Sometimes I try to imagine the perfect educational travel experience for one of our alumni groups. Play along with me, if you will.
Your destination is a country of history, unique culture, and great natural beauty--perhaps Ireland. Your traveling party is large enough to take advantage of lower, group pricing but small enough for you to feel like a member of a select and congenial few. The length of your stay is long enough to give you a real sense of place, yet short enough to accommodate the schedules of too-busy lives.
The hotel (where you stay for the entire trip, unpacking only once) is of medium size in a medium-sized city. By the end of your stay, you know the innkeeper by name, and he knows you. The food is good (and included in the price). The weather, of course, is perfect.
Then there must be one galvanizing moment that will stay with you long after you've forgotten such things as the name of the tour guide or the hassles endured clearing customs in Atlanta. In our perfect trip to Ireland, I imagine the Emory group being led by Bill and JoAn Chace. And, during a visit to a lovely park, Dr. Chace, who is a James Joyce scholar in addition to his duties as president of Emory, stands atop a marble bench and lectures on Irish literature while the travelers relax on the lawn.
As you might have guessed by now, that scene and that sold-out trip actually happened this past June. One of the lucky travelers described Dr. Chace's lecture to me as "one of those moments you wished would never end."
This particular trip was part of the Alumni College Abroad series organized for our office by Alumni Holidays International. In addition to Ireland, we have participated in similar trips to England, Switzerland, and New Zealand. Next year, we will add a trip to Italy's Tuscany region and anticipate that it, too, will sell out. The Alumni College Abroad program bases its popularity on moderate pricing and relatively short trips, most lasting less than ten days, including the overseas flight time.
When I receive complaints about our alumni travel program, they usually concern those two issues--price and length. In response, we are redesigning our program along these lines:
Please look in each issue of Emory Magazine in the Alumni News section for a listing of our upcoming trips. If you are not already on our travel mailing list and wish to be, please call Diane Loeser at the Association of Emory Alumni at (404) 727-4239.
I welcome your thoughts. Please call me at (404) 727-6400 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel opportunities for 1997
Austrian Escapade, eight days
February 26 to March 5
A specially priced travel program to the enchanting city of Salzburg. Optional ski safaris are available daily to nearby world-class ski resorts. Other optional excursions include Vienna and a "Sound of Music" tour. $1,095.
Alumni College of Ireland; Ennis, Ireland, nine days
May 6 to 14
This popular Alumni Campus Abroad program sold out in 1996, so we're offering it again. Whether you're simply curious or an avid enthusiast, this concept offers an opportunity to learn, explore, and relax with fellow alumni. Highlights include Bunratty Castle, the Burren Center, Coole Park, Thoor Ballylee and Galway City, and the Cliffs of Moher. $1,995.
Alumni College of Tuscany; Cortona, Italy, nine days
May 14 to 22
A brand-new Alumni Campus Abroad program. Enjoy the tradition and magnificent beauty of Tuscany. Excursions include a walking tour of Cortona, the Tuscan countryside, Siena, Perugia and Assisi, ancient Montepulciano, and Florence. $2,195.
Alaskan Wilderness and Voyage of the Glaciers, thirteen days
July 21 to August 2
Arrive in Vancouver and board the deluxe Cunard Dynasty for a memorable cruise of the Inside Passage. Enjoy up-close views of massive Hubbard Glacier, Misty Fjord, and the Inside Passage with ports of call at Ketchikan, Wrangell, Skagway, and Juneau. This tour also features two nights in Denali National Park, where you'll view the stunning Alaskan landscape from the glass-domed rail cars of the McKinley Explorer. This unforgettable trip will conclude in Fairbanks. From $2,995.
Wines of the World: Bordeaux, eleven days
October 2 to 12
This opportunity to visit well-known wine chateaux and sample their wares will entice wine enthusiasts of every level. Wine tastings and lectures highlight this journey. While in Bordeaux, you'll experience the Dordogne Valley, Sarlat, Graves, Saint Emilion, Medoc, Sauternes, Biarritz, and San Sebastian, Spain. $3,795.
For travel information, send name, address, and telephone number to: Association of Emory Alumni Travel Program, 1627 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, or call (404) 727-4239. Individual trip brochures will be mailed to interested alumni as soon as they are available, usually six months prior to departure. All pricing is per person, based on double occupancy.
