Elon Honors Alumni and Donors with….Bricks?

By Matt Holzapfel

On a campus made up almost entirely of brick, it’s only fitting that Elon University chose to recognize their alumni and senior donors with personalized bricks on Elon’s campus, joining the many personalized bricks that can already be found around the university.

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Bricks can be personalized with donors’ names, years of graduation, and the names of organizations they participated in while on attending Elon

Elon’s new “Brick by Brick” campaign was introduced partly due to the success of their previous brick personalization campaign called Pave the Way, which took place in 2013. Alumni and seniors can participate in the “Brick by Brick” campaign by setting up a recurring gift of $5 per month or $60 per year to any area of campus. Gifts must be submitted by May 31, the last day of the university’s fiscal year, according to elon.edu.

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“The overall goal of the campaign is to support Elon and continue to foster ties between alumni and the university” — John Barnhill

Assistant Vice President for University Advancement John Barnhill says that the symbolism of leaving a mark on campus with a brick shows a close connection with the university, regardless of distance or time. “Having the option to personalize the brick’s text also allows alumni to reflect on what was important to them during their Elon experience,” said Barnhill. “After spending years learning and thriving on campus, having your words solidified into the foundation of the university creates a powerful representation of loyalty and appreciation. But a brick is both a physical reminder of the past and the future. The true success of a brick campaign is promoting the impact of each gift and making sure that alumni understand their role as a partner, advocate, and investor. So for these reasons, a brick campaign becomes successful by engaging alumni through shared emotional connections and supporting a tradition of giving.”

Barnhill also noted that while the central goal of the program is to increase “loyal alumni participation” because it shows the vitality of an alumni base that cares to give back each and every year, honoring that participation with their own personalized bricks has proven to be very popular in the past. “Alumni donors want to personalize their support for Elon and leave a lasting memory on campus,” explained Barnhill. “Even years after the 2013 Pave the Way campaign, we still have alumni asking if bricks are available. Personalization will always help drive engagement, but supporting Elon is the main incentive.”

The 2013 Pave the Way campaign was not the first time Elon has recognized alumni and donors by allowing them to personalize bricks on campus, but it was the largest such event. The tradition dates back to the 1990’s when the university honored donors in the with a small brick campaign, which can be seen in front of the Moseley Center.

The deadline to participate in the upcoming “Brick by Brick” campaign is May 31. For more information, visit www.elon.edu/u/advancement/brick-by-brick/.

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