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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reading all about it

As you can see we've been a little slow with our EAAvesdropping updates. Sorry about that. We're still in the process of cleaning up after Commencement. Commencement is an exciting time on campus, no question, but it pretty much wipes out the staff until about Memorial Day. The EAA's summer interns for 2009 will be starting on June 1, and that always gets our engines started again.

One of Emory's many Commencement traditions--it's an unofficial tradition, actually--is the release of new periodicals. With thousands of new readers on campus for graduation, it's a great time to reach out as well as provide Commencement attendees with something meaty to pass the time in between applause during diploma ceremonies.

All of Emory's print publications are available online. For instance, you can read the new issue of Emory Magazine (complete with web-only content) as well as the latest issues of magazines from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health. The new Emory Health, the magazine of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, is online, too.

The EAA's signature publication, EmoryWire, will return at the end of June with complete coverage of Commencement, including hundreds of photos and much more. For even more frequent updates on the EAA and other things Emory, check us out on Twitter.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I graduated! Now what?

Now that the flurry of Emory Commencement Weekend has come to a close, I can finally sit down and sort through the excitement of everything that has happened. Everything leading up to Monday—Candlelight Crossover, the Torch and Trumpet Soirée, the Block Party, etc.—was preparation for Commencement. I spent the weekend celebrating with friends and family, getting ready to put on my cap and gown and make the walk across the stage to get my diploma.

It wasn’t until I was walking to campus in my cap and gown Monday morning that it hit me.

This is it.

I then spent about an hour waiting in alphabetical order to walk onto the Quadrangle. Each school was lined up in its respective area, so I was surrounded by my BBA classmates, all of us hoping it wouldn’t rain and that we wouldn't trip on stage.

As we made our way onto the Quad it was quite a sight to see. There were thousands of family members and friends crowded in, trying to catch a glimpse of their special graduate. Even my parents managed to find me and were standing ready with a camera to take about a million pictures, which all look the same I’m sure. It was a proud moment to stand among so many Emory graduates, all excited that they had made it here.

Even the rain that inevitably began to fall could not put a damper on the morning. President Jim Wagner pushed through to give his address, award honorary degrees, and offer congratulations. Crystal Edmonson 95C, president of the Emory Alumni Board, welcomed us to the alumni body with open arms and an invitation to stay involved with our alma mater.

We also heard from former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, who posed a great challenge to us all—to use the amazing education we have received to become leaders in all aspects of our lives.
I then left the Quad with my Goizueta Business School classmates to attend our own champagne brunch before receiving our diplomas. I heard that the remainder of the Emory College diploma ceremony on the Quad was a delightful two-and-a-half hour reading of names. I count myself lucky that there were only about 300 graduating BBAs.

After the ceremony I reunited with my family and friends to take more pictures of everyone dressed up before we all promptly changed out of those ridiculous caps and gowns into something more comfortable to spend the rest of the day celebrating.

I don’t think I stopped crying the whole day. I am so happy to have graduated (or at least to have celebrated it since I’ve been done since December) but so sad that it’s over. It’s a bittersweet ending to the best four years of our lives. I look forward to seeing what my friends and I will accomplish moving forward and know that our Emory bonds will keep us together.

--Kelley Quinn 08B, leadership team assistant, EAA

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Golden Corps of the Heart, part 2

I have high expectations for the Emory students the Class of 2009 leaves behind. At least those students running The Emory Wheel. Upon taking a seat for Monday's Commencement ceremony, I picked up a copy of the Wheel's graduation magazine. (Self-promotion alert ... I wanted to see how the EAA's full-page ad turned out ... it's on page 2, facing the table of contents and it's beautiful, gorgeous, and spectacular.)

Inside the magazine are 12 pages of crossword puzzles augmented by a couple pages of Sudoku. I can't remember an instance of more inspired content.

For those who've never attended, Commencement is many things: exciting, moving, celebrational. And looooong. Commencement is looooong.

