I was saddened this year at Commencement. Not overly so, and the sadness was slight in comparison to the reflected joy of the almost three thousand new graduates and their families, but I was sad nonetheless. Graduation is about accomplishment and achievement, but it also is about transition and parting.
Truly, one of the most rewarding aspects of employment on a university campus is the opportunity to know current students. We are very fortunate in our office to have several part-time student workers. They help us answer the phones and stuff the envelopes of the ever-present mailings to alumni. As you might imagine, they are bright and enterprising people, delightful to be around. They are also ingrained with a skill I lack--and sometimes envy--they are computer savvy. They know no fear of cyberspace. They are completely computer compatible. And this is the gist of my graduation sadness.
Liz Cheves of Albuquerque and Thuy Pham of Atlanta were in that audience on graduation morning and received their degrees with their Emory College classmates. Liz and Thuy worked with us for their entire "careers" at Emory (Liz for four years and Thuy for an accelerated three years). And for these past several years, they have been our on-site computer trouble-shooters. Those of us who tread the (already overused) information superhighway with trepidation could go to them for immediate answers to the seemingly inevitable hang-ups and accidental erasures that are the bad hombres of the high-tech frontier. I am happy for them and know they will do well as they step into their adult lives, but I wish they would leave some of their coping skills behind. We will need them.
This campus, like much of society, is increasingly going on line. As you may have noted elsewhere in this issue, you may now receive your copy of Emory Magazine electronically through the World Wide Web. The University site on the Web includes any number of other "home pages," including one for our office, which gives information on club events, the Alumni Admission Network, Alumni University, and other programming. We hope to offer more with the goal of decreasing our reliance on the Post Office.
This might be incomprehensible to some of you, and I can sympathize. On the evolutionary scale of computer usage, I like to think of myself as having attained amphibious status. I've experienced the occasional rewards of scuttling up the beach to retrieve some tasty high-tech morsel, but I am far more at ease in the comforting waters of business-as-usual. If you truly understand the language of "World Wide Web" and "home page" and "interface," I commend you. If you are like me--ready to leave the ocean but not sure where to go--I would like to offer you this learning experience.
Our office, as part of Alumni University, is conducting a class on "Surfing the Internet: Ethics on the Crest of a Technological Wave." This six-month seminar offers registrants a chance to enter into a thoughtful round-table electronic discussion with scholars from all over our campus as to the future of this emerging "virtual" community. We also offer two-week-long courses on the Internet during Alumni University's Summer Session. Although these classes are booked for the current year, please let me know of your interest and we'll sign you up for the next academic year. You can write me at: Association of Emory Alumni, Emory University, Atlanta, GA30322 or, better yet, drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
with an enormous snake. According to the caption, she "rescued the python which was found on Briarcliff Road near the campus. The snake apparently had escaped from a circus group and been shot."
Wundram, who went on to earn her Ph.D. in anatomy from Emory and now teaches at Oxford College, remembers the incident well, but says it was slightly more complicated than the Alumnus had reported. "It wasn't a circus group, it was the Army," she says. "It was an Army research snake that somehow had fallen off one of their convoy trucks, and it had been shot in the head. . . .
"Another graduate student in anatomy and I were going to lunch and we noticed a big crowd of people [at the filling station at Briarcliff and Clifton] gathered around looking at something on the ground. And I said, God, you'd think it was the world's biggest snake or something by the way everybody is acting, because people looked alarmed and upset. And then I looked and said, My god, it is the world's largest snake." Wundram and her friend rescued the injured animal, which had been shot by the filling station's owner, and took it back to the University.
Wundram says word got out about the incident, and soon after her picture appeared in the newspaper with the snake. After that publicity, she received a call from the United States Army.
"The Army said it was one of their snakes," she says. "They used these snakes to research the effectiveness of snake repellents for use in Vietnam, because snakes got into the big equipment and machinery and messed everything up. . . .
"The Army came to the anatomy department and made me sign papers saying that I now had full custody of the snake--they didn't want it. . . . Well, we couldn't get anybody to take it--the zoo wouldn't take it--and so I tried to keep it in the anatomy department . . . in the animal holding room, but it upset the monkeys so much they wouldn't let me keep it there. So I ended up taking the snake home and keeping it as a pet.
