‘Poor Earl:’ Elon’s living history book

Dr. Earl Danieley teaches a chemistry class in McMichael Sciend Building. Danieley has been a student, professor, dean and president of Elon University, but his favorite aspect is teaching.

by Andie Diemer
Dec. 5, 2008

He remembers the day crystal clear, even 51 years later.

It was February 1957 and Earl Danieley, then a graduate and professor at Elon who was living in Baltimore completing his doctoral research in chemistry, received a call from George Colclough, who was on the Elon Board of Trustees.

A personal friend, Colclough’s call came as a surprise since the telephone was normally only used for urgent matters. But when the phone rang after dinner one night, Danieley was informed that the Board had chosen a new president.

“I said who’s that?” Danieley said. “And he said, ‘You.’ Now what they had done — without my being consulted — they had just up and elected me president. I was not an applicant. I did not know I had been nominated or considered.”

Danieley said his response was simple and honest: “George, you’re crazy.”

He was given instructions to seriously consider the proposition, discuss it with his wife, Verona, and report back to the executive committee.

Verona, who was in the kitchen washing dishes, immediately asked Danieley what was wrong, since the news had been delivered via phone.

“I said, ‘Well, they elected a new president today,’ and she said, ‘Who’s that?’” Danieley said. “There was a little moment of silence before I could get myself together, and I said, ‘Me.’ And she said — and I remember exactly what she said — ‘Poor Earl.’”

Another Surprise Around The Corner

Verona had acted as secretary to Elon’s current president, Leon Smith, for six years and was in tune with the stresses, problems and difficulties the president encountered on a daily basis, he said.

“She really didn’t want to have to see me do that and wasn’t looking forward to going through it herself,” he said.

But despite the drawbacks, Danieley became Elon College’s sixth president on July 1, 1957 at the age of 32.

While he reined for 16 years and one month, his relationship with the university began quite some time earlier, when he started down his path at Elon in 1941 as a freshman.

After graduating as chemistry major in May of 1946 with the intention of becoming a high school teacher, his plans were cut short when he realized the state of North Carolina was only paying teachers $1,438 a year.

While Danieley “always liked the idea of having a family,” he knew he wouldn’t be able to support one on such a minimal amount, so he enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the next month to begin chipping away at a master’s degree in education.

His dream was to one day be a high school principal, but little did he know much more was in store for him.

Student Today, Dean Tomorrow

On Aug. 1, 1941, Danieley received a phone call from Smith, asking him to return to Elon to teach chemistry.

“So, I was here on the faculty teaching three months after I graduated,” he said.

After he started teaching he realized he needed to complete graduate work in chemistry, so he began summer school at UNC. After completing four education classes, he received a master’s degree in education in 1949 but knew he needed to work towards a doctorate in organic chemistry.

In June of 1950 he moved his family to Chapel Hill to start working full time towards his doctorate. It was during this time he was named dean of the college, after Smith came to visit him at home on a Sunday morning after church.

“He said ‘Earl, I want you to be dean.’ I said I haven’t even finished my doctorate!” Danieley said. “[Smith] said I understand that, but the dean is leaving and I’ve talked with some of the senior faculty and they’re in agreement that you should be dean.”

So in the fall of 1953 — at the age of 29 — Danieley began to serve as acting dean.

He held the position for three years and was under an “unbelievably heavy workload,” which included being dean, teaching chemistry and raising two small boys at home.

“It was a tough time and I knew that it was not for me,” he said.

He moved his family to Baltimore in May of 1956 so he could study at Johns Hopkins. While he planned to eventually return to Elon, he only wanted to do so purely as a professor.

But it was just a few months later the fateful call from Colclough arrived.

During his time at Elon, Danieley has taught chemistry, public speaking, algebra, debate, trigonometry, biochemistry, physical science, physics and problematic procedure.

“About the first 12 years were pleasant, enjoyable, challenging,” Danieley said about his time spent as president. “We did a lot of things that I wanted to see done, but I was ready to retire. It is an all-consuming job. You are never free. I mean really never free.”

After a long, tedious 16 years as president, Danieley finally handed the reigns over to James Young in 1973 and was “liberated.”

“I went home and for the first time in 16 years I didn’t have anything to do,” he said. “It was such a different feeling.”

While he wanted to take a year off between his presidency and returning to teach, he only spent a month out of the office before he began to teach chemistry full time.

But his previous responsibilities followed him around campus, especially when Young asked him to notify him when he made a mistake.

