The white marble buildings and manicured lawns are the first clue when walking onto Emory’s campus that it’s not a typical college. Aside from the gorgeous setting that’s fifteen minutes northeast of downtown Atlanta, Emory’s combination of diversity and academic excellence drives its students to work hard and play hard. Since its inception as a small Methodist college in Oxford, Georgia, in 1836, Emory has become a nationally ranked university. The school offers a broad liberal arts education and sets students on a track for success in various fields and concentrations. Emory’s connections to highly accredited businesses and organizations in Atlanta, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Coca-Cola, help the university attract applicants from more than fifty countries and rank among the nation’s elite. Emory is known for its commitment to creating positive transformation in the world— it expects its students to do well and also do good for the world.
Emory’s always changing and that’s directly seen by the constant construction on campus. The University continues its commitment to providing students with state-of-theart facilities, including compensation of a $14.8 million expansion/renovation of the Cox Dining Hall, and a $20-million Sorority Housing Complex features ten townhouses on Eagle Row. Additionally, new residence halls are under construction with nine freshman living complexes being built in eight years. Three of the nine new residences halls are currently open with the remaining six to be completed in the next five years. Cox Hall computer lab lets students create interactive projects with SmartBoards and DVD production software, and the new Math and Science Center helps students study constellations in the high-tech planetarium. The forty-two-acre Clairmont Campus offers apartment-style housing to juniors and seniors, equipped with a washer/dryer unit, full kitchen, and individual rooms with full-size beds. The Student Activity and Academic Center on Clairmont Campus lets students soak up rays beside the Olympic-size, heated outdoor pool, play sand volleyball, or study on the plush leather couches. The 90,000-square-foot Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts allows students to enjoy an orchestra concert, dance performance, or theater reading. These additions combined with the pedestrian-friendly, auto-restricted zones makes Emory accessible and unique for all its students.
Aside from the innovative buildings and designs, the students’ serious drive for excellence sets Emory apart from other schools. All Emory undergraduates can choose from more than seventy majors, fifty-six minors, nine combined bachelor’s/master’s degrees, ten pre-professional programs, and two dual degree programs in engineering with Georgia Tech. Fifty-two percent of Emory students have dual majors and/or minors. Many come to Emory already sure that they want to pursue a terminal degree, and sixty-five percent of a recent graduating class went on to a graduate program in medicine, law, business, sciences, or the humanities within six months of graduation.
Students enjoy Emory outside of the classroom as well. There’s always an on-campus lecture by a renowned writer, a unique sub-Saharan art exhibit, or a band concert featuring popular artists, such as Common, The Roots, and Guster, that students can attend. Undergrads can also step off campus to attend a Falcons game, visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or enjoy a meal at a trendy restaurant in smart Buckhead or the Virginia Highlands. For weekends and breaks, Emory’s location makes it convenient for students to take road trips to the coast of Georgia, the Panhandle of Florida, or the Louisiana bayou. Whatever the event, Emory students are seldom bored and can always find the perfect mix of academic, cultural, and entertaining events on or off campus.
During my four years at Emory, it always astonished me how people reacted when they heard I attended this university. Whether it’s my father’s coworker or a random person I met at an internship or in a doctor’s office, the ‘wow’ reply never ceased to amaze me. People were taken aback by Emory, and recognized the institute as a respected, forward-thinking school. I am proud to say I attended one of the top twenty schools in the nation. As a graduate now, I constantly run into people through my new job who ask where I went to college and still receive that ‘wow’ or ‘great school’ comment. There’s nothing better than hearing a stranger be impressed by my collegiate choice.
Emory offers a unique, fantastic education to those who’re ready for a diverse and demanding education. Although Emory is probably not for everyone, students who seem to thrive on full schedules, big ambitions, and a work-hard, play-hard attitude will find themselves at home here. Emory offers a challenging, but supportive environment with great intellectual and cultural resources. Students learn a number of theories, but most important, they learn how to think critically and for themselves.
But facts and figures can offer only so much information; it’s impossible to describe the special atmosphere at Emory. Students find it difficult to quantify fond memories of ordering Dominos pizza at three in the morning while procrastinating for studying for a midterm, grabbing a drink with friends to celebrate a new job, or caravaning to the Coast for a weekend getaway. Graduates will always have a soft spot for something—a cold Coke or a burrito from Willy’s—that reminds them of their alma mater. Emory is more than a college education; it’s a glimpse into the copious opportunities of the real world that are framed by an outstanding network of professors, researchers, athletes, and artists. Whether a student wants to become an archeologist, doctor, politician, or writer, a solid Emory education will get him or her on the right track. The diversity of the school in the heart of Atlanta produces the comfort and adventure of a quintessential college experience that lucky students will have the chance to encounter.
I don’t think I could’ve landed such a good first job if it hadn’t been for my experience at Emory. I learned how to think for myself and be aware of my surroundings. After four years at Emory, I emerged as a confident and inquisitive woman with a new vision of what I wanted to do in life and what mattered, both professionally and personally. My only regret is not getting to spend more time at Emory. During senior year, I wish I wasn’t so antsy to graduate and begin working, because if I could, I’d be back there in a heartbeat.