Elon lays out 10-year plan

Posted December 15, 2009 10:15 a.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2009 10:31 a.m. EST

— The Elon University Board of Trustees on Monday approved a $586 million strategic plan to guide the school's development over the next decade.

The plan, dubbed "The Elon Commitment," includes adding $300 million to the university's endowment for expanding scholarships, which officials say will allow them to recruit more students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and offer international study opportunities to all students.

It also includes a $250 million master plan that involves adding 1,600 residential spaces so more students can live on campus in innovative housing communities, building a 5,000-seat convocation center and a 1,500-seat auditorium, expanding academic facilities for science and communications and building a multi-faith center. The university also plans to promote retail development in the town of Elon and implement various environmental sustainability initiatives.

Elon also is looking at creating a School of Health Sciences, expanding graduate programs and creating combination programs so students in some fields could immediately follow their undergraduate studies with master's degrees. A proposed gap-year program would provide an alternative start to college for students who want to defer traditional studies while they pursue service or work experiences, officials said.

"Our vision for The Elon Commitment is simple and powerful: to engage students’ minds and inspire them to act as leaders and global citizens," Elon President Leo M. Lambert said in a statement. "This plan is about marshaling the resources of the university to support and inspire all members of the Elon community as they assume positions of leadership and act as engaged citizens working for the global good."

The plan was created over 15 months and involved input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends. Nearly half of the $586 million needs to be raised through donations, officials said.