Spectators of all ages began to gather along Clifton Road through the Emory campus as early as 9:00 a.m. on July 18 to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Torch Relay. Many in the crowd of several thousand waved American flags with one hand and took pictures and videos with the other. Coca-Cola employees handed out stickers proclaiming, "I Saw the Flame."
At about 11:00 a.m., beneath a din of television news and police helicopters, the flame arrived with its ten-vehicle caravan and multitude of escorts. When two relay runners made their exchange at the corner of Clifton and Asbury roads, the new torch-bearer raised the flame triumphantly to cheers from the crowd.
In the weeks leading up to the Olympic flame's appearance on the Emory campus, at least forty Emory alumni helped carry it along its meandering, fifteen-thousand-mile path from Los Angeles to Atlanta. "It was really like twenty Fourth of July parades put into one," says Murray Lumpkin '47Ox-'49C-'53M, who ran in the relay between Dalton and Calhoun on July 16. Lumpkin was among the ten thousand torch-bearers selected nationwide as "Community Heroes" in honor of their volunteer efforts and contributions to their communities.
A surgeon in Dalton for forty-three years who has been involved in training nurses and emergency medical personnel, Lumpkin says he ran to the sound of cheers from friends, family, and former patients. "I really didn't expect the spontaneity of the crowds, being asked for autographs and things like that," he says.
To train for his segment of the relay through Calhoun on July 16, Kyle Smith '59Ox-'61C sped up his long recovery from a near-fatal 1992 automobile accident. "I started with friends first walking then running in the streets, then I ran on the high school track and got to where I could just make the distance," says Smith, who has spearheaded volunteer efforts for an adult literacy program and a learning and fun center for local underprivileged children. "You're part of something much bigger than you are," he says. "And there's such a friendly spirit. It renews your faith in people all over the world."
Kimberly Morris '87C echoes Smith's sentiments. "Sitting on the shuttle bus with the other people who were running my segment made me realize how it really was a relay of the people, of all different ages and backgrounds and personalities," she says. Morris, who has volunteered with the Special Olympics, Egleston Hospital, and several shelters, ran in Atlanta at 2:00 a.m. on July 19. "It was impressive how something so simple could bring together so many different people," she adds.-A.O.A.
The following Emory alumni in Georgia were among the ten thousand people selected to carry the Olympic torch in the fifteen-thousand-mile relay from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Did you or another Emory alumnus you know from outside Georgia serve as a torch-bearer? Let us know, and we'll print another list in a future issue of Emory Magazine. Send your name, class year, and hometown to Emory Magazine, 1655 North Decatur Rd., Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Anthony Alaimo '48L, Sea Island
Dan Callahan '49C, Warner Robins
Betty Castellani '83T, Decatur
Curran Easley Jr. '43C-'45M, LaGrange
Peter Elmore '84Ox-'86C, Avondale Estates
Jacqueline Finchers '64G, Thomson
Thomas Gould '78L, Decatur
Angela Haynes '91B, Atlanta
Joseph Hendricks '89G, Macon
Woodrow Hudson '69T, Carrollton
Teresa Jacobs '95PH, Decatur
Mara Keggi '94B, Atlanta
Patrick Kelly '78AH, Stone Mountain
Linda Laird '91G, Jackson
John Sholar Langford '58L, Atlanta
Tom LaPorte '93C, Morrow
Virginia Leslie '66G-'72G-'75G-'90G, Decatur
Jack Leverett Jr. '63D, Bainbridge
Barbara Hill Lewis '70Ox-'71C, Rome
Murray Lumpkin '47Ox-'49C-'53M, Dalton
William Marianes '81L-'81B, Tucker
Sharon Marshall '85C, Marietta
Robert Morgan '94C, Augusta
Catherine Morris '74C, Dublin
Kimberly Morris '87C, Atlanta
Cidney Vance Perkins '67Ox, Columbus
Linda Picklesimer '66N, Carrollton
Loretta Pitchell '80B, Norcross
Victor Polizos '69C, Atlanta
Jennifer Powell '93C, Valdosta
Barbara Reid '60C, Atlanta
William Rumer '72C, Columbus
Kyle Smith '59Ox-'61C, Calhoun
Fred Snell '59C, Rocky Face
James Story '62C, Thomasville
James Whatley '76M, Rome
Charlotte White '68N, Statesboro
Marti Wilson '75B, Atlanta
Frank Wilson III '42C-'44M, Leslie
During his keynote address at the opening convocation of the third Alumni University, Secretary of the University Gary S. Hauk '91PhD observed, "I suspect that many of you are here this week because you are listening to your lives." Indeed, Alice Chambers '55C enrolled in Introduction to Acting because, she said, "[acting] is another way of self-expression. It's also something I've been thinking about doing for a long time." Allison Hardy, a high school senior who returned with her father, Richard Hardy '64Ox-'66C-'68MBA, for their third year together at Alumni University, enrolled in a sociology course taught by Carter Center experts because she is considering a career in social work. "It helped me a lot because I think I've found what I want to do in college," she said.
