Beginning April 23, Elon University will hold various events to appreciate the success and dedication of its students for CELEBRATE! Week 2016. This year marks the 10th anniversary of CELEBRATE! Week, where members of the faculty and student population partake in events that showcase students’ talents and intelligence.
Most students know CELEBRATE! Week by SURF Day, the one Tuesday in April when they aren’t chugging College Coffee to make it through their classes. But many students use this day to present their research to their peers and professors. SURF Day has been an Eon tradition since 1993.
Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Angela Lewellyn Jones was in charge of organizing this year’s various events for CELEBRATE! Week. She credited the founding of CELEBRATE! Week to Provost Steven House, formerly the dean of Elon College, who was inspired by a similar week at a university in the northeast.
“CELEBRATE! began as a structured, recognizable way to celebrate all the great outcomes of students’ achievements in academic pursuits and the artistic realm that all seem to become wonderful completed products in the spring,” Jones said.
This SURF Day, one presenter will be junior Nicole Ackman, who will present her Lumen research on the historical presence of French Enlightenment salons that she has been conducting since the end of her freshman year. Ackman sees SURF Day as an important part of Elon’s culture.
“We have some students who deserve to show off their projects in a way they aren’t used to,” Ackman said. “And it’s also important for the students on the opposite end to learn more about subjects they’d never learn about in the classroom.”
Ackman is excited to be a part of SURF Day this year as a practice round for the research conferences she will be presenting at next year.
Throughout the entire week, there will be a food drive that will send all donations to The Salvation Army and Allied Churches of Alamance County. Any person in the Elon community can earn a free meal at Lakeside Dining Hall if they bring in five non-perishable food items April 25-29.
Jones expects most of the student population to participate in CELEBRATE! Week this year. In general, there are usually more seniors and juniors presenting their research, but it benefits underclassmen to engage in such a vital part of their life during and after college.
“We recognize that our students and our faculty work very hard to produce high quality scholarship and we want to celebrate those accomplishments,” Jones said. “I also hope that the younger Elon students are inspired [to] make participating in CELEBRATE! Week a goal that they want to achieve before they graduate.”