“I said, ‘Whoa, hold it. I will be here, if you need me you call me, if I can help you in any way I will, but I will not volunteer advice,’” he told Young.

It was the first time since receiving his doctorate that Danieley finally became what he was most passionate about: being a full-time chemistry teacher.

While the staff gossiped and questioned some of Young’s moves, Danieley said he always stayed out of it.

“The former president, if he’s smart, will stay out of what’s going on with the current president,” he said. “I have enjoyed immensely seeing all the progress that’s been made as Elon has climbed from where to were to where we are. It’s been amazing, the transformation that’s taken place. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.”

Born-and-Bred Phoenix

Danieley grew up just four miles away from today’s campus on a tobacco farm, where his family was greatly connected to the region. His father was a chairman of the Alamance County Republican Party, his grandfather was the mayor of Elon and his great-great grandfather was a minister in the Christian Church that originally founded Elon.

After enrolling in Elon, he met Verona on campus in the fall of 1946 when she was working in the president’s office and they regularly ate in the dining hall together. After marrying in September of 1948, they had two sons and a daughter.

He also has seven grandchildren scattered across North Carolina, one of which is currently enrolled at Elon.

Senior Daniel Shutt said since he was a child he has had a very close relationship with Danieley.

“I’ve become closer to [my grandfather] by trying to understand how he sees the world,” Shutt said.

Shutt considers his grandfather one of his “favorite people” and considers himself lucky to have such a strong relationship with him.

“He’s like my idol,” Shutt said. “There’s no person who I would rather spend time with. People often can’t understand how we can even talk to each other, but it’s never been an issue.”

Still A Familiar Elon Sight

Despite his many roles at Elon, teaching has always been Danieley’s favorite. Aside from his concentration in chemistry, he has taught public speaking, algebra, debate, trigonometry, biochemistry, physical science, physics, problematic procedure — which he taught for 61 years — as well as coaching the debate team.

Today, Danieley teaches chemistry part time in the fall and spring as well as a class on the history of Elon during January.

He keeps a book with the signatures of every student he taught during his first year as a faculty member at Elon on the bookshelf next to his desk. Going down the list, he names the individuals, their background, personal details and what they are doing today, since staying in close connection to his former students is one of his passions.

“The relationships are something that I treasure highly,” he said.

But even though he has truly lived Elon through and through, Danieley said he isn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.

At 84-years-old, he doesn’t plan to retire until teaching becomes work.

“I have so much fun coming to school. I have some unbelievably interesting students and seeing them and working with them is such a pleasure,” Danieley said. “I know how old I am and I had few relatives to live this long but I don’t spend any time thinking about how old I am. It’s wonderful to have so much to do that I don’t have time to think about being an old man.”

Instead, what he focuses on is that next chemistry lesson coming up, what story he is going to share with his Elon 101 class and when he is going to see his grandson at East Carolina next.

Cultivating Elon From The Ground Up

Danieley has seen outstanding national figures appear at Elon, including Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton — twice — and Al Gore. But one of his favorite things to do is watch Elon grow and unfold before his eyes.

His response to each national recognition Elon receives is “just joy and satisfaction.”

“It’s so fantastic that you really have to say this is real, this is for real, this is not a joke were playing,” he said in regards to two national top ten ranking Elon recently received. “When I was in high school there were people that were ugly enough to say ‘If you can’t go to college, go to Elon.’ I’d like to find every one of those guys and make ‘em eat this without ketchup.”

Campus today is neither the Elon Danieley presided over nor the one he dreamed about.

“I never had a dream this big. You can’t really dream something you can’t imagine,” he said. “I could never see us at this point with this recognition. They say Elon is really doing things and I just grin real big and say, ‘You’re right, we are. We surely are.’”

Watch to see the best advice Danieley has ever received:

University research trip canceled after terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India

picture-15by Andie Diemer
Dec. 3, 2008

A five-member research group from Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center should have been in New York boarding a plane to Hyderabad, India, on Saturday night, to attend the third annual United-Nations facilitated Internet Governance Forum. But when terrorist attacks broke out about 450 miles from Hyderabad in Mumbai, India on the previous Wednesday, it became questionable whether the group would be able to make the trip because of security concerns. And Elon officials canceled the Dec. 1-6 trip, despite reassurance from the Government of India.

Trip organizers began to monitor the violent attacks in Mumbai, through which the research group’s was scheduled to travel, since the terrorists were targeting Americans and Britons.

