A Brief History of Elon’s Winter Term Diversity Tradition

Stephanie Hays

Winter Term at Elon is used as a time for the university to focus on diversity by hosting sessions, lunches, and activities for students to engage in discussions about the different facets of diversity and how it impacts students’ lives.

This year, the theme “The Difference Difference Makes” links together the events being held on campus, which celebrates human diversity.

Elon started having themed Winter Terms in 2000, naming the first one “The Millenium” after the end of the 1900s and beginning of the 2000s. 2013 became the first Winter Term to have a theme of diversity, with the name of “Learn. Engage. Appreciate,” after making a commitment to diversity in its long-term plans. 2013 also saw the start of many different events and courses with ties to diversity, including the multi-faith lunch series, and multiple notable speakers. Every year since, Elon has continued the theme of diversity during Winter Term.

A highlight of Winter Term is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Program, which features keynote speakers and a multitude of other events to honor his life and legacy over the course of the week. There is also a Humanitarian Essay Contest, started in 2001, was created to increase awareness for Dr. King’s vision of a more humane America and is open to middle school students in Alamance County.

The first Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event at Elon was held in 1979, and was hosted by the Black Student Union. Elon started an annual Commemorative Program for King in 2001. The first Commemorative program featured speaker Sir Walter Mack. Jr., a 1989 Elon graduate and pastor of Union Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.

Other Winter Term traditions include Burst the Bubble courses, which began in 2007, and are relaxed, student-led classes. They’re held anywhere from one to four times a week, have no homework, and offer a chance for students to learn about topics that aren’t typically taught at Elon. The first year of Burst the Bubble had 12 different classes, and this year, there are 14 that cover topics such as modern cooking, virginity, water color painting, and the history of Nintendo.

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: http://elonuniversity.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/collection/p16128coll4

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 http://www.elon.edu/archives, selecting “Digital Collections” and then selecting “Audio and Video Collection.”

Sadie Hawkins Day at Elon College

Miriam Pace – volunteer in Archives
November 17, 2011

How many of you remember the comic strip that ran for many years and featured Lil Abner, Sadie Hawkins, and their friends in Dogpatch?  On November 17, 1950, Sadie Hawkins Day was celebrated at Elon College and was sponsored by the Student Christian Association.  Prometheus McGurgle (Mayor of Dogpatch) issued a proclamation calling for all Elon men who weren’t married to look over the “passel of gals” on campus, marry them, and “relieve their pappies and mammies of the burden of their board and keep.” Continue reading

The end, but also new beginnings

Pam Richter – Class of 2011
December 13, 2010

I will never forget my first day working in Belk Library Archives and Special Collections. I was a nervous freshman who was looking to make some money to help pay for college. When I first started out, I had no idea that it would turn into a life-changing opportunity.

Today is my last day at the archives, as I will be graduating from Elon University at the end of this semester. With graduating comes a lot of goodbyes and also reflections of my time here.

My time at the archives has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned about myself and found new passions in my life. I’ve learned so much about myself and am extremely grateful of every opportunity I have had here to pursue my curiosities and interests.

Throughout my three years working at the archives, I have worked on many projects that I have loved and extremely proud to say that I have helped working on.

Next fall I will be pursuing a master’s in Library and Information Science, concentrating on archival studies. Wherever I end up, I will take a lot of great memories working at the archives in Belk Library.