Our blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrating Twenty Years

The Office of LGBT Life celebrated a birthday of its own during Homecoming Weekend.

The office kicked off its 20th anniversary celebration last Friday with a dinner for past and present Emory students, faculty, and staff.

More than 75 people attended the dinner, where Emory’s LGBT community members and allies networked, reminisced, and shared their experiences of being part of the University’s queer history.

In his keynote address, Dr. Gary Hauk, Vice President and Deputy to the President, reflected on how the LGBTQ community’s visibility and activism have helped shape Emory’s ethical engagement throughout the years.

Director Michael Shutt of LGBT and Ryan Roche, co-chair of Gay and Lesbian Alumni (GALA), took a few moments to recognize some of the achievements of Emory’s LGBTQ community, which included honoring Danny Ingram, an alumnus and U.S. Army veteran who was instrumental in the repeal of the "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policy.

As a graduate student at Emory, I've reaped many benefits from the important work of the Office of LGBT Life. I feel safe and respected by my colleagues and professors. I've built community and created change with my LGBT peers, and I've grown as an educator and leader.

For me, attending the dinner was a way to thank all of those who came before me for their courage, action, and leadership, and to celebrate our ongoing commitment to making Emory a safe, just, and equitable campus.

On Saturday morning, GALA hosted its annual Blue Jeans Brunch, an opportunity for LGBT students and alumni to interact and enjoy conversation and networking in an informal setting.

In addition to catching up with alumni I already knew, I was able to meet other alumni for the first time and learn about their experiences at Emory and beyond.

I plan to join GALA upon graduating from my PhD program in 2013, and the brunch was a wonderful opportunity to learn about its members and see firsthand what GALA does.

I know that other students who attended had a positive experience, and I’d like to thank GALA on their behalf for inviting us and making us feel so welcome.

--Aby Parsons 13PhD

Monday, September 26, 2011

A bittersweet ending to a a "Super Sweet" week

What's the best way to end an unmatched Homecoming Week besides the yearly reunions, brunches, and receptions?

A parade and a concert, of course!
The annual Homecoming Parade went off without a hitch midday Saturday, each float sporting its own interpretation of the 175th birthday Homecoming theme.

The float pictured to the right, belonging to the sorority Gamma Phi Beta, was the overall first place winner (and rightly so, check out that giant cupcake!).

With more than 40 floats, there was plenty of competition, but the second- and third-place float winners were the Orientation Leaders and Volunteer Emory.

Moving along with the day, alumni and their families, students, faculty, and staff made their way to McDonough Field for the Five for Fighting concert.

People claimed their spots on the field with blankets and bags and chowed down on an assortment of hand-held foods. I'm talking about hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and cheese pretzels.

I made my way around the crowd making sure the EAA didn't need anything from the Student Programming Council (SPC), and I chatted with the handful of alumni I knew that came back for the weekend.

And then it hit me.

This was my last Homecoming Week as a student. The next time I'd be back here for this tradition would be as a proud alumni.

From planning the parade my sophomore year to co-chairing the entire week last year to overseeing Homecoming as president this year, a bittersweet feeling that came over me as I watched John Ondrasik (aka Five for Fighting) play "100 Years to Live."

Yes, I know. That was cheesier than the pretzels served that day, but it's also true.

I welcome moments like this one throughout the year.

I have no doubt there will be many.

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern

Friday, September 23, 2011

A wet n' wild Homecoming Carnival

The forecast looked pretty good at the beginning of this week, but we could only make it without rain for so long during Homecoming.

Still, the rain couldn't "dampen" our mood as the Student Programming Council (SPC) set up for the Homecoming Carnival last night and by 8 p.m. when the rain finally stopped, students came out in droves for popcorn and cotton candy, 16 cakes, rides, and an assortment of inflatables.

The turbo tubs were a hit and the chair swing ride in the middle of Asbury Circle definitely spun faster than I imagined.

The rain seemed to know when the carnival ended because a few hours later when we started cleaning up, no one could escape the torrential downpour.

Depsite the weather, it was a great turn out for one of Emory's newest Homecoming traditions.

Alumni, I hope to see you tomorrow at the parade, the tailgate, the soccer game and the Five for Fighting concert. Remember, it's a marathon of a Homecoming day. Pace yourselves!

