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Michael Elam

President of Halifax Community College


Dr. Michael Anthony Elam, was the President of Halifax Community College in Weldon, North Carolina. Michael passed away early in 2022, in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Elam was born in 1956, in Henderson, North Carolina. He was raised between Henderson, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he and his two sisters spent a lot of time with their grandparents.

Dr. Elam was deeply grounded in his faith, and loved the Lord with all his heart and soul. He prioritized his relationship with God and raised his family within the Christian faith. As the epitome of a faithful servant, he used his many gifts and talents to serve the Lord and the church.

Dr. Elam attended the illustrious Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was an exceptionally talented student. Dr. Elam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and a Master of Education degree in Student Personnel Administration from The Howard University in Washington, D.C. While at Howard University, he set multiple track and field records, was initiated into the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated., Alpha Chapter, and met the love of his life, the former Maxine Walcott. The two were married in her home country, Jamaica, in 1981. Dr. Elam then attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky; and the University of Texas in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Elam found his lifelong passion in uplifting underserved communities through educational programs and servant leadership. He discovered his true calling was working within the community college system because he felt their mission resonated deeply with his missionary spirit, allowing him to work closely with students, local community partners, and governmental officials. He continued at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida, and Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida. His doctorate in Educational Leadership was conferred in 2008, by Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Elam then ascended to presidential positions at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas, Roanoke-Chowan Community College in Ahoskie, North Carolina, and Halifax Community College in Weldon, North Carolina.

Dr. Elam was a trailblazer who broke many glass ceilings and paved the way for people of color to follow him and continue his great work. He created and streamlined many enrollment processes to optimize the experience of the student. He spearheaded several diversity and inclusion initiatives and raised millions of dollars in funds that were reinvested into underserved communities through his pivotal educational programs. Through his servant-leadership and passion for teaching, he transformed students’ lives across the country.

Dr. Elam was a huge fan of science-fiction! He loved reading and watching anything within that genre. He frequently added Star Trek anecdotes to his public speeches and found many life lessons within that franchise. He was an extremely musical person and was known to include singing lyrics from new songs, dancing, stepping, and playing musical instruments to stay connected to the current generation. Anything related to music fed his soul, and he passed this love and appreciation of music to his children, grandchildren, and extended adopted family. Some of his most notable characteristics were his effortless charisma, genuine warmth, caring spirit, positive attitude, and infectious smile. He truly touched everyone he encountered and changed them for the better.

Dr. Elam’s legacy will “live long and prosper” in the hearts and spirits of everyone he touched.