A Will to Lead: Generous estate gift from Elon alumnus Wayne T. Moore ’49 endows professorship

The professorship established by the late Elon alumnus and faculty member Wayne T. Moore ’49 and his wife, Elizabeth, will support the teaching and research of an emerging scholar in the arts, humanities or social sciences. The $500,000 gift honors Wayne's late brother, Fletcher Moore '34, a longtime music faculty member at Elon.

Alumnus Wayne T. Moore ’49 dedicated his life to teaching and sharing his passion for classical music with students.

In 2009, he and his wife, Elizabeth, made a $500,000 estate gift to establish the Fletcher Moore Distinguished Emerging Scholar Professorship to support faculty and honor the achievements of his late brother, a 1934 alumnus and gifted pianist and organist who was a member of Elon’s music faculty for more than 40 years. Wayne Moore passed away in 2022 and proceeds from his estate have now funded the professorship.

Moore’s niece, Laurel Moore Bradley G’89, who earned her MBA at Elon, and niece-in-law, Darlene Moore, fondly recall their uncles.

“Wayne and Fletcher Moore were the ‘music men’ of our family,” they said. “They were both truly talented and shared their love for music through their long careers in teaching and performing.”

“The Elon community is grateful to Wayne and Elizabeth Moore for this wonderful gift that will strengthen the university’s national leadership in engaged teaching and learning,” Provost Rebecca Kohn said. “The legacy of Wayne and Fletcher Moore will live on in the work of outstanding scholars who will hold this professorship.”

The Moore family has strong ties to Elon that span multiple generations. After earning his undergraduate degree in music in 1949, Wayne Moore went on to earn a master’s degree in music from Columbia University the following year. He then served in the Army in Virginia and Germany before returning to teach music at Elon and serve as organist and choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington.

Following a year of music study in Vienna, Austria, Moore returned to Columbia and earned a doctorate in education. He later taught organ at Mississippi Woman’s University and the University of Northern Colorado before joining the music faculty at Auburn University, where he taught for 31 years before being named professor emeritus. During his teaching career, Moore performed organ recitals throughout the Southeast as well as at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He also presented annual recitals in New York, performing at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Columbia University.

Wayne and Elizabeth Moore’s philanthropy at Elon spanned seven decades, including gifts to scholarships and athletics and to name a faculty office in the Center for the Arts for Fletcher Moore. The couple also endowed a music scholarship in Wayne’s name and made a gift to Belk Library to expand its book and score collection of classical music and opera, which Wayne said were “like the Bible or Shakespeare.”

“Every time you listen, even if you’ve read them 100 times, you learn new things,” said Moore. Elizabeth Moore was a vocalist and pianist and taught voice at Elon from 1953 to 1956. She passed away in 2004.

Fletcher Moore ’34

After graduating from Elon, Fletcher Moore studied music at The Juilliard School and Teachers College at Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in 1935. Following service in the Army, Fletcher returned to Elon and served as a member of the music faculty from 1937 to 1980, inspiring generations of students and alumni to pursue careers in music and the performing arts. In 1990, Elon established the C. Fletcher Moore Award in his honor, which is given each year to an outstanding patron of the arts. Fletcher Moore died in 1994.

Additional family members with ties to Elon include Laurel Moore Bradley’s husband, Richard Bradley ’88, and her parents, Willard and Betty Moore, who both attended Elon.

Brian Feeley ’03, assistant vice president for university advancement and director of planned giving, said the estate gift from Wayne and Elizabeth Moore helps build an essential pipeline of funding for Elon in the decades ahead.

“When alumni place Elon in their estate plans, they make a powerful statement about their belief in an Elon education and talented faculty to transform lives,” Feeley said. “We believe there is no better investment than Elon students and helping prepare outstanding leaders to guide our future.”

A Will to Lead is a special initiative to encourage alumni, parents and other members of the campus community to establish a legacy at Elon by placing the university in their estate.

To learn more about making an estate gift to Elon, contact Brian Feeley ’03 at (336) 278-7474 or bfeeley@elon.edu. You may also visit www.elonlegacy.org for more information on planned giving.