• Allison Pelyhes

Numen Lumen l Dr. Eleanor Finger l 9/2/2021

Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Campus Life, and Assistant Professor at Elon, Dr. Eleanor Finger shares on the theme "Dreaming".

Dr. Eleanor Finger serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Campus Life, and Assistant Professor at Elon where she is responsible for the supervision and success of several offices and university initiatives including the Kernodle Center for Civic Life, New Student Programs; faculty–student engagement through dining initiatives; the integration of the Residential Campus Experience and faculty engagement outside of the classroom. She co-chairs the university’s First-Year Experience Committee and the Residential Campus Advisory Committee, recruits for the field of higher education, and facilitates team trainings and networking connections that foster a sense of belonging.

With over 20 years of dedicated service to the field, she is passionate about her work as an educator, student advocate, mentor and scholar-practitioner. A proud alumna of Elon, Finger leads with a growth mindset; she cares deeply about diversity, equity, and inclusion, is known for building purposeful relationships with and for students, invests in staff development, and bridges across disciplines to strengthen the university network.

Finger previously served as the chief housing officer at Virginia Tech where she oversaw the launch of two residential colleges, brought academic advising into the residential communities, led a $92Million dollar, 1000- bed new construction project for the Corps of Cadets; introduced a maker- hub concept to a STEM LLC, was part of establishing the first Residential College Symposium; introduced gender-inclusive bathrooms across the university landscape and created policies to support genderqueer housing. She completed a 10-year housing master plan with campus partners, led a Fraternity and Sorority 10- year strategic planning process to promote the construction of a community center that promoted leadership, mentoring, and organizational health, and discovered a passion for serving as a Gallup strengths trainer.

Prior to being at Elon and Virginia Tech, she served as associate dean of students at Washington State University, and held other positions in Residence Life at Simmons College and John Carroll University. Finger earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elon, a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas; a second master’s degree in Counseling and Human services from John Carroll University and her Ph.D. in Higher Education administration with an emphasis in cultural studies from Washington State University.

Eleanor enjoys being outdoors, the arts, travel, west coast coffee culture and spending time with her kids, family and friends.


Our Numen Lumen theme this year invites speakers and musicians to ponder the idea of dreaming. “Dreaming” will push our community to traverse the passive and active forms that dreaming takes in our lives. Speakers will explore the literal and figurative series of images, ideas, sensations, and emotions in the mind and through their work.

We ask speakers to ponder where reality and dreaming meet, what form dreaming takes in their everyday lives, and how dreaming directs their pathway. Can dreaming be a productive form of activism? Is dreaming strictly forward-thinking, or can it exist without time restraints? Is dreaming simply an involuntary experience? How may dreaming be dangerous, or irresponsible in the face of real-world issues? Or, where can it be a useful instrument? What are the burdens of dreaming? What or who makes you dream?

We encourage you to share your thoughts and responses to our speaker in the comment section below!

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