Elon donors rise to the occasion to give back and mask up

More than 2,400 alumni, parents and friends made gifts during the “Masks On. Rise Up!” initiative in August to support Elon students and programs, despite challenging times worldwide.

In August, the Elon community proved once again that individual gestures can add up collectively to make a huge impact, particularly in times of need. Throughout the month, Elon donors responded by the thousands to the “Masks On. Rise Up!” initiative, providing critical financial support to their chosen campus funds and receiving Elon-branded masks in return as a thank you.

During the initiative, donors made more than 2,400 gifts totaling more than $100,000 in support for Elon students and programs. Every dollar contributed goes directly to the donor’s chosen designation, making a difference in that specific area.

With masks now required nearly every place in society, this initiative was a way for the Elon community to make a difference twice over – giving back to education and doing their part to protect their community at the same time.

“Elon is grateful for the continued support of our loyal donors, especially in such challenging and unpredictable times,” said Brian Feeley ’03, senior director of alumni engagement and annual giving. “We can all agree that education changes lives. One of the most important ways we can make a positive difference in society is by expanding access to education through our financial support.”

The top designations supported during the initiative were Elon’s Greatest Needs, which supports student scholarships, the Phoenix Club and student-athlete scholarships, and the Elon Black Alumni Scholarship.

Brian Martindale ’95 is one of the thousands who chose to give back. He and David Rich ’87 have hosted a pre-season dinner for the women’s soccer team for the past 15 years giving them the opportunity to develop and foster relationships with the student-athletes and coaches. This year, due to the pandemic, they were unable to host the team, but Martindale found another way to give back.

“In lieu of not being able to host, I thought it would be a nice gesture to make a gift to the Women’s Soccer program,” said Martindale. “Plus, who couldn’t use a new mask or two during this pandemic!”

Each gift made also counts toward the ongoing Elon LEADS Campaign, which aims to increase support for scholarships, engaged learning opportunities, faculty and staff mentors, and Elon’s iconic learning environ­­­ment.