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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Emory!

It's easier to stop counting after you reach a certain age, 56, 75, 87...but when you reach 175, you've got to celebrate.

This year's Founders Day dinner (and its accompanying week of festivities) marked that milestone for Emory--its 175th birthday.

Administrators, faculty, students (including me), and friends gathered Monday night, January 31, for a fabulous dinner to celebrate good ol' Emory.

And it wouldn't be a celebration without the musical voices of Emory's all-male, a capella group, No Strings Attached. They entertained attendees with their versions of "Georgia on My Mind" and "Got To Get You Into My Life."

President Emeritus James T. Laney 94H delivered the keynote address, referencing Robert W. Woodruff 1912C and his endless contributions to Emory--and his ironic "aversion to praise and publicity. He told an anecdote about the first time he met Woodruff. The latter gave him a card with the following adage on it: "There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit."

The following year when they met again, Woodruff gave him another card with the same inscription. The crowd laughed as Laney said he knew that must've meant something. I think Woodruff would've wanted us to remember what he said, not that he said it. If you love Emory as much as I do, you know that you don't need a title or a fancy position on campus and you don't need to be quoted in The Wheel. All you need to know is that whatever it is that you do for the good of the Emory community, no matter how many people notice, is enough.

You can hear the rest of President Laney's address here.

Now, although the birthday cake didn't have 175 candles, I bet there were more than 175 lit up during the closing ceremony. After President Jim Wagner's toast to Emory, all the guests lit our candles and sang the alma mater, led by No Strings Attached. After we "hailed the gold and blue," we all blew out the candles in proper birthday fashion.

To see photos from the night, visit the EAA's photo page.

Founders Week continues tonight with a lecture at Oxford College by Mark Auslander from Brandeis University. And Thursday marks the beginning of a landmark three-day conference on slavery's role on higher education sponsored by Emory's Transforming Community Project (TCP). You can find more information on upcoming Founders Week's events here.

And with that, I'd like to wish a happy birthday to Emory. Here's to another 175 years.

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern

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