One of my favorite events in the Emory Alumni Association calendar year is during the spring when we induct a new class of Emory alumni into the Corpus Cordis Aureum, the golden corps of the heart. Membership in the CCA is limited to alumni who have been out of Emory for at least fifty years. Each spring, as alumni from the undergraduate college, and the graduate and professional schools mark this golden anniversary, they are eligible to go through the induction ceremony, receive their medallion, don a golden robe and lead the academic procession on the quadrangle at Commencement. It is both moving and joyful to be a part of the ceremony marking this auspicious occasion.
This year’s ceremony was even more impressive as we named the second recipient of the Jake Ward Golden Heart Award. This honor is given to a member of the CCA who–over the course of their many years of association with Emory–has made significant volunteer contributions in service to Emory, but has been largely unheralded. The award was first given last year, posthumously, to Dean of Alumni Jake Ward 33C 36G, himself. This year the nominating committee of the Emory Alumni Board had the responsibility to select the next recipient, Emory Williams 32C – and what a fitting selection it was!
At 99 years old, Emory Williams remains engaged and active in Emory and its activities, serving as an Emeritus Trustee of the University, regularly visiting with deans and administrators, attending EAA programs in Florida and Atlanta and serving as an outstanding ambassador for the university. Williams served as a member of the Board of Visitors, as a class agent, founded the Emory Williams Faculty Teaching Award and served as President of the Chicago Chapter. Introduced by former Dean of Emory College, Bobby Paul, Williams spoke of his admiration for Jake Ward and his joy at receiving this award. He was joined by his wife of 68 years, Janet, and three of his five children.
Ginger Cain 77C 82G, Director of External Affairs for the Emory University Libraries and former University Archivist, took the newest inductees, the Class of 1961, down memory lane as she reminded them about key events in popular culture and the University during their time at Emory. She noted that this class induction occurs during the 175th anniversary of Emory’s founding in Oxford, GA–a very special time when Emory celebrates its history while it looks forward to its amazing future.
–Martha Fagan, senior director, EAA