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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

175 years old and looking good

Emory celebrates its 175th birthday in 2011 and the candles are on the way.

The official anniversary of Emory's charter is December 10, but the yearlong University-wide pre-party will be impressive.

Just before Christmas, the University launched its Emory175 Twitter feed and posted an anniversary webpage. And get used to the spiffy logo we have at right; this won't be the only time you'll see it over the next 361 days.

Much more is planned, too, so be sure to keep your eyes open for a plethora of upcoming 175th anniversary activities.

One of the most intriguing features of the celebration so far is the 175 Almanac, which breaks up Emory's long history into bite-size nuggets that offer daily snapshots of life in our community as it happened.

For instance, on this day, January 4, in 1966, Emory students joined students from other college campuses in Georgia to launch "Affirmation: Vietnam," a movement to express support for U.S. military action in South Vietnam. Tomorrow's update takes us back to the 1830s, but I don't want to spoil it for you. You can check it out yourself.

I'd be surprised if this makes the almanac, but January 10 will mark my 11th anniversary as an Emory staff member. A quick check of my computer's calculator indicates that I've personally experienced approximately 6.3 percent of Emory's history. Let's see if I can dredge up some perspective.

I've served under two presidents, worked in three buildings (one of which no longer exists), attended 11 Commencements (my favorite speaker was Tom Brokaw in 2005), staffed hundreds of events, written thousands of stories, seen more than 30,000 Emory alumni (my constituents and I love them all) graduate, and printed hundreds of thousands of pages of text (and recycled every one of them).


All that said, it's nice to know that I--like all of us in the Emory community--have played a part (however small) in helping it reach this 175th anniversary year as one of the world's most prestigious universities. That's gratifying.

Who knows if there will be another 11 years for me, but I'm certain Emory will enjoy another 175 and much more. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's enjoy Emory's 175th year. It's just getting started and it will be a fun ride.

-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

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