Advertising Elon

Shannon Tennant
October 28, 2013

Think back to when you first heard about Elon University and first considered coming here.  What influenced your decision?  At some point in the process, you saw an ad that extolled the virtues of the school.  In magazines, on billboards, in brochures, on the internet – Elon’s advertisements are everywhere.

Universities have come to realize that they are businesses, and they need to reach prospective customers.  Elon has to market its image to attract top quality students in this competitive environment.  But what that image is, and how to best present it, has changed over the years.

Image from North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

Image from North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

Here is an ad from the Asheville newspaper in 1917.  Some of the attractions Elon lists seem amusing now.  Well water is not so important when we all drink bottled water.  What about no outbreaks of “dangerous sickness?”  They obviously don’t mean the cold that you caught from your suitemate.  But a healthy environment was very important in the days before antibiotics and modern medical testing.  Only a few short months after this advertisement ran, the world suffered a global influenza pandemic.  Over 50 million people died worldwide and an estimated 13,000 people died in North Carolina.  Check out this post about Elon’s experience with the disease. Continue reading

The Big Move: McEwen Library Opens

Randall Bowman
October 11, 2013

McEwen Library, June 1968.

McEwen Library, June 1968.

The 1960s brought many changes to Elon College, not the least of which was a new library.   With one reading room that could only seat one hundred students at a time, Carlton Library was now too small to serve the growing college of 1200 students. A new library, with space for a larger book collection, was needed.  Plans for the new facility were drawn up by the architectural firm of Guy Crampton and Associates of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Abrams Construction Company of Greensboro, North Carolina was the general contractor.  McEwen Library, as it would later be named, cost $700,000 to build, and was part of a large campus expansion that took place in the mid-1960s.  On Parent’s Day, Saturday, November 4, 1966, on the same day the Long Student Center and three other buildings were dedicated, the ground-breaking ceremony for the library took place.  By the summer of 1968, the new building was ready to be occupied. Continue reading

Julia W. Covington

Katie Nash
October 4, 2013

Julia W. Covington, 1970-1971

Julia W. Covington, 1970-1971

Julia Wilson Covington was Elon College’s first full-time African-American professor. She joined the Business Administration faculty in 1970. Covington taught at Elon until August 1971 when she resigned to spend more time with her family.

Julia W. Covington was born in Cheraw, South Carolina on May 11, 1940. She was married to Francis A. Covington. In July 1970, she listed on her Elon personal data form that she had a two-year old daughter, Roxanne E. Covington. Correspondence from July 1971 states that she was expecting another child in the coming months. In May 1962 she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC. In August 1963 she received a Master of Business Administration degree from Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA.

During the summer of 1962 she was a bookkeeper with Allied Federal Savings and Loan Association in Jamaica, NY. From 1963-1965 and from 1967-1969 she was an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. At Bennett she taught courses that included: Principles of Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Federal Taxes, Business Mathematics, and Business Law. Covington also helped establish a minor in Accounting within the Business Department.

From 1966-1967 Covington was an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Fayetteville State College in Fayetteville, NC. While she was a professor at both Bennett and Fayetteville State, she also served as a partner with the firm Covington and Wilson Accounting and Management Consultants in Greensboro, NC from 1963-1969. As a partner she was responsible for installing accounting systems, maintaining accounting records, preparing non-certified financial reports, and preparing federal and state payroll. From 1965-1966 she served as a senior accountant with Operation Breakthrough, Inc., an anti-poverty program in Durham, NC. In this role, Covington prepared budgets and administered grants, and prepared reports for federal and state agencies.

Colonnades Literary Journal: Writing at Elon

Julia Mueller
September 20, 2013

1st issue of Colonnades, May 1937

1st issue of Colonnades, May 1937

The first issue of the Elon Colonnades was released in May 1937.  Elon College owned a printing press making the publication of the annual literary journal possible.  Students exclusively contributed to the content, which included poems, fiction, non-fiction, and art.  In 1951, the title was formally changed to Colonnades.  There were several years in the 1950s when the journal was not printed, but in 1962, Professor Franke J. Butler and Mrs. Nancy Butler restored the tradition.  From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, Colonnades also published planners and calendars displaying art and photography.  In 2002, the first issue with a theme was published.  The theme was “Snapshots of Life.”

