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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

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