Class Day Information

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Class Day is a student organized event for the baccalaureate degree candidates of Emory College, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and the School of Medicine (Medical Imaging Program).  Traditionally, the event is held on the Thursday before Commencement and features a student-selected keynote speaker as well as the presentation of class gifts, and awards.  It precedes the Emory Senior Class Reception, Candlelight Crossover, and dessert reception.

Open only to the graduating seniors from Emory College, Nursing, Business (BBA), and Bachelor of Medical Science. No RSVP required, but seating is limited.

Keynote speaker - Michael Sam

Michael Sam

University of Missouri football star, NFL free agent and trailblazer, Michael Sam is an American football defensive end who made history when he came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport. Since his announcement, through scrutiny, criticism and unreserved admiration, he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community.

Hailing from a tiny Texas town and the seventh of eight children, Sam endured a childhood overrun with adversity, challenges, and pain. With a portion of his early years spent living in a car with his mother, Sam developed steadfast determination to make a better life for himself, identifying sports as his ticket out. With unrelenting athletic aspirations, he went from water boy to star player, earning first-team All-District honors all four years of high school. Presented with offers from numerous leading schools, Sam secured a football scholarship at Missouri and thrived with an exceptional career, culminating in being named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year. 

Predicted to be drafted early in the 2014 NFL draft, Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th of 256 players selected, after he came out as gay during an ESPN interview. He is currently an NFL free agent. 

In 2014, he was named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

Awards presented during event

Boisfeuillet Jones Medals
These medals were established, designed, and initially endowed by D.V.S. Senior Society to honor Boisfeuillet Jones, a D.V.S. alumnus and one of Emory's most prominent and distinguished graduates. Representing what was special and unique about Jones, recipients are selected for their good citizenship, outstanding leadership, devoted service to Emory and the community, academic performance, and potential to become a 'Change Agent' in their chosen profession and society at large.

Brit Katz Senior Appreciation Award
Honored for his devotion to students and for serving as role model, leader, and friend, director of residence life R. Britton Katz was recognized at the first Class Day celebration in 2003. The Brit Katz Award, a wooden bowl, is presented to an administrator or staff member selected by seniors for his or her service as role model and friend to the senior class, for participation in the Emory community beyond his or her professional duty, and who is deemed worthy of special recognition. The award is sponsored by the Ducemus Senior Society.

Knights of Emory Spirit Awards
These awards - sponsored by the Paladin Society - recognize two outstanding seniors who are unsung heroes/heroines. Students selected for this honor have made great contributions to the University and promote Emory spirit with passion and selflessness.