Oxford Commencement

"Go forth and study hard"

On Saturday, May 10, Oxford College conferred associate of arts degrees on one hundred and fifty students, most of whom will continue their undergraduate study on the Atlanta campus in the fall. During the ceremony on the grounds of Emory's birthplace, the Fleming Award for outstanding service from a faculty member was presented to Eloise Brown Carter, associate professor of biology. The Eady Sophomore Award, Oxford's highest student honor, was presented to Julie Ann Schwietert, who served as secretary of the Honor Council, sophomore class agent, and a member of the Freshman Council, the Student Admission Association, and the Phi Gamma Literary Society, as well as a host of task forces and committees.

Called upon to address the graduates was 1981 Oxford and 1983 Emory College alumna Cheryl Fisher Custer, who became Georgia's first female district attorney in 1991, serving Rockdale County. Custer structured her remarks in the form of a case argument. "I submit to you that education alone is inadequate.

I believe the evidence will show that without a firmly embedded sense of community, no institution and no society can prosper. I will make my case that these concepts, education and community, are the keys to success [among] institutions and individuals and societies."

Custer concluded with a charge to the graduates: "Go forth and study hard, wherever you will go. Remember that your own success is intertwined with that of your fellow man and woman and your community."

"My heart was still at Oxford"

Judy Greer first became acquainted with Oxford College more than forty years ago, before she had even graduated from college herself. As a student at LaGrange College, where Greer was an English major and an intern in the athletic department, she met Oxford's dean, Virgil Eady, who was searching for a woman to teach physical education. Eady later appointed Greer to a one-year term.

That temporary appointment blossomed into a career that spanned almost four decades and officially ended this spring when Greer, professor of physical education, retired following a year's sabbatical. After completing a master's degree in physical education and counseling at Auburn University, she taught at Winthrop College in South Carolina. "I was there for four years," she says, "but my heart was still at Oxford." She returned to Oxford in 1966 to stay, earning an Ed.D. degree in physical education and higher education from the University of Georgia in 1972.

To show their appreciation to Greer, the first class she taught at Oxford, the Class of 1959, establishea scholarship in her honor. The award of five thousand dollars goes annually to a rising sophomore and was first presented at Oxford Day in the spring of 1996. "Of course, I was humbled and awed," Greer says. "But the main thing is that it's going to help students at Oxford for years to come."

The scholarship, say members of the Class of 1959, pays tribute to Greer's legacy in a way that truly reflects her commitment to students. "She really cared for the students not just as students, but as true friends," says Milton Gillespie '59Ox.--Dan Sadowsky

Return to main story.

Return to Summer 1997 contents page.

Return to Emory Magazine home page.