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Halifax Community College will pay tribute to its president, the late Michael Elam, at a service to be held Saturday at the Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. Centre on the college’s campus.

The service begins at 10 a.m. and doors to the centre open at 9 a.m.

Elam died last Tuesday following an extended illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to The Dr. Michael A. Elam Presidential Scholarship. 

Checks may be made payable to the Halifax Community College Foundation, PO Drawer 809, Weldon, NC, 27890. Please place The Dr. Michael A. Elam Presidential Scholarship on the memo line.

The following is Elam’s complete obituary from Robinson Funeral Home in Littleton:



Dr. Michael Anthony Elam

January 28, 1956 - January 25, 2022

Dr. Michael Anthony Elam, 65, of 502 Becker Colony Drive, and President of Halifax Community College in Weldon, North Carolina, passed away on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina.

Dr. Elam was born on January 28, 1956, in Henderson, North Carolina, to Clarence Elam and Ella Ward Elam. Raised between Henderson, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he and his two sisters, Shirley and Phyllis, spent a lot of time with their grandparents, Robert and Cora Belle Ward.

Dr. Elam was baptized during his early life, 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, on June 6, 1981. Dr. Elam then began blazing his trail through higher education at 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 under-served 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 blazing his trail in leadership positions 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 under-served communities through his pivotal educational programs. Through his servant-leadership and passion for teaching, he transformed students’ lives across the country.

Anyone who knew Dr. Elam well, knew the passion he had for his wife, Maxine. He loved every minute he spent with his soul mate. They could often be found on a romantic date night in the city, cuddled up on the couch watching a good movie, traveling to see their family and friends, or spreading love and knowledge using their gift of counseling.

Family was paramount to Dr. Elam, and he enjoyed every moment they spent together. He was frequently found with any number of his five grandchildren in tow and showed up for family and friends. He believed in investing his time and talents in others.

Dr. Elam always liked to stay active. He jogged every morning with his beloved dog, Rainbow, and on Fridays after work, he could be found on the basketball court.  Some of his fondest experiences were traveling, fishing, and building go-karts with his children and grandchildren. He loved puzzles and was a master at packing and putting things together.

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.

Loved ones who will forever share the precious memories of his life and legacy are his treasured wife, Maxine; his two devoted children, Mikaela and Matthew; his beloved daughter-in-law, Rebecca; his five adorable grandchildren, Ameilia, Dalilah, Gabriel, Isabelle, and Milo; and his five cherished godchildren, Termil, Kyshawn, Jada, Keira, and Victor; his parents, Clarence and Ella (John); his sisters, Shirley, Phyllis (Marcel), and Yvette; his nieces and nephews, Ashley, Antayia (Lacy), Jermaine, Jamal (Tasha), and Aaron; his favorite niece, Donielle; his grandnephews, Stephen, Dax, and Malachi; his grandniece, Lauryn; his adored in-laws, Owen and Ivy Walcott; his beloved brothers and sisters-in-law, Dwight, Grace, Donnie, Alan, Debbie, Kevin, and Jackie; his nieces and nephews-in-law, David, Gillian, Derek, Lauren (Bobby), Dana (Curtis), Gregory (Sam), Alana, Timothy, Tamara, Kailey, Kaci, and Kourtney; his grandnieces-in-law, Adia and Amara; his grandnephew-in-law, Carter; and many cousins, aunts, uncles, other extended family and friends.

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

Dr. Elam was recognized and interviewed for the November 2021 Collection 1 Series of Trailblazer Profiles by the North Carolina State University Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research.

A celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Michael Anthony Elam will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 5, 2022, in the Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr. Centre on the campus of Halifax Community College, 100 College Drive, Weldon, NC 27890. Dr. D. Kent Sharples and Mr. Sinclair Nicholson will deliver eulogies. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, Omega Chapter Service will begin at 9:30 a.m. To view the memorial service virtually, go to halifaxcc.edu. Robinson Funeral Home in Littleton, NC, is in charge of the service. Because of Covid-19, CDC guidelines will be followed by the wearing of masks and social distancing.