During her Fireside Chat in Moseley Center on Monday night, President Connie Book addressed questions, concerns and goals for an Elon student’s experience before, during and after their time at the university.
For many students, the Elon experience begins during the college application process.
“I would say there is a lot of energy in our current student profile,” Book said. “It’s a hardworking profile: students with a lot of grit.”
Book said that, while staying consistent with the current university admissions standards, the admissions department will stay mindful of differing socioeconomic backgrounds between applicants, making sure to read each application accordingly.
Book also hopes to keep Elon accessible by expanding the university’s endowment and generating revenue from the Inn at Elon to be put toward scholarships.
“We have hired a group to manage the hotel at a fixed rate. Their goal is to generate revenue beyond that rate. That’s why we brought them in,” she said. “We have modeled it, even at the most conservative, that that hotel will generate back to scholarships more than the cost of the hotel to the university.”
The Inn is expected to be completed in fall 2019.
In the coming years, Book plans to update the McMichael Science Building and the university's science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) programs, just as the business and communications schools have been advanced in recent years.
“Building a new curriculum can take a good year of research and planning, and there are some things we need to enhance at the university. We’ll have short and long plays in this one. Building a new science center is a long play, so we’re working hard. I would like to break ground within a tight window,” Book said.
But regardless of students' majors or interests, Book supports a community where all students are able to unite as phoenixes, not just as members of individual clubs.
“You want to have meaningful experiences with those groups, but what I don’t want it to be is an ‘either-or’ proposition,” she said. “I want an ‘and’ proposition, where we have one Elon, and we have these meaningful cohorts.”
The university encourages alumni to continue embracing that sense of community after graduation. Book said that the three main ways alumni can continue to contribute to the university’s success is to donate, support their local alumni chapter and to advocate for Elon.
“The Elon mission is living in each of you, in your work, in your excitement, in your curiosity, in your aspirations. Those are all the hallmarks of great Elon students,” Book said. “They’re willing to work hard, they’re humble. They know, hey, we need to help each other, and they’re willing to roll up their sleeves and do it. People admire that and think, I want to go to a school that attracts people like that.”