Emory Report
May 18, 2009
Volume 61, Number 31

Graduates toss their hats in celebration.

Law School graduates ready to receive their diplomas.

President Jim Wagner congratulates his daugther Kimberly who graduated from Candler School of Theology.


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May 18, 2009
Diploma Ceremonies

Candler School of Theology

In her remarks to the Candler graduates, Dean Jan Love quoted Philippians 4:8-9, which states in part, “. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice.”

Love then pointed out two words in the passage that hold special meaning for graduates: think and learn. “Use your brain,” Love said. “And use what you have learned to transform the world.”

In all, the school awarded 119 Master of Divinity, 20 Master of Theological Studies, and 11 Master of Theology degrees. —Laurel Hanna

Emory College of Arts and Sciences
“Sitting before me are the leaders of our generation,” class orator Ashley Tran said of Emory College’s 1,259 graduates, 43.2 percent of whom earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or more.

Facing an uncertain future, Tran urged her fellow graduates to be idealistic in their dreams.

“Will we be the generation remembered for its accomplishments in the face of adversity? The generation that meaningfully contributed to the world despite social, political and economic pressures?” asked Tran. “These are not questions that are easily answered. Our circumstances are not easy, and our challenges will be great.
“We must not be disheartened by these challenges. We must hold steadfast to pursuing our goals.”
—Kim Urquhart

Graduate School
This year the Graduate School outgrew the traditional location for its ceremony — the Schwartz Center — and needed to move to two separate ceremonies: one to award 129 master’s degrees, and one to award 226 doctoral degrees.

Dean Lisa A. Tedesco congratulated all the graduates and urged them to go forward “with something of the spirit of Emory in your character, and with a commitment to pursuing knowledge that will shape our future by addressing the most difficult and important problems of this day.”

Tedesco was joined by Provost Earl Lewis and the graduates’ advisors, and afterward all enjoyed a Graduate School brunch celebrating the graduates. —Ulf Nilsson

Goizueta Business School
Dean Larry Benveniste said to the Class of 2009, “We are blessed that our school bears the name of one of the greatest principled leaders of our time, Roberto C. Goizueta. He was proud of our school and especially proud of our graduates. He would have expected much from you. Everything you do reflects on all of us… so remember the values of the school.”

Sarah O’Brien, president of the Goizueta Business School Alumni Board, welcomed the graduates into the Alumni Association. Olga C. de Goizueta, widow of Roberto C. Goizueta, congratulated and shook hands with each graduate.

The business school awarded 709 degrees: 284 BBAs, 203 full-time MBAs, 90 Evening MBAs, 33 Modular Executive MBAs, and 99 Weekend Executive MBAs. —Victor Rogers

Rollins School of Public Health
Daniel Blumenthal did not intend to make a political speech but then again, the public health field is political. From tobacco control and safe water, to health care reform, public health experts advocate change to protect the health of populations.

“Change at the top will not take place until you hear from those at the grassroots level,” said Blumenthal, professor and chair of community health and preventive medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine. “I hope you will not forget to focus on community, because that’s where change starts.”

The RSPH Class of 2009 included 222 Master of Public Health, 19 Master of Science, and 15 dual-degree recipients. —Pam Auchmutey

School of Law
“The need for law remains and, in fact, rises in times of need,” Most Outstanding Third-Year Student Brent Douglas told his classmates. “I assert that every lawyer has an obligation to ensure that all persons subject to our laws are viewed equally before them.”

Most Outstanding Professor Dorothy A. Brown encouraged the 222 graduates to embrace uncertainty. “Uncertainty creates the space for you to pause and ask, ‘what do I really want to do with my career? What am I passionate about?’” —Liz Chilla

School of Medicine
The School of Medicine had a total of 109 graduates, including 21 with dual degrees (seven MD/PhDs, 13 MD/MPHs, and one MD/MBA).

Valedictory speaker William Wood, former chair of the Department of Surgery, told stories to the about-to-be physicians, including one about an entrepreneur who learned in his younger years not to worry when others got credit for something he himself had done, and in his older years not to be surprised when he got credit for the genius of others.

Health Professions
In the medical school’s ceremony for health professions, 68 students received degrees in the following programs: 25 in medical imaging, four in physician assistant, one in ophthalmic technology, and 38 in physical therapy. The ophthalmic tech student was the last to graduate from that program as it transitions from a master’s to a certificate program. Nathaniel Thomas was Emory’s first graduate to receive a dual DPT/MBA. —Karon Schindler

School of Nursing
Graduates of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing have the potential to succeed like no other class because of their place in history, said Dean Linda McCauley, who spoke to 92 master’s degree and 91 bachelor’s degree recipients as their Commencement speaker and new dean.

McCauley recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” which she said held a number of life lessons for nursing graduates. “Gladwell says that who we are and what we are depend on our place in time,” she said.
“It’s not brightest that succeed, but those who are given opportunities and have the presence of mind to seize them. The health care crisis puts each of you in a time to make a significant difference in history . . . This day, this time, this era that you are entering nursing practice gives you a huge advantage to make a difference.”
—Kay Torrance