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Elon University
Elon seal.png
Established 1889
Type Private
Endowment $78.5 million
President Leo Lambert
Faculty 310
Undergraduates 5,200 undergraduate
Postgraduates 517
Location United States Elon, North Carolina, United States
Campus 575 acres (2.3 km²)
Former names Elon College (1889–2001)
Colors Maroon and Gold          
Mascot Phoenix
Athletics Division I
16 varsity sports
Affiliations United Church of Christ
Elon University logo.png

Elon University is a private, liberal arts university located in Elon, North Carolina.

The University was founded in 1889 by the Christian Church, which is now the United Church of Christ. Formerly known as Elon College, it became Elon University on June 1, 2001. The historic 575 acre (2.3 km²) campus has been designated a botanical garden and features oak trees, brick sidewalks, fountains and lakes. Elon is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is ranked as one of the top southern master's-level universities by U.S.News & World Report.



Presidents of Elon
President From To
William S. Long 1889 1894
William Wesley Staley 1894 1905
Emmett Leonidas Moffit 1905 1911
William Allen Harper 1911 1931
Leon Edgar Smith 1931 1957
James Earl Danieley 1957 1973
James Fred Young 1973 1998
Leo Michael Lambert 1999

In 1889, the North Carolina legislature issued a charter for Elon College. William S. Long was the founder and the first president. The original student body consisted of 76 students. In 1923, a fire destroyed most of the campus, including school records, classrooms, the library and the chapel. The Board of Trustees voted to rebuild immediately. Many of the buildings that were erected in the years following the disastrous fire still stand today and make up the bedrock of Elon's campus.

Elon has changed drastically from its longstanding status in the past 25 years, when it was solely an undergraduate college. Until 25 years ago, students were almost all from North Carolina, and mainly local residents commuting from family homes. Now, about 68 percent of Elon's students come from out-of-state.

Many prominent figures have visited and spoken at Elon, including Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretaries of State General Colin L. Powell and Madeleine Albright, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, and astronaut John Glenn.


Alamance Building

The university includes Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences; the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business; the School of Communications; the School of Education; and the School of Law. Master's programs are offered in business administration and education, and doctoral programs include physical therapy and law. Elon operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar, including a four-week term in January known as Winter Term. There are 51 majors to choose from.

Elon has 310 full-time faculty members of which 84% have a PhD. The average class size is 22 students and the 4-year graduation rate is 71%. As of 2007, Freshman retention rate was 90%.[1]


School of Business

School of Communications

Elon's Communications program is divided into four main concentrations: Journalism, Media Arts & Entertainment, Strategic Communications, and Communication Science. Students in this discipline have several opportunities to gain practical experience, whether through working on the newspaper (The Pendulum), the radio station (WSOE), or one of the shows on Elon Television. Elon even has a public relations company called Live Oak Communications, as well as a student film group known as Cinelon.

School of Law

The Elon University School of Law opened on August 10, 2006. The School of Law is located in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina in the former city library. Former United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered the Dedication Address on September 19, 2006.


  • The Education Trust recognizes Elon for excellence in freshman retention and outstanding graduation rates
  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks Elon one of 28 "best buy" private universities
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks Elon # 1 in the "total costs category" among the nation's top 50 best value private universities
  • Newsweek-Kaplan named Elon the hottest college in the nation for student engagement in its 2006 guide
  • U.S.News & World Report ranks Elon # 2 among southern master's-level universities

Student body

From State Percentage
North Carolina 32%
Maryland 10%
Virginia 8%
Pennsylvania 6%
New Jersey 6%
Florida 5%
Massachusetts 5%
Ohio 4%

Elon has a student body of just over 5,000 undergraduate students and 517 graduate students. 46 states, the District of Columbia, and 45 nations are represented in the student body. Admitted freshmen have a SAT average of 1220 (critical reading and math) and an academic GPA of 3.9. Elon sends more undergraduate students to study abroad than any other master's-level school in the nation.[2] 80% of Elon students complete internships and 91% of recent graduates participated in volunteer service. Students can record their participation on an Elon Experiences transcript, which is issued as a companion to the traditional academic transcript.[1]



Elon's 16 varsity sports teams, known as the Phoenices, compete in the NCAA's Division I Southern Conference. Intercollegiate sports include baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, and tennis for men, and basketball, cross-country, golf, indoor track, outdoor track, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball for women. The football team competes in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA).