The attacks on Mumbai, India’s largest city and financial capital, began on Nov. 26 in what became 10 coordinated terrorist attacks.

Indian security forces were able to regain control on Nov. 29, but not before at least 172 people — 34 of whom were foreign nationals — were killed, with at least another 293 injured. Attacks occured at a railway station, café, popular tourist restaurant, hospital and Mumbai Police Headquarters.

“One member of the five-person Imagining the Internet research group was extremely concerned about the Mumbai terror, and one student’s family was concerned about the group’s safety,” said Janna Anderson, head of the Imagining the Internet Center. “Because there was not 100 percent agreement by all participants that the research expedition should go ahead as planned, Elon administrators advised it was best to cancel.”

Three of the four students were upset the journey was canceled, but understood the concerns expressed by others in the research group.

After consulting with Larry Basirico, dean of international programs, and Nancy Midgette, associate provost, during Thanksgiving break and given the information on hand at the time, School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons made a recommendation to Anderson to cancel the trip.

“A decision like this always involves a comparison of risk versus reward,” Parsons said. “The reward in having Elon students attend the Internet Governance Forum would have been substantial for the students and for our Imagining the Internet Center.”

But since the terrorist attack introduced risk into the equation, a decision to forgo the trip had to be made before it could be asserted if the risk was minimal or not, Parsons said.

“The students and I were excited for the trip to India. It would’ve been a wonderful research and working experience for everyone involved,”said Colin Donohue, coordinator of student media and instructor in communications who was scheduled to travel with the students. “It was a shame that the trip had to end, but the terrorist attacks that lasted three days were tragic and worrisome.”

Other people who were supposed to attend the IGF canceled their reservations and several businesses with headquarters in Mumbai and Hyderabad canceled their travel plans in wake of the terrorist attacks, he said.

“In the end, I wanted to make sure we erred heavily on the side of caution, and that feeling was taken into consideration before the trip was canceled,” Donohue said. “It was a deciding factor.”

Student researcher sophomore Drew Smith said the trip had been in the works for about a month now and that he had been conducting weekly meetings with Anderson to discuss the research being planned to conduct.

“I got my visa in the mail two weeks ago and I was all set to go until we got news about the attacks,” Smith said.

While the trip would have provided him with research opportunity and a different cultural experience, he said he did fell uneasy about flying through Mumbai since the attacks were ongoing and targeted at someone like himself.

“It was a let down for it to get canceled the day before we were supposed to leave, after all the preparation,” Smith said. “But it’s understandable that the school decided not to send us because the attacks happened days before we were set to arrive.”

Smith said it affects the Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center the most.

“The center had documented all of the previous Internet Governance Forums, and now the piece of Internet history that is happening in Hyderabad will not receive the same depth of coverage,” he said.

The group was set to produce a series of documentary video reports on the forum, which would have been added to Imagining the Internet, an online resource with more than 6,000 pages of content illuminating the past, present and future of the Internet.

‘Civilization’ breaks mold

Iraqi visitor bounces back after statue vandalism incident

n-statueby Andie Diemer
Dec. 3, 2008

Scholar-in-Residence Ahmed Fadaam finally released “Civilization from the mold” on Monday morning, when the Iraqi artist and journalist began the stages of taking the plaster off of his masterpiece, which had been brutally disfigured by a vandal just weeks before.

Fadaam freed Civilization, the sculpture of a Middle Eastern woman with dozens of hands sprouting from the ground surrounding her, in a four-hour process. As a waste mold, Fadaam had to break away the mold piece by piece, all while hoping his sculpture underneath had not suffered any damages through the process.

“I’m only worried about one place — here — where I think that we have an air gap,” Fadaam said, pointing to Civilization’s arm. “But if we can open the mold safely then it’s not going to be a big deal. We can fix it later. But for the rest, I’m quite confident that it went on well.”

Project Pericles Director Tom Arcaro, who worked to bring Fadaam to campus, said the releasing agent that kept the plaster from bonding to the concrete underneath didn’t work as well as they had hoped and that there was some slight damage to the arm that Fadaam was concerned about.

“The chipping off process is more tedious and painstaking than he had planned, but he said that’s to be expected that any project is going to have any repairs when you take off the mold,” Arcaro said.

The next step is to repair the places where the mold didn’t work perfectly.

“If you’re expecting a ready-to-display sculpture, you’re going to be disappointed at this point,” Arcaro said. “But it’s a process. You’re stressing away the plaster and there’s going to be some repairs.”

