Emory Commencement, 2017 Celebrating the 172nd graduating class

In early May, the Emory community gathered on campus to celebrate with the class of 2017. Graduating seniors enjoyed a final Coca-Cola Toast to kick off their last weekend on campus much like how they began their freshman year. And, like thousands of alumni before them, participated in the symbolic tradition of walking across the Houston Mill bridge to the Miller-Ward Alumni House into alumni-hood during the Candlelight Crossover. The newest group of 100 Senior Honorary celebrated, as did the Class of 1967 at their 50 year reunion. And, of course, there was all of the pomp and circumstance of the commencement ceremony itself.

A Few Highlights...

Wonderful Wednesday wrapped up.

Once upon a time, classes were never scheduled on Wednesday. Those days are long over, but Wonderful Wednesdays are the result; every Wednesday the Emory community gathers together for a mini-midweek break. Usually, Wonderful Wednesday is hosted by a group on campus and is open to the entire Emory community, all in the spirit of community and fun.

The Commencement Week Wonderful Wednesday was the annual exception. During this special week, the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) hosted the last Wonderful Wednesday of 2017 exclusively for the senior class. It was a time for the EAA to bring the soon-to-be new grads together for an afternoon of reminiscing, as well as looking forward to their journeys ahead.

Graduates crossed over.

Like thousands of alumni before them, the class of 2017 participated in Candlelight Crossover, marking their official transition from Emory students to Emory alumni.

Following Class Day in Glenn Memorial Auditorium, students gathered for a reception at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. The reception ended with a traditional and final Coca-Cola Toast, led by Emory's President Claire E. Sterk, much like the one that welcomed them to campus as freshmen four years earlier. The students then crossed the bridge over Houston Mill Road to the Miller-Ward Alumni House, where they were welcomed into the family of Emory alumni.

Emory's global community was celebrated.

International Graduation and Recognition Ceremony

The Office of International Student Life and EAA hosted a new graduation ceremony recognizing international students and their families. This ceremony was a celebration of the truly diverse and global community that makes up the Emory network.

Modupe Dayo

The 2017 Commencement Week marked the 22nd Modupe Dayo celebration. An African-themed commencement event, Modupe Dayo was a celebration of the accomplishments of Emory’s graduates with African heritage, as well as a community celebration. The title itself comes from Yoruba: "Modupe" meaning "we are thankful" and "Dayo" meaning "joy arrives." Every year, it's hosted by Emory’s Black Student Alliance, the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni, and the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services.


Co-sponsored by the Latino Student Organization and the Emory Latinx Alumni, Celebrating Accomplishments & Recognizing Academic Success (CARAS) honored the effort put forth by Emory students who are members of or connected to the Latinx community. The event featured performances, a sashing and candle lighting ceremony, and a reception.

The 100 Senior Honorary were recognized.

The graduating class of 100 Senior Honorary, a group chosen by the Emory Alumni Board and Student Alumni Board, were celebrated at a special family reception. These 100 graduating seniors were the campus leaders, through provokers, and community influencers committed to making contributions to their alumni communities out in the world.

Graduates continued the legacy.

Emory alumni not only make up a global family, but are often actually family. Every year, the EAA honors the graduates who are children, grandchildren, and/or siblings of Emory alumni with a special brunch and ceremony, when they receive legacy medallions to commemorate that special relationship.

Emory's Class of 1967 celebrated their 50-year reunion and were inducted into Corpus Cordis Aureum.

Corpus Cordis Aureum, Latin for "The Golden Corps of the Heart," celebrates Emory alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. The EAA hosts two signature events over Commencement Weekend to honor alumni celebrating their 50-year class reunions, as well as those who graduated before them.

On Commencement Sunday, Corpus Cordis Aureum inducted new members at a ceremony at the Miller-Ward Alumni House. Each new inductee received a specially-commissioned medallion to keep and wear at all future Corpus Cordis Aureum activities.

On Commencement Monday, all members of Corpus Cordis Aureum, including previous inductees, were invited to lead the march during the university's Commencement procession. Clad in gold robes donned during a breakfast reception in Candler Library, Corpus Cordis Aureum members entered the Quadrangle with the graduating class and sat at the front in the VIP section. During the ceremony, Corpus Cordis Aureum members were invited to stand and be recognized, symbolizing all Emory alumni who have graduated prior to the Class of 2017.

Commencement Monday went off without a hitch.

Nearly 15,000 celebrants gathered on the Emory Quadrangle as the 4,615 graduates proceeded across the ceremonial stage and moved forward into a new stage in their lives. Transformation and change were key themes highlighted throughout the day by Emory's 20th President, Claire E. Sterk. It was the first Commencement led by Dr. Sterk, who is the first female administrator to lead the university.

Emory Commencement 2017.

Thank you to all the alumni who played a part.

Emory Commencement 2018 is just around the corner.

Register today for upcoming Commencement events and activities the week of May 10-14.

Created By
Emory Alumni Association

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