Strengthening seeds of education

Longtime Elon supporters Bob and Barbara Byrd are including Elon in their estate plans to support the Department of Music, Elon Academy and the “It Takes a Village” Project.

As Bob and Barbara Byrd started to think about their estate planning, it soon became clear Elon University would be a part of it. Bob, a retired hospital administrator and civic and political leader, has a front-row view of how much Elon has impacted Alamance County. Barbara, an Alamance County native, musician and music teacher, has a long association with Elon and its Department of Music.

By including Elon in their estate plan, the Byrds of Burlington, North Carolina, are accomplishing those goals. Future proceeds from their planned gift will support three areas of the university: The Department of Music, Elon Academy and the “It Takes a Village” Project. Elon Academy and the Village Project are part of Elon’s Center for Access and Success. Both programs help students in Alamance County find a pathway to a college education or greater success in secondary education. “I wanted a lot of our assets to go to organizations that make a difference in our community. In my role as a commissioner and on other boards, two of those programs are the Village Project and Elon Academy,” Bob says.

“Elon is in our community. It’s part of my past. I didn’t go to school there, but I lived here,” Barbara says. “As a piano teacher, I took part in many activities in the music department. I knew a lot of the professors and students. I feel close to that department. And I’m particularly impressed by Elon Academy.”

Bob is a first-generation college student who graduated from Penn State University. Barbara graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They are strong advocates for education who have a history of giving to music and Elon Academy. Their planned gift ensures their generosity will be a part of Elon’s future as it is counted as part of the $250 million Elon LEADS fundraising campaign.

Learn how you can make a difference through an estate gift by contacting Elizabeth Read, assistant director of planned giving, at 336-278-7474 or