North Carolina Newspapers

Mmve: Michelle Pfieger, a freshman who died Sept. 24, poses in New York Citv. Tod riaht- Pfieaer standc in a fiow TKi= ^ ^ ^ photos sui
home in Great Meadows, N.J. Bottom right: Pfieger and friends from an Elon Adventures in Leadership trip this sun,m J p “sS ^^Jtters®‘AT"''wrmen
Pfieger leaves behind legacy
of friendship, strength
Jack Oodson
News Editor
Michelle Pfieger's room at home In small-town
Great Meadows, N.J., is filled with equestrian award
ribbons, and her mom says she intends to keep it that
way, even though Pfieger won’t be coming home.
Pfieger died Sept. 24 after she collapsed while
"f K ® *0 class at Elon University, three days short
or being on campus a full month as a freshman.
Her room (at home) is filled with hundreds
ribbons,” her mother, Joan Cummins says. “It
was her ribbon wall. Just before she left, she won
probably about another 20 ribbons at the county
fair. She said, ‘You’re not going to take them down,
are you?' And I said, ‘Why would I take them down?
They re going to be up here forever.’ And they will
Pfieger, the youngest of three in her family and
the only girl, started riding horses when she was 8
years old, Cummins says. She continued through her
days at Elon, bringing her horse Velvet down with
her to school, which is a horse for which friends are
now raising money to send home.
When she started riding, she joined the 4-H Club
many of her friends were involved with — the one
Cummins was the leader of. Throughout her life,
she rode in 25-mile competitive trail rides, took her
horses to the county fair, competed in horse shows
and rode many different styles of horseback riding.
And though friends at Elon say she was Intending
to major in history and anthropology, perhaps one
day pursuing a career in archaeology, her friends
and family in New Jersey say Pfieger had a different
plan. She wanted to move back home so she could
take care of the farm, a 3-and-a-half-acre horse farm
her family started more than 250 years ago, where
she had three horses.
“She wanted to keep the farm in our family,
maybe live in the farmhouse her grandmother lives
in now,” Cummins says. “So that was a very big part
of her. She loved her home.”
The town, originally called Vienna, was founded
by Pfieger’s family. It’s just outside Hackettstown,
the nearby city where she went to high school. But
Great Meadows is smaller and mostly farmland, and
Cummins says Pfieger loved that about her home.
“She’s a farm girl,” Cummins says.
In high school, she focused mostly on being a
varsity cheerleader and riding, but she also ran
track for a couple of years. Cummins says it was
this athleticism from a life on a farm that led her to
go on the Adventures in Leadership program Elon
offers for incoming freshmen, which takes students
Elon poll finds low approval ratings for Congress
LivDubendorf the nation," he said. “They’re holding phones,” Bacot said. of students and the university.
Senior Reporter nffirps accountable.” The Elon Poll has operated within According to Bacot. the Elon
A recent Elon poll found that
percent of those polled approve
President Barack Obama
'he job
the nation.” he said. “They’re holding
political offices accountable.”
Forty-four percent of respondents
approved of Obama’s handling of the
economy and 2 7 percent said hispolicies
have made economic conditions better.
. c ] A"2 r»arr*f»nl
doino f Barack Obama is have made economi nercent specifics about hot-button issues of
annr while 23 percent P . -pne favor ending the present and attempting to decipher
approve of the iobCnncirpss is Hninu. of North Carohnians favor enaing ^
The Elon Poll has operated within
the university for the last 10 years,
beginning in 2000. Bacot explained
that it surveys citizens across the
state of North Carolina, delving into
specifics about hot-button issues
Pl^ove of the job Congress is doing
Hunter Bacot, the director of the
the one trend he saw in the
n ings from the poll was people
disenchanted with politics
political leaders.
Ine low approval rating can be
counted for because of recent trends
the economy.
Of those polled, 60 percent said
® economy is the main issue facing
of North Carolinians - -
tax cuts for those households making
more than $250,000 a year.
Using the most recent technological
developments, the Elon Poll strives to
make results more accurate than ever
before, according to Bacot. , . _
Organizers of the poll have had to
adapt to various changes in peoples
lives. “One of
that we’ve
jne oi the big challenges
overcome is the issue of cell
the opinion of the masses.
Bacot explained that the Elon Poll
is an integral part of the university.
“Dr. Lambert had the vision to
see (the Elon Poll) as a compliment
to Elon’s mission, where we create
engaged citizens,” he said.
He explained that polling can
demonstrate the high levels of student
engagement, attesting to the quality
According to Bacot. the Elon Poll
‘is the only poll in the state that
interviews all adults,” as opposed to
just interviewing voters. “Everyone
deserved a voice,” said Bacot.
Because of the nature of the poll,
Bacot said, “We are capable of asking
several questions about a policy
and share that information with the
Mainly concentrating on policy
issues, the poll delves into each topic,
asking multiple questions to truly

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