Elon community mourns loss of friend, colleague Jim Pickens

Jim Pickens, a former Elon University professor, died Friday, Feb. 3. Pickens worked as a professor of psychology for more than two decades at Elon before retiring in 2007.

“He, with a couple of other people, served as a conscience for the university in some significant ways,” said Jeffrey Pugh, professor of religious studies at Elon University.

Pickens served as adviser to the Students for Peace and Justice throughout his time at Elon, according to an article published on E-Net. He motivated the creation of the non-violence studies minor and traveled to Nicaragua and Guatemala as part of Witness for Peace trips.

Elon University awarded Pickens the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility. The award designates a commitment to education and citizenship, the goals of Project Pericles.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington.

Elon alumnus nominated to lead U.S. Fleet Force Command

President Barak Obama nominated Bill Gortney, Class of 1977, to head the U.S. Fleet Force Command. He is waiting for the Senate to approve the nomination. Gortney currently serves as director of the joint staff.

U.S. Fleet Force Command organizes, mans, trains, maintains and equips Navy forces and develops and submits budgets. The command provides operation and planning support to Combatant Commanders and integrated warfighter capability requirements to the Chief of Naval Operations.

The position would enable Gortney to execute the nation’s mission and continue his personal passion of working with sailors, Gortney said.

He entered the Navy as an Aviation Officer Candidate in 1977.

“I had no intention of making it a career,” he said. “It was just something I wanted to do until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I'm still determining that.”

Gortney graduated from Elon with a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science. He delivered the 121st Commencement Address at the commencement ceremony for the class of 2011.

Elon University celebrates Black History Month

Elon University has organized cultural activities throughout February in observance of Black History Month. Campus and community programs celebrate achievements of blacks throughout the nation's history.

Programs include a midnight poetry slam at Midnight Meals Thursday and a film screening of director Tyler Perry's production of “For Colored Girls” Saturday.

Elon Law Leadership Fellows organize service project

Elon Law Leadership Fellows collected nearly $3,000 in health and personal products for homeless residents of Greensboro as part of their Winter Term course titled “Lawyering, Leadership and Professionalism.”

Students collected bags filled with shampoo, lotion, deodorant, soap and a vareity of other items. Students delivered the items to the local YWCA Jan. 21.

For a full calendar of events, visit www.elon.edu/e-net.

Elon University hosts first National Networking Day

Graduates, parents and friends attended Elon University's first national networking day Jan. 25, during which events took place in 15 cities, including Baltimore, Boston and Charlotte.

Programs ranged from networking socials to keynote addresses.