Autumn 2008: from the EAA

Allison Dykes

Allison Dykes, Vice-President for Alumni Relations

Bryan Meltz

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By Allison Dykes

Dear Friends,

The last week of September was one of the most memorable in Emory’s long and storied history. First, it marked the renewal of our annual Emory Homecoming Weekend, which not only has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years but also frequently marks major milestones in our community.

This year, those Emory milestones included the dedication of a new building for Candler School of Theology. The University also unveiled a statue honoring the Eternal Spirit of Emory, Lord James W. Dooley, which surely will be an iconic piece of campus art for generations to come. And among the thousands of Emory alumni who came back to campus were a record number of reunion attendees—a record we hope lasts exactly one year.

But that’s not all that took place.Perhaps most important, Emory Homecoming Weekend saw the announcement of Campaign Emory, the University’s largest fund-raising effort ever. It’s an effort that will involve the entire Emory community. Alumni will be crucial participants in Campaign Emory, and the EAA is poised to help in many ways.

Alumni engagement is the lifeblood of every university, no matter what the size. That engagement goes beyond donations—although there is no question donations are important. And Emory’s alumni body is in the top fifteen in the nation in giving—we are elite among this nation’s elite institutions.

Writing a check, though, is just one way for alumni to give back to their alma mater. There are many others: helping recruit new students, mentoring younger alumni, facilitating alumni support of one another, serving on school alumni boards, leading a regional chapter or interest group . . . I could go on and on.

The EAA’s mission during Campaign Emory is to engage alumni with the University through leadership and service and to continue strengthening the Emory alumni network.

Engaging alumni is something the EAA does every day in the ways I listed above. It’s how we build the vibrant alumni network that is the backbone of Emory. Engaged alumni are key links in that network. Your participation and willingness to volunteer serve as another building block that strengthens Emory’s foundation. I encourage you to get involved whenever you can. Emory will be stronger because of your efforts, and I guarantee you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of it, too.

This November, Emory Cares International Service Day is celebrating its sixth year, and alumni around the world are leading service projects to help support their communities as well as each other as part of the Emory community.

During the past two years the EAA has built a strong partnership with Emory student organizations that have helped recruit hundreds of volunteers to work alongside Emory alumni at service projects across Atlanta. We look forward to continuing this partnership. Emory Cares is one of the best ways for alumni to get involved with students. It’s also one of the best ways to meet your fellow alumni, no matter where you live.

Earlier I mentioned the Emory network and how one of our goals in supporting Campaign Emory is to strengthen that network. Emory Cares is one of our best tools for doing just that. It’s also one of the most fulfilling ways for alumni to get involved with their alma mater. To learn more, please visit the Emory Cares website at www.alumni.emory.edu/emorycares.

The best place to connect to us is through our Alumni Volunteer Link (AVL). This interactive database truly offers something for everyone. All you have to do is visit www.alumni.emory.edu/volunteer, answer four questions regarding your interests and availability, click the “View My Opportunities” button, and see what the AVL finds for you. It’s that easy to get involved with the EAA—and with Campaign Emory.

If you have further ideas about how alumni can get involved with Campaign Emory, I would enjoy hearing about them. You can email me anytime at adykes@emory.edu.

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