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a blast!

We received calls from the Emory Steam Plant, Dekalb County Fire and Rescue, Emory Hospital, neighbors, you name it.

But was the 13-minute firework show last night worth it?

You betcha.

That's right alumni, to kick off Homecoming Week and commemorate Emory's 175th birthday, the Student Programming Council (SPC) brought a fireworks show to campus.

Students gathered on McDonough Field last night with friends and blankets for some barbecue, birthday cake, and pretty lights.

Even though the fireworks took off from the top of the Michael Street Parking Deck, they were plenty visible from the field, exploding right above and between Few and Evans Halls.

I don't mean to be sappy, but I got goosebumps watching those sparks go off. Maybe it's because I'm on SPC, but it was hard not to be impressed by the show.

Every time we thought, "this is the finale," the fireworks kept going and when the finale did finally come, there was no mistaking those grand bombs bursting in the air.

Fast forward 16 hours later and you would've found this cake on Asbury Circle today at Wonderful Wednesday.

Here's a breakdown of the blue-and-gold masterpiece: the top tier, red velvet; the middle, chocolate; and the bottom, of course, was vanilla.

There wasn't a crumb in sight after cake-cutting time came around.

(But I believe Swoop is being saved for SPC posterity...although he probably won't last another 175.)

We also had cupcake decorating nearby and an ice cream truck (see background of photo!) parked in the middle of the circle handing out old-school ice cream to students.

Dr. Gary Hauk even came out to inaugurate a new Wonderful Wednesday tradition called Tej Talks, where faculty and professors are allotted one minute to give a short lesson. Dr. Hauk went with the 175th theme and recited an Emory rhyme he penned.

We might've maxed out the "wonderful" in Wednesday for a while...but I don't think that's possible.

Next up this week is Jo Koy standing up tonight for some comedy at Glenn Memorial. And let's not leave out tomorrow night's Homecoming carnival, sure to be bigger and better than last year's.

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let them eat cake!

If Marie Antoinette were a student at Emory, I think she'd be pleased with this year's Homecoming Week.

You see, this year we're celebrating the 175th anniversary of this fine institution--in other words, Emory's turning 175 and it's party time!

And to celebrate Emory's "Super Sweet 175th Birthday," the Student Programming Council (SPC) is bringing cake...and lots of it.

Here's a run down of where the cake will be this week (and where it might not be, but we hope you'll still come!):

Tomorrow, Homecoming officially kicks off with a fireworks show on McDonough Field. Bring a blanket and a friend or two for some music and cake. Fireworks go off at 8:30 p.m.

Wednesdays are always "wonderful" at Emory but this one's going to be even better with more cake (this one's decked out a la Cake Boss style), cupcake decorating and an ice cream truck, all on Asbury Circle from 11:30a.m.-2 p.m.

Wednesday night, enjoy the comedic styling of Jo Koy. You may recognize the name from "Chelsea Lately." He often appears on her show, but if you don't, here's a sampling.

On Thursday, we welcome back the second-annual Homecoming Carnival on Asbury Circle. You can expect turbo tubs, inflatables, a photo booth, popcorn, cotton candy, and much more. Cliche? Maybe. Perfect for Emory Homecoming Week? Definitely.

Saturday is the mother of all Homecoming events for the week. It starts at noon with the traditional Homecoming parade (the biggest showing of Emory spirit in my opinion!), followed by the tailgate and men's soccer game against Berry College! Then stick around for the Homecoming concert on McDonough Field featuring Five for Fighting. You may have heard their hit singles "100 Years," "Superman," or "Chances."

There's also a smattering of lectures, tours, celebrations and reunions throughout the weekend. You can check out the complete list of these right here.

If that's not enough cake for you, there will be plenty of food to keep you going through the fabulous marathon that is Homecoming Week.

See you there!

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rally for rail now!

An important message from Emory University Governmental and Community Affairs:

As the deadline fast approaches for the final vote on the transportation project list, it is critically important to continue to contact the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) regional roundtable officials to ensure the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative (CCTI) remains on the final list of transportation projects at the recommended $700 million level.

As you may know, the full roundtable will vote on October 13 to approve the final list that will then become the projects receiving funding if the Transportation Investment Act passes next year.

