By Matt Holzapfel
Since 1999, Elon has known only one President. Leo Lambert took office in January of 1999 and has been working hard to improve the University ever since. “In recruiting a new president at this time, we can ensure continuity of leadership for these key initiatives, as well as anticipate the creation and implementation of the university’s next strategic plan,” Lambert explained. “This will allow Elon to continue to make progress on many fronts.”
While the news of Lambert’s decision came out this morning, many Elon students and faculty have only had little time to process what came as a shock to many people. For all current Elon students, and many staff and faculty members as well, Leo Lambert is the only university president they have ever known. “I really like Leo Lambert,” said Elon student Filippos Rempoutzakos. “I think the VP should just take the job there’s a VP for a reason.” While people have not specifically said the same thing as Rempoutzakos, it is a relatively popular sentiment that the next president should already work at Elon. This would eliminate any feeling out process that any outsider would go through if elected as the next president.
Other have said that despite never meeting President Lambert personally, they are sad that he is stepping down and will miss him when he is gone. “I don’t know him personally, but he’s the only President that I’ve known,” said sophomore Sienna Standfield. “That makes me sad that he’s leaving.” “We need someone who understands how things work at Elon and who cares about the wellbeing of the students and the staff,” said Standfield when asked who she thought should replace Lambert. “(Someone that is already inside the Elon network) would probably be good.”Jesse Parrish is a staff member who works in the Registrar’s Office at Elon. “I was not surprised,” said Parrish. “I had an inkling that it was coming. I do know that he will continue to be a significant part of the community as president emeritus, much like Dr. Danieley” Staff members like Parrish have had the opportunity to work alongside Lambert for longer, however, Parrish himself only recently joined the Elon staff in 2015. The full interview can be seen here.
Leo Lambert has played a major role in the establishing of academic facilities such as Belk Library, Koury Business Center, and Arts West building. He has spearheaded efforts to bring new residential neighborhoods, such as Global and Mill Point to Elon as well. The search for Lambert’s replacement will begin immediately. The full video that President Lambert used to announce this decision can be found here.