Winter 2008: from the EAA

Allison Dykes, Vice-President for Alumni Relations

Bryan Meltz

By Allison Dykes

Dear Friends,

As I write this letter, it is the middle of the holiday season. When you read it, the holidays will have passed into memory, and hopefully those memories will be ones of joy and togetherness. Several stories in this issue of Emory Magazine address ideas of happiness. Whether there has been a new addition to your family, you have been able to reconnect with a long-lost friend or loved one, or you just received a thoughtful gift you cherish, I sincerely hope your holiday season was a very happy one.

I also hope that you are happy with the progress your alma mater has made since you graduated. Whether you were a student two years ago or twenty-two years ago, the campus is likely a much different place than when you left it.

Emory has more than 105,000 alumni around the world. And they have 105,000 different opinions about what makes them happy, and—of great concern to me and the rest of the EAA staff—what about their alma mater makes them happy.

Every one of our alumni has a different definition of what Emory means to him or her, or what the University should do to make a positive impact on our world. Every once in a while our alumni’s ideas conflict—with each other and even with the University. Still, our community, like a family, is stronger than any conflict. While our alumni may not always agree with each other, or with the University, we can still move forward together. Our differences, which include not just differences in age, race, geography, and others, also include differences of opinion. And those differences make the Emory community stronger. There is a place for every one of our 105,000 alumni here.

Receiving an award, even for the most humble of us, is a happy occasion. Many alumni are unaware that you can nominate your fellow alumni for a variety of awards: The Turman Award honors alumni service; the Unsung Heroine Award is given by the Center for Women; and the Emory Medal is the highest University honor given solely to alumni. I encourage you to read the profiles of our latest Emory Medalists, Bill Fox 79PhD and Ronnie Weathers 60C 62D 66D. Each recipient was nominated by alumni just like you.

You can also nominate alumni to serve in such distinguished roles as alumni trustees, members of the Emory Alumni Board, or on one of Emory’s school-based boards. Nomination forms can be found on the website for the EAA’s Alumni Volunteer Link at www.alumni.emory.edu/volunteer.

Serving on a leadership board for your alma mater can be fulfilling on several levels. We hope our board members are happy with the work they do. We at the EAA certainly appreciate it.

Another thing we hope makes you happy is coming back to visit campus. It’s never too early to make travel plans—especially if you graduated in a year that ends in a “3” or an “8.” If so, 2008 is your reunion year!

Emory Homecoming Weekend 2008 is September 25–28, and the EAA’s revamped Reunions program, which debuted this past fall with great success, has injected new excitement into an event that was already great. With nine reunions spanning more than forty years of alumni classes, the diversity of visitors celebrating their ties with Emory and with each other is a fun sight.

If you come back to Emory for any reason—Emory Commencement Weekend this spring, Homecoming in the fall, or any time in between, I hope you’ll stop by the Miller-Ward Alumni House and say hello. You can also email me at adykes@emory.edu. It’s always great to hear from you.

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