Additionally, there are regional forums scheduled in all 10 ARC counties to hear from residents about the recommended projects on the draft lists selected for each county. DeKalb County will hold its forum on Wednesday, September 28 from 6-8 p.m. in the Manual Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.

Our elected officials in DeKalb need to hear from you and know there is strong support for the Clifton transit project, as there still could be revisions made to the list. Community input at this juncture is vital. We strongly urge you to participate in the forum September 28, either in person or online, and to take the brief survey found on the ARC website. The survey lists all projects on the draft list being considered. You may vote for any projects you wish to support throughout the region.

In addition to the Clifton Corridor transit project (#TIA-M-028 on the list), two other projects important to Emory are a replacement bridge on Clifton Road and associated realignment of Haygood Road (#TIA-DK-021) and bike and pedestrian improvements from Decatur to Clifton (#TIA-DK-007). You have until October 5 to take the survey, so please take a few minutes to do so now.

A list of the Roundtable members with email addresses can also be found on the above link. Please send a note to all members right away and urge their support for a transit option in the Clifton Corridor.

For additional information, please contact Betty Willis at 727-5312 or email: betty.willis@emory.edu

--Betty Willis, senior associate vice president for Governmental and Community Affairs

Full Circle

Almost one year ago, I watched my dad heroically lug my entire life in boxes up three flights of stairs to my first dorm room at Emory. The weather must have known it was a particularly special day for us anxious freshmen and our nerve-wracked parents and decided to give us the warmest welcome possible (quite literally).

I can still see my little brother sprawled across my new mattress fanning himself, tuning out my Mom as she tried to justify that attending conflicting information sessions was indeed necessary.

But only a few hours later, we found ourselves in the shade of sprawling tents on McDonough Field, devouring the best food I’ve yet to eat at Emory and meeting other members of the class of 2014.

The Coke Toast that afternoon was the first time our entire class gathered together, all of us nervous and excited, each with our own posse of equally anxious relatives. We were congratulated on all our accomplishments that had led us to this school and we celebrated what was to come. No one had told me to save that Coke bottle for good luck, though I often regret not slipping it into my pocket.

Sitting in Glenn Memorial yesterday evening, all I could think about as I waited for the Sophomore Pinning Ceremony to begin was that afternoon last August. Once again, my class was gathered together, this time donning business clothes with friends and roommates in tow instead of family.

But as we walked up to the stage in single file to shake hands with alumni and receive our pins, I had to smile. We still didn’t completely look like we knew what we were doing, but I was a lot more convinced about that than I was at Songfest!

I think Dirk Brown said it best with his closing remarks: “Emory is yours, and it will always be yours. And the freshmen just came and it is now theirs. But that’s the point - it’s ours. Emory will always be ours.”

I hadn’t realized what a short amount of time I’d spent here before I knew without question that he was right.

My pin now sits on my roommate’s desk next to her Coke Toast bottle. “The wise heart seeks knowledge,” the tiny gold seal reads.

I plan to keep it there as a challenge, and a reminder.

-- Liz Speyer, EAA communications intern

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guess who's back...

I'm back for my third year working with the communications team at the Emory Alumni Association and my final year as an Emory student.

That's right, I'm a senior. I'm one of the big guys--er, girls--on campus. And after an entire summer of interning with NBC in Miami, FL, and getting a taste for what real life is like in the broadcast industry, I'm ready to experience my many "lasts" this school year.

First on my "lasts" list is Homecoming Week, which will kick off next week. In honor of Emory's 175th anniversary, we--that is, the Student Programming Council (SPC)--appropriately themed the week as "My Super Sweet 175th Birthday." More information about the week will come in my next post but if you're wondering, yes, there will be lots of birthday cake.

Now, my senior year won't wholly be reserved to "lasts." I have quite a few things left on my Emory bucket list, like have one of my classes canceled by Dooley, go rock climbing in the WoodPec and jump in President Wagner's pool (shh, don't tell!).

You might get the feeling that I'm already feeling nostalgic about being a senior and you're absolutely right.

And I'm not the only one. You'll hear from another one of our EAA senior student workers throughout the year in a series about her "lasts."

When you go to a school like Emory, there's no way you can't feel this way.

--Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications intern