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Helping alumni get involved

A Message from the Executive Director of the Association of Emory Alumni

By Bob Carpenter

Ellen Agnor Bailey '63C-'87EMBA is the current president of the Association of Emory Alumni, and we are very lucky to have her. Ellen has more ties to Emory than there are parking tickets issued on a particularly busy day on campus. (And believe me, I know that many of you can attest to their ubiquity.) In addition to her degrees and her familial connections with the law school and the medical school, Ellen has served as president of the Goizueta Business School Alumni Association, on the Oxford College Board of Counselors, and as chair of the Emory Challenge Fund. In her spare time away from Emory, she is the chief operating officer of Cardiology of Georgia, P.C.

While I was at a recent breakfast meeting with Ellen, she voiced a concern that I have heard her raise before. "I can't believe how many times alums, particularly young alums, will say to me, `I'd like to get involved with Emory, but I don't know how,' " she said. "It pains me that we don't have more opportunities these good people could plug into."

I share her pain, as they say in some political circles. But we are doing something about it. Here are three areas in which we are stepping up our efforts to involve our alumni in meaningful ways in the life of the University.

The Board of Governors--Under the leadership of our immediate past president, Shain Schley '62C-'66M, our board conducted a self-study project over the past several months to examine the positioning and effectiveness of the group. Many recommendations were brought to the full board for consideration, two of the most significant being a call to enlarge the board by ten members and a strong recommendation to strengthen the Alumni Admission Network and the Alumni Career Network.

The addition of ten members to the Board of Governors obviously will make an immediate impact on our alumni involvement at a high level. The fact that eight of those ten new members would be at-large members is also significant. The board intends to use the at-large appointments to ensure a varied, more vital board, one that reflects the diversity of our alumni.

As for the Alumni Admission and Career networks, you probably have not heard much about them, but I promise that will change. We want to provide a positive, seamless experience for our alumni from the time they first make contact with an admission office representative until they attend their 60th reunion and beyond. We see these two, admissions and career help, as boom areas for meaningful alumni involvement, and our board expects greater resources to be brought to bear.

Regional Associations--In the past two years, we've made significant progress in raising the activity level in some of our major alumni population centers around the country, thanks to the good work of the Regional Programs office. Again on the recommendation of the self-study committee, we will change the name of these groups to reflect our change in focus. So, instead of the Emory Club of Miami, it will be the Association of Emory Alumni of Miami. In our larger regional associations--including the largest, Atlanta--we plan to put in place the Admission and Career networks in the coming year. These networks should be a great place for alumni to contribute with added value.

The Alumni Assembly--Probably our most popular alumni program of the past ten years, the Assembly continues to bring a real liveliness into the relationship between Emory and its alumni. The twice-a-year programs bring back more than two hundred delegates who join in a discussion of topics of interest or concern to the present campus. It's a great way to reconnect. Alumni of all ages are eligible and indeed attend. We would like it to be the training ground for a new generation of Emory alumni leaders. If you are interested in becoming a delegate, please let me know. My phone number is 404-727-6400, and my e-mail address is

Back to campus

WWII a focus at Alumni Weekend

More than twelve hundred alumni participated in this year's Alumni Reunion Weekend activities. In addition to the usual class reunions, award ceremonies, and the Sports Hall of Fame banquet, a special slate of programs was organized to honor those members of the Emory community who played a role in World War II--whether on the front lines or the home front.

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the Association of Emory Alumni organized a series of panels for more than one hundred alumni involved in the war who returned to campus. Topics included "Discussions of the History and Experience of the Three Theaters of War," "Emory and the War: How Did It Change During and After World War II?" and "World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front." Alumni involved in the war also had the opportunity to sit down with current students, who took oral histories of their experiences to be collected and saved by the Woodruff Library's Special Collections Department.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement William H. Fox '79Ph.D. addressed the opening session of the World War II activities. "You are a very distinguished group in our eyes," he said, "and here during the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war we are pleased you have come back to share your stories, to hear what others have to say about their experience of the war years, and to allow the University to pay tribute to your extraordinary service."

Emory Sports Hall of Fame inducts eleven new members

Honoring Our Own

This year's Emory Medal honorees were Felker W. Ward Jr. '71L and Em Olivia Bevis '55N. After retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1974 at age forty, Ward became a partner and, later, managing partner of the Atlanta law firm of Kutak, Rock, and Campbell. He is also a principal in the investment banking firm of Ward Bradford and Company, L.P. Ward has devoted many hours to leadership positions in civic organizations such as the Atlanta Business League, the Gate City Bar Association, and the Georgia Human Relations Commission. Long active in Emory alumni affairs, he has worked with the Caucus of Emory's Black Alumni and served on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1991 as an alumni-elected trustee.

