Elon College was founded by the Christian Church in 1889. The original number of enrolled students was a mere 77. The town of Elon was actually founded and named after the college in 1893. Elon, having been founded by the Christian Church, naturally adopted the Fighting Christian as their mascot. As the college began its growth in its early years it was faced with disaster. In 1923 a devastating fire burnt down much of the school. The main building, the chapel, the library, and many school records were all burnt down. Without hesitation, the decision to rebuild the school was made. By 1925, academic buildings Duke, Carlton, and Mooney are completed. As the great depression hit in the 1930s the school's enrollment decreased to 87. Facing financial collapse, the president convinced the school's investors to accept partial payments until the school and economy makes a comeback. Elon has been on the upswing ever since. From the ashes of this fire rose the nationally appraised school seen today. The school's mascot remained the Fighting Christian until the year 2000, when it was changed. The fire was the inspiration for the school's current mascot, The Phoenix, since the school seen today was born out of the ashes of the original buildings that burnt down.