Emory Report
January 24, 2005
Volume 59, Number 16


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January 24, 2005
New semi-formal ball to cap weeklong birthday party

BY eric rangus

Encouraged by the success of last year’s inaugural weeklong Charter Celebration, 2005 will feature another seven-day, campuswide birthday party to honor this, the 90th anniversary of the signing of Emory’s charter.

The celebration mixes academic, artistic and social programming beginning with the invitation-only Charter Banquet, Monday, Jan. 24, and capped by the inaugural Charter Ball at 9 p.m., Saturday,Jan. 29, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

The ball idea originated with students, who wanted to create a signature event for the entire Emory community.

“The Charter planning committee liked the idea,” said Associate Dean of Emory College Sally Wolff King, chair of that committee. “Especially because some members missed the old Heritage Ball.”

The Heritage Ball was a formal event that brought together faculty, staff, students and alumni in celebration of the University before being discontinued in the 1980s. With the black-tie-optional Charter Ball, the committee hopes to accomplish that same goal of bringing all levels of Emory together for a toast to the institution.

The ball will feature a dessert reception, and music-wise there will be something for everyone. From 9–11 p.m., the big band sounds of E. J. Hughes will be featured. Then, from 11 p.m.–1 a.m., local funk-rock band Cadillac Jones takes over.

For novice dancers who might be shy about cutting a rug, swing dance lessons will be featured the night before at the spring semester debut of the “Fridays@10” program, an on-campus series of entertainment events started last fall by the Office of Student Activities.

In addition to the banquets and balls, academic events will be featured during the Charter Celebration. Highlights include the Thursday, Jan. 27, panel discussion “The Holocaust in Hollywood Film, the American Press and Traumatic Memory,” and the Emory in Perspective Debate, “Am I My Brothers’ and Sisters’ Keeper? Rights and Responsibilities,” Tuesday, Jan. 25, which features several faculty and students in separate roundtables discussing controversial issues such as gay marriage and environmental stewardship.

“This is one of the best collaborations between faculty and students, and we hope to continue this program each year,” said Donna Wong, associate director of multicultural programs and services, and a member of the Charter planning committee. Her office co-sponsors the debate and the play debut (“Shrapnel” by Emory alumna Lauren Gunderson) that follows it with the Student Government Association.

Finally, the arts and athletics also play roles in the celebration. Emory’s basketball and swimming and diving teams will be in action (admission is free). Several films will be screened during the week, and musical performances will provide still another option for activity.

Renowned French pianist (now a resident of upstate New York) Hélène Grimaud will perform Tuesday, Jan. 25, not only in honor of Charter Celebration but also for the second anniversary of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Plays, such as Gunderson’s piece, are on the Charter schedule, as well as dance events and STIR, a non-stop arts festival where participants will have 24 hours to create new works.
Wolff King was particularly excited about how much student input went into the second week-long Charter Celebration, adding that such work bodes well for the event’s future. “The students had a lot of ideas for programming,” she said. “They really led the effort to bring those ideas into fruition.”