Campus Uncommons: Jim Donathan
Learn more about the great people who make Elon a special place.
By Natalie Allison ’13
For many college and university academic advisers, working with students on academic suspension or facing other roadblocks to graduation might be considered a necessary but trying aspect of the job.
Not Jim Donathan.
The associate director of academic advising says helping those students find ways to overcome challenges and get back on track to earn their degrees is his favorite thing to do.
“Some students reach a point early on in their academic careers when they’re asked to take a semester off,” says Donathan, who’s called Elon home since coming from Appalachian State University in 1994. “When they come back and do well, I hope I’m their biggest supporter. If they realize ‘What I need is to go back to Elon and finish my degree,’ it’s really rewarding.”
Donathan shares that dedication with all students with whom he works, including Elon’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Order, which he guided for several years. He says the fruits of his labor extend for years after Commencement, when he gets to see his students as professionals and parents with children of their own.
“I really don’t know anything else I could do,” Donathan says. “It’s like finding a glove or coat that fits. It just fits me.”
'Campus Uncommons' appears in every edition of The Magazine of Elon. To see the latest edition of the magazine, click here. What faculty or staff member do you think is uncommon? Send us a suggestion!