Jim Maynard, a distinguished member of the Elon trustees, passed away at 91 on Dec. 24, 2023. Maynard was a philanthropist and entrepreneur who made significant contributions to the university throughout his life.
Maynard joined the board of trustees in 1985 after a successful career as the owner of Tower Mills Inc., a hosiery company founded by his father and former Elon trustee, Reid Maynard. He was later elected a life trustee in 2014 and received Elon’s highest honor for service to the university, the Elon Medallion, in 2018. In addition to serving as a life trustee, Maynard endowed scholarship programs for both the business fellows and teaching fellows programs, donated his family’s home to become the residence of the president, and received the Frank S. Holt Jr. Business Leadership Award in honor of his contributions.
Leo Lambert, president emeritus of Elon, spoke about Maynard’s impact on the university. “He gave so much of his time, his attention, his work, his philanthropy to Elon,” Lambert said. “Joie Maynard is one of the smartest people you would ever want to meet.” The couple’s contributions were given together and included supporting really good students coming into Elon through their generosity towards the fellows programs.
Maynard attended the University of North Carolina for his undergraduate degree before receiving his graduate degree at Harvard Business School where he met his wife Joie Maynard who is also a public school teacher. Joie was also recognized for her contributions to Elon and received numerous awards including being named one of North Carolina’s Outstanding Teachers in 2016 and receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Wake Forest University in 2017.
Lambert spoke about how fortunate they were to have someone like Jim and Joie who were willing to give so much back to their alma mater.
In conclusion, Jim Maynard was an exceptional individual who made significant contributions to Elon University throughout his life as both a business leader and philanthropist. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of students at Elon as they pursue their dreams with support from those like him who believed in their potential.