May 30, 2000
Volume 52, No. 34
Ceremonies honor grads
From staff reports
Though the University's main Commencement was the main event on May 15, each individual school held its own ceremony to honor graduates.
Emory College held its diploma ceremony on the Quad about a half-hour after the main Commencement concluded. Dean Steve Sanderson apologized for not being able to stay for the entire event since he was recovering from back surgery, but he praised the college's Class of 2000 as "the heart of the University."
"You are the reason we're all here," Sanderson said. "You make it all work."
Graduate Khurram Mirza Baig delivered the student address, proudly announcing that his remarks would be completely improvised-and brief. "I am one of the few things standing between you and your degrees, and if that's not a pressure situation, I don't know what is," Baig said.
Baig stressed the wide range of choices facing graduates and the "extremely powerful tool" that is the education they have all received during their time at Emory. "Despite all our different life journeys to this point, we're all linked by the fact that we got here," he said. "This is an amazing day."
At the School of Medicine's ceremony in Glenn Auditorium, retired Professor Willis Hurst spoke not about medicine but what he called "doctoring."
"Medical school graduates should work for a year in a hospital, and three to six years getting their act together after medical school, learning what it means to be the doctor of a patient, and learning a little about themselves," said Hurst, who retired in 1986 after 30 years on the faculty.
Along with diplomas, graduates of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing were handed a challenge by speaker Linda Aiken.
"Graduates, restoring the public's confidence in health care must be at the top of your agenda for the 21st century," she said. "We're all dependent on you to make our health care system better."
Aiken, who received an honorary doctor of science degree from Emory this year, has been a visiting professor in the nursing school in recent years. 2000 marked the 93rd graduating class for the school and the first for new Dean Marla Salmon.
At a packed diploma ceremony in Glenn, Charles Foster, interim dean of Candler School of Theology, reminded graduates that they were are in a time of great need and possibility in ministry, but also a time of great change--"which can be both good and bad news for those the entering ministry."
Taking as his text a portion of the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus sends out his disciples, Foster urged the graduates to live out Jesus' command "to live the juxtaposition between innocence and wisdom." He also reminded them not to avoid conflict. "If we embrace conflict in context of the work of the Holy Spirit, we can see the gospel of Jesus Christ being worked out in unlikely places."
School of Law graduates processed onto the Gambrell Hall lawn for their diploma ceremony, where Robert Preston Brown, '89L, president of the Emory Law Alumni Association, urged them to take advantage of their common link to Emory, "a connection that opens up to you a wealth of knowledge and opportunities."
Dean Woody Hunter noted that the school boasted its first parent/child who were both Woodruff Scholars and ranked first in their respective classes. He introduced H. Beth Tyler '84L, who presented a diploma and the highest student award to her daughter, Corey Fleming Hirokawa.
Provost Rebecca Chopp was on hand in the Church School amphitheater to assist in the hooding ceremony for graduates of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dean Don Stein, presiding over his last Commencement as dean, lauded both the graduates and their spouses.
"You folks are perhaps the only people here happier than the graduates that this day has finally come," Stein said. He also discussed the differences between stewardship and ownership in academia, and that the teaching process is just as important as knowledge gathering. "It's not what you know, but how you share it."
Dean Tom Robertson provided brief remarks at the Goizueta Business School's ceremony. He noted that the graduates are entering the marketplace at a time of prosperity. "You are among the best and brightest in society and the world-success is very much yours," he said, urging the graduates to contribute not only to their own success, but to enrich the lives of others.
"You will reflect business as it will become," Robertson said. "You must embrace change and reinvent yourself and the businesses you create."
Outside the Rollins Research Building, family and friends watched as graduates of the Rollins School of Public Health paraded down Clifton Road toward their ceremony. Dean Jim Curran introduced founding Dean Raymond Greenberg, now president of the Medical University of South Carolina, as the main speaker.
"It's a strange feeling to be introduced at a ceremony for this school," said Greenberg, who was dean from 199095. "I return to find the school larger and stronger than when I left. It's overwhelming to see our wildest dreams anad expectations realized."