First-year and transfer students gathered in Alumni Gym on Monday, Aug. 21 and learned about the four pillars of honor that are central to Elon University.
The nearly 1,800 new first-year and transfer students were probably not expecting to be serenaded with Rick Astley’s 1980s cult pop classic “Never Gonna Give You Up” during the annual Call to Honor ceremony. But Assistant Director of First-Generation Student Support Services Kenneth Brown Jr. felt the song’s chorus spoke to the ultimate goal of how Elon’s Honor Code of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect should be lived out, academically and personally.
“To live this code means we need each other,” Brown said. “I need you … to hold us staff, faculty members and alumni accountable for living out our highest ideals. We will do our best to help you live out yours and hopefully our lives will sing out some version: ‘Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.'”
That sense of accountability and holding herself and her peers to a standard of excellence is what Gabby Glassman ’27 took away from the ceremony during which students affirm their commitment to Elon’s Honor Code and learn about the four pillars of the Honor Code.
“[Living these values] means that I know these people will have my back and keep me accountable,” Glassman said. “And I know that I will be able to the same for others.”
Britt Mobley II ’24, executive president of the Student Government Association, urged the incoming students to take advantage of all the opportunities at their disposal. Whether in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, studying abroad or long after they have left Elon, Mobley encouraged each student to always live by the Honor Code.
“Never forget your commitment to our Honor Code and you will have some of the best years of your life,” Mobley said. “We are honor-bound by Elon’s four core values — honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect. These are more than just words, they are the guiding star for every decision we make throughout life.”
For Charlie White ’27, it was important for him to go to a school with a strong moral code. After the Call to Honor ceremony, White was sure that he had chosen the right place.
“It was impactful as I hold myself to a pretty high standard for respect and honesty, specifically,” White said. “I think it adds to the environment here and how open and accepting it is.”
Each class represents one of the four core values and the Class of 2027 will represent respect. Nicole Rudd ’26, president of Elon’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education, spoke to the Class of 2027 about the value of respect. Rudd said that living a life “characterized by respect requires action.”
“Extend respect to others and remember that you are a person of value,” Rudd said. “Respecting others is a call to action, a charge to be bold and to step outside of our comfort zone. It calls us to actively engage and learn from others who may be different from ourselves.”
President Connie Ledoux Book Book led the first-year students in reciting the university’s Call to Honor:
Today we are entrusted with the honorable legacy of Elon University, dedicated to the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of all its members, to the advancement of knowledge for the good of all, and to the service of local, national and global communities. To that end, we affirm our commitment to the core values of our university:
- We commit ourselves to honesty, being truthful in our academic work and in our relationships with others
- We commit ourselves to show integrity, being trustworthy, fair and ethical
- We commit ourselves to responsibility, being accountable for our actions and for our learning
- We commit ourselves to respect, being civil, valuing the dignity of each person, and respecting the intellectual property of others
- With these commitments, we join generations of Elon students as bearers of its honor.
“We have pledged our commitment to live these values. On behalf of the university, I pledge to you that Elon will do its part to challenge you to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually,” Book said.
“I am counting on you to accept Elon’s challenges and to join your faculty and staff in the daily practice of these core values. I wish you all the most successful academic career and as a symbol of the university’s commitment to the Honor, I will add my signature to the Honor Code book.”