A common refrain heard as Elon alumni walk across campus even after a short time away sounds a little something like this: Wow, I hardly recognize this place anymore!
From new dorms and dining halls to an on-campus football sta-
dium and a law school campus in Greensboro, N.C., it seems that,
at Elon, something is always changing. With yet another significant
campus transformation under way, take a moment to look back at
how far the campus has already come and enjoy a brief Elon history
lesson in the process.
Flashbacks By Kim walKerContributions by Katie Nash and George Troxler
Alamance may not hold the title of oldest building on campus; that honor goes to West Dormitory, the only building still standing that survived the 1923 fire. Yet in its foundation, Alamance contains remnants of the first structure built on Elons campus: the Main Administration Building. After the fire gutted Old Main, work-ers crushed the broken bricks and incorporated them into the material that built Alamances foundation.
Completed in 1924, Alamance originally had a parking lot, seen here, extending from the build-ings north side. After 1981 renovations that added stair-cases on Alamances east and west sides and bathrooms on the build-ings upper floors were complete, work began on the construction of Scott Plaza and Fonville Fountain where the parking lot once stood.
Although students and faculty were initially critical of the expen-diture and the loss of a convenient parking lot, the plaza and fountain soon came to symbolize the chang-ing institutional image, says George Troxler, professor emeritus of history.
Taken in June 1952, this photo docu-ments one of Whitleys renovations. Roger B. Wilson 52, standing on the scaffolding without harnesses or safety gear, helped with a paint-ing project. The light blue overhead dome was painted by means of a stepladder on the covered planks. A large tarp was tied to the railings to catch any paint droppings, he wrote when submitting the photo for use in Elons 1989 Centennial publica-tions. Whitley underwent another renovation in 2001, when the Alyse Smith Cooper Organ was installed and air conditioning was added. Seen on stage is the final College Chapel in December 2010, featur-ing a performance of Music of the Holidays by Mu Phi Epsilon.
lAke mAry nell
Taken during Elons second-annual Greek Week in 1976, this photo features fraternity members rac-ing a homemade boat across what was then known simply as The Lake. Elon chose to construct the lake to solve a water-drainage prob-lem on a chronically marshy area of campus. It was dedicated as Lake Mary Nell in 1985 after a nam-ing gift from Maurice Jennings 57 and his first wife, Patricia Gabriel, in honor of their eldest daughter.
Today, Elon students can enter the forbidden waters without risk-ing a fine only once a year: during the Polar Plunge in January. Though Lake Mary Nell no longer plays a part in the festivities, the Greek Week tradition continues annu-ally in April, featuring contests and sports competitions among Elons fraternities and sororities.
From Moseley Center to the tur-quoise waters of Fonville Fountain, Elons main quad owes its existence in large part to Raleigh, N.C., land-scape architect Wayne McBride. In October 1975, McBride presented a long-range plan for the develop-ment of Elons campus to the board of trustees. The document, which suggested moving parking areas to the perimeter of campus and con-verting former parking lots into courtyards and pedestrian malls, has shaped the look of Elon ever since.
The transformation of the area in this photo began in 1994, with the opening of Moseley Center and the addition of the Koury Center between Alumni Gym and the Jordan Athletic Complex. Soon thereafter, the parking lot in front of Moseley Center was removed and a lawn planted. The Elon power plant, located on the land where Carol Grotnes Belk Library now stands, was dismantled in 1998 and Belk Library com-pleted the following year. Elon named the lawn Young Commons in 2000 as a tribute to J. Fred Young, Elons seventh president.
the senior oAk
As men worked to clear a grove on the land upon which Elon would be built in 1889, William Long, Jr., son of Elons first president, William S. Long, became enamored with one crooked oak. Alumnus and historian Durward Turrentine Stokes wrote that the tree grew from the ground in a curve the height of a man before its trunk straightened out. Long encouraged his father to leave the tree standing, and in just a few years, the oak became a campus icon.
Dubbed the Senior Oak after the 1930 senior class officers had their photo taken beneath it, the tree became a go-to site for picnics, trysts, photos and marriage pro-posals. In 1980, the tree was struck by lightning and declared unsal-vageable. A year later, the Senior Oak was removed and cut into 804 blocks, which were given as gifts to Elon donors. The Class of 1990 planted a replacement oak at the approximate site of the origi-nal, but that tree perished as well.