"I had it for quite a few years. But because it had been shot in the head, its olfactory apparatus was damaged so that it could not sense prey. . . . I had to force feed him with a caulking gun full of ground up hamburger and eggs and milk and that sort of stuff. I would get all my friends together to come hold the snake in a straight line, because he was nine feet long and you had to have him straight in order to poke the caulking gun down his throat to feed him. He lived for about three more years." After the snake, which Wundram named Kaa after the python in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, died, she kept his skin, which is mounted on a board in her den.--J.D.T.
What follows is a slice of Emeritus Professor of Theology James W. May's life during wartime. Part of a collection of some one hundred and fifty letters he recently donated to the Special Collections Department, this missive details a Palm Sunday service he led in Niederbreissig, Germany, on the Rhine River, during the spring of 1945. According to the October 1945 Emory Alumnus, May, an Army captain and chaplain who graduated from Emory in 1933, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for "meritorious service." Part of his citation read, "Under most adverse and difficult conditions he made available religious services for all the men of his organization as well as those of attached units."--J.D.T.
Sinzig, Germany, March 25, 1945
Ever since we reached the Continent Father Kelley has been kidding me and Roy [the chaplain's assistant] about the absence of Protestant churches. Friday he walked into our office, plumped down in the soft chair with his legs stuck out and that big Irish smile under his blue eyes. "Well, boys, I've got something for you," he began quite mysteriously. We thought maybe he had a fresh rumor about the fall of Berlin, or maybe some more soap and razor blades to add to our stock. "I've found a church for you," he said. "And if you'll see the priest down at my place, you can find out how to get the keys before the service Sunday. . . ."
The church [turned out to be] a beautiful little stone structure with tall spire, sitting off between the road and the river. Immediately behind it is an outdoor bath, supplied by a warm spring of mineral water. The place is immaculately kept, shrubbery about the front yard, ivy and blooming violets about the foundations. The forsythia was blooming and the weeping willows showing new green.
Roy and I went yesterday afternoon to get the palms. In the absence of anything more like the real item, we drove out to the woods and picked 400 little spruce boughs, which grow in the shape of a cross at the end of the branch. It took us a couple of hours to pick them, and Roy had to run them through two rinse waters to get the dust of Army vehicles off of them. We felt the symbolism was appropriate, for you ought not to get Palm Sunday too far away from the Cross!
One of the cooks woke us up at six this morning and we had early chow of hot cereal, raisin bread, French toast, and coffee. Schmidt (a 19 year old Methodist from Peoria) had breakfast with us as he was going along to play the organ. At 7:15 we were off down the river again, and it was a powerful pretty Palm Sunday morning. The organ was in the back of the jeep, and Schmidt was sitting on top of it. Every now and then we would pass an apple orchard with a tree or two already in full bloom.
The church had been cleaned and polished all over. Forsythia was on the altar, and potted greens down around the base. There were some violets, too, and they smelled up the place mighty nice. Then the folks had brought in a beautiful old Bible, which must have had some connection with the church's history, and opened it on the altar, down at the base of the crucifix. Roy put out the hymnals on the shelf in front of each pew, and to the left of each hymnal he laid one of the "palms."
The church was filled, with some soldiers standing. Their personal equipment made for a little crowding and noise, but I'm sure they appreciated worshiping in a church for the first time on the Continent. We began with the singing of "America"--and I mean real singing. Then I read the call to worship: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, . . ." And we sang the Doxology. Then I asked them to kneel for the general confession and the Lord's Prayer, and they all took me literally and knelt. Even those on the front pew, who had to kneel on the floor. Well, I was kind of glad to see it. It looked good, those 150 soldiers all really kneeling.
They always love "The Old Rugged Cross," and they did a better job on it then than any camp meeting could--all four stanzas. I announced that next Sunday we would receive an Easter offering to be sent to the World Council of Churches as a token of our hope and faith in the ecumenical Church. For the sermon I simply told in my own words the story of Simon of Cyrene and the Crucifixion. We closed the service with, "In the Hour of Trial. . . ."
We then loaded up our stuff and got back [to Sinzig] at 10:15; but we had to wait outside the theater until the Jewish men had finished their service. We followed the same service [as at Niederbreissig], but this time we had more than two hundred, almost filling the theater. Made me homesick when a little Baptist second lieutenant shook hands after church and said, "Preacher, come on and eat dinner with us." Well, I did. He had his mess set up in what was once the dining room of a little hotel.
