The Elon Medallion to Don Bolden

The Elon Medallion is the highest honor given by the university. On Monday, Don Bolden — chair of the School of Communications Advisory Board throughout my tenure as dean — received the Elon Medallion in a special ceremony to begin the academic year.

Don devoted 51 years to providing news coverage in our community, building a reputation for fairness and truth and retiring as executive editor of the Burlington Times-News in 2000.

I’m so thankful that Don asked me to introduce him, and this is what I said:

“Good morning. I think about Don and Billie Faye Bolden at the start of just about every day. That’s because my office door bears the names of these two terrific people who have been instrumental in the success of the School of Communications.

“We want to recognize their family and friends joining them here this morning – and we want to present flowers to his wife, Billie Faye, an Elon alumna.

“One of the first things I do on Sunday mornings is read Don Bolden’s column in the Times-News. Sometimes it’s a story of our local history, and often it’s witty and humorous and generates my first laugh of the day. For instance, last week’s column speculated that North Carolina may be destined to be known not only as the birthplace of flight, but also as the birthplace of Krispy Kreme Donuts!

“Don Bolden is a frequent and welcome presence on campus… in the halls of the School of Communications where he has served the past decade as chair of our professional advisory board… in the seats of Alumni Gym where he loves watching the Phoenix play basketball, and loves it so much that he and Billie Faye have funded a basketball scholarship… and in an important documentary we produced about journalists covering the civil rights movement in the South. In that documentary, Don tells about going to a Ku Klux Klan rally and weaving his way behind the podium so that he could photograph the leaders.

“Don Bolden’s alma mater may be UNC, but he calls Elon his ‘home team.’ When we talk about Don, we use words such as integrity, community, enthusiasm and leadership. That’s why this university is honored to present the Elon Medallion to him today.”

And here is Don’s gracious response:

Explore posts in the same categories: Advisory Board, People

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