November 27 , 2006
Largest display of memorial quilt will adorn quad on World AIDS Day
BY holly korschun
Two members of the Emory community will dedicate new squares for the AIDS quilt on World AIDS Day next month. Student Haley Rosengarten will dedicate a square to her father and Sonja Jackson, Cannon Chapel events coordinator, will dedicate one to a friend.
The new squares will be displayed with a 650-panel AIDS quilt in the Emory quadrangle on World AIDS Day, Friday, Dec. 1. Each panel memorializes the life of a person lost to AIDS, and Emory’s display will be the largest in the country that day.
Sponsored by Emory Hillel, the day will begin with an opening ceremony at 11:20 a.m., followed by a public reading of all of the AIDS victims on the quilt panels. Local AIDS organizations will participate in an information fair.
The “Quilt on the Quad” keynote speaker will be Jeffrey Lennox, an Emory professor of medicine and medical director of the Ponce Center. The Ponce Center, in midtown Atlanta, houses the outpatient infectious disease clinics of Grady Health System and is one of the largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment facilities in the country.
Emory physicians, fellows and residents conduct clinical care at the center, including a variety of clinical trials aimed at advancing patient care. Lennox also is co-director for clinical and translational research in the Emory Center for AIDS Research.
The NAMES Project Foundation Inc. has housed the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Atlanta since 2002. The foundation was established in 1987 as a nongovernmental organization with the mission of preserving, caring for and using the AIDS Memorial Quilt to inspire action, heighten awareness and foster healing in the age of AIDS.
The entire quilt weighs 54 tons and includes more than 45,000 panels dedicated to more than 88,000 individuals. In the last 18 years, more than 15 million people have seen the quilt at displays around the world.
Emory scientists and physicians are at the forefront of research efforts to develop effective drugs and vaccines against HIV and AIDS. The Emory Center for AIDS Research is an official National Institutes of Health CFAR site.
More than 120 faculty members throughout the University are working on some aspect of HIV/AIDS prevention or treatment. Many of the scientists within the Emory Vaccine Center are focused on finding an effective vaccine against HIV, and Emory scientists have invented several of the most commonly used HIV/AIDS drugs.
For more information about the Quilt on the Quad event, visit emoryhillel.org/AIDSquilt or contact Michael Rabkin at 404-727-2089. In the event of rain, Quilt on the Quad will be held in the SAAC Gym on Emory’s Clairmont campus.