Emory Report
April 24, 2006
Volume 58, Number 28


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April 24 , 2006
Emory Weekend offers broadest program yet

BY Eric rangus

The Eagle lands, May 11–15, and the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA) is aiming for a lot of graduates, parents, friends, and other members of the University community to do the same for Emory Weekend, AEA’s largest event of the year.

“The Eagle Has Landed” is the theme of the third annual Emory Weekend, to be held across the University from Oxford to Atlanta. Emory’s athletics logo—rolled out late last summer and prominently featuring an Eagle head—will make frequent appearances in Emory Weekend graphics and is a thematic tie-in that brought together AEA with the Department of Athletics during planning earlier this spring.

“The revamped Emory Eagle is an attractive new symbol of the University,” said Gerry Lowrey, AEA’s senior director of campus relations and a member of the Emory Weekend planning committee. When the planning committee decided on the Eagle as the thematic center for the weekend, the group invited athletics to join in the effort, and the two moved forward from there.

“A lot of alumni, especially those who live outside of Atlanta, may not be familiar with it, so a connection of the Eagle to Emory Weekend was an easy decision,” Lowrey continued.

With that avian imagery in mind, the University’s Eagle mascot Swoop will make frequent appearances at Emory Weekend events. The most prominent will be at the Saturday, May 13, Block Party and Concert on McDonough Field. The Block Party, which will feature free food, beer (for guests 21 and over), carnival games and a deejay, also will be highlighted by the public debut of a new, reimagined Swoop to go along with the new logo.

The new Swoop is the final piece of an athletics identity project begun last year that has included new uniforms for varsity athletes, renovations to the Woodruff P.E. Center (an open house to show off the changes is on the Emory Weekend schedule) and other projects.

“From the beginning of the athletics brand-identity campaign, the objective has been to engage the entire campus,” said Angie Duprey, assistant director of athletics and a member of the campuswide committee that selected the new athletics logo.

“Swoop’s much-anticipated new look has been a hot topic around the University for the whole semester, and Emory Weekend will be a dramatic stage for his debut,” she continued. “It’ll be a one-of-a-kind event for the entire Emory community, past and present.”

Swoop’s outgoing, gregarious personality won’t change, but his appearance—which includes a dated Emory jersey and a feathered epidermis that’s, well, molting—has been in need of an update for quite some time. The details of the new Swoop’s appearance are a closely guarded secret. Following Swoop’s debut, the Emory Weekend concert will begin (around 4:30 p.m.) featuring the pop band Guster and opening act I Nine.

While Emory’s athletics logos figure prominently in this year’s Emory Weekend look, the celebration is much broader. For instance, academic events are being incorporated into the weekend for the first time. Three faculty members (Dana White, ILA; Drew Westen, psychology; and Kevin Young, creative writing) will give lectures open to all visitors.

President Jim Wagner is no stranger to Emory Weekend—he makes frequent appearances at events and also co-hosts, with wife Debbie, an open house at Lullwater—and he’ll be at the forefront of a new event this year. Wagner will host a Town Hall meeting where visitors can ask him any and all questions. While the president’s town hall meetings are familiar to those on campus every day, for visitors returning to Emory, the chance to interact directly with the president is an appealing one.

“One of the overarching themes of Emory Weekend, especially for alumni gathering for class reunions, is returning home,” said Gloria Grevas, AEA’s assistant director for reunions and Emory Weekend. “The image of an eagle returning to its nest—to its home—is a strong one.”

Each Emory Weekend will have its own specific theme, Grevas said, as well as a mix of theme-related programming and perenially popular events. That way, every year will feel just a little different—while maintaining a familiar Emory Weekend core.

That core includes events such as The Soirée, a dance party held to celebrate AEA’s newest members, the Class of 2006; the Candlelight Crossover, a ceremony to congratulate graduating seniors; reunions (focused this year on classes ending in 6 and 1); concerts, ranging from the aforementioned Guster to classical events; and much more, all leading up to Commencement on Monday, May 15.

“May 11–15 will truly be a weekend for all of Emory to celebrate,” said Allison Dykes, senior associate vice president for AEA. “Whether you are an alumnus, a parent of a graduate or even a faculty or staff member, Emory Weekend offers something to enjoy. Perhaps the most pleasant aspect is that Emory Weekend brings together the many varied parts of Emory in one place for one celebration. It’s one of the times Emory really is a community.”

The full Emory Weekend 2006 schedule is available at www.alumni.emory.edu/emory-weekend.htm. For further information, call 404-727-6400.