Elon’s future is a great investment

Introducing A Will to Lead, a special initiative of the Elon LEADS Campaign that allows alumni, parents and friends to make a lasting impact at Elon by including the university in their estate plans. Learn more about how you can establish a life-changing legacy and ensure a promising future for all students. Learn more

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Strengthening seeds of education

Strengthening seeds of education

By Madison Taylor

As Bob and Barbara Byrd started to think about their estate planning, it soon became clear Elon University would be a part of it. Bob, a retired hospital administrator and civic and political leader, has a front-row view of how much Elon has impacted Alamance County. Barbara, an Alamance County native, musician and music teacher, has a long association with Elon and its Department of Music.

"I want to see our assets go to organizations and activities that have been part of our lives in a meaningful way," says Bob, a former member of the Alamance County Board of Commissioners who has served with multiple community organizations. He also plays the saxophone and co-founded the Alamance Jazz Band. Barbara, a piano teacher for nearly 50 years and music director at Graham Presbyterian Church, agrees. "I want to see music perpetuated," she says. "But I also want to encourage students and be helpful to the community."

By including Elon in their estate plan, the Byrds of Burlington, North Carolina, are accomplishing those goals. Future proceeds from their planned gift will support three areas of the university: The Department of Music, Elon Academy and the "It Takes a Village" Project. Elon Academy and the Village Project are part of Elon's Center for Access and Success. Both programs help students in Alamance County find a pathway to a college education or greater success in secondary education. "I wanted a lot of our assets to go to organizations that make a difference in our community. In my role as a commissioner and on other boards, two of those programs are the Village Project and Elon Academy," Bob says.

"Elon is in our community. It's part of my past. I didn't go to school there, but I lived here," Barbara says. "As a piano teacher, I took part in many activities in the music department. I knew a lot of the professors and students. I feel close to that department. And I'm particularly impressed by Elon Academy."

Bob is a first-generation college student who graduated from Penn State University. Barbara graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They are strong advocates for education who have a history of giving to music and Elon Academy. Their planned gift ensures their generosity will be a part of Elon's future as it is counted as part of the $250 million Elon LEADS fundraising campaign.

Learn how you can make a difference through an estate gift by contacting Elizabeth Read, assistant director of planned giving, at 336-278-7474 or eread@elon.edu.


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