November 30, 1998
Volume 51, No. 13
Presidents make history at first State of University address
Except for the lack of partisan cheering and booing-and the presence of an ambulatory skeleton sitting not 10 feet from the podium-it was almost like being on the floor of the U.S. Congress Nov. 18, when presidents Bill Chace and Chuck Divine, accompanied by the "esteemed" William M. Dooley, took the floor of the business school auditorium for Emory's first-ever State of the University Address.
But actually there were a few cheers from the audience on hand and no doubt a few more from those who watched the event live on EmoryVision or via the webcast. The Student Government Association, which organized what it hopes will become an annual Emory tradition, certainly went all out for the affair: ushers welcomed guests into the auditorium, which was abuzz with television lights, an EmoryVision reporter doing live interviews off to one side, and even glass teleprompters flanking the lectern, which was decorated with a handsome Emory seal.
In fact, traditions both new and old were on the minds of all who spoke at the event. "In inaugurating what I hope will become a tradition on this campus, I have high hopes that this kind of evening will prove valuable by both the substance of what is said and by virtue of being said at all," Chace said. "In a university still tradition-poor but activity-rich, we at Emory can always benefit from ceremonies like this one."
Dooley began the event by having a member of his black-clad entourage read a statement, which included his "wish list" for the University. "I wish for all members of the Emory community to put the greater good of the community above their own personal ambition," wrote the Spirit of Emory. "The day each and every one of you achieves this is when this University will be truly outstanding."
SGA President Divine then followed with his own vision of the mission of SGA, which he said is "turning a corner." "We're becoming more of a service organization," he said, citing such recent achievements as the placement of recycling containers, communication kiosks and improved recreational facilities as examples of SGA's efforts to improve student services.
Two other services Divine announced for the future are a holiday shuttle service for Emory students traveling to and from Hartsfield Airport during the holidays, and the "Proposition 75" legal service, which will provide legal advice to students free of charge. A $0.75 increase of the student activity fee will pay for the free legal aid, he said.
In his address Chace touched on a wide array of topics, beginning with an examination of the mission of both the University and its students. "The philosophy that guides Emory suggests you are here for two reasons," Chace said to students. "First, to strengthen your mind so that it will be more capable of meeting the world you will encounter once you leave, and you are here to strengthen your personal being so that you will more capably meet the people who will make up the rest of your life in society.
"Emory is no waystation on the road to something else; it is a destination all by itself. If there is any one phrase on this campus I have come to detest, it is 'pre-professional.' You are not here to get ready to do something else-the thing you are doing now is why you are here. Lawyering, teaching, doctoring, being a leader of business, [all those] can wait."
Chace then ran through a litany of topics from the recent acts of intolerance on campus, to the cost of an Emory education and the state of financial aid, to the construction of new buildings and the implementation of the Campus Master Plan.
Following his remarks, both Chace and Divine took questions from the live audience and remotely via LearnLink. The State of the University Address, along with numerous interviews with both presidents and other students and administrators, is available on RealPlayer at <http://www. emory.edu/ITD/REALAUDIO/ LIVE/state.ram>.