Dr. Earl Danieley, Elon's sixth president, celebrated the big 9-0 today with many of the university's faculty, staff and students at the Elon Community Church.
"It feels wonderful to be 90. And to still be able to be active is a great, great blessing," said Danieley.
At 90 years young, Danieley still teaches chemistry at Elon. He started his Elon career as a student back in the 1940s. Danieley graduated in 1946, before becoming an Elon professor and eventual university president.
"I cannot imagine not being able to go to class," said Danieley. "I love to go to class. I am very fond of my students."
To get to know his pupils outside of the classroom, Danieley says he loves to go out to lunch every week with a different student.
And as much as Dr. Danieley loves the Elon community, the university faculty and student body seem to love him even more. At Danieley's birthday celebration, there was a constant line of well-wishers waiting to congratulate Dr. Danieley.
"I have so many really nice students," said Danieley. "They are great to work with. I love working with them, and I just don't know what I'll do without them."
Danieley has been a part of the Elon community for more than 70 years and he isn't letting his age slow him down at all.
"Just for the record, I have already written my syllabus, duplicated, collated, stapled and they are already in the file drawer, ready to go," explained the President Emeritus. "No other chemistry faculty member is that far along, ready for the fall."
At the end of the day, Dr. Danieley said he was thankful for everyone who came to his special celebration. One birthday wish of Dr. Danieley's is to leave a lasting legacy at the end of his long Elon career,
"I hope that as time goes by, people will say, "The old boy did a good job.' That's what I hope."
Dr. Danieley's official 90th birthday is Monday, July 28.