Nearly one hundred and fifty alumni, friends and family of alumni, and Emory staff members convened on campus for the week-long summer program billed as "an educational vacation." Hauk described it as "a wonderful opportunity to step out of the usual pace of our days and attend carefully to what our lives are telling us and asking of us." While many commuted from their homes nearby, nearly fifty came from as far away as California to stay for the week in the Woodruff Residential Center. Participants chose two courses out of an array of twenty-one, including Successful Aging, An Introduction to Electronic Publishing, Joan of Arc: A Study in Film, and Moral Responsibility in the Twenty-First Century. Contrasting the program with more traditional vacations such as a visit to Walt Disney World, Alumni University director Cliff Cockerham said, "Instead of being dazzled by a vacation venue, our students can dazzle because of their newfound skills and knowledge."
The classes, held in the morning, were one of several opportunities for intellectual enrichment. Built around the theme, "The Revolution of the Mind Continues: Global Games," lively afternoon faculty roundtable discussions addressed topics such as "The Forces of Disease: Fighting a Global War," which featured James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health; Douglas Wallace, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Molecular Genetics; and John Banja, Associate Professor in the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine.
Evenings offered an array of social and cultural events, including readings by playwright Frank Manley, who is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Renaissance Literature, and novelist Ferrol Sams '45M; a comedy cabaret with Doc Hollywood author Neil Shulman '71M; and a jazz coffeehouse featuring Associate Professor of Music Dwight Andrews. Attendees also were encouraged to visit campus athletic facilities, the computer center, libraries, and museum galleries.
During the closing convocation, Vice President for Institutional Advancement William H. Fox '79PhD commended the group for their commitment to lifelong learning: "You have refused to let your minds be idle. You have seen and understood the joy, and indeed the necessity, of continuing to explore ideas. You still want to know the meanings of justice and courage and liberty. You are not here because of grades; you are not here because of new job opportunities; you are here because of ideas."-A.O.A.
Pierce Cline '46Ox-'48C had been on only one overnight hiking trip in his life when he first ventured onto the Appalachian Trail in 1988. But what began as a whim soon turned into what he describes as a "magnificent obsession" with the challenge of the hike and the culture of the trail. Over the course of eight years, Cline hiked all 2,158 miles of the trail, from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine.
Cline's trek crossed fourteen states. He made anywhere from two to eleven trips per year for a total of thirty-seven trips, each one lasting a week to ten days. In 1993, he took one year off to undergo quadruple bypass surgery. A founding member of the Oxford Board of Counselors, Cline is one of some three thousand people to have hiked the Appalachian Trail from beginning to end since it was developed in the 1930s.
The impulse to begin hiking came after Cline visited his brother, John Cline '38Ox-'40C, who was dying of leukemia. On his drive home to Social Circle from Emory Hospital, he pulled into a sporting goods store and bought a backpack and a pair of hiking boots. "It just kind of struck me," he says. "If there's something you've been planning on doing, you'd better go ahead and do it, because there's no guarantee."
During his hikes, Cline became intrigued by the paradoxically social nature of the trail. "On the surface, it looks like a very lonely experience," he says. "I would walk two or three days sometimes without seeing another person. But there's also a tremendously social aspect. You might spend an evening with the most fascinating people you've ever met in your life--anywhere from high school dropouts to Ph.D.'s, any age from sixteen to seventy-five. There's a spirit of acceptance and affection on the trail that would make the church envious."--A.O.A.
Photo by Annemarie Poyo
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