January 29, 2001
'birthday' with banquet
By Michael Terrazas firstname.lastname@example.org
For an event dedicated to Emory history, the opening speaker for this years Charter Day banquet was ghoulishly appropriate.
Im a lover of traditionindeed, I embody tradition,
said a statement from Lord William M. Dooley, read by someone the Spirit
of Emory picked out of the crowd. Its a fine thing to have
a charter for oneself, a statement of purpose to which one can refer.
Dooley did have some disappointing news for the gathered crowd of several
hundred in Cox Hall, Jan. 24. After recalling with fondness the initial
offering he said was held at last years Charter Day, the uncharacteristically
spritely spirit lamented that there would, on the advice of University
general counsel, be no Second Annual Limbo Show-down between President
Bill Chace and Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bill
Still, limbo contest or no, the event was still an unqualified success,
as Emory faculty, staff, students, administrators and alumni mixed and
mingled among blue and gold balloons and vintage black-and-white photos
of the University in earlier days.
The event celebrates Emorys transformation from a small rural college
to a full-fledged university located in a burgeoning Southern metropolis.
On Jan. 25, 1915, DeKalb County granted a charter to Emory for the establishment
of the Druid Hills campus. Nine years later the Alumni Association christened
Charter Day, which celebrated the occasion annually for 41 years before
being mysteriously suspended after 1965.
Two years ago, Chace and the D.V.S. Senior Honor Society reinstated the
tradition, and this years banquet marked the third installment of
a reborn Charter Day.
I think its a good ideainvolving students, having a
good time, telling old stories. From my experience, students like to hear
a good tale told, said Paul McLarty 63C, 67L, in attendance
with his wife, Ruth. If you combine something like this with a social
event, so students have an opportunity to sit beside someone who will
tell their own story, theyll get a better appreciation for history.
Delivering brief speeches at the banquet were Emory College senior Aysha
Hidayatul-lah and alumna Teresa Rivero 85Ox, 87B, 93MPH.
Hidayatullah spoke of the delicate balance between paying
homage to history and yearning for movement and reform.
Perhaps the one constant in Emorys history is an investment
in change, she said. Hidayatullah said it is forgiveable if the
University occasionally falls short of its dreamswhen discussions
of diversity mute thoughts for fear of offending someone, or when professors
are pressured to publish research at the expense of their teaching, she
saidas long as Emory engages in self-reflection.
Self-reflection ultimately enables us to dream bigger, she
said. Maintaining a tradition of self-reflection allows Emory to
move into the future renewed, changed and better for it.
Rivero harkened back to the people whose work during the Universitys
earliest days paid off for generations to come. I am struck by the
personal investment of those earlier people, she said, investing
themselves in something they would never see come to fruition. It can
truly be said we stand on the shoulders of giants.
After two songs by the student a cappell a group No Strings Attached, Chace closed the evening with the Charter Day tradition of lighting the single candle atop the Universitys four-tiered birthday cake.
In another symbolic gesture, former Oxford Dean Bond Fleming passed the flame to current Dean Dana Greene, who then lit Chaces candle. The entire crowd then lit their own candles, and by candlelight the room sang Happy Birthday and the Emory alma mater.