It was beautiful this afternoon. Roy, Schmidt, and I had a ride up the river on reconnaissance. Kind of like a Sunday afternoon ride at home. Wish I could tell you more of what we saw. I'll just say we saw a place which will be famous in the history of the war. [It turned out to be the Remagen Bridge.] And we came back with plenty of admiration for our engineers and the U.S. Army in general.
Love to all of you.
The next two days included a mixture of panel discussions and on-campus visits. Topics of debate included "A Diversity of Faith Experiences" and "Student Diversity: Challenges and Strategies," and delegates had the opportunity to visit the Women's Center, the Multicultural Learning Resource Center, and the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Assembly delegates also attended a jazz concert by the Shirley Horn Trio and watched the Emory baseball team play Savannah College of Art and Design at the newly dedicated Chappell Park.
According to Assembly XIII Chair Hank Ambrose '69C, director of regulatory matters at Bell Atlantic in Washington, D.C., "I agreed to host the Assembly because I do think [diversity] is an important topic . . . both from the point of view of what's happening in the workplace [in America] as well as focusing on what's happening at Emory in particular."--J.D.T.
Diversity in Emory's Third Century"Everywhere we look we can see that on this campus and other campuses and within the evolving fabric of the nation, each new generation of diverse change has brought greater richness to the mosaic of higher education and the country, and with that greater richness some anxiety, some consternation, and yet at the end much greater power and impact. What looked to have been disequilibrium, then, turns out to have become the status quo. And the new status quo, apparently so stable, gives way inevitably to new change and new dislocations. This, in brief, is the history of our country, a country in which the very definition . . . of who we are is ceaselessly undergoing change and expansion."
--Emory University President William M. Chace, from his keynote address at Assembly XIII
Student Diversity: Challenges and Strategies"I've come to understand that there is only one way Emory or any institution can hope to achieve real excellence, and that is by ensuring that every dollar we spend is linked clearly and directly to our academic agenda. When we consider issues of diversity, it is with that value in mind. . . . In my judgment, it would be irresponsible for us not to prepare our students to work cooperatively and productively with others who are different from them. Beyond this is a simple matter of pedagogy. I believe . . . one of the most crucial skills we give our students is critical thinking--the ability to articulate, then question, the assumptions that underlie any argument. Most faculty and administrators here agree that diversity in all of its forms contributes that quality to the academic experience. Students who are surrounded by others very like themselves are challenged in the same way and do not grow as much as students whose learning occurs in a context that's enriched by cultural perspectives, different values, and different cognitive styles."
--Mel Lockhart '87EMBA, vice provost for academic enrollment planning, speaking at the panel, "Student Diversity: Challenges and Strategies"
The Academic Tapestry"How can we prepare our students to go out into the world and be people who are culturally sensitive to other people's work? We always worry about the notion of tokenism, and we worry about the idea of integrating a little piece of this culture, perhaps a little piece of the patchwork here and there, but not having these things then confront each other or play out the real tensions. Several people [on this panel] have talked about discomfort and tension and not having those things worked through in the classroom. In other words, we're worried about having things come into a class and then leave, or people who are represented as `other.' [The tendency is to believe that] there is a dominant culture, a white, male, heterosexual, dominant set of ideas that has been inherited, and then everything else is other than that. . . . I think what we have to do is be sensitive to the fact that by integrating these pieces of other people's cultures into a dominant field, we sometimes forget to question the field itself and to question that dominance."
--Judy Rohrer, associate professor and chair of art history, speaking at the panel, "The Academic Tapestry: Theories and Problems"
Before I begin to tell you of my experiences at Emory, I would like to sincerely thank each of you for this opportunity. Not only am I thanking you for allowing me to speak this morning, but also for giving me the chance to be a member of this precious Emory community. And like anyone who has spent the most promising years of their life between Clifton and North Decatur roads, I have a story to tell.
It should come as no surprise that my story is one that tells of change. Because in the four years I have been part of this place, that is exactly what has happened.
Emory has shaped me into a person I did not know four years ago. Today I am able to feel the pain of another man's defeat as if it were my own, and at the same time, I recognize my obligation to help him lift his head once again so that we may carry on together. I now understand why I must pay close attention to the battles fought by those who surround me, because they could very well be fighting for me. I have learned that I cannot have happiness alone, but that true happiness must be exchanged between people.
It is lessons similar to these that I reflect upon when I speak of my change.
Hopefully others can say that Eddie Irions is a gentleman who respects and cherishes integrity and honesty. He is one who not only hears but also listens. He will try to be your friend, because he knows that he will need you to be his. He will try to stand beside you always, and he will even lead if you ask him.
