The annual program for first-year Elon students occurred in Alumni Gym Monday morning and offered the Class of 2025 insight into the four pillars of honor that are central to Elon University.
Members of Elon University’s Class of 2025 gathered in Alumni Gym on Monday, Aug. 23, for Call to Honor, an annual ceremony during which new students learn about the four pillars of the Elon Honor Code – honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect.
President Connie Ledoux Book, Student Government Association Executive President Jack Corby ’22, Associate Professor Titch Madzima and Elon Honor Board member Andrew Lymm ’24, spoke during this last major event of New Student Orientation.
“Today, we come together to celebrate our commitment to academic citizenship and to the values that bind us together as members of the Elon University community,” Corby said. “Regardless of where, either on-campus or off, day or night, in or out of the classroom, we are bound by Elon’s four core values.”
Following the ceremony, first-year students bonded to that public commitment by signing their names to boards inscribed with the Honor Pledge on Young Commons. Students also received a commemorative coin engraved with the word “honor.”
Each class at Elon represents one of these four core values, and the Class of 2025 will represent respect. Honesty is represented by the Class of 2022; integrity is represented by the Class of 2023 and responsibility is represented by the Class of 2024.
Madzima, associate professor of exercise science, said that is it the job of faculty to entrust students to be “honest, strive for personal integrity, be responsible for your actions and look out for others, as well as to be respectful.”
“We are entrusting you to be impeccable with your word, to be honest, as we commit ourselves to be honest with you,” Madzima said.
During his remarks, Madzima spoke about his time as an undergraduate student and how he is glad he maintained a personal code of integrity and honor in his studies. “Looking back, I can tell you that I am truly glad I did not partake in such activities and maintained academic honesty because I know if I had, it would have haunted me until this day,” Madzima said.
Madzima also spoke on how the Elon Honor Code permeates not only his career as a professor but his personal life as well.
“In preparing these remarks, I was reminded of how the pillars of Elon’s Honor Code – honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect – come into play in my life as a professor at Elon and as a person,” Madzima said. “None of us are perfect and I know that I am far from the end of my journey, but I can truly say that it is so worth it to continue to strive by the values of Elon’s Honor Code.”
President Book echoed Madzima’s sentiment of the importance of honesty as a student and as a person. “In our seats in higher education, it’s in one second that we’ve seen, unfortunately, bad things happen,” Book said. “Live honestly. It’s much better to face the consequences of the bad decision than to carry regret for the rest of your life.”
Lymm offered his thoughts on the value of respect, noting that Elon can adhere to the Honor Code by learning from each other. “In deciding on how to present the subject of respect, I was reminded of a quote from a piece of artwork. ‘The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.’ And that same sentiment lives here at Elon,” Lymm said.
Elon’s campus is not immune to the “unfortunate realities of life,” Lymm said, and how to address that is by addressing these deficiencies head-on. “We all must understand that respect is no longer earned but granted to all,” Lymm said. “Without this respect and tolerance, good ideas become lost in the institutionalized shuffle and the bad ideas fester and grow underneath the weeds.”
Book led the first-year students in reciting the university’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 relationships 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.
“We have pledged our commitment to live these Elon values,” Book said. “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.”