When Elaine Saxon began her career at Emmanuel as a Financial Aid Counselor in 2015, she didn’t know much about the college.
Quickly she realized that instead of just taking on a new role, she was becoming a part of something special…a community.
“It was just different,” Elaine said. “I felt like a part of the family right away. People were genuine and the environment was warm and inviting. It’s a community.”
Now serving as the Executive Assistant for Campus Operations, Elaine gets to be a part of campus renovations and projects, something she enjoys.
“I wanted to be out and about in different areas of campus,” she said. “I feel like this role makes a difference on campus in all of the projects we do and upgrades we make for students.”
In her role, Elaine oversees the school’s fleet of vehicles, and assists in the planning and coordinating of campus events and projects.
“A lot of time goes into planning,” she said. “When we have events on campus like Homecoming, planning begins months in advance, with multiple departments. We prep the grounds and make sure workers are ready for the day, it’s all hands on deck for every event we do. Once an event is planned, it’s going through the checklist and making sure everything is in order and everything is on task.”
When one of Emmanuel’s 30+ athletic teams has an away game to plan for, Elaine is usually their first call.
“A lot of time goes into planning trips, I have to know each coach’s schedule,” Elaine said. “I usually know about tournaments and away games months in advance so I can plan a semester at a time, so we know how to utilize our fleet and what we have to rent.”
Being a part of campus projects and events, Elaine has the chance to meet alumni, donors, and community members. With this part of her job, Elaine has learned to adapt.
“You can be meeting with a coach one minute and meet an alumnus or donor the next,” she said. “It’s all about adapting and treating everyone the same, with respect no matter what.”
In the last year, Elaine has had her hand in several renovation projects on campus. She also had a chance to step out of her comfort zone when her son, Alex, and his friend, Kollin Smith, approached her about bringing a new sport to campus.
“Kollin, approached me with the idea of bringing Bass Fishing to campus,” she remembered. “He was graduating and wanted to stay local but wanted to fish. I brought the idea to VP of Athletics, Nate Moorman, and helped him put some reports together and gauge interest.”
Elaine stayed on board to help recruit for the program as Emmanuel began the coaching search.
“Going into the schools and recruiting was fun,” she said. “The connections I made with students were great and I realized through that process some of the things I truly love about Emmanuel, and I was able to share that.”
As a parent of two, Elaine has had the opportunity to view the Emmanuel experience from a different perspective.
“Both of my children came to Emmanuel and so I always tell students when they come through here, enjoy that last bit of time at home,” Elaine said. “They might not realize it right away but they’re going to miss their family, no matter how far away they are. It’s an adjustment but the Emmanuel community loves the students like their own. You’re not just a number at EC.”
What advice would Elaine give to anyone looking to work in Campus Operations?
“There’s no downtime in Operations,” she said. “It’s a year-round position. You’re working all summer, during fall, planning what can be done during breaks, etc. But at the end of the day when you look back on renovations or another big project completed, it’s rewarding.”
Elaine may not have known much about the Emmanuel campus or community before she arrived in 2015, but now she considers Emmanuel her family and she strives to make a difference on campus every day.