Community Connections: New publication highlights partnerships in Alamance County

The publication comes 100 years after the Alamance County community rallied to support Elon College following a devastating fire that destroyed the college’s main building.

As Elon University commemorates the centennial of a devastating fire that significantly altered its future, the university has created a new publication that highlights its connections to the Alamance County community, which has played a major role in the university’s development through the years.

Elon-Alamance County partnership publication cover with people standing in front of Alamance BuildingFollowing the January 1923 fire, residents of Alamance County rushed to the university’s aid and mounted a significant fundraising campaign that allowed Elon to return bigger and better. The university’s new main building — Alamance — was named in recognition of the strength of the community partnerships that had already become a hallmark of Elon’s mission.

The publication celebrates a partnership stretching back more than a century between the university and the Alamance County community.

Elon University is celebrating this legacy of collaboration and partnership with Alamance County with a new publication that details the myriad ways the university and the surrounding community work together and benefit each other academically, professionally, socially and culturally.

The new publication, “Achieving Excellence Together: A century of community partnership with Alamance County,” comes as the university commemorates the 100th anniversary of a devastating fire that destroyed its main building and the support of the Alamance County community that made it possible to rebuild the college.

“Together, we have created programs, connections, relationships and collaborations that enrich the quality of life in Alamance County and enhance this vibrant community,” President Connie Ledoux Book writes in the publication’s opening message.

Across its 22 pages, “Achieving Excellence Together” details joint efforts in the areas of education, health care, economic development, service and culture through which the university and the community engage with each other and partner. The publication offers specific examples of the mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the community that furthers student education, advances service efforts impacting residents, enhances the quality of life in the county and supports the local economy.

Here are just a few of the many initiatives and partnerships highlighted:

  • Elon’s Center for Access and Success partners with Alamance Burlington School System through the “It Takes a Village” Project and Elon Academy to support local K-12 students and their families along their educational paths to create better access to higher education.
  • Elon Physician Assistant Studies students volunteer for hundreds of hours each year at the Open Door Clinic of Alamance County, which provides free health care to more than 500 county residents with no other source of medical care.
  • Through the Campus Alamance program, dozens of Elon students are placed in summer internships with community organizations and businesses that help them develop career skills and build stronger bonds to the Alamance County community.
  • The Power + Place Collaborative, which is a partnership between Elon, the African American Cultural Arts and History Center, the Mayco Bigelow Center, and Burlington Parks and Recreation, seeks to document the oral histories of members of the county’s Black communities.
  • Elon’s athletics and cultural offerings create consistent community engagement, with more than 115,000 people attending Elon athletics events each year and more than 25,000 people attending speakers, performances and other cultural events on campus.

“Operating side by side in an atmosphere of mutual respect, we have been able to provide local children with access to academic support and pathways to success, to offer medical care for those who need it most, to grow the local business community with internships and professional development opportunities and to create opportunities for the people of this community to gather for cultural events and activities,” Book said in her message.

The publication was mailed this month to many households and businesses in Alamance County. To request a printed copy, please send an email to