LGBTQIA advocates honored during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend

Jeffrey Masters ’11, Jeffrey Williamson ’13 G’14 and Paige Wilson ’22 were recognized by the LGBTQIA Alumni Network at a Nov. 6 awards ceremony.

Elon’s LGBTQIA Alumni Network recognized three outstanding alumni and students for their leadership, advocacy and support of LGBTQIA communities during a Homecoming & Reunion Weekend awards celebration.

Jeffrey Masters ’11 and Jeffrey Williamson ’13 G’14 received the 2021 Elon LGBTQIA Community Enrichment Award and Paige Wilson ’22 received the 2021 Matthew Antonio Bosch Student Community Engagement Award.

“The LGBTQ Community Enrichment Awards were established in 2012, the same year the network was founded, and have shone a spotlight on more than 20 Elon alumni, faculty, staff and current students and the work that they have done to lift up their LGBTQ family,” said Courtney MacMasters ’18, a member of the affinity network during the ceremony. “Starting with the very first batch of honorees —Lowry Sinclair, Elic Senter and Dr. Kirstin Ringelberg, our fearless leader those beginning years — these awards have become an important tradition.”

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and Ally (LGBTQIA) Alumni Network strives to improve the campus climate for members of the Elon community by advocating on behalf of LGBTQIA issues and partnering with others to build an inclusive and respectful community.

“One of the most important services that this network aims to provide is a connection to Elon for those who may not have felt that they could be their true selves while here as students,” MacMasters said. “We are here to say that we see you, that the university sees you and that there is most certainly a place for you at Elon, now and always.”

About the Award Recipients

Jeffrey Williamson ’13 G’14

Community Enrichment Award

Pronouns – he/him/his

Jeffrey Williamson was born in Reidsville, North Carolina, and graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in art in 2013 and a M.A. in interactive media in 2014. He has always loved art and creativity, and at an early age, he knew that a camera would be in his future in some way. His passion finally manifested at his sister’s wedding in 2005. After observing the wedding photographer in awe, he became obsessed. He didn’t even own a camera, but he joined his high school photography club anyway. He continued to build his talents in college by using campus equipment and resources from the School of Communications. Eventually, he booked enough senior portraits of his peers to buy his own professional camera.

In 2011, he launched Jeffrey Lynn Media Photography on Elon’s campus and grew it into the premier photography source that it is today. He has been blessed to work with amazing clients, including top regional brands like Wrangler Jeans and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Grammy Award winners Patti Labelle and Chaka Khan, Academy Award winner Viola Davis, Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson and more. Most recently, he collaborated with his hometown native and social media superstar and actress Tabitha Brown for the kickoff of her highly anticipated book tour.

At Elon, Jeffrey was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a member of Gospel Choir, a resident assistant, an Elon 101 TA, a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar and an Odyssey Program scholar. He also participated in the Elon in New York City program and studied abroad in Florence, Italy in spring 2012.

Jeffrey is a loving son, brother, future husband and doggy dad, and when he’s not behind his camera, he loves traveling, “sanging” old-school R&B classics and spending time with family. In the near future, he plans to dive deeper into the entertainment industry with music and editorial photography.

Jeffrey Masters ’11 (in absentia)

Community Enrichment Award

Pronouns – he/him/his

Jeffrey Masters is the creator and host of the long-running interview podcast “LGBTQ&A.” Guests have included former presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, actress Laverne Cox, musician Melissa Etheridge, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, tennis legend Billie Jean King and more than 200 others. Jeffrey has made multiple appearances on MSNBC and NPR, and he received a GLAAD Media Award in 2021 for his reporting in The Advocate magazine. Since 2014, he has volunteered answering phones on the crisis hotline at the Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQIA youth.

Paige Wilson ’22

Matthew Antonio Bosch Student Community Engagement Award

Pronouns – she/her/hers

Originally from Atlanta, Paige Wilson is majoring in human service studies and minoring in psychology at Elon University. Paige formerly served as a student assistant for the Gender & LGBTQIA Center (GLC). She is also an Odyssey Program scholar, vice president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and member of the African Diaspora Living Learning Community. Paige has spearheaded the QTPOC initiatives within the GLC since 2020 and has most recently interned with the Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center in Greensboro working with their youth and center programming. In summer 2020, Paige was awarded a grant through Read On, Elon in collaboration with the Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education to encourage people to read more QTPOC authors. The funds from this grant were used to purchase “Mala and the Mask of Gold” by Jamie Martin Atilano. Paige’s interests include astrology, photography, music and anything artistic. Through her leadership roles, she hopes to inspire others like herself to be their true and authentic selves while also planning amazing, fun and impactful programs and events at Elon.