First Generation student 2

First Generation College Celebration Day. On Nov. 8, the Emory community joined the 2019 National First-Generation College Celebration with its own festivities on the Academic Quad. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni were in attendance.

The Emory event recognized the hundreds of members of our university community who are or were first in their families to experience college, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The event was the product of a collaboration between faculty and staff and included the Office of the Provost, Office for Undergraduate Education, and a number of offices in Campus Life.

According to the website below: "November 8 was selected as the date for the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Higher Education Act (“HEA”) emerged out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty." (Pictured above: Laura Cortina C20, arts history major. Photo: Erin Oquindo.) 

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Black at Emory card partyCampus Life. The Black @ Emory initiative, "Spades Night," featured an evening of friendship, food, and fun around the card game "spades."

The event drew more than 100 students, faculty, staff, and alumni, many of whom demonstrated their skills – or lack thereof – at the card table. Campus Life executives present included Enku Gelaye, David Clark, Suzanne Onorato, and Dona Yarbrough.

The event was organized by the Intergenerational Communities Committee chaired by Suzanne with representation from across the university. Black @ Emory and Latinx @ Emory initiatives this year came from the Intergenerational Community Building Initiative developed by staff across Campus Life, Human Resources, Admission, Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Faculty Affairs and Student Services at Candler, Laney, Goizueta, Rollins, and Oxford.

The effort, which engaged student groups in its development, emerged from the Emory Undergraduate Project (EUP), Educational Access (EAE) and Equity Committee and later was led by Campus Life after the EAE Committee was sunset. (Photo: Dessy Epie 22C.)


Barkley Forum debater Colin Cozad
Barkley Forum.
Emory senior Colin Cozad earned the award for the top U.S. debater at the
What We Owe to Each Other debate tournament in Bogota, Colombia, in October.

The program paired bilingual U.S. students with bilingual Colombian partners to create international partnerships for four online debates and an in-person bilingual debate championship.

Goals include promoting impactful intercultural civic debate learning for future U.S. and Colombian leaders and developing a long-term foundation for promoting civic debate as a tool for peace and social justice in Colombia. Learn more:

Latin Youth LeadershipLatin Youth Leadership Conference Conference. Campus Life, other Emory organizations, and the Latin American Association partnered to host this annual event in November.

Conference participants included more than 1,200 middle and high school students accompanied by dozens of university-level mentor-guides from Emory and other area institutions.

The conference offered age-appropriate sessions for each grade and separate programs for the approximately 150 teachers and 150 parents who attended. Participants visited a college and career fair and attended workshops and interactive sessions on topics ranging from embracing cultural heritage to applying for scholarships and financial aid.

The conference, which has been hosted and supported by Emory for a number of years, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Learn more:


Gelaye, Smith, and Shoy Greek Life Breakfast.
Emory’s sorority and fraternity community celebrated the Greek Life 150 Year Anniversary with events during Homecoming. Dozens of students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests participated.

A coffee and conversation breakfast kicked off the events, which extended through 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26. The breakfast included remarks by Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Enku Gelaye and Greek life anniversary celebration co-chairs Ginger Hicks Smith 77C 82G and Danny Shoy Jr. 95C.

(Pictured above: Gelaye, Smith, and Shoy at the event. Photo: Emil Aceto.)


Jaime Harrell at LGBT+ Alumni BrunchOffice of LGBT Life.
In partner-ship with the Emory Alumni Association, LGBT Life hosted the annual LGBT+ Alumni Brunch in the new Emory Student Center on October 26 during Homecoming. Multiple generations of Emory alumni with queer identities and their LGBT+ allies were present.

Campus Life staff participated, including Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Enku Gelaye. Guest speaker Jaime Anne Harrell MBA16, a Goizueta staff member, announced that Emory Gay and Lesbian Alumni (GALA) is now Emory LGBT+ Alumni, a change that underscores the university’s commitment to being a more inclusive space.

Neil Vasudeva, LGBT+ Alumni co-chair, hopes the new name will encourage all persons with identities within the LGBT+ community to feel welcome in the organization’s spaces. (Pictured: Harrell. Photo: Emil Aceto.)

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Landscaping continues for the pedestrian friendly space under construction outside the WoodPEC.Construction Update.
Emory continues to move forward with creation of the pedestrian-friendly space between the Emory Student Center and the Woodruff Physical Education Center. (Photo: JB Brown.)