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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

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