Dr. James Earl Danieley

James Earl Danieley was born on July 28, 1924. James grew up in Alamance, North Carolina. He attended Elon University from 1941 to 1946 and received his graduate degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. James Danieley spent a year carrying out his post-doctoral research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. James Earl Danieley married Verona Daniels on September 1, 1948. When they met, Verona Daniels was serving as secretary for President Leon Smith. 

After completing his post-doctoral research, Dr. Danieley was first offered a job as a freshman chemistry professor at Elon University, which he accepted. James served as the Dean of the college from 1953 to 1956. The Board of Trustees selected James Early Danieley as the sixth president of Elon College. Dr. Danieley served as President of Elon College from 1957 to 1973. After stepping down from President in 1973, Dr. Danieley gave the following years of his life to teaching. James has been the Thomas E. Powell Jr. Professor of Chemistry since 1982.

When Dr. Danieley became president of Elon University in 1957 he has a list of things he wanted to see done to the University. James Danieley knew that he would want to remain as president until he saw all these changes off his list come to reality.

Dr. Danieley has seen Elon grow over the span of his 70 years a part of the University. He saw academic buildings grow from grass fields. Elon University has changed a lot over the decades but in the same respect has really stayed the same. One of the most important things about Elon that has always stayed the same is the sense of “community”, Dr. Danieley said. Dr. Danieley has always said he isn’t worried about the growth of Elon because as long as our sense of “community” remains it will always be Elon University. Dr. Danieley said, “One of the best ways to describe Elon is with our sense of community”.

When Elon was first built there were two buildings: the administrative building, Old Main, and East dormitory with 76 students. Now Elon University is over 600-acres, has more than 40 major buildings, and has around 5,500 undergraduate students.

James Earl Danieley was elected to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in 1983 and served for 12 years. In 1987, Dr. Danieley cut down his teaching hours so he could serve as Elon’s director of planned giving in the development office. He served as director for 5 years. In 1992, James Danieley was named the President Emeritus of Elon University. The word emeritus is a Latin word meaning “having served one’s time” or “merited one’s discharge by service”.  Being named President Emeritus is so fitting for Dr. Danieley because all of the years of dedication, service and love he has given to Elon University.

During, Dr. Danieley’s presidency at Elon University he oversaw the construction of Hook, Brannock and Barney residence halls, McEwen Library (now the School of Communications), and Powell building. He saw students take part in the first study abroad trip and the first national fraternities and sororities come to campus. 

One of Dr. Danieley’s greatest impacts while President of Elon University was athletics. He played a major role in the expansion of women’s athletics. Dr. Danieley created a solid foundation for women’s sports at Elon University. In 1972, he hired a high school coach, Kay Yow, to coach the first women’s basketball team at Elon. Kay Yow then helped organize the first women’s volleyball and softball teams at Elon. Kay Yow became the all time leader in winning percentage in women’s basketball and volleyball. Dr. Danieley has one very special tradition here at Elon University. In 2005, at a men’s home basketball game with 10 minutes remaining the Elon students began chanting “Dr. Danieley” and for the first time he stood up, waved and acknowledged the chanting crowd. Now at Elon Men’s Basketball home games with 10 minutes remaining in the game to chant, “Dr. Danieley”, Dr. Danieley will stand and wave his white towel to the arena.

Dr. James Earl Danieley made the SAT a requirement for admission to Elon University. James helped expand the Belk Library, build seven new buildings on campus and admitted Elon’s first black students. In 1973, he raised 3 million dollars for the University. Dr. Danieley put to action Elon University’s “4-1-4” semester system. This system is the fall semester, winter term, and spring semester, which is still in place today at Elon University.

The Danieley Center/Danieley Flats, one of the many housing options on campus for undergraduate students, is named after Dr. James Early Danieley.

James Early Danieley always knew he wanted to be apart of Elon University again. Having grown up in Alamance County, being so close to Elon University and then graduating from Elon University, James always had Elon as part of him.

Occasionally Dr. James Danieley will give one of the most memorable tours you could experience at Elon. These tours involve some of his favorite experiences, memorable stories, and how the University has changed over the past 70 years. 

Dr. Danieley has seen the university rise from ashes and become a prominent academic university nationally. Elon has risen from ashes and that is why the mascot for the university is the Pheonix.

Nowadays, you’ll be able to find Dr. James Danieley teaching a few classes, giving occasional tours or supporting our varsity athletes in Koury Athletic Center, waving his white towel!






Dr. Danieley's Elon Lifetime http://www.elonpendulum.com/2012/04/lifetime-of-maroon-and-gold/

Elon Past, Present and Future: Dr. James Earl Danieley Biography (VIDEO) http://elonuniversity.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16128coll4/id/0

Elon Presidents http://www.elon.edu/e-web/administration/president/presidents_of_elon.xhtml

Emeritus Definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emeritus

James Earl Danieley Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMbfs1dF1a8

James Earl Danieley Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Danieley

Picture http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/39/15/74/391574a152bf38950d06bf51cf58acc2.jpg