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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Emory shows its Pride

On Tuesday, March 2, students, faculty, alumni, staff, and administrators gathered at the Miller-Ward Alumni House for this year’s Pride Awards. The awards, which serve as an annual celebration for members of Emory’s LGBT community, were a rousing success again this year despite less-than-ideal weather.

Highlights of the evening included remarks from a handful of 2010 graduates as well as the presentation of a number of awards and accolades, including The GALA Leadership Award, the Chesnut LGBT Person of the Year Award, and Studies in Sexualities Essay Contest Awards.

Other highlights included a photo slideshow featuring successes and challenges faced by Emory’s LGBT community last year, the ever-witty antics of Michael Shutt, director of the Office of LGBT Life and emcee for the evening, and two amazing performances by AHANA, Emory’s multicultural a cappella group.

As in the past, this year’s Pride Awards centered around recognition and success. One other theme also ran seamlessly throughout the night, perhaps more overtly than in years past: gratitude.

Student speakers conveyed their thanks to mentors and friends, award recipients expressed deep appreciation for the laurels they were receiving . . . everyone, it seemed, recognized not only the successes being celebrated at the awards, but also the many sources of support that allowed for these achievements to exist in the first place.

This message came through loud and clear in special remarks from Allison Dykes, vice president for alumni relations. She shared the exciting news that approximately $130,000 has been raised in gifts and pledges toward the GALA Leadership Scholarship, noting that this accomplishment would not have been possible had it not been for the generosity and leadership of Emory’s alumni and friends.

The talented voices of AHANA captured the message in its simplest form in their soulful, goosebump-inspiring performance of a Boyz II Men classic, Thank You.

The 2010 Pride Awards were sponsored by The Emory University Office of LGBT Life, Emory Gay and Lesbian Alumni (GALA), the Emory Alumni Association (EAA), and the President's Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Queer Equality.

-- Ben Corley 07C, assistant director, regional programs, EAA

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