News Release: People, Student Life, University News

May 8,  2009

Emory Holds Commencement May 11 for 3,800+ Graduates

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox will deliver the keynote address at Emory University's 164th commencement ceremony Monday, May 11. He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. The central ceremony, starting at 8 a.m., will be followed by individual college and school diploma ceremonies. Commencement will be broadcast live and then archived via the Internet.

Emory President James Wagner will preside at the 90-minute ceremony,which will take place on the Emory quadrangle for about 3,800 graduating students and their families.

Three other individuals also will be recognized during commencement with honorary degrees:

  • Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, who will receive a doctor of laws;
  • former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, currently director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, who will receive a doctor of science; and
  • Robert Spano, Grammy-Award winning conductor and music director for the Atlanta Symphony, who will receive a doctor of music.

The academic procession under the direction of Chief Marshal Ray DuVarney, professor of physics, will be led across the university's historic quadrangle by the kilt-clad Atlanta Pipe Band. DuVarney will retire as chief marshal after serving more than 10 years as leader of the procession. Dressed in full Scottish Highland attire, the drum and bagpipe ensemble will march to "Emory and Old St. Andrews March," written by Emory alumnus Henry D. Frantz Jr. in honor of Emory's sister institution, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Members of the procession will be dressed in the academic regalia of caps, gowns and hoods adopted by the class of 1902. Depending on their field of study, the hoods of graduates will be scarlet, gold, purple, salmon, sapphire, apricot, white, green or dark blue.

The Thomas Jefferson Award, the university's premier faculty/administrative officer award for significant service to the institution, and the University Scholar/Teacher Award, given on behalf of the United Methodist Church Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will be presented.

The Marion Luther Brittain Award, the most prestigious student award for service to the university, also will be given.

Following the central ceremony, students will report to various locations on campus to receive diplomas from their individual schools. The diploma ceremony for the Emory College of Arts and Science will be held on the quadrangle, during which time the McMullan Award, which comes with $20,000, no strings attached, will be presented.

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