A new tradition for Emory graduating seniors kicks
off Thursday, May 8, with the first-ever Class Day celebration,
featuring actor and activist Danny Glover as Class Day speaker.
Glover will hold an open conversation with theater actor and collaborator
Felix Justice from 5–6:30 p.m. in the P.E. Center. The event
is open to graduating seniors and by written invitation; tickets
are not required.
Glover’s remarks will inaugurate Class Day at Emory, an event
students and administrators developed together to give undergraduates
their own tradition and the opportunity to hear from a well-known
speaker of their choice. The main Commencement ceremonies, to be
held Monday, May 12, will feature a keynote address by Nobel Prize-winning
Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
“This year’s Class Day, created as a way to honor and
celebrate the senior class, is the beginning of a positive tradition
for the Emory community,” said President Bill Chace.
The first Boisfeuillet Jones Medals also will be given during Class
Day ceremonies to three seniors who exemplify the attributes of
one of Emory’s most distinguished graduates. Recipients are
selected for their good citizenship, outstanding leadership, devoted
service to Emory and the community, academic performance, and potential
to effect positive change in their chosen profession and society
The first recipients of the award are:
Patel, an Emory College senior majoring in international
studies and women’s studies, who was in the first class of
Kenneth Cole Fellows for Community Building and Social Change and
served as president of the College Council during 2002–03.
Shaw, a Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
senior and outgoing president of the Emory International Student
Nursing Association, who was one of the first two Emory students
to participate in an academic exchange with the Yonsei University
College of Nursing in South Korea.
Delgadillo, a Goizueta Business School senior who
is outgoing president of undergraduate student government at Goizueta,
founder of the school’s pre-BBA mentor program and one of
the founders of the undergraduate Latin American Business Club.
Class Day is the first of three events for seniors held on the Thursday
At the Emory Senior Class Reception from 7–8:30 p.m. at the
Emory Conference Center Hotel, seniors will offer the traditional
Coca-Cola toast. They will then make a ceremonial candlelight walk
across the Houston Mill Road pedestrian bridge to Miller-Ward Alumni
House for desserts and entertainment.
“This is an opportunity for the seniors to get together one
last time before graduation to reflect on their years at Emory and
leave on a positive note,” said senior Christopher Richardson,
former president of the Student Government Association who helped
spearhead the effort to create the new event. “We think we’ve
laid the foundation for a great tradition by picking as our first
class speaker Danny Glover, who is both well-known and should give
our class some inspiring words of wisdom before we graduate.”
Glover is known for his work in Hollywood blockbusters and dramatic
films, as well as his community service work, having served as the
first Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Development
Program, among other activities. Glover made his film debut in Escape
From Alcatraz (1979) and became well known in the 1980s for
his roles in The Color Purple (1984) and the Lethal Weapon
film series co-starring Mel Gibson. He also has played starring
roles in television films such as Mandela (1987). More
recently, Glover was seen in Good Fences (2003) and The
Royal Tenenbaums (2001).