Campus Recreation offers intramural and club sports programs, such as cycling, lacrosse, flag football, equestrian, swimming, rugby union, triathlon, water skiing, roller hockey and Ultimate Frisbee. During Winter Term the intramurals include bowling, arena football, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and a monster golf tournament.

The Elon Fightin' Christian Emblem

Up until 1999, the mascot of Elon was the Fightin' Christians. The moniker is said to have been coined by a sportswriter covering a contest in the 1930s between Elon and nearby Guilford College, a Quaker school. Prior to the 1930s, Elon was known by several nicknames. The nickname was chosen due to Elon's proximity to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and the Duke Blue Devils. However, many did not feel that the nickname was universal enough for a team making the transition to Division I athletics, so a new mascot was adopted, the Phoenix. The choice came from the 1923 fire that destroyed almost the entire campus. Soon after the fire, the university trustees began planning to make Elon "rise from the ashes". The Phoenix was a mythical creature that rose from the ashes of its predecessors.

Elon's Fight Song was written in 1921 by Mark Z. Rhodes to the tune of F.E. Bigelow's march "Our Director."

So here's to dear old Elon
Faithful and bold
Here's to her banner
Of maroon and gold
Here's to men and women
Who've come and gone
Singing the victor's song
Of old Elon

The Phoenix Rising statue


Elon's sports facilities include two gymnasiums, Walter Latham Baseball Park, Rhodes Stadium, the on-campus football stadium, a field house, six club athletic fields, a driving range and putting green, and an Athletic Center. The Athletic Center features the 2,400 seat Alumni Gym, an aerobic fitness center, a weight room, racquetball courts, an indoor pool, and a dance studio. The Jimmy Powell Tennis Center is a twelve-court state-of-the-art complex and is recognized as one of the finest collegiate tennis complexes in the nation.[3]


Elon's historic campus is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, adjacent to Burlington, a city of 50,000. Elon is just 20 minutes from Greensboro and within a one hour drive of major universities — Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, and Wake Forest.

Princeton Review has recognized Elon University for having one of the nation's most beautiful campuses. The wooded grounds have been designated a botanical garden. Elon's 525-acre (2.12 km2) campus is divided into seven major sections: North Area, Central Campus, West Area, East Area, South Campus, Danieley Center, and Elon West. Each area consists of different services and facilities. There are 29 residence buildings on campus and 12 major academic buildings. Elon also has numerous lakes and fountains throughout its campus.

Spike Lee used Elon as one of the university locations for the movie He Got Game. The Alamance Building, Fonville Fountain, and the Moseley Center's outside patio were the setting for the movie's "Tech University."

Campus Life

The university has more than 150 campus organizations and programs, including ten national fraternities and eleven national sororities.

The Pendulum, Elon's independent undergraduate weekly newspaper is published every Wednesday. WSOE, the University's student-run noncommercial radio station, has been airing since 1977. ETV (Elon Television) is the student-run television channel and features numerous student-created and -run programs in addition to its nationally-recognized news program, Phoenix14 News, produced by ESTV (Elon Student Television). Phoenix14News was ranked #1 college newscast by the Broadcast Education Association in 2009.

Numerous student government, special interest, and service organizations are represented on campus, including Elon Volunteers, Habitat for Humanity, Model UN, the Resident Student Association, the Student Government Association, and the Student Union Board.

Several cultural groups exist on campus such as the Black Cultural Society, Catholic Campus Ministry, Hillel, Intercultural Club, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Spectrum (Gay-Straight Alliance).

Elon is home to the Fire of the Carolinas Marching Band (FOTC), which delivers pre-game, halftime, and occasionally post-game performances at home football games. The band also includes color guard (flag spinning) and dance auxiliary squads.

Greek Life

Elon University recognizes 21 social Greek organizations. 43% of women and 26% of men on campus belong to one of the following campus-chartered organizations. Other Greek organizations are ΑΦΩ, ΕΣΑ,ΥΛ and ΣΑΩ. The first national fraternity at Elon was Tau Kappa Epsilon founded in 1968, and the first national sorority was Sigma Sigma Sigma founded in 1969. TKE is no longer recognized at Elon.

Interfraternity Council National Pan-Hellenic Council Panhellenic Council

The Elon University Poll

Elon students conduct statewide polls on issues of importance to North Carolinians. Formed in 2000, the non-partisan polls' results are shared with various media outlets, citizens and researchers to facilitate representative democracy and public policy making through the better understanding of the opinions and needs of North Carolina citizens. It is one of the only polls in the country that is conducted by student callers as compared to hired workers.

Polls have gauged respondents' opinions of the Presidential performance, capital punishment, and the Iraq War.







External links


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