As we close the books on Emory University’s 175th year of existence, it is good to reflect on where 2011 found us. As anniversaries go, 175 does not stand out quite like a sesquicentennial or a bicentennial, but it is worth noting nevertheless. We will never catch up to our older siblings in the Ivy League, let alone our sister university in Scotland, the University of St Andrews, which was founded 600 years ago.
No matter. Our predecessors at Emory have accomplished much while laying a very solid foundation, and in the past year we collectively have added to their achievements in significant ways.
The state of Emory University is very good. But instead of asking you to take that pronouncement on faith, this report describes in some detail the health of our three primary enterprises—education, research and scholarship, and health care—as well as our financial health and the health of our scholarly community. In the end, this report shows why we at Emory can be enthusiastic and hopeful about our future.
Garrett Turner, a 2011 Emory University graduate, has been awarded the 2012 Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in England. He is the third consecutive Emory student to receive the scholarship and the 15th overall from the university.
Rankings for our institution and accolades for our faculty tell us that others believe Emory’s academic enterprise is strong. In the past year we have added to our academic achievements significantly. In spring 2011, a record number of Emory undergraduate and graduate students earned Fulbright grants to study, teach, and do research abroad; and Emory students made up one of the larger cohorts of graduates from medium-sized universities going to Teach for America and the Peace Corps. Among our graduates were two Marshall Scholars (one of whom, Garrett Turner, is pictured below). We can be enormously proud of our students.
The 2010―2011 academic year brought faculty accomplishments. In Candler School of Theology, Woodruff Professor Luke Johnson received the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion; and Brooks Holifield, now a Candler emeritus professor, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Lawrence Barsalou from the Department of Psychology, Michelle Lampl and Carol Worthman from Anthropology, and David Lynn from Chemistry all were elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the health sciences, Woodruff Professor of Genetics Stephen Warren was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The October 2011 issue of Popular Science magazine named biologist Jaap de Roode one of its “Brilliant 10,” top scientists younger than 40 who are doing significant research.
During the past five years, we have been fortunate to be able to support initiatives of many of our faculty in arts and sciences where a modest financial investment could make a real difference. A list of just a few of those creative faculty initiatives is suggestive:
• The Program in Citizenship and Democracy, launched by English professor Mark Bauerlein and continued by Mellon Professor of Politics and History Harvey Klehr, helps undergraduates acquire the knowledge, understanding, and civic skills to become active and informed citizens through selected courses, classic texts, lectures by public figures, and community participation. Now in its fourth year, the program has used modest support from central funding to attract generous external grants.
• The PreHealth Mentoring Office, a collaboration between Emory College and the Career Center, has succeeded dramatically in strengthening the advising process for undergraduates interested in health-related careers. The funding to get this program under way has helped by improving the rates of admission for Emory graduates into the top medical schools and by giving the program stability and rigor.
The conversation between Salman Rushdie and Robert Spano is moderated by Steve Everett, professor of composition and computer music at Emory. The two artists discuss innovations in technology and how they pertain to music and literature.
• Artists in residence—In addition to making appointments of distinguished faculty members, we have brought to campus internationally renowned artists Salman Rushdie, Rita Dove, and Robert Spano for extended residencies and teaching.
• The Emory-Tibet Science Initiative—a far-reaching collaboration involving faculty in anthropology, biology, chemistry, psychiatry, and religion—is creating a transformative curriculum for teaching science to Tibetan monastics.