Volume 75
Number 4













For whom the bells toll

The Robinson and Piedmont Foundations have honored Emory University trustee emeritus Bill Robinson and his wife, Betty, by providing a gift to name the University’s clock tower and to install carillon bells. The four cast bronze bells are expected to be in place by fall 2000 and will chime during special events, such as Commencement. A member of Emory’s Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1990, Robinson is the former chair of the John H. Harland Company.

Carpenter is Oxford’s
First Fulbright

Oxford College Professor of English Lucas Carpenter was awarded a Fulbright Grant to lecture in American literature at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium this spring. He is the first Oxford professor so honored.

The friendly brain

How does the brain regulate complex emotions such as fear, aggression, and friendliness? Do social experiences sculpt the brain as it develops? Sixty neuroscientists at Emory, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and the Atlanta University Center hope to find out with the establishment of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, one of Science and Technology Centers nationwide funded by the National Science Foundation. The five-year grant will enable the scientists to study emotional and reproductive behaviors at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels in diverse species and at various stages of development. Thomas R. Insel, director of Emory’s Yerkes Primate Research Center, will head the center.

Year of Reconciliation

President William M. Chace has declared the academic year 2000–2001 to be the “Year of Reconciliation” at Emory. “Reconciliation is a theme that can draw us together in our work and thought,” Chace said. “I invite you to think about how your work and imagination may be understood to bring greater richness to the concept of reconciliation.” The centerpiece of the year will be a symposium, co-chaired by Chancellor Billy Frye, Professor of Sociology Robert S. Agnew, Assistant Professor of New Testament Steven J. Kraftchick, and Professor of Medicine John H. Stone.

Rollins offers Web-based MPH

Public health professionals who do not want to put their careers on hold to earn a graduate degree can now pursue an education via the new web-based, seven-semester Career MPH program offered by the Rollins School of Public Health. The school’s “eLearn” system—which incorporates electronic discussion boards, e-mail, chat sessions, and audio technology—delivers course content and lectures via the Internet and serves as an online classroom. Two weekends each semester, CMPH students attend on-campus seminars to meet and network with faculty and fellow classmates. Forty students are currently enrolled in the program.

Does abuse breed depression?

Traumatic childhood experiences may be a major indicator of clinical depression among adults, according to Charles B. Nemeroff, Reunette W. Harris Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, whose team of neuroscientists has received a five-year, $13 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to establish the Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Health Disorders. “In the U.S. alone in 1995, more than three million children were reportedly abused or neglected,” Nemeroff writes. “[T]he findings imply that abuse or neglect may produce permanent changes in the developing brain—and therefore increase the victims’ lifelong vulnerability to depression.”

An ounce of prevention

Emory’s immunologists and virologists now have labs of their own with the recent dedication of the seventy-five-thousand-square-foot Vaccine Research Center adjoining the Yerkes Regional Primate Center. “The idea of the vaccine center is to create new technologies that will make our most challenging problems—such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, and respiratory viruses—of the past,” says Rafi Ahmed, professor of microbiology and immunology and the center’s director. The center emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach among the hundred-plus investigators within the new building and researchers throughout Emory’s Health Sciences Center, the nearby U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Carter Center, and other local academic institutions.





EM précis
From Russia with love

ALEXANDRE KOSSENKOV has made a splash the size of a tidal wave in the Eagle diving program. Kossenkov, Emory’s new diving coach, is a 1976 Olympic bronze medalist in springboard diving and eleven-time national champion in the former Soviet Union. “Alexandre is truly one of the world’s diving greats,” says Emory’s head swim coach Jon Howell. “He’s a great find for us.” Despite the language barrier— Kossenkov uses elaborate hand signals and gestures to communicate with his athletes—the diving team is thrilled to have a coach of Kossenkov’s caliber.

“Alexandre is truly
one of the world's
diving greats

“Alex is extremely patient with all of us,” says Aaron Klink ’01C. “He’s hands down the best coach I’ve ever had.” Kossenkov has been in or around the diving well since the age of seven, when the aspiring Soviet diver endured seven-hour practices six days a week. As head coach of the Belorussian diving team, Kossenkov came to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic Games. He fell in love with the city and moved to Kennesaw shortly thereafter. Kossenkov also directs the Dive Atlanta youth program.

The Essence of X
Emory acquires slain civil rights leaders correspondence

MALCOLM LITTLE was like many eighth graders during the late 1930s, completing assignments in “Business Training,” adding his two cents to “opinion books” circulated among his classmates, dreaming of a career as an attorney.

The difference, of course, is that Little grew up to become Malcolm X, the controversial civil rights leader and Muslim activist. In September, Emory acquired a cache of correspondence and personal effects from X’s teen years and early adulthood—including letters from a prison term during which Little converted to Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X, believed to be the only personal correspondence of X available to scholars. The remainder of his letters are in FBI files.

“This material shows what an immensely talented individual he was, even when he was twenty years old,” says David J. Garrow, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Law and Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Martin Luther King Jr.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925 to a Baptist minister and his wife, X grew up in Lansing, Michigan. After his father’s violent death and his mother’s institutionalization, he moved to Boston to live with his sister Ella. He was a

“This collection makes crystal
clear that Malcolm was someone
of very impressive intellect, though nonetheless cleared troubled, long before he became a Muslim.”

petty criminal as a teenager and was sent to prison in 1946. There he became a disciple of Elijah Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam. Released in 1952, X devoted his life to the Black Muslim movement. In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he broke with the Nation of Islam. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965.

X’s papers and personal effects are on long-term loan to the Special Collections Department in the Robert W. Woodruff Library. They are the property of James Allen, an Atlanta antiques dealer and Malcolm X enthusiast, and his friend, John Littlefield, who purchased them from a Boston collector.

Allen told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he considers X to be as important a figure in the civil rights struggle as Martin Luther King Jr. The letters, Allen said, “personalize him and the times in which he lived, enumerate the demons he fought and overcame, and rekindle the devotion and love he inspired in life.”

–Sharla A. Paul

Little, in search of himself, 1948



A recent convert, March 1950


Hello Sis,

. . .This being Easter, I thought it would be nice of me if I tried to write you a charming letter. However, I fear I’ve lost my touch. Charming and flattering people used to be easy for me to do but now I’m finding it extremely difficult. Maybe I’m growing old and more serious. Better still, maybe I am just to [sic] evil. I do get my kicks by writing you irritating letters. I must have inherited some sadistic traits from someone along the line somewhere. Whom? . . .

Maybe I’m just beginning to find myself in this crazy world. . . .

Now that the baseball season has begun I have much to occupy my mind because I follow Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers so closely that, at times, I forget I’m in prison. . . .

I remain

Your Brother


—Excerpted from a letter to Ella Collins

My Most Dearly Beloved Brother Raymond,

May the All-Wise Allah be with you as I write, and may He bestow upon you Eternal Life. . . .

. . . The most beautiful thing in the world, and is a beauty that forever attracts, is that which is read in the depths of ones [sic] eyes—therein lies the essence of ones [sic] Soul—the Book of Allah—for it is this deep unfathomable work of Nature that forever leaves the onlooker mute with silent admiration. . . .

. . . So you went to college? I must seem quite dumb to you then (in a way). I only finished eighth grade, but I’ve always been all eyes and ears (and even all nose) on the side. One can pick up some bits of knowledge here and there that way. . . .


Your Brother in Truth,

Malcolm X.

—Excerpted from a letter to “Raymond,” a friend and fellow Muslim



© 2000 Emory University