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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sleepless in Atlanta

It has only been a couple of days since I returned from Seattle, and for some reason, I find myself restless at night. At first, I thought it might be due to the change in time zones. However, I adapted to that within a day of rest.

Maybe I am still too wound up from last Sunday’s Faculty Within Your Reach event at the Seattle Art Museum? After all, there were more than 70 people in attendance and as always, Patrick Allitt, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, gave an energizing and witty lecture on Picasso in Paris before touring the exhibit with our alumni group.
See the photos here.

Perhaps I’m still running on adrenaline from being at the top of the world-famous Seattle Space Needle. At 607 feet, the views of Seattle were absolutely breathtaking!

No, I didn’t receive an unsettling TSA pat down; although, my carry-on bag was taken to a different area for further inspection. I guess the three packages of smoked salmon that I bought at Totem Smokehouse and the souvenir Space Needle Lego set looked a little suspicious on the x-ray monitor.

I’ll tell you why I’ve been sleepless. Love has been keeping me up at night. It turns out that I found my one true love in Seattle last weekend. No, it’s not like an early 90’s romantic comedy, because this pain is real.

I fell in love with Beecher’s “World's Best Mac & Cheese,” and it was love at first bite. I grew up eating the familiar baked macaroni and cheese made with elbow pasta and creamy cheddar cheese, and I thought that my mom made the best in the world. However, mom’s baked macaroni and cheese does not compare to Beecher’s, which is served hot and bubbly in a small paper bowl.

I’m not sure if it’s the penne pasta combined with their award-winning Flagship cheese or the surprising flavors from the spices that make their recipe so memorable. Whatever their secret, I experienced a few moments of personal bliss while sitting on a metal milk-jug stool at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese at Pike Place Market. Although brief, my cheesy love affair with the “World's Best Mac & Cheese” will definitely be an affair to remember.

-- Michael Parker, coordinator, alumni programs, EAA

Friday, December 10, 2010

Forget the blue, it's all about the GOLD

On Saturday night, December 4, the Graduates Of the Last Decade (GOLD – haha, get it?) a.k.a. the Atlanta Young Alumni beat the winter blues by heading to Aurum in Midtown Atlanta for the 196.97th annual Holiday Party.

Aurum--whose doors are not coincidentally adorned with the elemental symbol “Au” (Gold, anyone? I hear Emory’s still accepting applications)--hosted this year’s group of 216 as we lounged beneath golden glitter ceilings, amongst golden chaises and against golden lame stippled walls (Yes, I thought I somehow stumbled on set of a Lady Gaga video for about five minutes, too. Overexcitement fail.)

With marketing that played off the catchy DirecTV-spurred tagline of “Opulence....I has it” (on a side note, can someone tell me where to pick up the mini-giraffe? Great stocking stuffer), the night kicked off with a vast crowd that ranged from the recently anointed-as-of-six-months-ago-alumni to those alumni whom we like to call "seasoned."

While the place was packed tighter than the Griswold house in Christmas Vacation, the best part of the night was coming across the faces I hadn’t seen for ages--it’s like the holiday party is the one magical night of the year when all the people I knew over the course of my college career come together to visit and reminisce (Hallmark, are you listening?).

All in all, the people, food & drink made the night an opulent success ... I’m just hoping I don’t get a bad voicemail from Santa in the near future.

-- Cassandra Young 07C, coordinator, alumni programs

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Photo of the Day: Quilt in the DUC

Tuesday's rain didn't stop the Quilt on the Quad committee from hosting the largest display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt in the world on a college campus Wednesday, December 1--World AIDS Day. They moved from a still soggy McDonough Field to the Coke Commons in the Dobbs University Center where quilts were hung. Alumni guest speakers, including Haley Rosengarten 07C above, gave their testimonies about their personal connections to AIDS.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Washington, DC chapter earns service award

Coming off the heels of Thanksgiving, there's been plenty of thanks to go around, especially for the Washington, DC Chapter of Emory Alumni.

Since 2002, the chapter has helped the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) in suburban Virginia with its annual Scouting for Food Drive as part of Emory Cares International Service Day. And this year, AFAC cared back more than ever, presenting the chapter with its annual Community Partner award for its outstanding contributions to its cause.

On Emory Cares Day, Saturday, November 14, project coordinator Michael Wu 88C led about 70 Emory volunteers at AFAC, where they sorted 54,000 lbs. of food collected by the Boy Scouts in Arlington County. Each year, the scouts collect food donations from the front porches and doorsteps of local residents and bring them to a church near AFAC. There, Emory alumni and their families help organize thousands of cans of food.

Wu said participation has grown since Emory Cares Day began. Years ago, at an annual DC chapter volunteer meeting, he suggested to Dusty Porter 85C, the alumnus who started the DC alumni chapter (and eventually served as president of the Emory Alumni Board (EAB), that young alumni should also do community service. Porter brought up the idea to the EAB, and so grew Emory Cares Day in Washington. Because of this, Wu said he humbly likes to think he's partly responsible for the creation of the service day and its growth.

"I always bring out my family and kids," Wu said in a phone interview. "This past year, I brought out my parents. Many of my friends come out too who are not Emory alumni."

A project coordinator since 2002, Wu said the DC chapter will continue to participate in AFAC's annual food drive. He also is hoping to organize volunteer events for other food bank events during the year.

"It's very rewarding for the Emory Alumni Association to contribute back to the community," Wu said. "And I think its a very worthwhile and worthy cause to help out food banks, especially in our area of Virginia."

-- Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications assistant