Autumn 2007: from the EAA

Allison Dykes, Vice-President for Alumni Relations

Bryan Meltz

By Allison Dykes

Dear Friends,

Emory’s vision statement declares that we strive to be a “destination university,” and all of us on the staff of the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) strongly believe that sentiment. Emory is a destination for exceptional faculty, the best students, talented staff, and, most certainly for engaged alumni.

Emory Homecoming Weekend 2007 was proof, as thousands of alumni returned to campus for this storied fall tradition—many as guests of our vastly expanded reunions program. Nine class reunions were celebrated—all graduation years ending in “2” and “7” from 1962 through 2002—which made for a remarkably vibrant campus.

Many Emory alumni identify with their class, but increasingly, alumni are connecting to Emory through extracurricular activities. That’s why our 2007 Homecoming program included, for the first time, formal reunions of a variety of interest groups around campus. The Emory Wheel held a reunion for former staffers; so did Residence Life. Another popular get-together was the forty-year reunion of Ad Hoc Productions, Emory’s student-run musical theater organization.

As well as bringing alumni together through their shared interests, these new reunions cross generations. Despite their joint ties to Emory, members of the Classes of 1982 and 2002 might not easily find common ground. But if both worked for the Emory Wheel, the conversation would certainly flow—so many shared memories combined with the differences of twenty years.

If 2007 wasn’t your reunion year or your interests were not represented by this year’s gatherings, please be patient. Thanks to our expanded programs, your time will come soon.

We know it’s not always easy for you to come back to Emory, no matter what the occasion. That’s why the EAA makes it a point to make your town our destination. It’s also why we created Destinations, the EAA’s distinguished speaker series. Presidential Destinations features President Jim Wagner and Mrs. Debbie Wagner, who headline alumni receptions around the country, giving updates about the state of the University and answering every question posed to them.

Our Faculty Destinations series highlights members of Emory’s award-winning faculty. They speak to alumni about a broad range of topics such as their groundbreaking research, new publications, and current events.

There are many ways beyond Destinations to connect with your favorite Emory speakers. Through partnerships with Emory’s nine schools and many units, the EAA can bring you together with most Emory faculty. Just ask.

One great way to set up events in your hometown is through your EAA chapter. More than two dozen chapters are spread throughout the country (and several more outside the U.S.), concentrated in major metropolitan areas. EAA chapters are listed on our website at www.alumni.emory.edu, “Chapters & Clubs.”

However, we know that not everyone lives in a major city. During the past few years, through EAA-sponsored or cosponsored programs, faculty and administrators have visited places like Lexington, Kentucky; Wilmington, Delaware; and Thibodaux, Louisiana, in large part because alumni have asked for them. So if you have an idea for a program in your area, or if there is a faculty member you’d like to see again, let the EAA know. We’ll see what we can do to make it happen.

We’ve also recently begun our Faculty on the Road series. Emory faculty travel for many reasons, and sometimes they schedule speaking engagements around the country that are not involved with the University. In these cases, the EAA will email you with all the particulars—date, time, and place (provided we have your email address—if we don’t, please update your information on our website). There may not be a formal Emory gathering, but we know you might be interested, so we will do our best to keep you informed.

We enjoy visiting you, but I want to make sure all alumni know you are always welcome on campus. And whenever you come back to Emory, I encourage you to make the Miller-Ward Alumni House one of your destinations. All of us at the EAA would love to see you!

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