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Monday, June 15, 2009

Following up on those flowers ...

The Emory Alumni Board (EAB) held its annual summer retreat at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA, this past weekend. It was Emory’s first time taking this group to Callaway, which is located about 80 miles southwest of Atlanta, close to the Alabama state line. (Many of our cell phones kept switching back and forth between eastern and central time, which was kind of amusing!) It was very hard not to relax in Pine Mountain. Beautiful woods, gardens, lakes, and farms surround you, and that atmosphere—along with a lot of hard-working alumni—made our conference a great success!

Click here to see a slide show, highlighting activities (alumni) from the whole weekend!

Members flew in from as far away as California. Several spouses and partners came along, too. It’s always great to meet the families of those we work with throughout the year. The weather was gorgeous for the most part; only a light summer shower or two the whole weekend.

Most people arrived on Friday, just in time for our welcome reception that evening. Refreshing summer cocktails were the beverage of choice and many convened on the patio as evening turned into night.

Following breakfast on Saturday, a welcome from EAB President Crystal Edmonson 95C kicked off our workday. In our morning session, we discussed everything from our “Board of the Future” to our first EAB Leadership Scholarship recipients.

After lunch (which featured the best and largest cookies of any conference center I’ve been to!), afternoon business included a special session with Susan Cruse, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, who discussed EAB involvement in Campaign Emory. Subsequent sessions touched on University career services and thinking about the “Big E.” That’s “Emory.”

Before breaking for the day, we recognized members who were rotating off the board, some having served for six years! We also welcomed the incoming executive committee for 2009–10 and outlined upcoming goals.

Once that was finished, free time began. And there was a lot to do at Callaway—pools, lakes, nature trails, gardens, golf—just to name a few! Two of my EAA colleagues, Kelley Quinn 08B and Missy Rodil, and I headed out on foot and made our way toward the nearby lake. We walked around it, checking out the water skiers and swimmers, and then strolled through some gardens and a vacation cottage (which we all registered to win—fingers crossed!).

Then it was time to freshen up for dinner. We had a cookout indoor-style, including shrimp kabobs, chicken, baked potatoes and peach cobbler (we are in Georgia, ‘natch)—a delicious way to end the day and the retreat overall.

-- Lindsay Topping, assistant director, annual giving, Emory Annual Fund

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