Parents and supporters of Elon at the university were honored with the Medallion, the university’s highest honor for service, at the Evening for Elon event in New York on Thursday, September 15.
Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book presented the Elon Medallion Thursday night to Joan and Ed Doherty ’07, parents of Elon and staunch supporters of the university and its mission. The Elon Medallion is the university’s highest honor and is presented by the president in recognition of outstanding service to the university.
The Dohertys were recognized at the Evening for Elon event in New York which brought together hundreds of alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the university to celebrate the progress of the Elon LEADS campaign. . Recognizing the importance to Elon’s future of a strong alumni network in New York, the Dohertys have hosted the annual Elon Parties in New York for over 10 years, inspiring thousands of alumni, relatives and friends to stay connected to university life. .
“Joan and I are so grateful to have been part of Elon’s journey to becoming one of the top 100 national universities over the past 20 years. Times really fly. I can’t quite believe we’ve been involved for 20 years,” Ed Doherty said at the Evening for Elon event on Thursday, September 15.
With an unwavering belief in the power of an Elon education to transform lives, Ed and Joan Doherty provided the vision, leadership, and generous resources to propel the university to national recognition and prepare the bold, innovative thinkers whose world needs. Inspired by the transformative upbringing their daughter Kerry received from Elon, the couple served on the university’s Parent Council from 2004-2007, providing valuable advice to improve the undergraduate experience and supporting philanthropic priorities. that solidified Elon’s position as a national leader in the engaged and experiential field. learning.
The impact of the couple’s philanthropy can be seen on the Elon campus, beginning with the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and the Doherty Scholar Intern program, which the couple endowed in 2007 to help students develop an innovative mindset, cultivate new business ideas and ventures and enhance their personal growth. Their dedicated and enthusiastic support of entrepreneurial education has helped propel Martha and Spencer Love School of Business into the top 40 best undergraduate business programs nationwide by Poets & Quants.
Believing in the power of scholarships to change lives, Ed and Joan Doherty made a generous donation in 2016 to endow eight scholarships from the university’s Odyssey program to help students with high financial need and merit, helping the program to become a national model for university access and success initiatives.
In 1985, Ed and Joan Doherty co-founded Doherty Enterprises and the company has grown into one of the nation’s largest franchise restaurant operators with more than 145 family restaurants, pubs and bakery cafes, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread , Chevys Fresh Mex, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas.
As co-founder of Doherty Enterprises, Joan was an engaged partner in corporate decision-making, demonstrating a remarkable understanding of what drives business success, working with community organizations to gather local memories to creating a welcoming dining environment for customers. She is also a board member of the company’s Wow A Friend Foundation, which has provided generous financial assistance to employees facing financial hardship or a devastating life event.
Since being elected to the Elon University Board of Trustees in 2006, Ed has brought his business acumen to bear in his service as Chairman of the Board and a member of the Board Leadership Group, executive, administrative staff, finance and administration and investment committees, helping to guide Elon’s progress through a period of historic growth.
Ed and Joan served as co-chairs of the planning committee that launched the $250 million Elon LEADS campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in Elon’s history, and are members of the advisory board of the Doherty Center. .
“Joan and I were so impressed with Elon, we wanted to get involved, we wanted to do things and make a difference to Elon. And we quickly found that if you get involved with Elon, you can make a difference. We donated our time and resources, never realizing that this would lead to a 20 year partnership with Elon,” Ed said. between them that support our priorities. But we continually stay focused on Elon because Elon makes the difference.
They are devoted to their family, including children Tim and Valerie Doherty, Shannon and Paul Portell, Kerry Doherty Gatlin ’07, son-in-law Doug Gatlin II ’08, who is a member of the President’s Roundtable, and their many grand- children.