Giving a speaker your polite attention is one thing, but when it comes to diploma-presentation time and your last name is Zamorski or Zaccari ... Commencement's a marathon. And there is only so much people-watching and iPhone App downloading you can do without beating your head against the nearest tree. A dozen pages of crossword puzzles in my lap!?! I'm there.

That said, Commencement 2009, Emory's 164th, was pretty remarkable. The best place to learn about it is right here. The emory.edu site has links to videos, exclusive content, biographies, and a whole lot more.

One of the EAA's main contributions to this year's ceremony was our Corpus Cordis Aureum (CCA) alumni. Following their reunion on Saturday and induction on Sunday, the Class of 1959 as well as alumni from previous classes got down to business Monday morning.

The festivities began at 6:00 a.m. in Candler Library with breakfast and photos. The sandwiches were buttery, the coffee was warm, and the attendees were in great moods despite the sketchy skies. Each member has his or her photo taken inside; they also frequently pose with spouses and other family members as well as their fellow alumni friends. My favorite photos are with grandchildren. The multigenerational pride and happiness they have is heartwarming to see.

Following breakfast and the donning of the golden robes, our CCA class poses for their group picture (see above), then enters the Quadrangle with the graduates to the bagpipy tune of the Atlanta Pipe Band. President Jim Wagner acknowledges them in his opening remarks (as well as visits them in Candler Library ... his pep talk is a highlight), then everyone else acknowledges them with their applause when CCA rises at the president's request.

Following the main Commencement ceremony, many of our CCA members came back to the library to return their robes and bid us good day (until next year, we hope). Several others, though, held onto their robes and scattered to attend school ceremonies--nursing, law, theology. Their Commencement experience wasn't done.

And I bet they rocked those crossword puzzles.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Block Party weekend

Three days have passed, but the drowning beats of Charlie Rhyner's 08C drums as he goofily matched the beat to Britney Spears' "Toxic" are still (loudly) resonating in my head.

Charlie and his band of half-Emory alumni musicians, including Colin Baylor 08C, and Brandon Kitchel--better known as We Fly Standby--played the EAA's annual Emory Commencement Weekend Block Party, Saturday, May 9, for the second year in a row.

We Fly Standby played their own songs and some signature covers to a packed Asbury Circle as the clouds decided to give us a break (of course, this followed a brief drizzle that gave me a near heart-attack over Emory's sound equipment), but the afternoon soon righted itself with a visit from President & Mrs. Wagner and the music started flowing freely.

Roughly 800 people braved the at-first gloomy, then increasingly sunny skies, and in an almost scarily picture-perfect set of Kodak moments (I bet University Photo loved this), children scarfed down blue cotton candy, families munched on food from Atlanta's famed Varsity, and soon-to-be 2009 alumni battled each other on the bungee run (above) or took on their parents at the gladiator station, while the adults enjoyed Atlanta's local brews--well, the only one that matters, really: SweetWater 420, to be exact (OK, so I'm biased).

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. (Me, cliche? Never.) And the crowd soon cleared out once we cut the lifeline--the music. I watched a lone cotton-candy ball rolled lazily across Asbury Circle, western movie style, as a child scooped up the last "Congrats 2009 Grads!" balloons before kindly (and a little begrudgingly) sharing some with some graduating senior's grandmother.

As the last few dregs of nacho cheese, beer, and chili were sucked up in the wake, I wistfully watched the almost-grads march off Asbury Circle one last time, remembering my own Block Party on McDonough Field. Little do they know, they'll be back next year.

This place and the memories are just too hard to resist. (Plus, free Varsity and cotton candy? Who in their right mind would want to resist?

--Cassie Young 07C, program development coordinator, Emory Commencement Weekend, EAA

Nursing their Commencement experience

It’s a great day to be an Emory nurse!

