Elon Trustee and alumnus makes generous gift to Elon LEADS Campaign

John Hill ’76 and his wife, Lesley Hill, have made a $100,000 gift to support The Inn at Elon, student scholarships and Phoenix athletics.

Elon alumnus and Trustee John Hill ’76 and his wife, Lesley, of Bonita Springs, Florida, have made a $100,000 gift commitment to support The Inn at Elon, the university’s new on-campus boutique hotel, as well as student scholarships, men’s tennis and the Phoenix Club.

John Hill called The Inn the “crown jewel” of gathering places for alumni, parents and prospective families.

“We needed a beautiful place to spend time on campus, and that’s what The Inn provides,” Hill said. “It’s a unique spot that is going to bring our community together to enjoy everything on campus. Lesley and I are looking forward to spending our time at The Inn, and we’ll probably spend more time on campus because it’s there.”

The three-story hotel, 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 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.

Owned by the university’s endowment, a stay at The Inn is a “stay with purpose” because all profits from the hotel will support student scholarships. That mission inspired the couple to support this campaign priority.

“The Inn is an important investment in many other ways besides the facility itself,” John Hill said. “Elon is an outstanding value compared to other universities, yet we may still be out of reach for many families for whom scholarship support is critical.”

The Hills are among Elon’s most generous donors, making several gifts to the Elon LEADS Campaign, which will raise $250 million in new resources to increase scholarship support, access to the Elon Experiences engaged learning programs, support for faculty and staff mentors, and to develop the university’s iconic campus. In addition to naming two rooms at The Inn, the couple’s recent $100,000 commitment will support scholarships, the Phoenix Club and the men’s tennis program.

Hill said it’s important for alumni and the entire Elon community to continue to support the Elon LEADS Campaign at all levels. All gifts to the university for any designation count toward Elon LEADS, which was launched in April 2019 and has raised $194 million to date.

“We need to provide opportunities to as many students as we can, and Elon LEADS is designed to do that,” Hill said. “This campaign will also allow Elon to continue providing great facilities like The Inn and outstanding faculty and staff for our students.”

Hill earned his Elon degree in economics and business administration and was a member of the men’s tennis team. He has remained involved with his alma mater, serving previously as president of the Elon Alumni Board and currently as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013.

Through their philanthropy, the couple have established the John R. Hill ’76 and Lesley W. Hill Endowed Fund for Engaged Learning in Business to support research or other on-campus study, international study or business-related internships. They have also made gifts to name spaces in Richard W. Sankey Hall and the Inman Admissions Welcome Center. The first-floor conference room in the Inman Admissions Welcome Center is named in their honor.

The couple are members of Order of the Oak, Elon’s planned giving society, recognizing donors who have made estate or other planned gifts to the university. John Hill received Elon’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award in 2016. He serves as chief executive officer of Pinnacle Advisory Group, a leading privately held wealth management firm.

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. Donors have contributed $194 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.