Elon’s parents, Kevin and Jennifer Trapani P’07 P’23 P’24, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have made a generous donation to award the Trapani Family Commitment Scholarship and the Teaching Excellence Award from the Trapani Family at Elon’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. . Your gift is part of Elon’s LEADS Campaign.
With three of their children and a nephew as part of the Elon family, the Trapanis have seen firsthand the impact and value of an Elon education and the importance of scholarships in attracting bright students with financial need.
“Our children’s experiences at Elon have been absolutely transformational,” said Kevin Trapani. “We recognize that often the only thing that stands between a deserving student and a life-changing Elon experience is their ability to pay. In any other way, those students are qualified to be at Elon and contribute to Elon. If we can break down those barriers a little bit for more of those students, it will be worth it.”
Commitment Scholarships are designed to attract students who embody the spirit and values of Elon. They are bright, curious, resilient, and engaged learners who refuse to settle for a passive learning experience and are eager to access Elon’s nationally recognized engaged learning curriculum. In addition to their scholarship, recipients receive a one-time grant to be used for an engaged learning opportunity, including Study Abroad/Study USA, undergraduate research, internship, or a student-designed creative project.
The Trapanis are co-founders of Morrisville, North Carolina-based The Redwoods Group, the nation’s largest insurer of youth-serving organizations, including the YMCA, Jewish Community Centers and Boys and Girls Clubs. Embedded in the company’s values and practices is the belief that business can and should be a powerful force for positive social change in the world.
That “profit for purpose” philosophy and their admiration for Elon’s faculty inspired the pair to present the Trapani Family Teaching Excellence Award at the Love School of Business. The award will be presented annually to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching and conducts research focused on corporate social responsibility.
“The faculty and staff are the heart and soul of the Elon experience, and we have been deeply impressed by their work,” said Kevin. “We wanted to create an incentive for teachers to better adopt and explore how this concept works. A motivated faculty that embraces this concept will inspire thousands of students.”
“Obviously profit is important, but it shouldn’t be the first and only metric by which we’re measuring the success of our businesses,” said Jennifer Trapani. “We need to take a more holistic view of business and make sure that our employees are taken care of and that we are considering the damage that we are doing to the planet and, yes, profits are part of that. We want to be a part of that conversation and help scale it at Elon.”
Raghu Tadepalli, Dean of the Love School of Business, thanked Trapani for awarding the award, which will further the school’s commitment to preparing graduates who embrace corporate social responsibility in their careers and in their lives.
“Kevin and Jennifer’s firm belief that business should work for the greater good is part of the Love School of Business’s mission,” said Tadepalli. “We are grateful for his commitment to educating the next generation of ethical business leaders.”
In addition to their endowment commitments, the Trapanis are making generous annual gifts to Elon to enable his scholarship and teaching excellence award to be awarded immediately.
“We wanted to see things happen now with these gifts because it’s important to us,” said Jennifer. “We feel very blessed to have the resources to do this.”
“Marginalized communities are losing access to resources and these are students who need our help now,” said Kevin.
‘Elon develops leaders’
Through their donation, the Trapanis are supporting two of the Elon LEADS Campaign’s top funding priorities: graduate scholarships the world needs and resources for faculty and staff mentors who matter. The couple are impressed by the impact Elon’s student-centered approach to learning has had on their family, including children Caitlin Trapani Walsh ’07, Mallory Trapani ’23 and Andy Trapani ’24, and nephew Hunter Perkins ’25 .
“Elon lovingly meets students where they are and provides them with the support and resources to be successful,” said Jennifer. “It feels so good to bring them to Elon and know they have such wide support.”
“Elon develops leaders and there’s no question about it,” Kevin said. “Each of our children has developed their own authentic leadership skills thanks to Elon. They are living the Elon values.”
The Trapanis encouraged all alumni, parents and friends to show their support for Elon by making a gift to Elon LEADS, now in its senior year. The campaign ends on December 31, 2022.
“We are planting seeds for generations to come,” said Kevin. “Elon has transformed us, so let’s make sure Elon can help more students, families, and communities transform. I encourage everyone to step up and create a sustainable Elon.”
About the donors
Kevin Trapani serves as CEO and Co-Founder of The Redwoods Group and was named one of North Carolina’s 50 Most Influential Leaders. He also serves as an executive in residence at the Love School of Business and on the board of directors for the Elon Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2019, he spoke to graduating business students as part of Love School’s “Lessons from Leaders” speaker series. Jennifer is Co-Founder and Senior Underwriter Emeritus of The Redwoods Group and also holds leadership positions on numerous local boards, including the YMCA, LEAP, and Voices Together.
The couple has generously contributed to Elon’s Greatest Needs, the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, the Elon Parents and Grandparents Fund, and established The Redwoods Group Endowed Fund to Support the Periclean Scholars Program.
Elon’s LEADERS campaign
Elon LEADS is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history and supports four main priorities: graduate scholarships the world needs, access to engaging learning opportunities such as study abroad, research and internships, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and the iconic icon of Elon. installations.
All gifts to the university, including annual, endowment, capital, estate and other planned gifts, for any designation count as a gift to the campaign, which will support students and strengthen Elon for generations to come. To learn more about how you can make an impact, visit www.elonleads.com.