Though I’m not exactly a nurse (OK, not at all), I am constantly surrounded by them as the associate director of development at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN). This weekend, especially, I felt proud to be a part of this great group of Emory nurses.

In fact, I’ve been with nurses of all ages over the past several days celebrating Emory Commencement Weekend. It started on Thursday at Class Day as I watched our class officers present the senior class gift to our new dean, Linda McCauley 79MN. They were so excited about it.

The weekend continued on Saturday afternoon with a variety of activities, kicked off by the traditional nursing pinning ceremony. I had the privilege of sitting with a member of the Class of 1959 while watching the Class of 2009 receive their BSN pins. What a treat!

This alumna was thrilled to be there and clapped loudly as our new graduates walked up to get their NHWSN stoles and pins from their mentors. It’s a really neat tradition, and I’m so glad it was held in the beautiful Glenn Auditorium this year. Plus, our student speaker was hilarious and inspiring. Definitely a fun way to get the afternoon started!

After hanging out with the newest NHWSN alumni, I headed over to the School of Nursing to meet up with some other ladies (yes, they were all ladies back then!) from the Class of 1959. They had the most fun catching up with each other!

After a tour of the school and a conversational panel with students and faculty, we had a lovely dinner with the dean (Thanks for joining us, Dean McCauley!). They told some great stories—one of them was even a newlywed (at 72!) and proudly showed off her wedding photos.

Yes, they were quite a group! The following days we all enjoyed being a part of the Corpus Cordis Aureum festivities and graduation. I am happy to say that these alumnae left Emory feeling prouder than ever of their beloved alma mater. I can’t blame them—it’s a pretty great place!

--Betsy Oliver, associate director, development and alumni relations, NHWSN

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Golden Corps of the Heart, part 1

The main focus of Emory Commencement Weekend, understandably, is the Emory community's celebration of the Class of 2009.

And that's as it should be.

Congratulating our more than 3,800 new graduates on their tremendous accomplishment is worthy of a five-day celebration. For the EAA, welcoming those 3,800 new alumni into our constituency is a great pleasure. And it gives us a job, which is a very nice thing.

Emory's campus, though, is a big place. A lot goes on, May 7-11, and one of the most fun things to experience besides graduation is our 50-year class reunion. It makes for a neat Commencement Weekend blend--men and women who've spend two-thirds of their lives as Emory alumni mixing with men and women whose days as Emory alumni start on Monday.

Each calendar year, Emory holds 11 reunions, the vast majority of those (5 ... 10 ... 15 ... 20 ... kinda sounds like Schoolhouse Rock) are held in the fall. The 50-year, though, takes place in the spring because it is tied closely to Commencement through the EAA's Corpus Cordis Aureum program.

Since its inception six years ago, more than 500 Emory alumni who've graduated in 1959 or earlier have been inducted into Corpus Cordis Aureum, which is a special alumni group for graduates from 50 years ago or earlier. Induction includes the presentation of a medallion and the honor of wearing golden robes (Corpus Cordis Aureum means "The Golden Corps of the Heart" in Latin) and sitting up front during Emory's Commencement ceremony. It's a beautiful way to honor the alumni who helped make the Emory community what it is today.

Oxford College held is Corpus Cordis Aureum induction on Saturday; alumni from Emory's other schools were inducted in Atlanta on Sunday. And the induction is just one part of the 50-year reunion celebration. To kick it off, on Saturday night, the Class of 1959 held its reunion banquet (see the photo above). On Monday, comes a special breakfast in Candler Library and the Commencement march. EAAvesdropping will have more about that on Monday afternoon.

Hump day Sunday actually involved a lot more than just the induction, and Allie Hill's post does a nice job of detailing that. Another neat aspect of the day was our shuttle tour. Actually, it wasn't so much of a tour as it was our alumni simply riding shuttles from place to place, but our routes passed pretty much every interesting part of campus, so it was my job (and the job of my co-worker Carolyn Bregman 82L, who was on another shuttle), to act as guides and narrate the trip ("That's the new Rollins School of Public Health Building on the left," etc.)

