Jonathan A. McElderry selected as dean of student inclusive excellence

Elon welcomes a national leader for diversity and inclusion work with previous experience at Wake Forest University and the University of Missouri.

Elon University has named Jonathan A. McElderry, assistant dean of students and executive director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University, the new dean of student inclusive excellence. He will become responsible for leading student-centered initiatives to achieve the Boldly Elon goals to advance a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Jonathan McElderry, Elon’s new dean of student inclusive excellence

McElderry will begin his new role at Elon on July 5, succeeding Matthew Antonio Bosch, who left the university in June 2021 for a faculty and administrative role at Rosemont College.

In an announcement to the university community, Jon Dooley, vice president for Student Life, and Randy Williams, vice president and associate provost for Inclusive Excellence, shared their excitement to welcome McElderry to Elon. “He brings an exceptional track record of leadership, deep experience with diversity and inclusion initiatives, and excellent training and facilitation skills and is the right person to advance our shared responsibility to foster an equitable, inclusive campus environment,” they wrote.

After graduating from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice, McElderry enrolled in the college student personnel master’s program at Ohio University, where he also served as a graduate assistant in Multicultural Programs and the Multicultural Center. Following the completion of his degree, he joined the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center at the University of Missouri, where he was eventually promoted to director of the center. During his tenure, he developed a national award-winning Black men’s initiative for first-year students and provided leadership for the university community during the Fall 2015 campus unrest.

In his current role at Wake Forest, McElderry oversaw the transition of the former Office of Multicultural Affairs into the Intercultural Center. As the center’s inaugural director, he has shaped the mission and strategic vision for the center, and cultivated and managed an array of university diversity and cultural competence training programs and learning opportunities. He works jointly with the Division of Campus Life and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in a comprehensive approach to strengthening belonging and connection in the Wake Forest community and fostering a more equitable and inclusive campus.

McElderry is a practitioner-scholar with numerous publications and conference presentations, and he is an active trainer and facilitator for leadership and diversity education experiences. He also brings classroom teaching experience for undergraduate courses at the University of Missouri and Wake Forest University and is currently a part-time assistant professor in the Counseling department at Wake Forest. At Elon, he will serve as an administrator with faculty rank.

“I am excited to join the Elon community and contribute to the progressive work happening around inclusive excellence,” said McElderry.  “I am looking forward to working with colleagues across the university to ensure that Elon is an institution where all members of the community feel seen, cared for, and valued.”

One of the four themes in the Boldly Elon strategic plan, Thrive, outlines the university’s commitment to building a healthier and more diverse, equitable and inclusive community where all students, faculty, and staff experience belonging and well-being. In his new role, McElderry will be charged to advance these goals with colleagues across the university, guided by signature university initiatives for enhancing academic-residential partnerships, social climate and out-of-class engagement, civic engagement, wellness and well-being, mentoring, and intellectual climate. McElderry will serve as a senior leader in two university divisions, Student Life and Inclusive Excellence, and will provide guidance and support for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education and the Gender and LGBTQIA Center.

About Jonathan A. McElderry


University of Missouri – Columbia, Missouri

  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
  • Dissertation: Campus En-Counter: Counter Narratives of the Persistence of Black Males at PWIs

Ohio University – Athens, Ohio

  • M.Ed., College Student Personnel

George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

  • B.S., Administration of Justice

Professional Experience

2019 – Present

  • Wake Forest University, Assistant Dean of Students & Executive Director, Intercultural Center


  • Wake Forest University, Director, Intercultural Center


  • University of Missouri, Director, Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center


  • University of Missouri, Interim Coordinator, Office of Greek Life


  • University of Missouri, Doctoral Graduate Assistant, Office of Student Conduct

Professional Leadership

ACPA–College Student Educators International, Governing Board, Director, Equity and Inclusion, 2020 – Present

Journal of African American Males in Higher Education, Editorial Board, 2020 – Present

The LeaderShape Institute, Co-Lead Faciltator and Quality Team Member, 2017–Present