Volume 76
Number 4

The Uncommon Common Man

Indecision 2000

Fire and Water

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates













Is there a Darwinian explanation for why young women frequently prefer to couple with older men? Chris Beck, a lecturer in biology, is using fish and computers to try to find out. A male who makes it to ripe maturity is clearly likely to have promising genes, Beck says. But conventional mate-choice models don’t allow for the possibility that females may have fickle tastes. Using mollies, a garden- variety aquarium fish, and computer programs that simulate thousands of years of gene evolution, Beck will try to determine whether the female mollies’ preference in the age of their mates can shift over their lifetimes–and whether they may change altogether over the next few thousand years.–P.P.P.























































AT LONG LAST, Emory’s much-anticipated performing arts center is taking shape. The concrete foundation is under way–thanks to the financial base provided by an $8 million gift from Donna and Marvin Schwartz–and the dream shared by the University’s arts supporters for decades is scheduled to be fully realized in the fall of 2002.

Located near the corner of Clifton and North Decatur roads, the Schwartz Center anchors the southern end of the Clifton Corridor, home to many of the University’s high-tech medical and research facilities. In a climate where the relevance of science has never been a matter of debate, the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts will serve as a symbol of “the place and importance of the arts on a university campus, in a liberal arts education, in a community, and in academic life,” says Rosemary M. Magee, senior associate dean of Emory College, who has led the planning and organized the fund-raising effort for the center.

With a design derived from the finest European concert halls, performance is pivotal to the center’s mission. Yet the Schwartz Center will be, first and foremost, a place of learning. Students may find themselves contemplating creative writing exercises in one of its general use classrooms, while musicians and dancers practice scales and steps not far away. “This center, the way we have designed and created it, is based first on the needs of our academic programs, and the development of artistic disciplines in the educational arena,” Magee says.

The $35 million Schwartz Center was designed by Boston’s Michael Dennis in the character of Emory’s historic quadrangle buildings, the work of architect Henry Hornbostel. As the planner of several buildings on the Carnegie Mellon University campus, where many of the earlier structures were also designed by Hornbostel, Dennis brings experience to the drafting table that ensures architectural continuity for Emory’s campus.

Incorporating superior acoustics throughout, the new center will include an 825-seat concert hall with a choral balcony and orchestra pit, as well as a smaller instrumental rehearsal hall, practice and ensemble rooms, a 135-seat lab theatre and a dance studio of similar size. Glenn Memorial Auditorium will still be the venue for certain public events, such as the traditional holiday Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and organ concerts.

The Schwartz Center’s concert hall platform will be large enough to accommodate a full symphony orchestra and will showcase world-class performances in coming years, Magee says. But the center’s lifeblood will be Emory students, who will fill its spaces with music and movement each day as they rehearse their crafts.

“The arts have the unique ability to both invoke and inspire creativity, and oftentimes that ends up being collaborative creativity among more than one performer, and more than one discipline,” observes Magee. “It can also be a collaborative experience with the audience. We have tried to relate the center’s public areas and academic areas, and not set up artificial boundaries between students, faculty, audience, and community, but to reflect all those constituents.”

The Schwartz Center will be the centerpiece among several new and redesigned buildings dedicated to the arts, part of Emory’s overall campus plan. Renovations have already occurred in the Burlington Road Building and Performing Arts Studio, Mary Gray Munroe Theater in the Dobbs University Center, and the Rich Building, all of which will continue to be used in support of Emory’s arts programs. Since 1985, enrollment in arts courses has more than doubled, and attendance at arts events now exceeds thirty thousand annually. A recent Emory College curriculum change now requires an arts component.

“We recognize that the arts are among the greatest and longest-lasting products of human civilization,” says Emory College Dean Steven E. Sanderson. “Emory is creating a place where the encouragement and stewardship, the teaching and learning of the arts can thrive.”

Donna Keesler Schwartz graduated from Emory College in 1962, and her daughter, Elizabeth Jessie Schwartz, is a 1997 graduate of the College.

“Many decisions in my life I’ve given a great deal of thought to,” Donna Schwartz told the exuberant Emory crowd gathered at the October ground-breaking ceremony for the center. “Before making decisions, I tend to think things over very carefully. This was one decision that was effortless.”–P.P.P.

next page >>>



© 2001 Emory University