I learn a lot in researching the stories behind our many campus buildings, but I learn even more from our alumni. They love to tell stories about their lives as students and I love to hear them. They drop in all sorts of great anecdotes what buildings used to be named in their day and where they used to park, and which faculty member meant so much and where friends first met.

I also learned that nearly every member of the Class of 1959 had a treasured memory about Harris Hall, Emory's first co-rec hall, and that not all of them are printable in a family blog like EAAvesdropping.

When our shuttle made our final turn onto Clifton Road for the ride back to Miller-Ward from the Schwartz Center, the vehicle began to drift as our 50-year reunion attendees leaned across the aisle to get a better look at Harris. I could see the smiles further brighten their already-joyous faces.

And that's as it should be.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

A classic classical concert

The weather couldn't be more perfect for Sunday's Emory Commencement Weekend festivities. The Class of 1959 started their day with a brunch at the Dooley's Den at the Depot, an open house at Lullwater with President and Mrs. Wagner, followed by a classical concert at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The event was hosted by William Ransom and featured Katie Lee 09C on the violin, Grace Eun-'yung Oh 89C on the piano, and bass Jason Hardy 96C.

This always popular classical concert is a nice way to end a busy weekend as we gear up for the finale on Monday when the graduates officially become Emory's newest alumni. This is the first year that the concert has been held at the Schwartz Center instead of the Miller-Ward Alumni House and the change of venue has been well-received. More than 180 attendees were inside. If the lack of left over refreshments is any indication, the event was definitely a huge success and enjoyed by all.

Each of the alumni performed, Lee and Hardy were accompanied by Ransom, Emerson Professor of Piano, while Oh performed solo. The student and alumni performers were remarkable for their talent. Lee, the concert master of the Emory Symphony Orchestra, played a violin that was made in 1687. Quite an honor for the future Emory medical student.

Oh just returned from a tour of Asia, we watched her on the monitors outside Emerson Concert Hall and only after the magical performance did we learn she is visually impaired--and can read music in braille with one hand while playing piano with the other.

Hardy's dramatic bass literally shook the walls and served as a thrilling conclusion to the concert.

--Allie Hill, director, Emory Travel Program, EAA

Four days at Oxford

As a 1998 graduate of Oxford College, attending Oxford’s Commencement activities is always exciting. Each year, I relive my experiences of being an Oxford student, continuee student, and an alumna.

On Wednesday, May 6, I started my 2009 Commencement festivities by attending the Oxford College sophomore pinning ceremony where hundreds of sophomores gathered at the Turner Lake community center in Covington to celebrate completing their coursework to receive their associate’s degrees. The transition is bittersweet and easy to see as laughter and tears filled the air while we all gazed at the photo slideshow that illustrated their two years on the Oxford campus. Oxford's Dean of Campus Life Joe Moon and Oxford Dean and CEO Stephen Bowen gave marching orders to the students to leave a mark on the Emory campus by becoming Wheel editors, SGA presidents, and members of Phi Beta Kappa just as their predecessors had done when they arrived on the main campus in Atlanta.

The very next day, I was able to meet those predecessors at the Oxford Continuee reception on the Atlanta campus, which is hosted by Oxford's Office of Development and Alumni Relations. (See the photo above ... there are other photos on the EAA's Twitter site). The event was well-attended as these students gathered as a group most likely for the first time since their own Sophomore Banquet. They took many pictures, reminisced and exchanged contact information.

Attending the reception brought back many memories of my own reception which I can remember like yesterday (even though it was 11 years ago…Yikes!) My classmates and I sealed our bonds that day and made a pact to always be in each other’s lives which we still are to this day. On Saturday, I was at our beautiful home--the Oxford campus. I assisted with Corpus Cordis Aureum (CCA), where 45 Oxford graduates of the Class of 1959 and one from the Class of 1958 donned golden robes to march in the processional and commemorate their 50 years since graduating from Oxford.

