September 15, 2003

Homecoming debuts Sept. 18–21

Michael Terrazas

Every fall on university campuses all across the country, alumni converge at their old stomping grounds to remember and relive their college years, and they call the event “homecoming.” This year, Emory gets to join the party.

The University’s newly christened Homecoming Weekend will be held Sept. 18–21, and this revamped event—which replaces the old Alumni Weekend, which itself has been reborn as “Emory Weekend,” to be held every year on the weekend preceding Commencement, beginning with May 6–10, 2004—is a slight change of direction for the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA).

“This is a collaboration at a higher level than before between AEA and Campus Life and the students to put on the kinds of events all alumni will be interested in coming back for,” said Gerry Lowery, senior director of campus relations for AEA. “We’re taking the old Alumni Weekend and trying to plan and cooperate with other groups.”

Homecoming Weekend is being marketed toward both alumni and students, starting with the concurrent scheduling of the Emory Medal ceremony—which now is a black-tie, invitation-only affair, commensurate with the prestige of the University’s highest alumni honor—with the Mr. and Ms. Emory Contest, both of which kick off Homecoming the evening of Thursday, Sept. 18.

On Friday, Sept. 19, the traditional Homecoming Parade will be held on campus beginning at 5:45 p.m., and that night features the Homecoming Ball at the Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. Organized by the students, it’s also intended to draw young alumni, especially those in the Atlanta area. The event will carry an ’80s theme; attendees are encouraged to raid their closets (or attics) for Members Only jackets and parachute pants so they can dress appropriately.

Saturday, Sept. 20, will witness the official dedication of the Clairmont Campus, beginning at 11:45 a.m. on the Student Activity and Academic Center field. President Jim Wagner will be on hand to help dedicate his new, albeit temporary, home; Wagner is living at Clairmont Campus until renovations to Lullwater House are completed later this fall. Following the dedication, a Homecoming “Block Party” will continue until 7 p.m. at Clairmont, including tours of the campus at 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Also Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Math & Science Center, the physics department is sponsoring a “Return of the Gravity Monument” ceremony, celebrating the relocation of the 41-year-old granite stone that for many years was located next to the old Physics Building (now Callaway Center).

That night—and for the last time during the fall Home-coming Weekend—this year’s reunion classes will hold their get-togethers. The 50- and 25-year reunions of the classes of 1953 and 1975 will hold their events in Miller-Ward Alumni House; the Class of 1993’s 10-year reunion will be held at Manuel’s Tavern in Virginia-Highlands; and the Class of 1998’s five-year reunion will be held at Prince of Wales in Midtown.

Beginning with the inaugural Emory Weekend in 2004, all future class reunions will be held during the May event, Lowery said.

“This is our transition year,” he said. “We really want to make Emory Weekend a signature event. The challenge is to come up with opportunities both for visiting alumni and to celebrate the graduating class and its entry into the alumni ranks. It’s going to be Alumni Weekend with many more possibilities.”

For a full schedule of Homecoming Weekend activities and registration information, visit the AEA website at