Fadaam’s sculpture was vandalized Nov. 19 when an unknown vandal broke into the warehouse he was working it and smeared Civilization’s face, lopped off her breasts and smashed a hammer into the back of her head.

After working for several hours to repair the damages of the statue that he believes represents a noble cause about women in the Middle East and their fight for their future, Fadaam was then able to cast her.

He said many artists, some of whom he had never even met, who heard about the damage contacted him to express their condolences and support him.

“They rushed to send me e-mails to express their support and sympathy and I found it really great,” Fadaam said. “I was speechless when I was reading those.”

However, he told them not to worry or feel sorry for him, since it would make him feel weak.

Instead, he reminded them that art has survived history.

“We are stronger than time, and art has survived and will keep surviving because of us — the artists, because of you and because of me,” Fadaam said. “A bunch of people, like those who looted my school in 2003 or those who vandalized my statue now, are not going to stop us.”

The statue is expected to be unveiled in the spring and will be placed on campus as a gift from Fadaam.

Turning on the light

picture-14by Andie Diemer
Nov. 19, 2008

Having the ability to walk into a public meeting or photocopy a public document is a freedom many Americans take for granted or may not even know exists. But some individuals have worked endlessly and devoted their life to ensure every citizen and reporter in America has the ability to access this type of information. In turn, the people using this information, attending meetings or other things may be harvesting information for their personal use or they may function as a watchdog.

Elon University has the privilege of being the headquarters for North Carolina’s Sunshine Center. Each year, the school celebrates with Sunshine Week, where panels, workshops and speakers focus on the gift of freedom of public information. This year, the North Carolina Open Government Coalition will host Sunshine Week at Elon from 16-21, 2009.

Connie Book, associate dean of Elon’s school of communications, said Sunshine Laws give way to an informed electorate and are essential for democracy to function correctly.

“Sunshine Week is a celebration of open government in our democracy, one week each year set aside to remember the importance of accountability of government to the people it serves,” she said in a statement.

Elon hasn’t held a closed city meeting since 1981 and a majority of public employees and elected officials correctly abide by the principles of open government, Book said. But even though the laws are merited with good intentions and seem to be clear, they still meet resistance today.

In the past 12 months, Elon’s Sunshine Center has received 187 calls and e-mails, varying from newly elected local government officials asking what constitutes a meeting to parents accessing information about schools.

“I’d like to say that North Carolina was leading the nation in these efforts, but we aren’t,” Book said in a statement. “Instead we are following and are the 39th state to launch an organization to promote open government and the First Amendment.”

According to the Star Online, several media groups, including the North Carolina Press Association, have filed suit against North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley for “alleged violations of state public records law.”

Since e-mail was not a main form of communication or considered public record when the laws were established, there is confusion over where to draw the line. But the controversy thickened when e-mails vanished from Easley’s official account and a handwritten note from former secretary of Health and Human Services about North Carolina’s efforts to reform the public mental health system was never released.

The changes in society have made legislators re-examine Sunshine Laws in regards to e-mail, but many people believe the e-mail accounts that come with being in public office — a tax-paid position — should be public record.

“These accusations don’t involve a few isolated slip-ups or omissions,” the Star Online said. “The pattern that emerges, based on sworn statements and other sources, suggests a top-down strategy to delete, destroy and conceal messages going into and out of the governor’s office.”

“Information that involves government business — printed documents, e-mails and otherwise — belongs to the public,” the Star Online said. “The North Carolina public records law makes that clear.”

Also, bear in mind that violations of public records and open government laws do not represent an offense against the news media, but against every person who calls this state home.

Because these forms of communication involve government business, they do belong to the public and it is not only a disservice to the news media but against every citizen when this type of information is not public.

“The information involved in the transaction of public business belongs to all of us,” the Star Online said.

Click HERE for more information about Sunshine Day at Elon.

Students lead impromptu parade to honor Obama victory

n-mobbwby Andie Diemer
Nov. 4, 2008

Shortly after Sen. Barack Obama was confirmed as America’s next president, hundreds of students rallied around Elon, snaking through campus and picking up more students along the way.

As rain poured down, the mob filled the air with chants of “Obama!” “USA!” and “Change is here!” Obama-Biden signs were thrust in the air as others made O’s with their arms above their heads.

Sophomores Sarah Small and Meg D’Albora were watching the election results inside their dorm, Barney, when they heard the crowd outside.

They followed the noise and joined the group as they made their way from North to South campus, but drew back from the pack.

