May 27, 2008
Tradition-filled Emory Weekend continues to grow
BY Eric Rangus
Each of the last five years, at the conclusion of Emory Commencement Weekend, the Emory Alumni Association, as well as many of the alumni, parents and students taking part, has branded it as the “best ever.” The aftermath of the 2008 celebration is no different.
But before anyone tears a rotator cuff patting themselves on the back, there really are a lot of reasons to feel great about the recently concluded weekend.
“We’re better at getting the word out, and traditions are being established,” said Gloria Grevas, the EAA’s assistant director for reunions and Emory Commencement Weekend. “We’ve had Corpus Cordis Aureum and the Candlelight Crossover for five years, and they have become meaningful components of the Emory experience for both our older and newer alumni.”
Numbers-wise, Emory Commencement Weekend, which runs from May 8–12 with events stretching from Oxford College to every corner of the Atlanta campus, continues to grow. This year drew an estimated 2,000 people to the weekend’s many events. Some of them, like a May 8 reception for Oxford continuees at the Miller-Ward Alumni House, doubled in size from 2007.
The Candlelight Crossover was significantly larger than previous years, as well. Intermittent showers delayed its start until after 8:30 p.m., but one positive effect was that darkness had fully arrived, and the glow of hundreds of student-held candles making their way across the Houston Mill Bridge was that much more breathtaking.
The Block Party and Concert had previously been held on McDonough Field, which is now out of commission because of construction. That prompted a move to an actual block (Asbury Circle) and the results were excellent.
No longer fenced in as they were on McDonough, guests (estimated to be about 1,200 over the three-hour event) moved about freely, munching on chili dogs from The Varsity and grooving to the sounds of We Fly Standby and Splitting Images. Both bands consist of Emory students and alumni.
Speaking of grooving, the Torch and Trumpet Soirée, a student and parent dance party at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, began on May 9, and didn’t end until around 1:30 a.m. the following morning. In between, music from the Gary Motley Trio and DJ TJ ’06C kept the dance floor full.
The weekend wasn’t all about partying, though. There were poignant moments as well. For example, student speaker Samantha Ehrlich ’10C addressed some 200 guests at the Corpus Cordis Aureum induction ceremony May 11. Corpus Cordis Aureum is the EAA’s special group of alumni from 50 years ago and earlier.
“I cannot begin to imagine what I will be doing 50 years from now,” said Ehrlich, co-chair of the Student Alumni Association. “I know for a fact that I want to be exactly where you are today, still engaged with my alma mater. I admire each of you for your dedication, your contribution, and your eternal spirit. You inspire me to reach for my goals, you teach me to embrace deeply rooted traditions. Most importantly, you are my friends.”
When Ehrlich was finished, few of her friends had dry eyes.