Pieing their profs raises sweet profits for Pro Bono Board

There was plenty of whipped cream smeared into the faces of Elon Law faculty and staff in a May 31 fundraiser hosted by a student group that coordinates outreach efforts to assist local nonprofits and advocacy groups.

What better way to get some stress out before final exams than by plastering whipped cream into the face of the professor who will determine your grade?

Bonus: That stress relief helped raise money to support community outreach efforts by Elon Law’s student-run Pro Bono Board.

Professor Tom Molony (Photo by Elliott Millner L’23)

Crowds of students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Cemala Foundation Commons on May 31 for a catered lunch that coincided with “Pie Your Professor,” which the Pro Bono Board has used in recent years to build school spirit while supporting its mission to assist those in the community with law-related needs.

Students paid $5 per plate of whipped cream to let their faculty know exactly how they felt about their grades and “cold calls” in class. All in good fun, of course. An anonymous donor pledged to match every dollar raised, which lead to a total of $400 generated by the event.

Faculty and staff who enjoyed the sweet taste of Pro Bono Board success:

  • Professor Steve Friedland
  • Head of Security Kenyon Gaston
  • Assistant Dean Scott Leighty ‘09
  • Assistant Professor Bob Minarcin
  • Professor Tom Molony

“It’s always great to do these kinds of events outside of the classroom,” said Friedland, who teaches criminal law. “Payback is sweet! We have the upper hand in class. This is leveling the playing field, shall we say, and there was a bunch of leveling.”

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Some of the Pro Bono Board’s recent events include partnering with the Guilford Green Foundation and LGBTQ Center to host a name change clinic, assisting Legal Aid of North Carolina with a housing clinic, and creating care bags for distribution to vulnerable populations.

“We had fun and enjoyed each other’s company before we buckle down for the end of the semester,” said Faith Bangs L’23, the Pro Bono Board’s fundraising chair. “It’s also a great opportunity to bring light to what the Pro Bono Board does in the community.”

Elon Law Assistant Dean Scott Leighty ’09 moments before Samantha Hepler L’23 delivers a plate of whipped cream. (Photo by Elliott Millner L’23)

Minarcin – a professor who appeared to draw a significant amount of attention from students – smiled afterward as he reflected on the laughter and cheers from the crowd.

“I wanted students to let their frustrations out and have a good time,” said the former public defender who now teaches in the Legal Method & Communication Program.  “And I wanted to see if they loved me or hated me. I felt the love – and the hate!”