175 Makers of History: James T. Laney

James T. Laney 94H
President, Emory; U.S. Ambassador to Korea

James Laney

An ordained Methodist minister, James T. Laney taught at Yonsei University in Korea and Vanderbilt University before becoming dean of Candler School of Theology, where he served from 1969 to 1977.

Appointed to the Emory presidency in 1978, his first annual report to the board outlined steps he wanted to take to improve undergraduate life at Emory: increasing scholarship funds to attract the best students; enhancing residence and dining facilities; providing adequate recreation facilities; and emphasizing collaboration among the disciplines.

Laney served as U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 1993 to 1997 and helped defuse the nuclear crisis with North Korea in 1994. In 2009, Emory's graduate school was named the James T. Laney School for Graduate Studies.