Sweet fun helps fundraise for the Pro Bono Board

Students smashed paper plates piled with whipped cream into the goofy grins of professors eager to help Elon Law’s Pro Bono Board raise money for community outreach programs.

Cassandra Saxton L’23 delivers a plate of whipped cream to Elon Law Interim Dean Alan Woodlief as Professor Scott Gaylord looks over.

Dozens of students pied a collection of their faculty and staff mentors in a May 20 lunch hour program that benefitted an Elon Law organization focused on helping the community.

The “Pie Your Professor” event hosted by Elon Law’s Pro Bono Board raised nearly $300 to benefit the student group’s ongoing work, including community service events, food drives, work with the county’s Teen Court program, and reading programs at local elementary schools.

“I was trying to think of fun and creative ways to involve students in fundraising,” said Samantha Hepler L’23, a member of the Pro Bono Board and the event’s lead organizer. “It was a good stress relief this close to exams while raising money for our work.”

Elon Law Professor Tom Molony was the “most pied” faculty member of the afternoon.

Eight faculty and staff members stepped forward to be pied by dozens of students on the “E-Lawn” a block north of the law school’s main building:

  • Interim Dean Alan Woodlief
  • Professor & Senior Scholar Steve Friedland
  • Professor Scott Gaylord
  • Professor Tom Molony (more on Molony below)
  • Mindy Cyr, Director of Academic Success Programs
  • Jenny Lane L’15, Director of Bar Exam Success Programs
  • Haley Mendola, Academic Success Skills Specialist
  • Megan McMechen, Administrative Assistant for the Office of Academic Success
Mindy Cyr and Megan McMechen in Elon Law’s Office of Academic Success were among those who volunteered to be pied on May 20, 2022, for the Pro Bono Board’s “Pie Your Professor” fundraiser.

Three additional Elon Law faculty members – John Flynn, Katherine Reynolds, and Srikanth Reddy – made gifts in support of pie supplies.

Students who paid $5 per plate praised the effort and at least one described the event as “money well-donated.”

“They’re attorneys and often seem so set apart from us,” said Daniel Warren L’23. “It was so cool to see them outside the classroom and having a lot of fun!”

That brings us back to Molony, who took more pies to the face than anyone else that day as “a compliment,” and his prowess for contract negotiations. Molony agreed to participate under the condition that real apple pie be used rather than whipped cream.

The Pro Bono Board raised nearly $300 by selling plates of whipped cream to Elon Law students who had no trouble putting them to good use.

When he learned that Hepler’s husband was an executive sous-chef and had baked the apple pie, he changed the terms of the contract. Whipped cream would do just fine.

“I thought rather than having the pie in my face, I’d eat it!” Molony said with a laugh. “Our family devoured it in less than two days – and it was quite good.”