“We were with them earlier and they went crazy,” Small said.

“We’re wearing flip flops,” D’Albora said.

Chuck Gantos, director of campus safety and police, said he did not assign any more patrols on campus aside from the regular two security officers and two police officers.

They combed campus on foot and on T3.

As the mass of students circled campus, Campus Safety and Police Officer Sean Watkins was on patrol and said they were not planning on taking any action with the group.

“As long as they don’t damage no property we’re fine with it,” he said.

The parade culminated at Young Commons in a large “O” and sang the national anthem. The after rushing the middle, the group said “The Lord’s Prayer.”

“It was like nothing I’d ever seen before,” freshman Adam Lawson said.

Small and D’Albora continued on their way, following slowly from behind the other students sprinting across campus.

But as they mob continued to circle around once again and headed back toward Small and D’Albora, it became clear to them what they wanted to do.

“Come on, let’s go join them,” Small said.

Elon University Senior Joy Baxter followed the election coverage from 8 p.m. until McCain delivered his concession speech.

Elon University students flooded campus, starting at a dorm on the north side of campus and circling the entire perimeter until they returned.

Elon Poll: Democrats advance, Republicans still hold slight edge among N.C. voters

graphby Andie Diemer
Oct. 28, 2008

The Elon Poll has been working feverishly for more than a year to track closely voter’s opinions for next week’s election. Despite the ups and downs of campaigning, the Republican Party has been the favorite of North Carolina residents.

April 2008 Findings

In a poll conducted April 14-17 of 543 North Carolina residents, a majority said some factors heavily discussed in this presidential race, such as race, gender and age, had little impact on how they planned to vote.

Ninety-one percent said race does not make a difference in how they will vote, while 79 percent said gender makes no difference. Only 66 percent said they don’t factor age into voting for a particular candidate.

After being asked if they knew someone who wouldn’t vote for a candidate based on this set of criteria, the statistics began to fluctuate. Fifty-four percent said they knew someone who would not vote for a candidate who is black, and 63 percent said the same for a candidate who is a woman. Forty-four percent said the same for a candidate who is “too old.”

“Across the board, these results illustrate just how close the races appear to be,” Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll, said in a statement issued April 18. “With both Democrats and Republicans evaluated similarly, it appears there will be fierce battles for president and governor in this state.”

September 2008 Findings

In another Elon Poll, conducted Sept. 15-18, a majority of the 411 North Carolinians questioned said the GOP held the edge in the presidential race. But more than half of the respondents said they were ready to have Dole replaced.

At this time, more than half of North Carolina residents polled had a favorable view of McCain. Forty-one percent planned to support the Republican Party on Nov. 4, compared to 35 percent in favor of the Democratic Party. Twenty percent of the respondents remained undecided. Two-thirds of those surveyed said vice presidential running mates had some influence in their opinion of the candidates.

The governor’s race also remained close, with 37 percent backing the Republican Party and 35 percent supporting the Democratic Party.

“At this time, it appears that the three major races in North Carolina are going to come down to the wire,” Bacot said in September. “While the public has not made a final determination among the candidates, nearly everyone can agree that the economy is the major issue in these upcoming contests.”

October 2008 Findings

The most recent poll conducted involving candidate preference took place Sept. 29-Oct. 2, where a majority of the 477 North Carolinians questioned said they blamed the GOP for the nation’s economic woes.

This poll revealed that the race for the White House was still neck-and-neck, with 39 percent of residents surveyed supporting the Republican Party and 39 percent backing the Democratic Party.

But differences became more apparent when respondents were asked who would manage the economy better: 44 percent favored Obama compared to 42 percent for McCain. Seven percent said neither candidate.

“North Carolina, following the national trend, is leaning Democrat for president,” Bacot said. “Should this pattern prevail, the result would be a startling change in state presidential politics for more than one reason. Not only have the Democrats failed to win North Carolina in over thirty years, such a victory would mark a major milestone for the black community here and throughout the South.”

Perdue was supported by 33 percent for governor, while McCrory was supported by 37 percent.

Click HERE for more information on these polls.

Palin pushes choice, reform at rally

by Andie Diemer
Oct. 16, 2008

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addressed the Elon community at a rally Thursday. She talked about what the country could expect to see in a McCain-Palin administration. Photos by David Wells.

After Sen. Elizabeth Dole and country music star Hank Williams Jr. kicked off the “Road to Victory Rally,” Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined them on the stage around 2:45 p.m. Thursday at Latham Park.