I have participated in many CCA ceremonies, but this one touched me the most. Watching my fellow alumni gather in lines of two and march onto the Quadrangle which is the epicenter of where they undoubtedly grew into adults and accepted the charge to be community leaders, experts in their professional fields and stewards of our institution was inspirational. Of course, it brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my days at Oxford and look forward to the future where my classmates and I will too one day adorn those golden robes to celebrate the lasting impact Oxford has made on our lives.

--Jennifer Crabb 98Ox 00C, director of initiatives and technology, EAA

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dance Dance Revolution!

At about 11:35 p.m. on Friday night, the Torch and Trumpet Soirée transformed.

Before 11:35 p.m., Emory’s renowned Gary Motley Trio held the stage at the EAA’s annual dance party for the Class of 2009 and their parents. For the many parents in the audience, the swingin’ jazz sounds of the trio were the perfect, classy compliment to the celebration.

Like most everything else at Emory, the name of this EAA signature event is infused with symbolism. “The Torch and Trumpet” honors the elements of Emory’s shield. “Soirée” … well, Webster’s describes it as “a party or gathering in the evening.” Yeah, that sounds about right, although in actuality our Soirée is a bit more lively than the learnéd Mr. Webster had in mind. At least we hope so.

At 11:07 p.m., the trio finished their set--the Soirée had begun at 8:00 p.m. and they had taken the stage shortly thereafter--and Emory College alumnus and deejay extraordinaire DJ TJ 07C set up his turntables as the crowd mingled. At 11:31 p.m., the lights went down, the background music (a mix of 80s stalwarts Toto, The Police, The Cars, and Def Leppard that was primarily enjoyed by the EAA staff) wound down, and DJ TJ went to work.

At 11:35 p.m., DJ TJ spun his second song. Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” And dozens of Emory’s graduating seniors did just that, spilling onto the dance floor like somebody busted the faucet. In 10 seconds, the place turned into Club Emory Conference Center Hotel. Those dozens of bodies melded into one pulsating mass. The only lights were the occasional votives decorating the tables, and the exit signs. Not that anybody was interested in them.

And the dancing didn’t stop. And more and more students arrived, ensuring a steady stream of partygoers. And they took the place of the parents, bless their hearts, who departed in just as steady a stream. And one foot of elbow room was tough to find on the dance floor. And the thump, thump, thump of the bass shook the tables outside. And even the darkened patio adjacent to the foyer outside the ballroom, was abuzz with activity. And except for the one guy wearing the Indianapolis Colts jersey, all the students made sure to dress in their going-out clothes. And they made them work.

At about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, we finally got out the big broom and swept the final party goers out the doors. (Very politely, of course, we’re in alumni relations and these are our constituents.) We won’t have the final numbers for a while, but more than 900 guests registered. I’d wager we were pretty darn close to that in attendance throughout the night.

Speaking of numbers, 100 is a nice, round one. And appropriate, too. Just prior to the Soirée, at the Miller-Ward Alumni House, members of the 100 Senior Honorary got together for one last time as a group. Just because there were only 100 of them, don’t think it was an intimate gathering. With parents and other family members, some 275 people got together to celebrate the 100—chosen because of their exemplary leadership and dedication to Emory.

After the reception, many of them recrossed the bridge they had traversed the previous night at the Candlelight Crossover to party at the Soirée. It was interesting trip symbolically. It wasn’t like they were backtracking or anything. But it is always important to remember where you came from.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

Friday, May 8, 2009

We all scream!

The Class of 2009 was clearly on a Ben & Jerry's sugar high (courtesy of the Class Day speakers of the same name, ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield) as Emory Alumni Board President Crystal Edmonson 95C started off the series of final speeches to our soon-to-be alumni.