I tell you these things in an attempt to describe my experiences here. But please realize that in order for me to continue my evolution, you must evolve with me. You must continue to weave the fabric that upholds the notion of change. And despite the narrow opinions of others, have confidence that change is good. It often comes with discomfort and struggle, but nevertheless, the prize at the end of its road has proven to be most fulfilling.
And let us remember that a change that is only thirty years old [the Civil Rights movement] is the reason I am able to speak today, and it will be the reason others will have a voice tomorrow.
Therefore, as you discuss and debate and enjoy each other's fellowship, recall that you are the catalysts that drive the reactions that are felt by some 23,000. I thank you for everything that you have done and will do. But moreover, I thank you for the initiative, the hope, and, again, the opportunity.
The fund will provide Ronald Harf Memorial Scholarship Awards, which will be made to outstanding young scientists pursuing original, basic science research projects in HIV/AIDS. Selected through AmFAR's peer review process, these scholars will be young scientists at a university or medical research center who wish to devote their careers to AIDS research. Each scholar will receive a three-year award and will work under the supervision of a senior HIV/AIDS investigator.
To date the fund has raised some $100,000. The first Ronald Harf Memorial Scholar is Samuel C. Kayman, Ph.D., a research associate in the laboratory of retroviral biology at the Public Health Research Institute in New York City. Kayman's three-year project is based on the hypothesis that an effective HIV vaccine should closely resemble the native structure of a virus protein and thus more accurately warn the body's immune responses of what they might expect in the event of real infection.
To donate, send checks payable to the Ronald Harf Memorial Fund/AmFAR to Lynn Deleany, American Foundation for AIDS Research, 733 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017.
Walking the Road of Faith, published by Scholars Press and edited by former Emory Magazine associate editor Beth Dawkins Bassett, is a collection of more than thirty of the lessons Ward has delivered to the class over the past forty-two years. Current dean of alumni and former executive vice president and dean of faculties, Ward writes in the preface that, "Understanding the appropriate role of a teacher, I have sought to avoid appearing to be an authority proclaiming the Word, but have tried as a searcher to relate religious faith to life."
Essay titles in the collection range from "The Basis of Morality" to "The Prodigal Son: Grace versus Merit" to "The Gettysburg Address: A Dream of Freedom and Equality." In the foreword, Emory President Emeritus James T. Laney describes the lessons as "a distillation of Christian wisdom and quiet conviction that is rare these days."
Atlanta writer Celestine Sibley recently devoted one of her columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to Ward's book. In it she wrote, "[His] Sunday morning stint has endeared him to people who would leave Sunday school to the kids, except for the insights Dr. Ward brings to biblical history and the way he makes it relevant and inspiring to today."--J.D.T.
"My practical nature makes me want to make things that are useful as well as beautiful," Berman says. His work has won several prizes at the annual Atlanta Woodworking Show, including awards for the folk art cabinet and a broadly curving, two-drawer filing cabinet. Also among his creations are a set of asymmetrical birch dining chairs finished in black lacquer that feature stainless steel insets, a delicate jewelry cabinet he made for his wife from maple and scraps of exotic lacewood and moabi wood, a three-panel screen intricately inlaid with a variety of woods, and a desk that seems to defy gravity--built so that from most angles the top appears to float several inches over its base.
Although Berman claims he never does the same thing twice, many of his pieces feature his signature dramatic curves. "I want them to look natural, so there's no stiff outline," he says. Most of the furniture is showcased in the Bermans' home, a condominium in Lullwater Estate, the restored 1922 mansion of Coca-Cola heiress Lucy Candler Heinz. A few of his works are on display in Atlanta art galleries, and Berman occasionally produces on commission. "But it's not really a business for me," he says.--A.O.A.
Five honorees are to be inducted posthumously, including A. Gordon Logan '26C, who was All-Emory in track, basketball, football, and baseball; John Maddox '34L, who was on the All-Emory football team and who was 1930 Southern Conference, State, and AAU hurdle champion; former University President (1942-1957) Goodrich C. White, who was a star intramural football player and who provided great support to the athletic program during his tenure; William Parks Johnson '12Ox, who was captain of the baseball team and on the All-Emory baseball, football, and basketball teams; and All-Emory basketball and track team member Oliver Quimby Melton '12Ox.
For more information on the Sports Hall of Fame Banquet or for reservations, call the Association of Emory Alumni at (404) 727-6479.
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