Candler Helps Emory Celebrate 175th Anniversary


Watch a WSB-TV news clip of the Emory convocation celebration

By:  Molly Edmonds

On Dec. 7, Emory University held a convocation celebration to cap off its 175th anniversary year. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered in Glenn Memorial Auditorium to celebrate Emory’s legacy and to anticipate ways that legacy can be strengthened in the years ahead. Candler School of Theology had the honor of participating in several aspects of the ceremony. 
Candler’s Dean Jan Love delivered the invocation, offering gratitude for the spark that inspires our hearts and minds to seek knowledge and giving thanks for Emory’s legacy as a place where that partnership of heart and mind can thrive. In anticipation of the challenges Emory faces in the future, Dean Love acknowledged the danger of complacency and asked that the Emory community be provided guidance of spirit so that it might continue to shape a faithful future.
Bishop Michael Watson 74T, resident bishop of the North Georgia area of The United Methodist Church, brought official greetings from the denomination, which holds the Emory University charter. He reflected on the bylaws of the university and the Church’s desire to create a place that unites the qualities of knowledge and piety and nurtures them together. “A working mind and a questing spirit draw sustenance from each other,” he said. “The laboratory and the chapel support each other.”
Watson presented a sprig of holly that grew from an oak where John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached in the 1730s. “May Emory long flourish as this holly has done through the generations,” he said.
In the Anniversary Address, Emory University President James Wagner cited Candler’s work with the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Lee Arrendale State Prison as an example of how Emory continues to address challenges in today’s society. Noting that the program was the brainchild of Candler alumna Susan Bishop and Candler professor Elizabeth Bounds, Wagner explained that the classes emphasize critical thinking skills to female inmates, who might be exposed to that kind of analysis for the first time. These thinking skills, Wagner noted, provide the opportunity for transformation, both in the inmates’ lives and in society.
The convocation also paid tribute to 175 Emory “History Makers,” a group of luminaries who have made history at Emory and beyond. The final list, which was selected from 1,000 potential nominees, includes many Candler alums, Candler’s namesake, and a former dean. The History Makers (or, in some cases, their descendants) were honored at a breakfast ceremony, where they received medals that were worn during the convocation.
History Makers from Candler include: 

  • Candler’s namesake, Bishop Warren Akin Candler. As bishop he was part of the committee that oversaw the expansion of Emory College into a university with theology, law, and medical schools.
  • James T. Laney, dean of Candler School of Theology from 1969 to 1977. He also served as president of Emory from 1977 to 1993 and as U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 1993 to 1997.
  • Henry Morton Bullock 24C 25T. An influential Methodist clergyman and educator, Bullock produced the first official account of Emory’s early years in 1936.
  • Ernest Cadman Colwell 23C 27T 44H. Colwell was a noted biblical scholar who also served as president of the University of Chicago, vice president and dean of faculties at Emory University, and president of the Claremont School of Theology. While at Emory, he founded the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.
  • J. Marvin Rast 18C 29T. As an Emory college senior, Rast penned the Emory alma mater. He went on to become a Methodist minster and educator who wrote the syndicated column “Altar Stairs” for 30 years.
  • Neal Bond Fleming 33C 36T. Fleming served as dean of Oxford College during a period of tremendous growth. He founded the Historical Shrine Society and worked tirelessly to raise funds to restore Old Church.
  • Kiyoshi Tanimoto 40T 86H. Tanimoto was the minister of the Negarehawa United Church in Japan, which was destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Tanimoto devoted years to helping survivors, including the “Hiroshima Maidens.”
  • Jack Boozer 40C 42T. Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religion for more than 35 years, Boozer was active in racially integrating the University and advocating vigorously for Emory’s emerging ethical and academic leadership.
  • L. Bevel Jones III 46C 49T 97H. Jones served six pastorates in North Georgia before he was elected bishop in 1984. He also served as bishop-in-residence at Decatur First United Methodist Church and at Candler. He is a trustee emeritus of Emory University.
  • James Turpin 49C 51T 55M. Turpin is the founder of Project Concern International, a nonprofit health and humanitarian aid organization dedicated to preventing disease, improving community health, and promoting sustainable development worldwide.
  • James M. Wall 49C 55T 85H. Wall was editor of The Christian Century for 27 years and played a major role in the dialogue on ethical and religious concerns within Protestant denominations.
  • Nelia J. Kimbrough 74T and R. Calvin Kimbrough 75T. The Kimbroughs cofounded Patchwork Central in 1977 in an inner-city neighborhood in Evansville, Indiana. Since 2004, they have worked at the Open Door Community in Atlanta, which serves meals, staffs a free medical clinic, conducts worship services, and provides a prison ministry.
  • Susan T. Henry-Crowe 76T. Emory’s dean of the Chapel and Religious Life since 1991, Henry-Crowe focuses on fostering interreligious dialogue. She was the first female president of The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council, and in 2000, the United Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education named her Chaplain of the Year.
  • John Lloyd Cromartie 64C 88T. Cromartie, the senior minister of Cumming First United Methodist Church, also holds a law degree from the University of Georgia. He served as the executive director of the Georgia Legal Services Programs and continues to teach and write on the topic of faith and the law.
  • Arthur B. Keys 92T. Keys is president and CEO of International Relief and Development (IRD). Since founding IRD in 1998, Keys has overseen more than $1.75 billion in humanitarian assistance to Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the United States Gulf Coast.
  • Melissa Maxcy Wade 72C 76G 96T 00T. Wade took over Emory’s debate team, the Barkley Forum, and turned it into an award-winning national powerhouse. She is also a national leader in establishing Urban Debate Leagues, which offer debate opportunities to inner-city youth.

Candler School of Theology will have its own opportunity to celebrate a major milestone in the coming years: In 2014, the school will mark its 100th anniversary.