Cheers erupted from the crowd as each school was called--the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Goizueta Business School, and finally the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. Senior Lecturer of Organic Chemistry Matthew Weinschenk, a much-loved teacher--at least according to Emory College Senior Associate Dean Joanne Brzinski via "research" pulled from rateyourprofessor.com--led the last Coke Toast these students would ever see before they joined the ranks of Emory's alumni.

The Class of 2009 raised their custom labeled Coca-Cola bottles to match Weinschenk's gesture, and laughed in waves as University photographer Bryan Meltz, perched on her portable scaffolding (makes for a good photo angle) almost ran over President Jim Wagner by pushing the wrong control. President Wagner took the almost-accident all in a stride, charmingly playing to the audience before he delivered the final remarks and led the 2009 over the Houston Mill bridge to alumni-dom.

Waiting on the other side of the bridge (which represents one of the most significant events at Emory--the Candlelight Crossover) were roughly 100 alumni with glowing candles, ranging from the Class of 1959 to the most recent young alumni from 2008. As the brass band struck up, the Class of 2009's student leaders--Maria Town 09C (SGA President), Elizabeth Farrar 09C (College Council President), and Abi Freeman 09C (Intersorority Council President and Class Day Chair)--joined President & Mrs. Wagner and Susan Cruse, the senior vice president for development and alumni relations, in leading the newest legions of alumni to their symbolic finish line--the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

After the graduating seniors filtered through the ranks of their predecessors, they enjoyed a gourmet dessert reception--including the famed chocolate fountains--before heading out into the night to catch up on sleep in preparation for the rest of Emory Commencement Weekend....Well, at least we assume that's where they went.

-- Cassie Young 07C, program development coordinator, Emory Commencement Weekend, EAA

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crossing over

It was an unscientific poll--we pretty much accosted whoever happened to be standing there--but the preference was for the milk chocolate fountain over the white chocolate fountain. Personally, I preferred the bitter sweetness of the white chocolate to the sweet sweetness of the milk, but, hey, it was the Class of 2009's night. What they want, they get.

Besides, that just left more white chocolate for me.

The dessert reception at the Miller-Ward Alumni House that follows the Candlelight Crossover is a must-see for anyone who likes breaking fire codes. Graduating students literally spill out onto the patios because the house can't hold any more. For many students, the reception is their first visit to the house and frequently their first encounter with the EAA (although we're working hard to change that). The EAA owes them a great time and judging by how long it takes to clean up, we deliver.

The Crossover itself was impressive. It took more than 20 minutes for some 600 students to make their way across the Houston Mill bridge from the Emory Conference Center Hotel to MWAH. Last year a drizzling rain put a slight damper on activities, but this year the weather was perfect. And every year, more and more alumni come out to greet the new students, which is great. Now in its sixth year, Crossover festivities are a great draw for Emory Young Alumni, many of whom helped establish the tradition. It's exciting to see how it's growing, and by every account, the Class of 2009 is all in.

Seeing so many graduating seniors gathered at our front desk to update their email information (a hugely important effort in making sure our newest alumni stay connected to Emory after graduation) was exciting. I swear it looked like the Connector at rush hour. There were no real lines, everybody just moved in and out without using their signal, and way too many people were uncomfortably close to way too many other people they really didn't know all that well. It was great.

Getting new alumni signed up is all well and good, but once the candles were extinguished, the evening was all about the desserts. And there were a lot of desserts.

There were cakes and cookies and little pudding-thingys that would make even the most finicky eater's tastebuds do backflips. My personal favorites were these lime treats that looked like mini-pies. Had no one been looking I would have seen how many I could have stuffed into my mouth at once, but I was wearing a nametag and couldn't risk it.

