Your admission to Elon University stages a significant life-transition and marks your commitment to become part of a vibrant academic community. This university community – the faculty, staff, and your fellow classmates – has prepared an environment animated by curiosity, engagement, and reflection, and filled by ideas, theories, and questions. Your acceptance of admission to Elon University indicates you seek and are ready to engage this academic, intellectual community.

Welcome Class of 2018!

Summer Timeline

Click on the events below for more information.

Are You Ready?

  • Are you ready to be introduced to and challenged by the ideas, arguments, and perspectives that define cultures around the globe and that reflect ingenuity across time?
  • Are you ready to discover and debate the intersections of politics and culture in our diverse country and around the globe?
  • Are you ready to share your ideas and openly explore how they are connected to and challenged by ideas that came before you?
  • Are you ready to passionately and yet respectfully engage with members of the university community, reminded that all human beings deserve to be treated with courtesy and dignity?
  • Are you ready to be an Elon university citizen, helping to sustain and further develop the first-class learning environment that we all value?

We expect you are ready, and we look forward to your joining us for a journey in learning that will stage your future; a future where the world is smarter, stronger, and kinder because you are in it.

The Common Reading

Your first academic assignment is the 2014 common reading, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamwamba and Bryan Mealer.  Be sure to purchase and read it before you come to campus in August, since it will be a shared intellectual experience during your first year, both in and out of class. The common reading marks the beginning of the Elon Core Curriculum, the set of courses and experiences that are shared by every Elon undergraduate. The purpose of the common reading is to launch shared intellectual conversations that will develop across the year.

The author (William Kamkwamba) will be visiting your Elon classes on September 16-17, followed on September 29 by the director of an award-winning documentary film called William and the Windmill (Ben Nabors).  Other conversations and events related to the book’s themes will occur throughout the year.

The book itself is just a starting point for critical thinking about effective writing, entrepreneurship, diversity, alternative energy, sustainable development, and other important topics.  We hope the conversations will begin to model what intellectual discourse looks like, marked by questioning, curiosity, and rationale argumentation rather than by superficial comments about whether or not you happen to like the book (welcome to college!).


Would you like to begin the conversation now?

If so, follow the directions below to access the interactive e-book version (reading the e-book format is optional) that allows the Elon community to have a conversation within the pages of the book.  Feel free to post your comments and connect with others in the community!


Directions for Common Reading e-book

1) Go to

2) Set up an account with your Elon email address.

3) Click on the “Apps and Readers” tab

4) Download the app to your device of choice.  Note that the app might look a little different on different devices – phones are a little simpler but have less functionality, for example.

5) Enter the app, download the book from the “Store” tab (it will cost $11 or so), and begin reading!

6) You can make comments in the text for others in the Elon community to read, and view posts made by others.  To see comments when viewing on a laptop or desktop, click “Sidebar” at the top of the screen, click the “Contributions” tab on the right of the sidebar, and then click “Latest”.  When you can see my introductory comment on the first page of chapter 1, you’ll know you’ve got it figured out.

7)  If you have problems, contact Copia at (mention that you’re part of the Elon University book community).


The Student Perspective

Students answer the question,

“What are students supposed to get out of the Common Reading?”

Students answer the question,

“What is Global Citizenship, and why is it important?”

Elon 101

Elon 101 is a one-semester-hour course designed to help you become comfortable and confident at Elon. Our curriculum is based on campus values, academic advising, and campus resources.

Why are campus values and academic resources the focus of Elon 101? First, now that you’ve decided to join this community we want you to develop an even better understanding of our expectations. Second, we want you to feel challenged but supported. For this reason, your Elon 101 instructor will serve as your academic advisor until you officially declare your major and will be one of your primary resources as you seek to find answers to your questions. And finally, we want you to know about the amazing opportunities that exist on our campus. We intentionally keep class sizes small at 16 students per section and meet weekly throughout the first semester. We believe you will find Elon 101 to be one of the big reasons your mind opens quickly and Elon feels like home.

Be sure to check out student perspectives on Elon 101 under Words of Wisdom.

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