Dear Friends . . .

by Allison Dykes
Vice President for Alumni Relations

Just in case you couldn’t attend in person—several thousand of you did, and I thank you all—I hope you take a moment to browse through Emory Magazine’s coverage of Emory Commencement Weekend.

It’s always special to see firsthand the transition of Emory students into Emory alumni, and on behalf of the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) and Emory’s 100,000 alumni, I welcome the Class of 2007 to the EAA.

We, the staff of the EAA, do what we can to bring alumni together, but the key is the leadership of Emory alumni themselves. Without engaged alumni returning to their alma mater and getting involved, the campus would be much less vibrant, not just at graduation but throughout the year. And vibrancy was something that infused every event during Emory Commencement Weekend.

I was particularly moved by the sight of many members of the Class of 1957 joyously waving placards to welcome the Class of 2007 over the Houston Mill Bridge for the Candlelight Crossover. It was a sight that validated everything the EAA works to do. Our new graduates mixed with our senior graduates from all across the country and from all walks of life; they were bonded together through Emory, and it was a wonderful sight to see.

The Crossover was just the beginning. From the Torch and Trumpet Soirée to the Legacy Reception and the unveiling of The Spirit of Emory mural, all the events of Emory Commencement Weekend combined to form an exciting five-day celebration worthy of the graduates it honored.

So while the formal program of Emory Commencement Weekend is just four years old, it has grown into a great tradition for Emory. People want to take part. Next year, we hope you can, too.

While we are on the subject of traditions . . . . young alumni (and some who are not so young) may remember the large packet of orientation materials you received when you first stepped foot on campus. I’d be surprised (and impressed) if you held onto your packets for memories’ sake. Pack rats aside, hopefully the incoming Class of 2011 will keep at least one publication they will receive this fall.

For the first time, the EAA will be providing Emory’s incoming freshman class with The Emory Memory, a comprehensive book that lists all of the traditions that tie Emory’s classes not just to the University, but to each other. The Candlelight Crossover is there. So is Dooley, the former Water Tower, the Depot, and much, much more. The book provides a fun history lesson—an informative listing of all Emory’s presidents through our nineteenth, Jim Wagner, blends nicely with an outline of what movies and television shows have been filmed on or around Emory’s campus. It’s impossible to flip through the book and not learn something new.

And thanks to a partnership with the Student Government Association, we will be able to make The Emory Memory available not just to incoming students but to current undergraduate and graduate students. Through no fault of their own, many students are unaware of Emory’s grand history and valued legacies. Now we will be able to introduce students to our traditions while they are on campus, better ensuring that this connection will continue after they graduate.

Eventually we hope to make the traditions book available to any alumni who want it. Watch your email for an update on the book. Enjoy your summer, and if you have any comments about the EAA or any suggestions for us, please email me at allison.dykes@emory.edu. I always enjoy hearing from you.




© 2007 Emory University