Featured Events

Below is a sampling of the types of events produced throughout the years.

President Sterk Welcome Block Party

President Sterk Block Party

More than 4,000 students, faculty, and staff came together to officially welcome President Claire E. Sterk in her new role as the 20th President of Emory University.  Emory Report Article


Commencement Main Stage

In addition to the Central All-Schools Ceremony on the Quadrangle, University Events partners with Campus Services, School Commencement Coordinators, and units across campus to orchestrate the many events of Commencement Weekend.

Thinking Green - Since 2014, Emory's undergraduate and medical school gowns are made from a special material of 100% recycled plastic bottles.  It takes 23 bottles to make each gown resulting in 80,000 plastic bottles diverted from landfills each year. This is just one of Emory's commitments to reducing the environmental impact of events.

Aerial view of Commencement Setup

An aerial view of the 14,000 chairs assembled on the Quadrangle each year in a volunteer event known as "Chair Rodeo" (video below).


Baccalaureate Ceremony

Baccalaureate is the annual interfaith service for the undergraduates and their families in Glenn Memorial Auditorium. The service features readings, songs, and traditions from the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic faiths. 

President's Open House

President's Open House

Each year, the president opens Lullwater House to graduates and their families.  Volunteer docents provide tour details in each of the public rooms of the house and grounds.

Class Day

Class Day - Handler

The first official Commencement activity each year is the Class Day event for undergraduate degree candidates.  The event features a student-selected keynote speaker (comedian Chelsea Handler, pictured above). 

Honorary Degrees Reception

Honorary Degrees Reception

A reception is held for the recipients of Emory's highest award, the honorary doctorate, allowing students and faculty to engage with the recipients (2016 honoree, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, above). 

Founders Dinner

Founders Dinner

Founders Day continues the tradition of Charter Day, established in 1924 to commemorate the first meeting of Emory's founders on February 6, 1837. The event is co-produced by the D.V.S. Senior Society, and features a keynote address from a distinguished alumni.

The Visits of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

In 2007, 2010, and 2013 Emory University hosted Visits of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in his capacity as Presidential Distinguished Professor, the first university appointment accepted by the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate.  

The Visit 2007

Visit 2007

During the October 20-22, 2007 Visit, His Holiness accepted Emory's offer of a Presidential Distinguished Professorship and delivered his inaugural lecture. He also participated in a conference on science and spirituality co-hosted by the Mind & Life Institute, provided a teaching to the Buddhist community, and led an interfaith summit on religion as a source of both conflict and peace. The visit concluded with a free public talk in downtown Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park.  Learn more about the 2007 Visit

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Press Conference

The Visit 2010

Visit 2010

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama returned to Emory October 17-19, 2010. He participated in a series of public events including programs on science research and meditation, creativity and spirituality with Richard Gere and Alice Walker (pictured, below), an interfaith dialogue on the concept of happiness, and a teaching for the Buddhist community on compassion. Learn more about the 2010 Visit

Visit 2010

The Visit 2013

Visit 2013

The October 8-10, 2013 visit included a series of public and campus events with a focus on responsible citizenship, ethics, and education. The highlight of this visit was a full-day public event at the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena. 

Lullwater House

Lullwater House

University Events is proud to produce all events at Lullwater House, the president's residence.  Over the course of a year, the president hosts a variety of student, faculty, staff, alumni, and fundraising events for the University.  Events range in size from intimate dinners to receptions for more than 100 guests. 

Lullwater Event

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors

University Events manages the Board of Visitors program and events.  Members of the Board of Visitors serve Emory as ambassadors, and they also assist the University in discovering and promoting ways for Emory to integrate its intellectual assets with community aspirations.  The board's overall objective is to increase the awareness of Emory in Atlanta and the region and to improve Emory's level of service to society.  Traditionally, members of the board represent the top levels of business and volunteer leadership.  They meet several times each year to learn about university programs and hear from top faculty.

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees governs the university by establishing policy and exercising fiduciary responsibility for the long-term well-being of the institution. The University Events team assists with the logistics surrounding their meetings, and produces several social events (examples pictured below) for the board to interact with the campus community and other boards.

November Reception

November Reception

Presidential Farewell

Wagner Block Party

In 2016, Emory said goodbye to President James W. Wagner upon his retirement.  A campus-wide block party (above) allowed the community to thank and wish him well. A board-hosted gala dinner held at the St. Regis Atlanta (below), featured special tributes from board members and the University administration.

Wagner Salute

Campaign Emory

Kickoff Gala

Campaign Gala Pacesetting

The University Events team partnered with Development and Alumni Relations to produce the kickoff and closing events of Campaign Emory. During the course of this history-making, seven-year effort, Emory University raised $1.69 billion from alumni and friends to support teaching, research, scholarship, patient care, and social action. The gala kickoff dinner was held under a tent (view timelapse of the construction below) on the Clairmont Campus.  

Campaign Kickoff Tent

In addition to hosting the dinner event for several hundred guests, the venue was converted to a theater-style setup for a campaign celebration for 1,750 students, alumni, and community members two days later. 

Campaign Emory Gala Pre-Function Tent

The reception tent featured replicas of campus features including the Haygood-Hopkins gate and familiar marble and red roof Quadrangle buildings.

Campaign Kickoff - Enquerir

Campaign Kickoff Enquerir

At the end of the campaign gala and celebration, an original cirque performance, Enquérir, told the story of the campaign in a very different and dramatic way. The 35-minute international award-winning production, created by University Events, featured a cast of performers and musicians from around the world.

Campaign Events - New York and Washington, D.C.

Campaign Emory New York

Shortly after the Atlanta events, Campaign Emory kickoff events were held in Washington, D.C. and New York City (above and below).  The New York event featured a preview performance by Emory's Symphony Orchestra before their Lincoln Center concert.

Campaign Emory New York

Campus Exhibits

Campaign Close Chair Exhibit

Near the closing of the campaign, four different art installations were created by the University Events team to illuminate the campus impact of the campaign.  A towering stack of graduation caps (above, left) represented the $225 million in scholarship support raised during the campaign, and 29 chairs suspended overhead at the Dobbs University Center (above, right) represented each of the new endowed academic chairs created by campaign funds.

Campaign Close

Campaign Close Event

At the conclusion of the campaign, a clear tent (perfect to see the falling March snow) was built in front of Lullwater House for an afternoon celebration of the most successful campaign ever completed by a non-profit in the state of Georgia. 

Ellmann Lecture in Modern Literature

Paul Simon Ullmann Lectures

The University Events team assists with the production of the Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.  These multi-day lecture events and receptions have featured Mario Vargas Llosa, Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, Margaret Atwood, and musician Paul Simon (pictured above in conversation with former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins).

Goodrich C. White and Charles Yates Lecture Series

Goodrich C. White Lectures

The University Events team has produced the Goodrich C. White and the Charles R. Yates lectures and receptions.  Presenters have included Doris Kearns Goodwin, Muhammad Yunus, David McCullough, Theaster Gates, and Kai Ryssdal (pictured, above).

President Carter

President Carter

University Events is honored to host former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a University Distinguished Professor, at several events each year including the bi-monthly meetings of the University and Carter Center administration.

Building Dedications

Building Dedication Ribbon

University Events plans or co-produces many of Emory's groundbreakings, dedications, and naming ceremonies. 

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

University Events produced the annual lectures for Salman Rushdie, Distinguished Writer in Residence.