May 1 2009

Earth Day and a Green Emory



Two weeks ago, Emory and Candler celebrated Earth Day along with millions of people across the globe. You may not know this, but Emory University is one of the leading universities in the country in terms of environmental consciousness and sustainability.

One of the student leaders on Candler’s campus in terms of Greening the seminary and sustainability issues is Alison Amyx (pictured right). In honor of her green activities on campus, Alison, a first-year Master of Theological Studies student, won the Myki Mobley Memorial award at the 2009 Candler Honors Day awards. The Mobley award is given to an MTS student who “demonstrates both academic excellence and significant social concern.”

Alison hosted two events on campus on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 featuring Dr. Katy Hinman, a 2006 Candler MDiv grad who also holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from SUNY Stony Brook. Dr. Hinman is the Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL), a non-profit group in Atlanta working with faith communities (churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, and other centers) on issues of Creation care and energy conservation.

Earth Day also included a screening of “RENEWAL,” a documentary film about the efforts that faith groups of all stripes around the world working are taking to combat climate change. Click on the image to the left to watch a short clip.

One of the reasons I love working at Emory is its institutional commitment to put energy (no pun intended) and resources into sustainability. Due to the work of Alison and other Emory faculty, staff, and students, Emory has the following green distinctions:

  • Earned one of only 11 spots on the Princeton Review’s “2009 Green Rating Honor Roll.”
  • More LEED certified building space than any other university in the nation (including the Theology Building, which is in the process of LEED certification)
  • Named “2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year” by The Georgia Conservancy.
  • Offered 129 courses with a sustainability component or focus, including 13 in Theology, Religion, or Philosophy.
  • Featured on CNN and CNNU for our green initiatives (see below)

CNN piece, April 22, 2009,on sustainability at Emory

(4 minutes, 24 seconds run time)

CNNU project, April 29, 2009 on student involvement in environmentalism

at Emory. Look for Alison Amyx’s nine- seconds of fame from 1:59-2:08. (3 minutes, 20 seconds run time)

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May 1 2009

Candler Spring Banquet

Spring Banqueteers, from left to right, Becca Storace (MTS ’10),

Cody Case (MDiv ’10), and Justice Schunior (MDiv ’09). They might have been

rocking out to Bon Jovi. Livin’ on a Prayer??? Tough to tell.



Spring is a time of joy, celebration, and transition at Candler. Last Friday, April 24, Candler held its annual Spring Banquet, AKA “The Candler Prom,” an outward expression of all of these for students, faculty, and staff. There is joy in fellowship and dancing with friends, classmates, coworkers, and professors. Though Finals still remain for some, everyone celebrates the end of a rigorous academic year or an entire degree program. And the school begins a transition, as students graduate, classmates move across town and around the world, and faculty and staff retire and follow life on to further adventures.

Here are some photos of and thoughts about the Spring Banquet, from some of our students and faculty.

Above, from left to right, Scott Wilks (MDiv ’09) and Khalif Smith (MDiv ’11)

Scott Wilks, MDiv ’09,

The Candler Prom is that last chance to unwind with friends, to raise a glass and salute good times, and to get that hug or handshake from someone who has shared the laughter and the tears. The Candler Prom included all the fun parts of a wedding reception, except that instead of celebrating just one couple, we were celebrating ALL of us. Friends like Khalif who remind me that my brothers (and sisters), whether in friendship or in Christ, enrich our lives by walking with me and sharing who they are.

During my time at Candler, I built some real friendships which have sustained and enriched the educational component of the academy. Some will remind me of God’s love for all when I hear people say stupid or hateful things. Some will give me hope that God’s work, which is entrusted into human hands and hearts, will be pursued with diligence and purpose.



Above, from left to right, Haemin Lee (ThM ’07, Emory PhD ’13) and Candy Benson (MDiv ’11)

Diane Kenaston, MDiv ’11 (not pictured)

Best parts about Candler Prom:

  • relaxing after a stressful last week of class (and gearing up for finals)
  • being with friends who feel more like family
  • hanging out with the third-years one last time (officially!)
  • watching the choir pose as Calendar Girls
  • the Colbert-Report-styled Candler video
  • and (my personal favorite) seeing professors break it down on the dance floor (especially Dr. Brooks Holifield, below)
Professor Brooks Holifield, with his wife Vicky, doing an old school Swing.



Above, from left to right, Nancy Gerhart, Sarah Glidewell, Maria Presley,

and Christina Repoley, all from the MDiv class of 2011



Nancy Gerhart, MDiv ’11

I had a great time at Candler Prom! I was so fun to watch the videos, eat, and dance with my fellow students, professors, and Candler staff. At Candler you feel like you are part of a community anyway, but it became very evident at the Spring Banquet that we all love each other and are here to support each other and have fun!

Sarah Glidewell, MDiv ’11

Spring Banquet provides an opportunity for the Candler community to come together outside of the classroom. Spending time with classmates, professors, and especially those about to graduate is a great way to end the year!



Maria Presley, MDiv ’11

The highlight of Candler prom for me was celebrating the last day of my first year of classes with the friends who have filled my first year of memories.



Above, from left to right, Susan Evans (MTS ’10) and Nathan Skinner (MTS ’10)

Above, from left to right, Jenna Strizak (MDiv ’11) and Lea Harrison (MTS ’10)

Jenna Strizak, MDiv ’11

Spring Banquet was a great chance to decompress from finals, visit with old friends and new, and celebrate (and poke fun at ourselves!) as a community.



Above, from left to right, Kim Jackson (MDiv ’09), Khalif Smith (MDiv ’11) and Trina Jackson (MTS ’09)



Kim Jackson, MDiv ’09

I missed the Candler Spring banquet my first year, and after seeing the pictures, I vowed to never miss it again during my time at Candler. The “Prom” is such a fun experience, and a great time to share laughs and good food with the Candler community. I especially enjoyed seeing faculty and staff getting on the dance floor with us!



Above, from left to right, Keri Olsen (MDiv ’11), and Duncan Teague (MDiv ’11)

Keri Olsen, MDiv ’11

As a first year student, Spring Banquet seemed like the last of our initiation into the Candler community. It was a witness to the fact that we really were a part of a fun and trusting community composed of professors and students, but most importantly friends.

Duncan Teague, MDiv ’11

The evening was a pleasant distraction from our finals and papers. Everyone cleaned up so nice. It was fun to do the Electric Slide with half of my fellow students from Preaching Class.