EM Summer 2004



Emory Weekend

Alumni in Africa


Alumni Authors

Fifty years ago this May, the Supreme Court declared the notion of “separate but equal” schooling unconstitutional in the landmark desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education.

“Even though I wasn’t born until four months after this court decision, it changed my life– and yours,” said Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College, as she addressed Oxford College’s Associate of Arts recipients at their 2004 commencement on May 8. “Many of you would not be sitting here today, or at least not together, without the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Tatum, the ninth president of the private, historically black women’s college, is an authority on racial identity development and the author of the book, Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

The events of the 1950s and ’60s may seem like ancient history to today’s graduates, said Tatum, the mother of two sons who are graduating from high school and college this year. But tremendous changes have occurred in her lifetime, due not only to “superheros like Martin Luther King Jr., but to extraordinary, ordinary young people,” such as Georgia college students who organized to support the civil rights movement. “Just as the students of fifty and forty years ago made history, I hope as you move through the Oxford gates, you will make your own history,” Tatum concluded, addressing this year’s 242 Oxford graduates. “You have the capacity to shape the future.”

Dean for Campus Life Joseph C. Moon presented the Eady Sophomore Service Award to Michael H. Woodworth, a fourth-generation Oxford graduate and research scholar in biology, who studied shamanism in Ecuador, started the Oxford Frisbee Club, was a member of the Dance Company, Leadership Oxford, Mandolin and Guitar Society, and president of the Student Government Association. “One wonders if you ever sleep,” deadpanned Moon, praising Woodworth’s “calm, considerate and collaborative style of leadership.”

The Emory Williams Award for Distinguished Teaching, established by alumnus Emory Williams ’32C, was presented by Dean of Academic Affairs Kent Linville to Associate Professor of Chemistry M. Reza Saadein, whose “patience, dedication, intelligence, and creativity” have made his difficult science courses some of the most popular offered at Oxford.—M.J.L.

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