Elon celebrates the success of Faculty & Staff Giving Initiative

Even during this challenging time, two-thirds of Elon University employees made gifts to the institution in support of student scholarships, athletics programs and more.

Elon University’s staff and faculty joined together this year to support the university through their financial gifts, an effort that generated more than $400,000 for the university. During the past year, 66 percent of Elon employees made contributions to the university, which is now in the midst of its Elon LEADS fundraising campaign.

Faculty and staff gathered by Lake Mary Nell in front of the Global Neighborhood Commons on Tuesday for an “ice cream drop-in” event to celebrate the success of this year’s faculty-staff giving campaign. The campaign co-chairs this year were Jason Husser, associate professor of political science and policy studies and director of the Elon University Poll, and Patti Gibbons, associate director of cultural and special programs.

Harry Titus, assistant director of student care and outreach, said he participates in the Faculty & Staff Giving Initiative because of the value of supporting students through scholarships and need-based financial support. “I recognize that participating in faculty and staff giving could be the difference in whether or not a student is able to continue their academic journey at Elon.”

Faculty and staff donors were treated to ice cream by Lake Mary Nell on Tuesday.

Supporting scholarships is also a priority for Mel Brown, assistant to the chief information officer. “It’s wonderful to think that my gifts can have a lasting impact on future generations of college students,” Brown said. “Even a small gift, when combined with other donors, together make a huge impact on students.”

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. 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.

“Without scholarships, I would not be where I am today, and it means so much to pay forward the generosity of others,” said L.D. Russell, senior lecturer in religious studies. “Every Odyssey Scholar I have come to know and support has inspired me to become not just a better teacher, but also a better person. Investing in their futures, knowing that they in turn will touch the lives of so many others, is one of the ways I can contribute to building a more just and peaceful world.”

Below are the faculty and staff departments that topped 90 percent giving participation among their employees as well as the giving captain, if the department had one. Those in bold reached 100 percent giving participation:

Staff Departments

Administrative Services — Meg Fisher

Bursar – Susan Harris

Business, Finance & Technology – Andrea Priede

Moseley Center & The Center for Leadership – Melody Harter

Carpentry Shop, Key Shop, Moving & Setup and Paint Shop – Tim Dengler

Elon Academy

Financial Aid – Karen Walter

Plumbing, Electrical & HVACR – Mark Terrell

Information Technology – Tony Rose, Terrance Copling & Julie White

Landscaping – Scott Stevens

New Student Programs

Physical Plant (administrative) – Wendy Fogleman

Planning, Design & Construction Management – Holly Hodge

President’s Office – Kelly Elliston

Print Services – Dale Councilman

Purchasing – Paula Anderson

Registrar – Melissa Thaxton Holmes

Student Life (administrative) – Jackie Allred

Student Professional Development Center – Rene Jackson

Sustainability – Kelly Harer

University Advancement – Emily Ambrose & Caroline Blanchard

Faculty Departments


Biology – Jessica Merricks

Physical Therapy Education – Mary Kay Hannah

Religious Studies – Pamela Winfield

Sport Management – Shaina Dabbs