Précis | Summer 2003

• The gravity monument, which stood for almost four decades beside the former Physics Building prior to being placed in storage four years ago, has been relocated to a courtyard next to the new Math and Science Center. “It’s a nostalgic and memorable symbol of the old Emory,” said Ray DuVarney, associate professor and chair of physics, who led the drive to have the monument returned to campus and is planning a rededication ceremony, possibly during Alumni Weekend this fall.

African American Studies blossom at Emory: The South may lay claim to the most troubled chapter of African-American history, but in the last century these dark roots have grown into a flourishing artistic and intellectual black culture. Emory’s location in Atlanta, a locus of Southern black life, has made it a natural magnet for African-American studies, and two recent English faculty appointments have sent a surge of energy through the program and secured Emory a place among the country’s top centers of black scholarship.

• Assistant Professor Natasha Trethewey has received a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded on the basis of distinguished achievement and exceptional promise of future accomplishment from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is the author of two acclaimed collections of poetry: Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000) and Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002). Trethewey is Emory’s first Guggenheim Fellow.

Point of Entry: The snarled intersection of medicine, mental illness, and public policy is a health hazard, says Associate Professor Benjamin Druss, the first Rosalynn Carter Chair in Mental Health. “There’s a mismatch between how our health-care systems are structured,” says Druss, who came to Emory in December 2002 from Yale’s Department of Psychiatry and Public Health.

Academic chair took on a new meaning at Emory this spring with the Chairs Project, a juried exhibition of thirty-seven indoor and outdoor sculptures organized in honor of the opening of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

• Michael J. Perry, the new Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law. Perry comes to Emory this fall from Wake Forest University, where he holds the University Distinguished Chair in Law. Perry is nationally known for his work on the relationship between morality and the law.

• Michael J. Mandl has been named Emory’s new executive vice president of finance and administration.At Duke, Mandl served as the chief financial services and budget officer since 1999, supervising the financial division, capital planning, sponsored research, and the enterprise wide administrative systems group.

• John Wegner was recently appointed by President William M. Chace as Emory’s first campus environmental officer. This new appointment, the first of its kind at a university Georgia, is a direct response to a recommendation made by a special task force created to help implement the University’s Environmental Mission Statement.

• Robert A. Paul has been named dean of Emory College and of the faculty of arts and sciences. Paul had been interim dean since fall 2001. Prior to that, he was dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Bobby Paul brings immense experience, considerable understanding of the intellectual life of the academy, seasoned wisdom, and great dedication to his role at the University,” said President William M. Chace. “I welcome him to his deanship, for I know he will honor it.”

• Royalty among us: After years of study and conservation, the most famous mummy in the museum’s collection is on view for the first time in “Ramesses I—The Search for the Lost Pharaoh.” After the exhibition concludes on September 14, the Egyptian ruler will be returned to the Cairo Museum.

• Two lives in letters: The “spiritual marriage” between Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats and political activist and actress Maud Gonne, a tender and tormented affair of the mind that lasted nearly half a century, unfolds in a collection of letters recently acquired by Special Collections of Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library.

• Faith healing?: In an age of CAT scans and magnetic resonance imaging, when physicians have been replaced by technicians, it is easy to forget that society’s original healers were priests and shamans. “Medicine began in magic and was suffused with mysticism, and much of its healing power is still by use of various forms of magic, whether by that name or not,” says Sherwin Nuland, surgeon, medical historian, and author of How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter. “We have certainly not paid sufficient attention to the spiritual needs of our patients.”

• Martha Albertson Fineman, one of the nation’s leading feminist legal scholars, has been named Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory, beginning in spring 2004. “Martha Fineman is widely reputed to be the leading feminist legal scholar of our generation,’’ says John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics, who headed the Woodruff selection committee.

• The final frontier: “All the talk of death being a taboo is just symptomatic of how obsessed we are with it,” says Associate Professor of American Religious History and Culture Gary Laderman, “All human cultures are preoccupied with death.”



© 2003 Emory University