Bevis began her career as a staff nurse at Emory University Hospital before becoming a nationally recognized nursing educator. She has held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing in Chapel Hill, San Jose State University, the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing, and Georgia Southern University. While at the Medical College of Georgia, she established a satellite graduate nursing program in Savannah that enriched health care in an historically underserved area. The program she founded at Georgia Southern emphasizes preparing nurses for practice in rural areas. Bevis is the author or coauthor of six books, including Toward a Caring Curriculum: A New Pedagogy for Nursing, which was named the 1990 Book of the Year by The American Journal of Nursing.

Recalling the call to arms

"The chaplains got together and said, Well, the best thing we can think of would be to have a communion service in the barracks chapel. And the place was just about filled up, and we had communion with these boys who had worked all day long packing up for the Battle of the Bulge. And you know to this day, as a pastor, whenever I place a communion wafer in the outstretched hands of a parishioner, do you know what I think about? I think about the outstretched, dirty hands of a GI who had spent all Christmas Day getting ready for the Battle of the Bulge."

--James W. May '33C, who served as an Army chaplain during World War II, speaking at the panel, "The Experience of Those in World War II" (Photo by Kay Hinton)

"I was a civilian [for most of the war]. I later went into the Army after I graduated from high school. Unless you lived during the period, you cannot really know and have a feeling of what the period was like. And what I mean by that is the intensity of everything. Being a fourteen-year-old, I had the feeling that the war would never end, because it was constantly with us. Every part of our lives was influenced by the war. [The memory that stands out the most for me] is picking up the paper every day, and they would list the names of the people from Atlanta who were killed in action. That was a daily occurrence."

--Hugh Cates '51C
Interviewed by Siobhan Moriarty '99C
(Photo by Kay Hinton)

"They were training people just like a factory, really. Just cranking out individuals for a certain skill--a pilot or a co-pilot or a navigator or a bombardier or a gunner or a radio man. Everybody was doing it; it was just a common thing. You didn't feel [scared]. In fact, you were kind of excited. You had these wartime movies you'd seen, and that would kind of motivate you. But when you got over there, it's a little different story. It was dangerous, all that metal. You were surrounded by metal and flak."

--Olen Duncan '49C, who served as a radio operator/ mechanic gunner on a B-24 bomber in Southern Italy. While stationed there, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Theatre Operations Ribbon with six Battle Stars. Interviewed by Amanda Billings '96C
Photo by Ann Borden

A special Emory Medal was presented to the "Generation of World War II" during the Alumni Weekend awards luncheon. According to the award's citation, "The long, horrible years of war brought out qualities that allowed us to survive and ultimately overcome--courage, responsibility, compassion, and a sense of common purpose--qualities that ennobled us all without ennobling war itself. And as peace was made, America's allies and former enemies looked to you for help in rebuilding a shattered world. By your generation's efforts, this century was made indelibly American." Pictured at the luncheon are (from left) World War II veterans Henry Hatcher '38C-'49L, who served in the Army Air Corps, and Bill Cumbaa '43C, who was in the Marines. (Photo by Kay Hinton.)

Dental School Class of 1945

Emory College Class of 1935


Emory on the air

A vice-presidential visit was the occasion for Emory's first television exposure

When President Bill Clinton visited Emory recently for an economic summit, the campus was transformed into an alphabet city as television crews from ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC, as well as all the local affiliates, set up shop to cover the event. Forty-six years earlier, in the summer of 1949, another visit to the University by a member of the government's executive branch was the occasion for the first-ever event televised from Emory.

Alben Barkley, a former United States representative and senator from Kentucky who served as Harry Truman's vice president from 1949-53, delivered the Commencement address at the University on June 4, 1949. It was his first trip back to the University since assuming the vice presidency. Barkley had studied at Marvin College, a small Methodist school in Mayfield, Kentucky, for five years, paying for his education by working as a janitor, before enrolling at Emory in 1897. He went on to earn his Emory degree in 1900. At the 1949 Commencement, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree and was also awarded a Phi Beta Kappa key.

According to the September 1949 issue of the Emory Alumnus, the appearance of Vice President Barkley, whom the magazine dubbed "the lovable Mr. B.," "inspired Atlanta's pioneer television station, WSB-TV, to arrange to telecast [his] address and other portions of the Saturday graduation program--the first time any event has been televised from the Emory campus. . . . Approximately an hour and a quarter of Saturday's program, including Alumnus Barkley's entire address, was telecast over WSB-TV."

The telecast was "narrated" by WSB's sports director and special events announcer, Thad Horton, who had graduated from Emory College in 1944. A "dish" was placed in the steeple of Glenn Memorial Church to broadcast the signal, while a television camera was set up in one of the church's back windows to capture the ceremony taking place in the amphitheater between Glenn Memorial and the Church School Building. According to the article in the Alumnus, "The Saturday [Commencement] audience overflowed not only around the edges of the Glenn Memorial amphitheater but into adjacent Glenn Memorial auditorium, where more than 200 witnessed the first half of the proceedings on a television screen set up on the stage."

