Lifelong Connections: Marilyn Slade

Learn more about the program assistant in the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education who has been a steadfast supporter and role model for countless students throughout the years.

Marilyn Slade’s role as program assistant in the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education is more than merely a job to her. Throughout the years, she has nurtured the potential of countless students who passed through the CREDE as a steadfast supporter and role model. In recognition of her outstanding mentorship, she received the 2021 Blanche Garrison Memorial Award at Elon’s Staff Appreciation Day.

By Jasmine Turner ’15

When I think of the phrase “always in your corner,” Marilyn Slade immediately comes to mind. Mentorship and friendships can be the foundation of a successful college experience. A support system can help you through every high and low. Ms. Marilyn, or “Mama Marilyn,” as she is known to many, has been a constant in my life for the past decade.

As a first-year student, I would quietly sit at the front of the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, formerly known as the Multicultural Center, waiting for weekly meetings. One day we started talking, and the rest is history.

We have shared moments of vulnerability but also had plenty of laughs. It was often the highlight of my day to walk upstairs in the Moseley Center, turn the corner and see Ms. Marilyn sitting at the front desk of the CREDE. It brought a sense of relief. She is a safe space and the embodiment of the pillars of the university’s honor code: honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect.

Related Articles

Always a listener and a supporter, you could count on Mama Marilyn to be there if you invited her to support a concert for Gospel Choir, a fundraiser or your wedding day, years after graduation. Even her local church family embraced students, her “Elon babies,” as we would attend services throughout our time in school. To this day, it means so much more than she will ever know to get messages on holidays and birthdays or to see a post on social media congratulating us on life accomplishments. It is proof of a bond and support system formed at Elon that has lasted well beyond my time as a student there.

As Elon Day 2021 was approaching, I was reflecting on my time in school, scrolling through old photos in an effort to put into words what my four years meant. I came across a moment captured on camera of Ms. Marilyn and me hugging after I received my diploma and couldn’t help but smile. I immediately sent it to her and felt such a sense of gratitude. No matter the years that have passed, no matter the distance, I can rest assured Marilyn Slade will always be in my corner, and I will always be in hers as well.

Jasmine Turner ’15 is a three-time Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter for NBC 12 News in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. In addition to life in local news, she is a wellness educator, certified in teaching yoga and meditation.