Today, Colonnades is an award-winning journal and continues to be entirely operated by students.  The goal of the journal is to promote creative expression among students.  Students develop a theme in the fall for the upcoming issue and students from all majors may submit literature or art.  The 2013 theme was “The Quiet Divide.”  The editors choose which texts are most suitable for the issue and in the spring, the new issue is presented.  Featured students read selections and art pieces are displayed during the unveiling celebration.  Copies are free to the public.

The first poem in Vol. 1 No. 1 of the 1937 issue was written by Margaret Earp, a member of the editorial staff.  It reads,

O to write and give wing to this pent-up emotion;
To tell with a pen what no tongue can recite;
To yield up my feelings, hear no words of wisdom;
Have no reproach, but only to write!

The Story of Carlton Library

September 13, 2013
Randall Bowman

Carlton Building after 1923.

Carlton Building after 1923.

Housed on the second floor of Elon College’s original Main Building was a one-room library and reading room, the first library on campus. The infamous fire on January 18, 1923, destroyed this room, along with most of the college’s library collection. But more than just books were lost that day; irreplaceable records of both Elon College and the Christian Church of the South, Elon’s parent denomination, were lost. A free-standing library was among the five new buildings planned to replace Main Building. The Carlton family of Richmond, Virginia, donated the funds to build the new library. On June 22, 1923, less than six months after the fire, ground was broken for the new library, which would be located next to Whitley Auditorium.

Continue reading

The story of the Martin Alumni Center (MAC)

Katie Nash
August 27, 2013

Ever wonder about the history of the white house on the corner of Haggard Avenue and O’Kelly Avenue on Elon’s campus? It’s one of the few older houses still standing on Elon’s campus, and to trace its history we have to travel back in time to 1965. Records show that in October 1965, a gift agreement was set-up between Algier Lloyd Rich, his wife Minnie Allene Patton Rich (Class of 1911), and Elon College in which the Rich family gave their home and land (which included a barn!) to the College, while still able to live in their home and maintain lifetime rights. The house was built between 1938-1940 and upon the death of Mr. Rich in 1986 and Mrs. Rich in 1987 the house became officially part of the Elon College campus. Continue reading

Historic Elon video now online!

August 9, 2013
Story written by: Taylor Sharp ’16
Please note that this story first appeared on Elon University’s E-Net website.

Elon’s archive of historic video recordings is being digitized and made available online through a special project of the Elon University Archives and Special Collections in Belk Library. The first set of recordings is available through the archives website at:

Work began on digitizing the video files in late 2012. There are currently more than 4,000 audio and video recordings in the archives, including on-campus performances, lectures, Elon annual events and a walking tour of campus by President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley.

Linda Lashendock, video archive technologist, and Katie Nash, archivist and special collections librarian, developed the procedures, policies and workflow for digitizing the collection. The first files selected for conversion include concerts by the Emanons musical group, the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Luncheons beginning with 1986, and recordings of President Danieley’s winter term course, “Elon: Past, Present, and Future.” Additional content will be added to the collection regularly.

“We really think this will be an excellent resource for everyone,” Nash says. “Students can use it for research, alumni can look back at videos recorded while they attended Elon, and people outside of the Elon community can benefit from it as well.”

According to Lashendock, the useful life of a VHS videotape is about 15 years. After that, the tape begins to deteriorate, and audio and video can become unusable. Converting the content to digital format not only makes it more widely accessible, but also preserves the recording that otherwise would have been lost.

The digital collection can be found online by visiting, selecting “Digital Collections” and then selecting “Audio and Video Collection.”