadler says. “It will serve a lot of people, not just parents and alumni but visiting professors and guest lecturers. When you think of the proceeds going to scholarships, it pushes all the buttons as the right thing to do.”

The three-story inn, which opened on Jan. 11, includes 70 rooms and 10 suites and is located adjacent to the Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center. Operated by Charlestowne Hotels, The Inn at Elon features an upscale restaurant and lounge, ballroom facilities and an event terrace among other amenities. It will also host wedding receptions, reunions, academic or business conferences and other events.

In recognition of their gift, the Sadlers will name one of the guest rooms at the inn in honor of Barry Bradberry ’75, associate dean of admissions and financial aid. Bradberry has been a fixture on Elon’s campus since his days as a student and was a colleague of Sadler’s during his five years working in the Admissions Office.

“Barry was always such a good friend to me over the years,” Sadler says. “I have always been engaged with Elon, but I hadn’t returned to campus all that often. Barry was always my link. I would talk to Barry and it was like you never left. He was the happy go-between who helped us all stay in touch.”

Bradberry is often among the first people a prospective student meets as they learn about Elon before deciding to attend. Their interactions with Bradberry make a difference in the recruiting process. Sadler saw it with his two sons.

“When anybody visits Elon, I tell them to talk to Barry Bradberry. He spoke to my sons and did his Barry thing and he helped give them a great experience at Elon,” Sadler says. “When they see him on campus, he always greets them. Elon has gotten bigger and wonderful, but it still has the feel of a small community.”

Bradberry describes his relationship with Sadler as that of a big brother. They became close friends working in Admissions where Bradberry says Sadler pioneered Elon recruiting in the Maryland area.

“I’m absolutely honored. I’ve been speechless twice in my life. The first time was when (a donor) dedicated a room to me in the Inman Admissions Welcome Center and now a room in the inn,” Bradberry says. “John giving back like he’s doing right now is a tribute to the experience he had at Elon. He’s a great person who will always do the right thing when nobody’s watching, and you don’t find many people like that.”

In recognition of their gift, the Sadlers will also name Room 210 in McEwen Hall in the School of Communications in honor of their sons. Johnny Sadler ’20 will graduate this spring with a degree in Strategic Communications.

“The School of Communications was a big thing for Johnny,” Sadler says. “The School of Communications is one of the best in the country, and we wanted to support that.”

Sadler is director of instrument sales with Teleflex Medical, a global provider of medical devices, and Miriam Sadler, a graduate of Georgetown University, is a senior vice president with Truist bank. They have previously made gifts to support Elon’s Biology Department, Catholic Campus Ministries, the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and scholarships.

About the Elon LEADS Campaign

With a $250 million goal, Elon LEADS is the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history and will support four main funding priorities: scholarships for graduates the world needs, increase access to engaged learning opportunities such as study abroad, research and service-learning, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and Elon’s iconic campus. To date, donors have contributed $190 million toward the goal.

Every gift to the university — including annual, endowment, capital, estate and other planned gifts — for any designation counts as a gift to the campaign, which will support students and strengthen Elon for generations to come. To learn more about how you can make an impact, visit www.elonleads.com.