A Will to Lead: Estate gift from Elon Trustee Ed Moriarty and Jill Moriarty P’15 P’18 to endow Odyssey Program scholarships

Increasing access to an Elon education inspired the Moriartys to join A Will to Lead, a special initiative of the Elon LEADS Campaign to encourage donors to make gifts to the university through their estate.

Elon Trustee and parent Ed Moriarty P’15 P’18 and his wife, Jill Moriarty P’15 P’18, of Far Hills, New Jersey, have made a generous estate gift to endow the Moriarty Family Odyssey Scholarships.

The couple’s gift is part of A Will to Lead, a special opportunity in the Elon LEADS Campaign for donors to provide long-term funding for the university’s future through their estate plans. Since the launch of A Will to Lead in March 2021, alumni, parents and friends have contributed more than $12 million in estate gifts to sustain Elon’s nationally recognized brand of high-impact, engaged teaching and learning in the decades ahead.

Elon’s highly selective Odyssey Program serves outstanding students with significant financial need, including many who are the first in their families to attend college, and has become a national model for increasing access to higher education. To date, donors have endowed more than 200 scholarships in the program, doubling the number of Odyssey scholarships since the launch of Elon LEADS in 2019. The university is now halfway to its long-term goal of having 400 Odyssey scholarships or 100 per class.

Elon President Connie Ledoux Book thanked the Moriartys for supporting scholarships, which is the top priority of the Elon LEADS Campaign.

“Ed and Jill Moriarty believe deeply in the ability of an Elon education to transform lives,” Book said. “We are grateful for their generous investment in scholarships, which will prepare graduates our world needs.”

The Moriartys have been part of the Elon family for the past 10 years. That relationship began when their daughter Meaghan ’15 fell in love with Elon during her campus visit. It only deepened when their son Cole ’18 enrolled a few years later.

“Being associated with Elon has been a terrific experience,” Ed said. “You watch the students grow at Elon through engaged learning and it’s infectious, so the opportunity to provide that experience for another student is compelling. The student outcomes are remarkable for the Odyssey Program. I can’t imagine a better return on investment than that.”

“There are a lot of great, talented students out there who don’t have the financial ability to go to college or to finish college,” Jill Moriarty said. “It’s nice to be able to give them the opportunity to attend an amazing university like Elon.”

The Moriartys have also been impressed by the sense of community at Elon, which grows stronger each year.

“Every time Jill and I go back to Elon, everyone is so welcoming you always feel you belong there,” Ed said. “And we are big believers in Elon’s engaged learning program. All those things have come together for us to decide this is a good place to give back to.”

Making a gift through their estate as part of A Will to Lead allows the Moriartys to establish a lasting legacy at Elon while helping to grow the university’s endowment to fund scholarships and other institutional priorities.

“The ability to make this type of gift before you pass away and know you’re able to set aside money for an institution that has had a great impact on your life is an amazing opportunity,” Ed said.

“We are indebted to the Moriarty family for making Elon part of their estate planning and helping to build a vital pipeline of financial resources to secure Elon’s future,” said Elizabeth Read, Elon’s director of planned giving.

The Moriartys are among Elon’s most generous families. They have made gifts to the School of Communications expansion, naming a themed lab in honor of Ed’s mother, Elon grandparent Virginia Moriarty GP’15 GP’18. Ed and Jill have also supported Elon’s Greatest Needs, the Elon Academy college access and success program, School of Health Sciences, Catholic Campus Ministry and the Phoenix Club.

Ed Moriarty serves as CFO and Chief Risk Officer at Rockefeller Capital Management. He has been a member of Elon’s Board of Trustees since 2014, serving as Board chair from 2020-2022, is a member of the Elon LEADS Campaign Steering Committee and former member of the university’s President’s Advisory Council.

Jill Moriarty has been an active volunteer for 20 years with the Athletic Booster Club at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey, where the couple’s children attended. She has served in a variety of leadership roles with the organization and currently serves as club president, helping to build school spirit and advance fundraising efforts to support athletic excellence. She plans to step down as club president at the end of this year. Ed previously served as vice chair of the school’s board of trustees.

The Odyssey Program

The Odyssey Program is part of Elon’s Center for Access and Success. In addition to annual tuition assistance, each of the scholarships in the Odyssey Program includes a stipend for books and supplies, and a one-time, global study grant to be used for an approved Study Abroad or Study USA program.

Students move through the four-year program as a cohort and take advantage of intellectually demanding courses while furthering their personal and professional development. Scholars participate in a first-year summer orientation, attend annual retreats and monthly meetings with their peers, are involved in one-on-one academic and career planning meetings, and maintain an academic and leadership portfolio. Odyssey Program scholars are consistently among Elon’s top-performing students.

A Will to Lead & The Elon LEADS Campaign

To learn more about A Will to Lead and the benefits of estate gifts, contact Elizabeth Read, Elon’s director of planned giving, at (336) 278-7474 or eread@elon.edu.

Elon LEADS is the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history and will support four main priorities: scholarships for graduates the world needs, access to engaged learning opportunities such as study abroad, research and internships, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and Elon’s iconic campus.

Every gift to the university—including annual, endowment, capital, estate and other planned gifts—for any designation counts as a gift to the campaign, which will support students and strengthen Elon for generations to come. To learn more about how you can make an impact, visit www.elonleads.com.