Besides, there are always leftovers.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

Emory faculty members: Don't leave home without one

OK, so I’m driving back home from the Atlanta airport last Sunday with Art Kellermann 80M, associate dean for health policy and professor of emergency medicine (shown at right, from Faculty Destinations: Athens in 2008). We were returning from a day trip to Orlando where he spoke about health reform to 140 Emory alumni and other guests in the auditorium at the Orlando Museum of Art as part of the EAA’s Faculty Destinations speaker series.

Our flight had been significantly delayed due to bad weather in Atlanta, but we didn’t realize how bad it was until… we’re driving along at about 11:00 p.m. and took a shortcut near the Emory area to get Art home. All of a sudden, I came to a screeching halt when we realized the street was completely blocked by a huge tree.

That part was OK. What wasn’t OK was the fact that there were two cars under the tree and no cones or police tape indicating any emergency crews had been by to investigate. Art, being the excellent Grady emergency medicine doctor that he is, jumped into action.

His concern was that there could be people trapped in the cars and, for all we knew, the tree could have fallen right before we pulled up the street. He asked me to stay back for fear of fallen electrical lines, and he got right under the tree, using the light of his cell phone, to see if there were any people or bodies in either car. It was hard to get a clear look in the pitch black with all the branches covering the vehicles, but he felt pretty sure the cars were empty.

He called 911 and no one came. He called a second time and still there were no sirens.

Finally, some neighbors came out of a nearby apartment and reported there had indeed been people in one of the cars when the tree fell. The other car was parked. The people had miraculously gotten out safely and, when no emergency vehicles showed up, left the scene. We finally left the scene ourselves and drove very cautiously the rest of the way home. There were several other streets that were closed off due to fallen trees, but we finally made it to our homes. What a night!

On a less dramatic note, the event in Orlando was terrific. Our volunteer extraordinaire, Kenneth Murrah 55C 58L and his wife Ann did some heavy marketing for the event and were truly responsible for the great attendance. Dr. Kellermann’s topic of health reform was timely and a very big draw. For more information about faculty programming at the EAA, click here. To download our Faculty Programs brochure, click here.

--Leslie Wingate 82C, senior director, alumni programs, EAA

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making the 'Honor Roll'

When I was in high school, I made the honor roll twice. Whatever math class I happened to be taking at the time invariably boxed me out of the super-smart-kid club. Second semester of my junior year, though, I somehow pulled a B in analytic geometry and made it onto the honor roll for what would be the last time in my high school career (taking calculus as a senior ended any honor roll hopes before they began).

I remember making the honor roll my junior year not just because of the analytic geometry thing (please don't ask me a question about the subject because what I learned hasn't stuck), but because I made it with straight Bs. What can I say? I was pacing myself.

Well, it's nice to see Emory aims a bit higher.

In February, Emory earned the prestigious 2008 Presidential Award for General Community Service, the highest federal award a university can receive for service. The University was presented with the award (take a look above) at a ceremony in Washington as part of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The EAA, through its Emory Cares International Service Day program, is proud to have contributed to this award, and it's that contribution that brought me and my co-worker Jennifer Hayward, assistant director for alumni programs, to an April 29 on-campus celebration to recognize the accomplishment. That and the baked ravioli, which were really good.

The celebration was held in the atrium of the James B. Williams Medical Education Building and featured representatives from all over campus, alumni, faculty, students, and staff.

In 2008, the Emory community devoted more than 150,000 hours of service to some 200 community partners. If that isn't something worth celebration, I'm not sure what is. This award, according to alumni speaker Eric Tanenblatt 88C, a board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, places Emory "at the leading edge of a broad national effort to rekindle service."

"Service learning is intrinsic to a liberal arts education," said Maria Town 09C, president of the Student Government Association. "Community service doesn't have to exist in a secondary sphere. It can be a constant commitment that is a part of every aspect of our lives."

Ozzie Harris, senior vice provost for community and diversity, wrapped up the event by handing out certificates to all of the University contributors. Jennifer found a nice spot in the foyer of the Miller-Ward Alumni House to display ours. It's a very nice addition to the room.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA