Elon College Then
Elon University Now
founding a college...
…A vision emerges from a group committed to the education of young men and
women; they form a board of trustees, write a charter, and seek a location. A president
and administrative staff are selected to guide the institution’s development. They recruit a
faculty to develop a curriculum and students to teach. As the fledgling institution matures,
subspecialties emerge: an admissions staff recruits students; a student life staff orients and
houses them and tends to their holistic welfare. An advancement team solicits an endowment
to sustain the project; generous donors respond. Advisors advise; career specialists prepare
for life after college. Buildings are built; lawns and gardens are planted and beautifully
maintained. An athletics program builds school spirit. And the faculty keeps inventing new
ways to enhance the programs of study.
A wonderful byproduct of all this effort is the assembling of a group of people like us, indeed
precisely us. … Let us pray.
We are grateful, O God, for this institution we have inherited from the faithful labors
of generations who preceded us. We are grateful for the integrity of the vision that set
Elon in motion, for the strategic choices that have brought us to this moment in our
history, and for the evolving vision that shapes our future.
We accept our collective responsibility to provide opportunity and education for
students; and, especially on this evening, we acknowledge that among the purposes of
a good university is that it collects folks like us together, committed to serving this larger
purpose and inspired by those whose devotion to Elon has personified her mission.
Accept our gratitude for this meal that strengthens us, for the good earth that
provides it for us, and for this ceremony that presents us the good work of stewardship.
By Your Grace. Amen.
Richard W. McBride