Emory gathers to commemorate Veterans Day

By Leslie King | Nov. 8, 2016

Story image

The Emory Veterans Association invites the community to the annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the flagpole on the Quad. Here, the Emory Color Guard marches in the 2015 ceremony. Emory Photo/Video

The Emory Veterans Association invites the community to the annual Veterans Day ceremony Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at the flagpole on the Quad.

U.S. Army Major Jon Keen will be the featured speaker. Keen is a decorated Army Infantry Officer having served in Afghanistan. He earned an MBA from Emory's Goizueta Business School and held a public service fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is currently employed by the Deloitte Consulting Practice and is president of the GBS Alumni Board. 

Keen will be introduced by Jeffrey Rosensweig, associate professor of finance. As the founding faculty sponsor to the Emory Veterans Association, Rosensweig has also served in that role to the GBS Veterans Club for the last 25 years, building and sustaining relationships with all of the veterans coming through the school during that time.

Prior to Keen’s speech, Rosensweig will lead the gathering in observing a minute of silence in memory of Armistice Day, marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the ceasing of hostilities following World War I.

Keen and Rosensweig will be joined on the platform by Kirk Elifson, research professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education in the Rollins School of Public Health, who served as an Army Captain during Vietnam. He has also been involved in advocacy in the area of veteran homelessness as well as building intentional supports for student veterans in higher education.

“We are very appreciative of the support of Dr. Elifson and his wife, President Claire E. Sterk, for their commitment to the veterans community at Emory,” says Charles Stewart, co-president of the Emory Veterans Association and a 2017 MBA candidate.

Just before 11 a.m., uniformed veterans will march out from behind the Michael C. Carlos Museum and take their positions around the flagpole. They will be led by John Green, Honor Guard leader and a member of the Emory Veterans Association.

Also participating in the Honor Guard and among the audience will be Army ROTC Emory cadets, who are currently in training to take the oath of office and serve as Army officers after they graduate.  

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to enjoy refreshments provided by Tab Ansari, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and professor of pathology in the School of Medicine.

"It gives me a great sense of pride and joy to celebrate Veterans Day every year here at Emory because I believe we do not spend enough time to stop and thank those who have served our country, those who continue to serve our country and those, of course, who paid the ultimate price," says Ansari, who served nearly a decade in the U.S. Navy.

Other sponsors include the Employee Council, Student Government Association, Graduate Student Government Association, Emory Alumni Association and the Office of the President.

“On behalf of the Emory Veterans Association and the Emory Employee Council, on behalf of student, staff, and faculty Veterans and all of those who grew up in service families, we deeply thank you for sharing in this special ceremony with us and contributing your own leadership and thoughts to it," Stewart says.

He also acknowledges the service and contributions of veterans Ansari; Andrew West, senior center administrator for the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and Ken Keen, lieutenant general and associate dean of the Leadership Development Program in Goizueta Business School.

Emory’s tradition to commemorate Veterans Day got its start in 2008 when West and Matt Engelhardt, who was president of the Employee Council at the time, proposed that Emory support a short ceremony to honor veterans.

“Nothing political,” West explains, “just a short ceremony to recognize all of Emory’s faculty, staff and students who either serve in the military or have served in the military.” 

The first of these gatherings of veterans and those who support them took place in 2009. “We’ve received great support from lots of different people and organizations over the years,” West said, noting that Emory University Historian Gary Hauk has been very involved every year since the beginning.


For more information on Emory’s ongoing and extensive support involvement with veterans, see Veterans at Emory.