One of the remarkable aspects of the winter 2008 Emory Magazine is the coherence of the various articles around the theme of happiness/mental well-being and the centrality of this in facilitating compassion, empathy, community, and peace. The issue also highlights some of the challenges we face in achieving this simple, yet often elusive goal; namely day-to-day stress, mental illness, and the negative forces arising from a fragmented community. At its worst, there can be grave consequences when a member of a community falls into a spiral of depression and despair (think of Virginia Tech and NIU), underscoring the importance of working as a community to build a web of support for each other. There are also examples in the issue of the many positive forces we have at Emory that have gone a long way toward building a web of support: community-building initiatives, the Emory/Tibet Initiative, the many student groups such as Synergy and Listening Ears, and various institutional support mechanisms. The issue prompted a number of individuals at Emory to organize a first-ever “Emory Happiness Summit” that took place in March. The “mission” of this summit was to bring key people across the University together to both discuss the importance of “chasing happiness” and how to weave a web of support for each other within the Emory community. The outcomes of the summit include a forthcoming white paper on how Emory might move forward, and a strong will to hold a second Happiness Summit in the 2008–2009 academic year. Congratulations to Emory Magazine for catalyzing this important discussion on campus!
Santa Jeremy Ono
Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives
The brief article, “The Ethical University” (winter 2008) severed the “spectacular achievements and successes . . . [of] science, intellect, and the free market . . .” from notions of ethics and social responsibility. As a former CEO and a scientist with a deep interest in such issues as well as in scholarship, it strikes me as strange that such an unwarranted partition was made. Neither science, philosophy, ethics, law, nor commerce exerts hegemony over any of the others. It is difficult for the whole person to imagine how any such discipline can be practiced absent working respect for and some knowledge of each of the others. Those distinctions are destructive barriers to intellectual completeness, serving only to create a “between artifact” enabling a contrived friction to generate heat where none should be found. The presumed boundaries among them are altogether imaginary, perhaps invented in the Grove of Academe as “turf armor.” The duty of the university is to integrate the whole of knowledge, no matter in what rubrics it may be presented, thereby creating the whole person. Such integration of science, morality, ethics, and business is and always has been essential to success in any career and the pursuit of the good life.
Harry Letaw 44C
Severna Park, Maryland
In “The Ethical University” (winter 2008), Emory President Emeritus James Laney was quoted as follows: “Universities must prepare students for lives of purpose beyond self-profit and should be places of inspiration as well as instruction.” Unquestionably, self-profit can be, and has been, pursued with unethical exuberance, but few things can stimulate individuals as well as the profit motive. Those who would deny this need only do a cursory examination of Emory’s campus. It requires a stretch of the imagination to believe that George and Robert Woodruff, Grace and O. Wayne Rollins, Donna and Marvin Schwartz, and others pursued their enterprising goals for reasons removed from self-profit. Had such individuals not realized self-profit, Emory would not have been the recipient of millions of dollars in gifts that have been instrumental in thrusting Emory into national prominence. No less a figure than the late Roberto Goizueta, a renowned CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, had but one overarching responsibility in his position—to keep Coca-Cola profitable. Goizueta Business School is a testimony to his successful pursuit of personal and corporate profitability. Profit is a key component of the free enterprise system, and though this system has faults and inequities, it has provided highly enviable living standards in the U.S. not found any other place on earth during more than four thousand years of recorded history. Nothing stated above precludes the role of universities as centers of inspiration as well as instruction. But lest it be forgotten, not one of the magnificent buildings on Emory’s opulent campus has been built with only the proceeds from inspiration.
Dale E. Hunt
Emory Professor Emeritus
In reading the winter 2008 Emory Magazine, I had a little chuckle when I read a line by the name Nick LeRoy (letters). As an Emory alumnus of the college, medical school, and orthopedic residency programs, I thought I knew a lot about the different degrees that are awarded by the schools. However, I was unaware that an “00MBA” (“oombah”) degree is now included in the list of those awarded.
Charles. B. Gillespie 57C 61M 66R
Editor’s note: Nick LeRoy received a master’s of business administration degree in 2000, making his name and class year Nick LeRoy 00MBA. Many thanks to Mr. Gillespie for pointing out this potential—though humorous—source of confusion.
On dogs and depression (Coda, “That Blue Sky Feeling”): my yellow lab, Chancey—who was identical to the yellow lab in the picture—did the exact same thing on our first visit to Piedmont Park. She is gone now, but crowds my fondest memories. My present dog, Buddy, a black chow mix (who hates water) went to Piedmont Park with me after I got him. We were walking around the lake, and he was sniffing the water—got a little too close and fell in. His short little legs couldn’t get back up fast enough to suit him! Now I have two rescues, Buddy and his new sister, Jessie. Wonder what Jessie will do on our first trip to Piedmont Park! I cannot imagine my life without them—thanks for the great story.
Congratulations on an excellent issue of Emory Magazine; I read almost every article. Most of the university magazines I see focus on development issues—either subtly or not so subtly—so it is a pleasure to read one that communicates the pervasive excellence and range of scholarship at Emory in a profoundly human way. This publication makes me so proud of my alma mater that I may have to increase my pledge!
Tamara Allen Bazzle 70C