Elon President Connie Book welcomed families and shared the progress of the Boldly Elon strategic plan during the Oct. 1 college update on Family Weekend.
The book began by thanking families for coming to campus and said that student morale usually starts to pick up after the family weekend.
“It’s important, and I know how much I appreciate it,” Book said.
Book also thanked the teachers, thanking them for Elon’s #1 Ranking in Undergraduate Education from US News and World Report, as well as Elon’s nine other top 10 rankings.
“We have a really, really exceptional faculty. And it didn’t happen by accident,” Book said. “Our faculty balances this teaching, scholarship, and service to the institution in meaningful ways.”
The book highlighted Elon’s core curriculum, the Center for Engaged Learning, and the university’s investment in STEM. Images of Elon’s Innovation Quad played behind her as she spoke. Book said the empty pedestal outside Founder’s Hall will soon feature a solar-powered sunflower statue that will generate electricity and be a place for students to charge their phones. She said the project was inspired by a student who wanted to beautify clean energy.
“The sunflower is in honor of this truly world-changing learning and watching unfold during a student’s time here at Elon,” Book said.
Book also updated the community on the success of Elon’s Nursing Programnow in its second year.
She said this program will “keep Elon at the forefront of what the world needs in terms of professional services.”
Then she thanked the alumni and their contributions to the Elon Leads Campaign. The initiative raises funds for the university through monetary donations.
“They provide to us in multiple ways through philanthropy through networking, role modeling, admissions work,” Book said. “So really, Elon’s reputation is underpinned by the important work and advanced by our alumni network.”
The book also covered new scholarships the university may have offered, including scholarships for Fire of the Carolinas, Elon’s marching band. She said new scholarships have been made possible, in part, through revenue generated by the Inn at Elon.
The hotel was designed to fund scholarships. According to Book, he made about $1 million in profit which was spent on new scholarships.
The book emphasized the importance of physical and mental health and well-being.
“I believe this is one of the greatest challenges for our global community,” she said.
Book said these issues inspired the creation of EU Health. The initiative is part of Boldy Elon and focuses on community, emotional, financial, physical, goal and social well-being.
Book also spoke about the growth of the university, particularly the integrated facility that is expected to be built behind Innovation Quad and Founders Hall, which she called one of the biggest ventures in Elon’s history. . social services, counseling services and a new gymnasium.
The book highlighted the growth of Alamance County. According to Book, 55,000 new jobs have been advertised around Elon since January.
“We are all looking at this and are engaged and want to make sure we benefit from the arrival of these opportunities,” she said.
Alamance Scholars and Campus Alamance, two partnerships between Elon and surrounding school systems, have also advanced opportunities for students pursuing careers in education, according to Book.
After speaking, Book answered questions from the audience.
Lisa Betts, parent of Elon’s freshman, asked about tuition fees go upwhich she told Elon News Network her family was taken by surprise because when they first watched Elon, the tuition increase had not been announced.
In response to Betts’ question, Book said Elon was dependent on tuition since the university had a small endowment.
“Elon is actually on a slow growth model,” Book said. “What we’re trying to do is grow a little bit so we never have to put a hard dial on tuition. We are planning our growth for next year so that we can return to our normal tuition increase range.
The parents also asked about mentorship efforts, Elon’s optional test admissions process, and Book’s concerns for the future.