As thousands of people crowded the stadium and perimeter, the “straight-talk express” thanked the community for welcoming her before paralleling the Elon Phoenix to her running mate, Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

“I hope you all got to watch last night’s debate because the man from Phoenix proved once again that he is our best choice to be our next president,” Palin said. “Last night everyone in America got a look at the choice we face.”

This choice, she said, is between a politician in government and a true leader who puts his faith in the American people, McCain.

“It’s a choice between a candidate that will raise your taxes and the other choice is a true leader,” she said. “John McCain is going to Washington to work for Joe the Plumber and so many of you that own small businesses.”

She said people like Joe the Plumber and other small-business owners are the backbone of the American economy and that is why a McCain-Palin administration would be the best choice for America.

“Our opponent wants to raise taxes because he thinks like that other Joe,” she said, referring to Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden. “They think government is the solution. I disagree with that. Government too often is the problem and we need government put back on your side.”

Only then, she said, will businesses and families can keep more of what they produce and earn.

“That’s how jobs are created and our economy [gets] moving again,” Palin said.

She said the election is a race between two tickets, one of inspiring words and another of trust-worthy deeds that come from McCain. To Palin, the deeds are greater than empty words and promises.

“Now, North Carolina, the choice is yours to make,” she said. “I’m here to ask you, are you ready to help us carry this state to victory? Are you ready to make John McCain the next president of the United States? And are you ready to send us there to shake things up in Washington?”


After a chant of “USA! USA! USA!” erupted, Palin urged the audience to look toward the future and keep a McCain-Palin administration in mind.

“So North Carolina, there is so much at stake in this election,” she said.

Her campaign is for the kids in the audience and the next generation of Americans. Obama’s campaign only looks to the past and points fingers, Palin said.

“But John McCain and I are joining you and looking to the future because that’s where we find solutions,” Palin said. “They look to the past because they think they’re running against the current administration.”

If Obama wanted to run against President Bush, he should have run for office four years ago, she said.

“This year the name on the ballot is John McCain and America knows John McCain is his own man,” Palin said. “He is a maverick.”

She said McCain is the only man who talks about the wars that America is fighting and isn’t afraid to use the word victory. Obama, she said, goes on in every speech about the wars America is fighting but does not express a desire to win them.

“It would be nice for him to say he wants to win,” Palin said.

Through the adversity in McCain’s life he knows how to overcome tough challenges, she said.

“He is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief,” she said before taking a moment to honor audience members who have or are currently serving the country.


Because she and McCain have been able to do this in the past, it will be possible to allow tax relief to every American and every business, she said. In turn, this would allow small-business owners to produce more, keep more money and provide more jobs.

“We don’t just talk the talk, we can walk the walk,” she said. “It’s not mean-spirited and not dirty campaigning when you call someone out on their record.”

By eliminating taxes and other wasteful spending Palin said she was able to pour some money back into the Alaskan economy.

“You gotta do what you gotta do to best serve the people that have hired you,” Palin said.

She said the same methods would work for the country: getting spending under control, going back to the basics and getting the government back on the side of the people.

“In a McCain-Palin administration I promise you we will never forget that we will be there, in Washington, D.C., working for you, the people of America,” Palin said.

She said so many people living in America in communities like Elon are not asking for much, they simply want a good job in their hometown, a pro-growth agenda and spending control in Washington. That is how the economy gets moving again, she said.


Palin said someone with experience, courage, good judgment and trustworthiness is necessary to bring America to its feet.

“Now more than ever we need someone tough who is ready to lead on day one,” she said. “We need a leader with a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction and that person is John McCain.”

It is in these times of great hardships and worry that McCain will institute a plan for American families to keep their homes and help retirees keep their savings.

Palin said she plans to do something about those “other” people who have been greedy and corrupt and who have lost the money of hard-working Americans.

She said a McCain-Palin administration would have a plan to help students pay for college and ensure that all Americans are able to afford health care.

“Together, John McCain and I will complete the work of education reform so that every child in America has a chance and every parent in America has better and more choices in how we educate our children,” she said.

John McCain has the backbone and guts to confront the $10 trillion debt that has been accumulated by the federal government. It’s not fair to pass that onto the next generation, Palin said.

This includes putting a spending freeze on everything except the most vital aspects and balancing the federal budget by the end of their first term.

“You have to do that in [your] business and homes, why does the federal government doesn’t think it has to?” she said.


