Emory Report
May 29, 2007
Volume 59, Number 31

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May 29, 2007
Diploma ceremonies usher graduates into their new lives as Emory alumni

staff reports

Following the main Commencement ceremony, the knot of more than 3,600 graduates unfurled from the Quadrangle to receive diplomas from their respective colleges at ceremonies throughout campus. Following is a snapshot of each school’s ceremony.

At the Candler School of Theology diploma ceremony, Dean Jan Love wished the graduates well. The Candler Singers offered a musical tribute to the school's graduating class as Timothy Albrecht's organ resonated through Glenn Memorial Church. After welcoming the graduates "as colleagues in new roles and adventures in ministry," Love quoted Philippians 4:8-9 in her benediction. Gail O'Day, associate dean of faculty and academic affairs, and Steven J. Kraftchick, director of general and advanced studies and associate professor of the practice of New Testament, teamed up to announce the graduates. In all, the school honored 111 Master of Divinity recipients, 23 Master of Theological Studies students, 13 Master of Theology recipients, and one Doctor of Theology.


Senior class orator and Rhodes Scholar Zachary Manfredi -- introduced as "the intellectual rock star of Emory University" -- spoke to his 1,205 fellow graduates on the themes of death and happiness. Commencement is a kind of death, Manfredi said, marking the end of our time together at Emory. "Friends who can finish our sentences are moving across the world from us . . . . It is a reminder of our mortality," he said. An Emory education has prepared them to achieve happiness despite the inevitable sorrow of death, Manfredi said. He urged his classmates "to live an examined life -- a life that recognizes death but still embraces the possibility of making something new."


"We are blessed that our school bears the name of one of the greatest principled leaders of our time, Roberto C. Goizueta," Dean Larry Benveniste said to the Class of 2007. "He was proud of our school and especially proud of our graduates. He would have expected much from you. You have been given the gift of opportunity. Use it wisely. Do good for yourself, your family and your community." Goizueta's widow, Olga C. de Goizueta, congratulated and shook hands with each graduate. Chip Gross, president of the Goizueta Business School Alumni Association Board, welcomed the graduates into the Alumni Association. The business school awarded 626 degrees: 265 Bachelors of Administration, 208 full-time Masters of Business Administration, 60 Evening MBAs, 21 Modular Executive MBAs and 72 Weekend Executive MBAs.


In a diploma ceremony held in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, the Graduate School celebrated the 127 master's degrees and 186 doctoral degrees that have been awarded during the 2006-07 academic year. Dean Lisa Tedesco noted that the ceremony marked the transition from the end of the graduates' educational journeys to the beginning of their journeys as stewards of a great intellectual heritage. "Our great aspiration is that you will risk much, that you will demand more, that you will seek truth and knowledge with passion, and continue to grow as individuals, scholars and citizens," she said. The ceremony included the symbolic "hooding" of the doctoral graduates: each graduate received the doctoral hood, in colors signifying the graduates' discipline, from his or her adviser and Provost Earl Lewis.


Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Commencement speaker Barbara Stillwell urged graduates to be open to opportunities that may not appear to offer a foreseeable future, because such experiences often lead to unexpected gratification. "Nursing skills are so scarce and so important, you can work anywhere in the world. As you step out onto this pathway, consider where you would be of need, even if it's for a few months here or there," said Stillwell, a senior adviser with Liverpool Associates for Tropical Health and one of the first nurse practitioners in Great Britain. Dean Marla Salmon then pronounced the 187 graduates -- 97 undergraduates and 90 graduate students, including three doctoral recipients --members of the worldwide community of nursing.

The Rollins School of Public Health recognized 399 Masters of Public Health graduates, including 14 dual-degree recipients, at its diploma ceremony. Award-winning journalist, author and social activist Melissa Fay Greene encouraged graduates to join the global fight against HIV/AIDS -- an epidemic that's claimed the lives of millions of people around the world and orphaned millions of children. Greene estimates that by the year 2010, in Africa alone there will be 35 million children orphaned by AIDS. "Fighting on the frontlines is reaching out to children where they are," Greene told graduates. "I am so proud of the direction you have chosen. When people approach you in life, you won't turn away."

"We live under the rhythm of law," Professor John Witte Jr. told the 233 law graduates and their families assembled on the Gambrell Hall lawn for Emory Law's hooding and diploma ceremony. "It is now up to you, great lawyers, to set the pace, to keep the harmony, and when necessary, to change the tune," he said. "Some of your legal songs will save another person's life. Some of them will change the course of history." Graduate Derek Kung, named Most Outstanding Third-Year Student, said, "My time at Emory Law was more of a struggle than I anticipated and more fun than I ever imagined." Kung helped present a check for $85,000 to Dean David Partlett, one of the largest class gifts in the school's 91-year history.

In a packed Glenn Auditorium, 108 graduates received diplomas from the School of Medicine, with several receiving joint degrees. Dean Thomas Lawley pointed to the mapping of the human genome and the beginning of the era of proteomics as great milestones that will inform the careers of these new doctors. "You are the first physicians to have the full script of the human instruction book, changing how we will diagnose, treat and increasingly prevent disease," he said. He told students that they are ready for this challenge, and he encouraged them to seek out a balanced life. "Medicine is so interesting and so demanding that it's hard to turn away from its siren song," he said. "But you'll be a better doctor for being involved in family and community." Professor of Neurology Linton C. Hopkins received both the Evangeline T. Papageorge Distinguished Faculty Award and the Emory Williams Teaching Award -- the first time a faculty member has received both awards in the same year. In a separate ceremony in Woodruff Health Sciences Center Auditorium, R. Scott Ward, president of the American Physical Therapy Association, addressed the Allied Health graduates. Thirty-four students were candidates for degrees in the Allied Health programs in the School of Medicine. Ward emphasized to the graduates, the majority of whom were physical therapy students, that they should be confident in their knowledge acquired at Emory and should recognize that they are now fully trained to accept the professional responsibilities of caring for people with physical challenges.ical challenges.