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Emory Engaging the Community

Emory Engaging the Community, PDF PDF document

Letter from President Wagner
Jim WagnerCommunity matters at Emory University. We are creating community here in our midst, of course, but Emory is also a member of a larger community that extends throughout DeKalb and Newton Counties, metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and indeed the world. The fact that our mission is “to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity” makes it clear that there is a larger purpose to our academic endeavors, and that is to serve the greater good.

Connecting Emory with community is not a lofty goal but rather a defining feature of Emory’s character, as described in our strategic plan, “Where Courageous Inquiry Leads.” It is how we approach teaching and research. Emory is combining its unique resources to address some of the toughest challenges facing our community, and our world, today. Many of you reading this booklet are helping us do that.

This publications describes some of the many ways in which our students, faculty, and staff are reaching out to partner with communities in Atlanta and Georgia. These partnerships reflect the broad reach of the university’s liberal arts and professional schools, our health care programs and research centers, and the many offices and centers such as Volunteer Emory and the Office of University-Community Partnerships that work to serve the public.

For each program described here, there are a dozen others, equally compelling. The good works described in this book may sound familiar to many of you because you are our partners. You hold us to our promises and you have seen firsthand what can happen when Emory engages with the community to transform the human condition. For that, we thank you. We look forward to continuing to serve our community and to moving ahead together to make Georgia even greater.

Jim Wagner
James W. Wagner, President

Service. It's more than a word or a process; it is one of Emory's core values, firmly stated as a commitment to knowledge to improve human well-being. Service is what happens when Emory faculty members engage their students in real-world problem solving. Not only do students learn core concepts more easily and deeply, they also become agents of change in the world, promoting Emory's strategic initiatives for addressing culture, sustainability, and professional/leadership development. In keeping with the demand that teaching, learning, research, and service be measured by high standards of integrity and excellence, and believing that each person and every level of scholarly activity should be valued on its own merits, the university aims to imbue scholarship at Emory with:

• A commitment to humane teaching and mentorship and a respectful interaction among faculty, students, and staff;

• Open disciplinary boundaries that encourage integrative teaching, research and scholarship;

• A commitment to use knowledge to improve human well-being; and

• A global perspective on the human condition.

• For many years, metro Atlanta and Georgia have benefited directly from Emory's teaching, learning, research, and service activities. The Office of Community and Diversity at Emory - founded in 2007 - identifies, creates, and advances efforts that lead to the development of community, both internally and externally. The office is responsible for three vital pursuits:

• Building community through existing programs and policies on campus;

• Working with academic units and external sources to transfer theory to practice in the Atlanta community; and

• Creating meaningful opportunities for interaction on campus.


Nearly 90 percent of all Emory undergraduates take part in service projects. The University states in its strategic plan that it will produce socially conscious leaders with a portfolio of skills proven and values tested in community involvement.

Emory received the 2008 Presidential Award for General Community Service, the highest federal recognition made to a college or university for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The university is also among the first schools in the nation to be recognized with the Engaged Institution designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.