In the predawn hours of May 13, Emory administrators were no doubt
worrying whether the first Commencement in years would be affected
by inclement weather. Advisories were posted on the University website,
and contingency plans were consulted.
But a few hours later, as some 3,323 graduates filed onto the Quadrangle
wearing their gowns and mortar boards, the sun broke through over
Wood-ruff Library and Commence-ment 2002 was just like every other
iteration has been in recent memory: bright and sunny.
Playwright and Atlanta native Alfred Uhry headlined the list of
speakers/honorary degree recipients (see story below), which included
mathematician and physicist Benoit Mandelbrot; Mamphela Ramphele,
managing director of the World Bank and former president of the
University of Cape Town in South Africa; and Vietnam veterans Hugh
Thompson and Lawrence Colburn, two of the three American soldiers
who went against orders and disrupted a U.S. massacre of Vietnamese
civilians at My Lai on March 16, 1968.
After President Bill Chace officially conferred degrees on the
graduates from each University school, Association of Emory Alumni
President Russell Ford, 81 MBA, welcomed the newest class
of alumni into the fold.
Following Susan Henry-Crowes benediction, the graduatesalong
with their families and friendsscattered to all parts of campus
for individual school ceremonies. A brief recap of each ceremony
In her address, Class of 2002 orator Sarah Byrd investigated the
meaning of the education she and the rest of her classmates received
over the previous four years. Quoting Maya Angelou on the meaning
of life, Byrd offered that the answer [to educations
meaning] changes week to week. For herself, the All-America
cross-country runner said her most meaningful moments were also
her toughest ones. Why? we ask [when confronted
with challenges], Byrd said. Why not? we
Also in the Emory College ceremony, anthropologys George
Armelagos received the George P. Cuttino Award for Excellence in
story), and retiring Senior Associate Dean Irwin
Hyatthimself the winner of the 2002 Thomas Jefferson Awardhelped
Center for Teaching and Curriculum Director Robert McCauley present
teaching excellence awards to six faculty members: Cathryn Johnson
(sociology), Steven LHernault (biology), Sally Raddell (dance),
Joel Bowman (chemistry), Matthew Payne (history) and Judy Raggi
In a field that depends heavily on numbers, the Goizueta Business
School produced some of its own impressive figures with this years
GBS graduated 575 students in its school ceremony in the Woodruff
P.E. Center immediately following the campuswide Commencement on
the Quadrangle. Out of the graduates, 262 earned their BBAs, 206
graduated from the full-time MBA program, 64 graduated from the
Executive MBA program and 43 graduated from the Evening MBA program,
according to Harriet Ruskin, associate director of admissions.
Along with GBS Dean Thomas Robertson, Olga Goizueta, widow of the
schools namesake, Roberto Goizueta, helped present the newly
minted graduates with their diplomas.
Gary Wihl, acting dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,
praised the families and friends of the class of 2002 for standing
behind and supporting the graduates. Wihl notedas did President
Bill Chace at the main Commencement ceremonythat the degrees
handed out by the graduate school were the most difficult to obtain
The ability to produce original research represents a remarkable
achievement, Wihl said. It is a solitary, long and difficult
Bagpipers and a jazz band gave the graduate school ceremony, which
was tucked into the green outside Glenn Church School, an eclectic
Law students and their families gathered on the south lawn in front
of Gambrell Hall for their diploma ceremony, which was combined
this year with the hooding ceremony. Interim Dean Peter Hay welcomed
graduates and their families and introduced Amy Levin Weil, a 1981
graduate and president of the Emory Law Alumni Association, who
encouraged the class to stay in touch with Emory.
Ethan Michael Rosenzweig, a Woodruff Scholar and chair of the 3L
gift committee for the class of 2002, said class members wanted
to help change the shape of the law school, and they
did so. Rosenzweig presented the law school with a gift of $21,863
for a public interest loan forgiveness program.
Rosenzweig, who also gave the class speech, reminded graduates
that we have the education and responsibility to see that
everyone has the chance to pursue their dreams.
Go forth with the enthusiasm with which you began medical
school four years ago, Dean Thomas Lawley told the 111 members
of the School of Medicines 2002 graduating class.
Lawley was just one of several speakers who encouraged the medical
school graduates. They also heard from Exec-utive Vice President
of Health Affairs Michael Johns; Daniel Altman, the class speaker,
and Judith Swain, chair of the department of medicine at Stanford
University, who delivered the valedictory address, Taking
the Path Less Traveled.
With razor-sharp timing and a sly storytelling manner, Altman was
amusing yet sincere. His cut left hand wrapped with a large bandage,
Altman used his injury to illustrate the importance of understanding
that patients are not anonymous subjects. Dont forget
you are treating people. Every patient is a me,
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing treated its graduates
like Olympiansand fittingly so, since its Commencement speaker
was Lea Ann Parsley, 2002 Olympic silver medalist.
Parsley, who is known for her outstanding performance in the first-ever
Olympic womens skeleton event, told the graduates she is more
than an athleteshe is a seasoned volunteer firefighter in
Ohio and most importantly, she is a nurse.
She thanked the school for inviting her to speak about her experiences,
but admitted that she almost declined the invitation because she
is terrified of public speaking. But, its hard to say
no to a bunch of nurses, she said, drawing thunderous
applause from the graduates. The ceremony took place in the Nursing
Dean James Curran of the Rollins School of Public Health announced
that the school was awarding 299 graduate degrees to students from
46 states and 31 countries around the world.
Then, as has become his Commencement day custom, Curran invited
the mothers and grandmothers in the crowd to take a pot of flowers
with them as they left.
Speaker Audrey Forbes Manley, president of Spelman College and
former acting and deputy surgeon general of the United States, told
the newest class of public health professionals that they are entering
a world where you are always on call. In her remarks,
Manley recounted growing up poor in rural Mississippi and the life
journey that took her to Cook County Hospital in Chicago and later
to the surgeon generals office.
Student speaker Kari Greene reassured her classmates: Clearly
passion and fatalism battle for space in our hearts as we leave
Rollins, she said. [But] if you dont work on important
problems, its not likely you will do important work.
With Bach playing before the ceremony, and Beethoven during itas
well as a Latvian hymn gloriously sung by the Candler Choraliersthe
Candler School of Theologys diploma ceremony was certainly
Dean Russell Richey gave a brief address before the diplomas were
Youve come this far by faith, he said. The line
is from a gospel song most often sung in African American churches.
The reference by Richey, who is white, was met with laughter and
applause from the both the
graduates and their families.