summer, the place enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of a neighborhood
swim and tennis club; in the fall, it becomes a bustling college
campus. Emorys new Clairmont Campus, which opened in 2003,
is nothing if not versatile.
the warm months at least, the vast, sparkling blue pool is the
epicenter of the Student Activity and Academic Center (SAAC),
the heart of the Clairmont Campus. One of the most notable aspects
of the SAAC is that its not just for Emory folk. Residents
of the surrounding Atlanta community can buy a membership to
the center for access to its posh facilities, including the
pool, gym, a full range of exercise equipment fronted by the
requisite row of TVs, eight tennis courts (six hard and two
clay), outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, and Grille
Works cafe. Even the locker rooms offer lockers of real cherry
wood and machines that spin the water out of wet bathing suits.
Outside the SAAC there is a grassy recreational field to complement
the athletic facilities.
SAAC offers a range of activities such as yoga, Pilates, and
kickboxing, as well as swimming and tennis classes for all ages.
The SAAC has more than 700 memberships, including families from
the nearby Druid Hills and Decatur neighborhoods and alumni
was definitely a need in the community for a pool, says
Frank Gaertner, SAAC director. The closest neighborhood
pool has a four-year waiting list. So this is sort of a unique
venture. The thing I like about it is that it really does bring
the community and the University together. I believe thats
a good reflection on Emory.
SAAC and the residential buildings form the center of the Clairmont
Campus, but its sixty-four acres also house the second location
of the Clifton School, which provides childcare for Emory community
members; the Hope Lodge for cancer patients and their families;
the Mason Guest House for organ transplant recipients and their
families; and the Autism Research Center, the states most
comprehensive provider of services for children and adults with
students dont call the campus the Clairmont Country Club
for nothing. The undergraduate center, home to six hundred residents,
is made up of apartments designed for four people, each connected
by a fully equipped kitchen and living space and flanked by
two roomy bathrooms. Graduate students have the option of one-,
two-, or three-bedroom apartments, depending on their family
needs. And the Tower Apartments re-opened last fall after a
complete renovation, housing another four hundred undergraduates.
The furniture, carpet, appliances, and fixtures are all new
and state-of-the-art; all students have their own phone line.
hard to impress Emory students, says Gaertner, who worked
in Residence Life for ten years before coming to Clairmont.
But people really look surprised when they see this place.
And I cant even count the number of times Ive heard
alumni say, Why didnt we have this when I was here?
the SAAC building are three classrooms and three seminar rooms,
all equipped with the latest audio-visual technology, where
classes and study sessions will be held during the academic
year; frequent shuttle service connects the SAAC to the main
Emory campus. There also are a number of study spaces, beckoning
students with plush dark-blue leather sofas and gleaming tables.
addition to its student housing, the campus has eighteen spacious
faculty apartments, home to professors such as senior biology
lecturer Arri Eisen as well as his wife and two young sons.
Eisen is participating in the Bridging Academics, Service and
Ethics program, the brainchild of the Center for Ethics, the
Program in Science and Society and the Emory Scholars Program.
The idea is for faculty and students to share the same space,
integrating their academic, extracurricular, and service activities.
I think its perfect for young families, Eisen
says. The SAAC is right there, and there are a lot of
families in graduate housing. Its also a 10-minute walk
through the woods to work, so you cant beat the commute.P.P.P.