University celebrates dedication of The Inn at Elon, a ‘gateway to the Elon experience’

Members of the more than 50 families who supported the project were joined by university leaders on Saturday to formally dedicate the 80-room hotel that opened in January 2020.

Elon University on Saturday celebrated the long-delayed dedication for The Inn at Elon, the on-campus, four-star 80-room hotel and restaurant made possible by the generous support of nearly 60 families.

“Thanks to the people in this room, to our trustees and led by the Mahaffey family, this inn is now a reality and has truly become a gateway to the Elon experience,” President Connie Ledoux Book said. “The university will benefit from this long after our time here.”

The boutique hotel and restaurant are owned by the university and operated by Charlestowne Hotels, with the proceeds beyond the hotel’s operating costs being used to fund student scholarships. Guests are reminded that their visits to The Inn at Elon are “A Stay with Purpose.” “I know the impact of this resource on the greater area and on our community,” Book said.

Providing the lead gift for The Inn at Elon were Trustee Mark Mahaffey and his wife, Marianne, whose son Tom graduated from Elon in 1997 and whose daughter Kiley graduated in 2001. The inn’s restaurant, The Mark at Elon, is named after Mahaffey, who recounted on Saturday his first job as a 17 year old working at a hotel restaurant in northern Michigan. That experience through which he learned about himself and human nature was part of why he selected the restaurant at The Inn at Elon to carry his name.

Mark Mahaffey delivering remarks during the dedication.

He noted how impressed he was by the server during a recent visit to The Mark, a sophomore at Elon who plans to apply to the university’s Physician Assistant Studies program after graduation. Mahaffey said the young woman told her that it was her first visit to Elon as a prospective student that made he realize Elon was for her “and she was home.”

“What a great future we have ahead for this university and we are certainly proud and honored to be a part of it,” Mahaffey said.

The Inn at Elon opened in January 2020, shortly before the global COVID-19 pandemic upended life and clamped down on the hospitality industry. Vice President for University Jim Piatt noted that the dedication was originally scheduled for spring 2020, then pushed back to spring 2021 before the pandemic forced another shift to October.

“Here we are, finally,” Piatt said. “Today we focus our gaze on this place, where the phrase ‘A Stay with Purpose’ is not just a tagline. It is a way of doing business.”

PresidentConnie Ledoux Book offering remarks during The Inn at Elon dedication.

The inn is set at the main north entrance to Elon University’s campus, which is consistently recognized as the nation’s most beautiful collegiate environment. Located next to the Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center at 605 North O’Kelly Avenue, the inn features 10 suites along with 70 rooms featuring king-sized and queen-sized beds.

Along with The Mark, The Inn at Elon features an outdoor courtyard with fire pits, a fitness center, dedicated on-site parking, valet and bell service and complimentary bicycle rentals for guests to explore the botanical garden campus.

The inn is also a location that welcomes prospective students and their families to campus and provides a first impression as the visitors learn more about the university, Book said. “The Inn at Elon is a remarkable first stop,” Book said. “It provides those prospective students and their families a great initial visit to campus.”

Mark and Marianne Mahaffey with President Connie Ledoux Book after receiving a gift in recognition of their support for The Inn at Elon.

Conference facilities make The Inn at Elon a valuable resource not just for the university, but for the entire community and region. The 5,200-square-foot multipurpose ballroom accommodates up to 340 people, with the outdoor lawn providing space for 440. All facilities are open to the public and available for business meetings and retreats as well as family celebrations such as weddings, reunions and holiday parties.

Vice President for University Advancement Jim Piatt speaking during The Inn at Elon dedication.

Book noted that as more face-to-face meetings are coming back, the inn has hosted numerous gatherings for local corporate citizens including LabCorp and Glen Raven, with other businesses using The Inn at Elon as a location for employment interviews and lodging for job candidates.

“None of this would be possible without a host of thoughtful and generous donors,” Book said. “I am truly honored and grateful for your generosity.”

The Inn at Elon was made possible through the generosity of many donors. The university is grateful for the following families for making “A Stay with Purpose possible.

Mark and Marianne Mahaffey P’97 P’01 – The Mark Restaurant
Chris ’78 and Nicolette Martin P’13 – Main Lobby
Jeanne and Jerry Robertson P’89 GP’17 GP’22 – Presidential Suite
Warren and Holley Lutz P’20 – Lutz Colonnade
Mark and Jennifer Mullin P’19 P’22 – Mullin Terrace
John and Kristin Replogle P’18 – Replogle Gallery
Paul and Mindee Blanco P’19 – Fitness Center

Suite Donors

Doug and Kerrii Brown Anderson ’79

Connie Ledoux Book

Tom and Lynn Chandler

Edward ’96 and Kerrie Wilson Durham ’96 P’23

John and Shelly Skeens Hazel ’78 LP’09

Bill ’68 and Marsha Herbert

Sam and Vicky Hunt

Rich ’87 and Laurie Johnson P’17

Dave and Jen Porter P’11 P’19

Room Donors

Monica ’88 and Mike Baldwin P’23

Charles and Laura Barnes P’20

Bob and Michelle Bruggeworth P’18

Sam ’89 and Kelly Burke P’19

Bill and Gail Burns P’21

David ’13 and Rachel Southmayd Campbell ’13

Robert and Maura Costello P’21

Mike and Marie DeStefano P’21

Jim and Kathleen Niple Donohue ’05

Jeff and Mary Vaden Eisenstadt P’17 P’19 P’19

Wes and Cathy Elingburg P’11

Jane Link Ferguson P’12

Harris and Debi Gellman P’22

Keith and Kathryn Harsh P’18 P’22

Jackie and Hal Hawkey, Jr. P’18 P’21

Sean and Joanne Hickey P’20

John ’76 and Lesley Hill

Will and Becky Kadel P’19

Gordon and Erin Kapes P’19

George ’73 and Margaret Kilroy

Bob ’71 and Karen Paulos Lane ’71

Norm and Lori Leon P’22

Ben ’11 and Sarah Lunka ’12

John and Deanne McGranahan P’19 P’21

Brian ’05 and Kara Anderson Pickler ’06

Mike ’98 and Jaime Curtis Proctor ’00

John ’81 and Miriam Sadler P’19 P’20

Richard ’95 and Julie Salvatierra Jr.

Gary Sprague P’20 and Michele Freed P’20

Kent ’91 and Laura Strosnider

Chris and Fran Teter P’13 P’18 & Family

George and Marla Theofel P’22

Cam Tims ’00

Mariel Tivoli ’21

John ’53 and Dolores Hagan Truitt ’53

Michael Vinson ’07

Pamela Brown Vinson P’07

Nancy Turner Watson ’66,

in memory of Jim Watson ’65

Christian Wiggins ’03

Bill and Kristin Woolfolk P’17

Jon and Ann Wright P’22