The countdown 'commences';

bon voyage 1997 graduates

The "sound of music" will echo throughout Emory during commencement activities. Beginning with University Organist Timothy Albrecht's Cannon Chapel recital at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, the music continues at 6 p.m. on Sunday with a gala Commencement Concert by the Emory Chamber Music Society in White Hall and ends with the bagpipe and brass fanfare that traditionally punctuates commencement. "All events are free and open to the public," said Associate University Secretary Mary Anne Lindskog, "and graduates and their guests are particularly welcome."

CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour will speak at Monday's ceremony and will receive an honorary degree, along with Joseph Rogers Hollingsworth '54C-'55G, professor of history and sociology at the University of Wisconsin and L. Bevel Jones III '46C-'49T, retired bishop of the United Methodist Church now teaching church leadership at the Candler School. Cheryl Fisher Custer '81Ox-'83EC, district attorney of the Rockdale County Judicial Circuit, will give Oxford College's commencement address May 10.

This year marks the introduction of a new chief marshal, J. Larry Taulbee, associate professor of political science. He will be leading the University faculty, followed by the approximately 3,000 students expected to graduate this spring, 35 of whom are slated to receive dual degrees according to preliminary statistics. Female graduates outnumber males 56 to 44 percent, and students from 81 foreign countries and 46 states anticipate marching down the aisle. There are 46 degree candidates over the age of 50, the oldest undergraduate being 55, the youngest 19. Thirty percent of Emory College graduates have a cumulative grade average of 3.5 or more; the Emory College class of 1997 has an average GPA of 3.2.

By the time the graduates gather on the quadrangle, Emory staff will have worked a total of some 2,600 hours preparing for the event-approximately 300 hours grooming the quad, 600 hours setting up bleachers and chairs and countless hours performing the many other tasks necessary to the smooth running of the day.

After the central ceremony, individual diploma ceremonies will be held at various locations, starting at 10:30 a.m. A full schedule of commencement activities can be found on the web at <http:\\>.

-Stacey Jones