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September 23, 2002

Annual town hall meetings highlight two presidents

By Eric Rangus

This week, on consecutive days, will see a pair of presidents address the Emory community. President Bill Chace will speak to staff at his annual town hall meeting in Winship Ballroom, Sept. 25 at noon, and President Jimmy Carter will return to Emory for his 21st town hall meeting, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. in the P.E. Center.

Around 1,600 tickets have been set aside for freshmen to attend Carter’s town hall, an Emory institution since shortly after the former U.S. president left office. The students will attend with their FAME groups.

Although he left office several years before the Class of 2006 was born, Carter’s annual appearance always creates a buzz among students, the great majority of whom have never been so close to—much less in the same room—with a world leader.

For half the evening, Carter addresses audience questions, which are written on index cards and chosen at random. Last year, when the event took place two days following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Carter answered several questions about that event, as well as others that ranged from Microsoft to Tibet to the acceptance of Cuban refugees during his presidency.

The Carter town hall is ticketed; those tickets will be distributed to FAME groups. Any leftovers will be made available to the rest of the Emory community and they can be picked up at the Dobbs Center ticket desk.

Anyone attending the town hall will need a ticket and an Emory ID. Backpacks or other bags will not be allowed in the building, and is suggested that groups meet around 7:30 p.m. in order to make entry into the P.E. Center smooth.

While students will make up the majority of the audience at the Carter Town Hall, Emory employees are the target group of the Chace town hall.

“I welcome the chance to be present at every town hall meeting; I hope the attendance will be large and the questions interesting,” Chace said. “I am pleased that we can keep this valuable tradition going.”

Sponsored by Employee Council, the Chace town hall is open to all staff and faculty members. The event is a brown bag, but beverages and desserts will be provided.

“The importance of this annual event is to continue to keep communication lines open between staff and President Chace,” said Susie Lackey, research specialist at Yerkes and chair of Employee Council’s communications committee.

“It is an outstanding opportunity not only to voice concerns on issues affecting the staff population, but also to offer opinions on solutions as well,” said Cheryl Bowie, accountant in radiation oncology at Grady and Employee Council president.

Prior to the meeting, questions can be presented to President Chace via e-mail at Postings can be viewed at For those unable to attend, a link to the live webcast will be available on the Employee Council home page (