Jim Maynard, a member of the Elon trustees for almost 40 years, passed away at the age of 91 on Dec. 24, 2023. Before joining the board of trustees in 1985, Maynard had a successful career as the owner of Tower Mills Inc., a hosiery company founded by his father and former Elon trustee, Reid Maynard. In 2014, Maynard was elected a life trustee, and in 2018, he received Elon’s highest honor for service to the university, the Elon Medallion.
During his time as a trustee, Jim impacted Elon in many ways, including endowing scholarship programs to both the business fellows and teaching fellows programs. He also donated his family’s home to become the residence of the university president and received the Frank S. Holt Jr. Business Leadership Award.
Leo Lambert, president emeritus of Elon, spoke about Jim’s contributions to the university and the legacy he leaves behind. “He gave so much of his time, his attention, his work, his philanthropy to Elon, and we were very fortunate about that,” Lambert said. Jim attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for his undergraduate studies and earned his graduate degree at Harvard Business School, where he met his wife, Joie Maynard, a public school teacher.
Lambert also credited Joie for her contributions to Elon, stating that many of Jim and Joie’s contributions were given together. “Joie Maynard is one of the smartest people you’d ever want to meet. She and Jim wanted to support really good students coming into Elon, and so I think that’s another reason why they gave so generously to the fellows programs,” Lambert said.
Jim was also a recipient of the Elon Medallion, the highest honor through the University. “Usually about two or three are given out every year, and they go to people who really shaped the institution in deep and profound ways, usually through their lifetime or career,” Lambert said. “Jim really deserved that honor, as well as the honor of being a lifetime trustee.”