Believing in Elon

Loyal annual donors since graduation, Ben ’11 and Sarah Graves ’12 Lunka most recently made a five-year gift commitment to name a room at The Inn at Elon.

Ben ’11 and Sarah Graves ’12 Lunka

Those who love Elon know it as a place that is always growing. True to its mission of transforming students in “mind, body, and spirit,” Elon sparks remarkable development in the young people who walk its brick pathways. The same is true for Ben ’11 and Sarah Graves ’12 Lunka of Charlotte, North Carolina, who met on campus and credit Elon with changing their lives for the better.

“The personal relationships at Elon helped me become a leader and enabled me to take my academic journey by the horns,” says Sarah, a development associate for Teach for America. “I knew my professors really well. No one was holding my hand, but I was always pushed to be better.”

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Ben, a managing director for 7 Mile Advisors investment bank, recalls the life lessons he learned playing for the Elon men’s soccer team.  “I’ll never forget having that kind of camaraderie, experiencing highs and lows together along the way,” he says. “You’re digging deep on the field while balancing academic challenges. I wouldn’t trade that brotherhood for the world.”

As young alumni, they have already made a significant mark at Elon through their philanthropy. They have been loyal annual donors since graduation, and most recently made a five-year gift commitment to name a room at The Inn at Elon. The boutique hotel opened on campus in January and has been a key fundraising priority for the Elon LEADS Campaign. “Giving back to Elon is something we want to continue to do,” says Sarah, who served on the Elon LEADS Regional Campaign Committee for Charlotte. “The Inn at Elon really made us want to step up.”

Learning that profits from the inn will help fund student scholarships piqued their interest in supporting the project even further. “Elon has made a big impact on the direction of our lives and careers,” says Ben. “When you believe in something, you try to give back any way you can.”

Learn more: Ben ’11 and Sarah Graves ’12 Lunka are proud members of The Elon Society, which honors leadership annual giving donors who make a gift of $1,500 or more each year for any purpose. Visit to learn more.