Palin said McCain will also work to end 30 years of failed policies that have been set for energy independence and will work to develop new as well as tapping into old sources.

McCain would adopt an “all-of-the-above approach,” which would include not just gas and oil, but wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, clean coal and nuclear forms of harvesting energy. These would create new jobs, where they are needed most, along the way.

She said drilling safely in America and offshore is what needs to be done.

“You’re right, drill baby drill and mine baby mine,” Palin said. “You betcha!”

Spending billions of dollars into other countries, some of which use energy as a weapon against America, is not what the administration should be doing, Palin said.

“That money needs to be circulated right here creating jobs for all of you,” Palin said. “It is for the sake of our national security and economic prosperity that we have American energy resources brought to you by American ingenuity and brought to you by American workers.”


Aside from energy and government reform, Palin said another large portion of her time in office would be spent helping families with special-needs children.

“Children with special needs can inspire a special love. We can learn more from them than they can learn from us,” she said. “They are not a problem, they are priority.”

After commending a sign in the crowd that read “Extra chromosomes means extra love,” Palin talked about the special challenge in her life, her son Trig, who was born with Down syndrome.

“Even before Trig was born I have sought for more funding for our students with special needs, understanding too that they deserve the opportunity for special education,” she said. “[I’ll] make sure these families have a friend and an advocate in the White House because John and I have a vision where in America every child is cherished.”

As security was escorting a rowdy protester out, Palin exclaimed that “Maybe he doesn’t need to go, but maybe he needs to stay and learn a little bit from all of you.”


“North Carolina, on Nov. 4, it’s gonna come down to what we believe in and the choice that we have to make comes down to what we believe in,” she said.

She said she and McCain have a similar vision to what Ronald Reagan believed in.

“We believe in the forward movement of freedom, not the cost and expansion of government,” she said. “The best of America is not all gathered in Washington, D.C., it’s found here in the kindness and goodness and courage of real town America, where the families ask the government to be on their side, not in their way.”

She said the people who grow food, teach children and protect freedom for America is where the kindness, goodness and wisdom of the country is found.

“We believe in the promise of this country and all the opportunities we wish for ourselves,” she said. “We believe that America is not the problem, it is the solution. We don’t have to apologize for being Americans. We’re not a perfect nation, we learn form our mistakes.”

She said there is man who is inspiring, ready, willing, and able to lead the nation.

“There is only one man in this race who has ever really fought for you,” Palin said. “He understands that the virtues of freedom is worth fighting for and he has the courage to keep fighting for you. Help me elect John McCain.”

Palin to speak on Elon University campus Thursday

Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a rally in Waukesha, Wis., at the Center Court Sports Complex on. Oct. 9. Palin is expected to speak at Elon University on Oct. 16. Photo courtesy of Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT.
Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a rally in Waukesha, Wis., at the Center Court Sports Complex on Oct. 9. Palin is expected to speak at Elon University on Oct. 16. Photo courtesy of Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT.

by Andie Diemer
Oct. 13, 2008

Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is scheduled to speak Thursday at Elon University, Robert Simpson, chairman of Alamance County Republican Party, told the Burlington Times-News.

While details are still being worked out, preparations around campus point to a 3 p.m. event at Latham Park baseball stadium on campus.

Student Body President Chase Rumley said that while it hasn’t been confirmed, it would reflect very positively on Elon to have Palin here, especially considering Former President Bill Clinton visited in the spring.

“It will be interesting to see if her speech is more student or community focused and who her message speaks to more,” he said. “I think everyone will be respectful.”

Nick Ochsner, president of College Republicans, said he was not able to confirm the event until a press release was published by the campaign.

Palin will also speak on Thursday at 8 a.m. at Bangor International Airport in Bangor, Maine and again at 10 a.m. at United Sports Training Center in Chester County, Pa.

Both events are open to the public and free.

She will also be making an appearance at an event in Greensboro later that evening.

Ever Elon campaign launches Saturday

by Andie Diemer
Oct. 8, 2008

This Saturday marks the official launch of the Ever Elon Campaign, a comprehensive program that has been almost two years in the making and will focus on the school’s endowment and funding as well as providing funds for the completion of three buildings on campus.

At Tuesday’s College Coffee, a preview of the campaign was revealed to educate the community on how it can become involved and help shape the future of the university.

