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Friday, October 1, 2010

The town

More than 2,000 Emory alumni live in New England, the majority of those in or near Boston. So, it made good sense for the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) to kick off its Destinations speaker series in the capital of Massachusetts, Thursday, September 30.

Paired with it was an orientation session for Emory's Alumni Interviewing Program, which expands to Boston (and Tampa Bay) this academic year.

About two dozen alumni sat in on the session to learn about their role in helping chose the next generation of Emory alumni, and more than half of them stuck around for Destinations: Boston, featuring President Jim Wagner. In all, more than 70 attended the event, one of the city's largest Emory gatherings ever.
The core of Wagner's presentation was to answer the question, "Why We Need Universities More than Ever." The short answer, which he laid out early in the 25-minute talk, is that universities prepare people for citizenship. He expanded on that thought in his conclusion, weaving in the importance of values.

"We need health professionals who are focused not just on curing disease, but curing people who have disease," Wagner said. "We need lawyers, who--beyond having a facility for the finer points of law--have a commitment to preserve the thin veneer of civilization. We need captains of business, who--in creating wealth--do so as much for the benefit of society as for personal gain."

"We need politicians with the moral courage and the wisdom to do for us what we need rather than simply pander to us and tell us what we think we want to they can continue to be re-elected," he continued. "We need genius of artists to tell us how to communicate in ways beyond words. We need the insights of scholars, we need people with imagination to give birth to new ideas.

This is the high calling of universities. This is what I think Emory is striving to achieve."

It was a spectacular way to end the evening. And also to begin the series.

-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

1 comment:

  1. Andel K (College c/o 2004)October 12, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    I really enjoyed President Wagner's speech. Thanks for bringing him to Boston!