WSB-TV's airing of the vice president's Commencement address came less than a year after the station first began broadcasting in September 1948. According to David Cook, chair of the Department of Film Studies at Emory, that time frame coincides with the proliferation of television sets in post-World War II American households. "Perfected in America in the mid-thirties, television was quickly bought up by the major radio networks, NBC and CBS, which began telecasting on a commercial basis (about fifteen hours per week) in July 1941," Cook writes in his book, A History of Narrative Film. "Hollywood didn't pay much attention to its potential new rival then because wartime restrictions soon put a halt to the manufacture of television transmission equipment and receivers, and the networks were forced to sharply curtail their telecasts. When the war ended, however, regular daily telecasting was resumed, and the production of transmitters and receivers burgeoned on a large scale. By 1949 there were one million TV sets in use in the United States, and the television broadcasting industry had begun in earnest."

Television was not the only technological advancement to make its Emory debut at the 1949 Commencement. According to the Emory Alumnus, "Dozens of the alumni and their relatives were guinea pigs for an interesting experiment: Rich's, Inc., large Atlanta department store, had loaned the Alumni Office for the occasion one of the new Polaroid cameras, which develop their own pictures and have them ready for distribution within about a minute. The visitors marveled as Donald H. Waddington, Jr. '49, student photographer who later on in the day was to receive his A.B. degree, snapped them and then handed them prints almost instantaneously."--J.D.T.

The Concerts Division of Emory University is seeking information about programming and artists who appeared on the Flora Glenn Candler Concert Series prior to 1970. Programs, brochures, and other materials are needed to create a comprehensive archive of one of the South's oldest endowed concert series. Please call 404-727-6690 or write Concerts Division, Emory University, 1399 Oxford Road N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30322 if you have information to share.

Oxford Alumni Directory

Have you ever tried to get in touch with an Oxford College classmate only to find that the last address you have in your telephone directory is eight years old? Your troubles are over. Soon a directory of Oxford alumni will be available to help you locate all your old friends.

The new Oxford College of Emory University alumni directory, scheduled for release in August/September 1996, will be the most complete and up-to-date reference of the more than 6,500 Oxford College of Emory University alumni. This comprehensive volume will include name, address, phone number, academic data, and business information, if applicable.

The alumni office has contracted with the Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company Inc. to produce our directory. Harris will soon begin researching and compiling the information to be printed in the directory by mailing a questionnaire to each alumnus. (If you prefer not to be listed in the directory, please contact the Alumni Office in writing as soon as possible.)

The new Oxford College of Emory University alumni directory will make finding an alumnus as easy as opening a book. Look for more details in future issues.

JAMES W. TURPIN '49C-'51T-'55M '89C

Medicine and mercy

During a 1961 visit to Hong Kong, James W. Turpin '49C-'51T-'55M saw something that changed his life: 165,000 people living in typhoon shelters in the island's coastal waters. "Young people, young professionals and students, were risking their lives, swimming across the water that separates mainland China from Hong Kong, often on the rubber linings of basketballs, to get out of Communist China," Turpin says. Those refugees, plus thousands of others without homes on the crowded island, literally lived on the water. "They had no medical care, and some were as afraid of the land as some of us are afraid of the water," he says.

Two years later, Turpin left his burgeoning family medical practice in Coronado, California, and founded Project Concern, an international humanitarian organization. His first effort was to convert a sixty-two-foot Chinese barge into a modern floating clinic called the Yauh Oi (Brotherly Love), staffed primarily with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians who had also left mainland China. On the clinic's opening day, they saw 157 patients. It is still in operation.

In 1964, a visitor on board the Yauh Oi told Turpin about the Montagnards, South Pacific Islanders who long ago had migrated to the mountainous central highland portion of Vietnam. Poor and ostracized by the Vietnamese even before the Vietnam War, the Montagnards were devastated by the turmoil in that country. "We had malnourished, iron-deficient children in Hong Kong," Turpin says, "but we didn't have starvation. These people were starving." He opened a hospital in an abandoned U.S. Special Forces camp and began a village medical assistants' training program, which graduated 125 village medical assistants every six months.

Although he left Project Concern in 1974, he maintains close ties. Based in San Diego, the organization has operations in nineteen countries from Asia to Central America. For his work with Project Concern, Turpin received the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1994. Previous recipients include Bob Hope, Pearl S. Buck, and Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller. "They made me feel like I was in tall cotton," Turpin says. "And they have contributed generously to the project. It was very nice."

In 1988, at age sixty-one, Turpin became the oldest graduate of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he earned his master's degree in public health in environmental science. He now practices industrial medicine in affiliation with St. Joseph's Hospital in Asheville.--A.O.A.

For more profiles of Emory alumni, read In Brief.

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