Statement from Elon’s Office of Alumni Engagement

A message from alumni engagement leadership Brian Feeley '03 and Deidra Smith in support of Elon alumni, students and colleagues of color.

On behalf of the Office of Alumni Engagement at Elon, we stand in support of, and in solidarity with, our alumni, students and colleagues of color. We affirm: Black Lives Matter.

A few days ago, Jim Piatt, Vice President for University Advancement, asked all members of the University Advancement Division “to commit ourselves to being forces for change.” The Office of Alumni Engagement accepts that responsibility and shared commitment.

We have been heartened by the active conversations among Elon’s alumni about systemic racism and injustice in our society sparked in part by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. In the midst of watching painful events unfold across our country, we have also seen an outpouring of empathy and allyship inside our alumni body. Now more than ever, the world needs the kind of active leadership Elon alumni provide within their families, businesses, communities and to their alma mater.

Many Black alumni and allies have thoughtfully contacted us with direct feedback out of care and concern for members of our community and for Elon as a whole. Any meaningful lifelong relationship, including an institutional one, is based on honesty and engagement. We encourage Elon alumni to continue engaging with each other, and with us, as we build an even stronger future together as one Elon community.

What we say, and more importantly, what we do, defines us. Our commitment to serve the full diversity of our alumni body in an inclusive and respectful way is longstanding, as is our strong partnership with the Elon Black Alumni Network (EBAN) since its founding 24 years ago. In recent years we have taken significant steps to expand our support for EBAN and strengthen our partnership with the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE). In the days ahead we will be listening deeply to EBAN and engaging the Young Alumni Council and Elon Alumni Board in discussions about how we can do more as an office, and as an alumni family.

Brian Feeley ’03, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving

Deidra Smith, Director of Alumni Engagement