The program, which has been backed by Elon’s Board of Trustees, will work to continue building and creating new opportunities at Elon. These include getting more students to study abroad, awarding more research grants for student-faculty collaboration and constructing a larger Convocation Center that will be able to house everyone on campus.

rumleyChuck Davis, director of the Ever Elon Campaign, said the campaign’s endowment goal will be released Friday. Elon’s current endowment is about $82 million.

“Our campaign priorities for endowment are very much related to supporting students,” Davis said.

Whether this is through merit- or need-based aid scholarships or study abroad grants, Davis said this campaign will impact everyone, even if the direct funds are not going toward student activities.

“Supporting our faculty has a direct correlation on student experience in the classroom,” Davis said. “We’re trying to endow new professorships to ensure the experience for our students in the classroom is always cutting edge and top notch.”

While growing the endowment is the focus of the campaign, Ever Elon will also work to finish building Lindner Hall as well as create a multi-faith center adjacent to the church and a new athletics facility.

Gifts began being counted on June 1, 2006. From that time on a diverse committee, which encompassed students, faculty, staff and board members, worked to create the nuts and bolts of the campaign. Everything from how to “count” a gift to minimum donation amounts was tackled.

Current results of Elon’s endowment include buildings, such as Moseley, Koury Business Center, the Academic Village and Belk Library, and other amenities like scholarship programs. Donors can opt to specific what they would like their money put towards, such as athletics or abroad experiences.

“Thanks to the generous support of countless others before us, all of this has been a reality and has significantly impacted our Elon experience,” SGA Executive President Chase Rumley said.

Rumley said the visions to improve campus can materialize, but only through donations from the Elon community, including students, their families, faculty, staff and friends.

“This campaign is about every single person,” he said. “It’s about everybody chipping in and making a difference. Every gift from every student, regardless of size or designation, counts for the campaign.”

Click here for more information on Ever Elon.

Palin exceeds expectations, still succumbs to Biden, Elon convenience sample says

While Gov. Sarah Palin was able to connect with the American people, Sen. Joe Biden had more factual evidence and was able to come out on top during Thursday’s vice presidential debate, an Elon convenience sample said.

According to an unscientific poll conducted by an Elon University Reporting for the Public Good class Oct. 3 from 11 – 12 p.m., Democratic vice presidential candidate Biden prevailed over Republican vice presidential candidate Palin during the Oct. 2 debate held at the Washington University in St. Louis Athletic Complex.

The event, which was the first time the two met, marked the only debate the two candidates will have against each other before the Nov. 4 elections.

While 230 Elon faculty, staff and students were surveyed, 37 percent said Biden won while only 23 percent said Palin won. Twelve percent said it was a tie and 28 percent did not watch the debate or did not care to comment.

Elon University junior Mary Robinson said Palin clearly lost, even though she did better than expected.

“People had very low expectations for her and she surpassed them, but just because she used certain catch phrases doesn’t appeal to me,” Robinson said. “I don’t think Palin really showed that she was well informed on the questions she was asked. She made a rebuttal with information that turned out to be false in regards to the surge in Afghanistan and actually got the general’s name wrong.”

Elon University Senior Tim Graham said Palin hardly answered anything while hawking the necessity to talk “straight up” to the American people.

Ashley Flanagan, an Elon University junior, said each candidate won in his or her own way.

“I think that Palin had really low expectations and she did a good job, seeing that she had such low expectations,” Flanagan said. “But I think most people would probably say that Biden won based on his experiences and stuff, but I think Palin held it together.”

Elon University senior Katie Kuekes agreed, saying it was a close call.

“I think Joe Biden had some really good points and was able to back up his opinions with facts,” Kuekes said. “Palin’s factual evidence was not as strong, but her style was really appealing to some people.”

Junior Ashley Prilutski agreed, saying Palin didn’t come off as educated as Biden.

“I think she looked like an idiot because she didn’t answer most of the questions she was asked and just went off on her own and said what she wanted to say, not answering the question,” Prilutski said. “She also was not very eloquent and came off looking stupid — from my educated opinion — with all her ‘folksy’ sayings, aka comparing the economy to a soccer game. I understand why she did it, but I think the U.S. economy is a bit different than a soccer game.”

Gwen Ifill, a correspondent and moderator for nationally televised public broadcasting news programs, moderated the debate.

Elon University Senior Katie Kuekes said the debate was a close call, but in the end Biden had more factual evidence to support his opinion. Watch below to hear more.

Elon University Junior Ashley Flanagan said Palin performed much better than she thought she would, but that Biden brings more experience to the table and it was evident during the debate. Watch below to hear more.