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Sunday, May 10, 2009

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

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