Call to Honor ceremony celebrates Elon values of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect

The annual program for first-year students was adapted this year so that the Class of 2024 could participate in small groups to learn about the four virtues central to the Elon Honor Code.

Members of Elon’s Class of 2024 gathered in small groups around campus on Wednesday, Aug. 18, to learn about the four pillars of the Elon Honor Code — honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect — during the 15th annual Call to Honor ceremony.

Typically held with the entire class filling Alumni Gym, the ceremony this year was adapted to incorporate health and safety measures. Elon’s newest students participated remotely by viewing a video detailing the importance of these virtues to the university and beginning what will be ongoing discussions about how they are integral to their academic, professional and personal lives.

“Our honor code values guide us in our actions inside and outside the classroom — in our residences, in our in our residences, in our communities, throughout our time at Elon, and into our time as alumni,” said SGA Executive President Robbie Miley in the virtual ceremony. “We gather for the Call to Honor as an opportunity to affirm and celebrate our commitment to the values that bind us together as members of the Elon Unviersity community.”

Along with insights into the Honor Code from Miley and President Connie Ledoux Book, the video featured the thoughts of current students and members of the faculty and staff about the impact the code has had on their Elon experience.

Hannah Southern ’22 noted that the Honor Code is written on each course syllabus she’s had while at Elon, but now she views it as much more than a list of rules. “When you really think about what those values mean, and why exactly they would be important to your college experience, it takes it from being just a list of rules that you have to follow to being a personal commitment to your own growth,” Southern said.

The Honor Code pulls members of the Elon family together, said Sylvia Munoz, associate director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education and director of El Centro. “It’s kind of like what bind us together as a community,” Munoz said. “It’s what we all follow to make sure that we can be part of the community.”

Students gathered in small groups around campus on Tuesday, Aug. 18, to participate virtually in the Call to Honor ceremony.

As the learning environment changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, having an honor code to rely upon is valuable, said Kamaria Majors ’21. “Especially as we are potentially moving into more of a digital classroom, making sure that you are still holding yourself accountable to doing the same work that you would be doing in a regular classroom,” Majors said. “Using your resources responsibly, so just using your textbooks and whatever your teacher says that you should be using and not anything else, and making sure that you were really staying committed because that’s how you’re going to do your best learning.”

Communication is also an important component of making sure the Honor Code is effective within the campus community, said Titch Madzima, assistant professor of exercise science. “When you are going through those periods of struggle where you may be tempted to compromise on the aspects of the honor code — honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect — reach out,” Madzima said. “Reach out to your professors, to staff on campus, to your peers, because we’re all in this together.”

President Book closed out the ceremony with a pledge that Elon will do its part to challenge students to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually. “I am counting on you to accept Elon’s challenges, and to join your faculty and staff in the daily practice of these core values. We have pledged our commitment to live these Elon values.”

As a reminder of these values, each new student received an honor coin inscribed with the four virtues. Book said she hopes the coin will help students recall the Call to Honor ceremony and the commitment to these values and the community.

Elon’s Call to Honor

Today we are entrusted with the honorable legacy of Elon University, dedicated to the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of all its members, to the advancement of knowledge for the good of all, and to the service of local, national and global communities. To that end, we affirm our commitment to the core values of our university:

  • We commit ourselves to honesty, being truthful in our academic work and in our relationship with others. 
  • We commit ourselves to show integrity, being trustworthy, fair and ethical. 
  • We commit ourselves to responsibility, being accountable for our actions and for our learning. 
  • We commit ourselves to respect, being civil, valuing the dignity of each person, and respecting the physical and intellectual property of others.

With these commitments, we join generations of Elon students as bearers of its honor.