a yearlong recuperation from a serious health problem and a
seven-month stint in Mexico with a failed dot-com company, Bryan
Richardson 00C resolved to take his interest
in politics seriously and moved to Washington, D.C., with hopes
of finding a job on Capitol Hill.
my dismay, I could not find work, he recalls. I
felt like a little guppy in an ocean of smart people. I couldnt
even get Wendys to look at my résumé.
he remembered the Emory Alumni Network.
downloaded a list of all Emory alumni working in the D.C. area,
he says. Suddenly, I had a pool of compelling opportunities,
interviews, and new friends. Nearly everyone I contacted from
the alumni network returned my calls and e-mails.
working as a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment
and Public Works, Richardson (left) is now in graduate school
at Harvards Kennedy School of Government pursuing a masters
degree in public policy. He frequently volunteers for Emory
Alumni Networking programs.
Davidson Dusty Porter 85C,
president of Emorys Washington alumni chapter, says the
importance of a strong alumni organization at the countrys
political core cannot be overestimated.
is critical in D.C., which is a city about having connections,
Porter says during lunch on the upper floor of Union Station,
with a birds-eye view of the capitals work force
racing back and forth between trains. Here, it really
is who you know.
(left), dean of students at the Maryland Institute College of
Art in Baltimore, became involved with the chapter several years
ago. My Emory experience was very positive, and I was
interested in continuing to keep in touch with other alums.
about 5,700 Emory alumni, parents, and friends, Washington is
the metropolitan area with the third-largest number of Emory
graduates working and living there, after Atlanta and New York
City. Likewise, the D.C. alumni chapter is one of the most active
chapters in the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA).
D.C. chapter has a history of active involvement and dedicated
leadership, says Yvonne Flowers, director of regional
programs and leadership development for the AEA. Under
the presidency of Dusty, the steering committeemade up
of alumni from a cross-section of decades and schoolshas
taken ownership of its chapter and actively recruited others
to join them. The results show in their effective leadership
team and program successes.
AEA hopes other chapters will follow suit. At a 2002 Conference
of Regional Leadership at Emory, the D.C. group was held up
as a model.
been lucky enough to have had a devoted core of about fifteen
really amazing volunteers who love Emory and are willing to
put the time in, Porter says. Its a very collaborative
events included a reception at the Thai Embassy, a service day
at a local food bank, and a private tour of the National Cathedral
with an organ recital.
formula is to pick a compelling space that people wouldnt
normally get to see, have a speaker with an Emory connection,
and charge a minimum fee so that members are committed to coming,
Porter says. Emory graduates are very capable adults who
want to make a difference and stay connected. The alumni chapter
gives us a way to do this.M.J.L.