U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff encourages graduates at the 2021 Class Day celebration

May 18, 2021

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Students (left to right) Drew Avery Bullock, Kassie Sarkar and Natalie Scales received the Boisfeuillet Jones Awards during Class Day 2021 in recognition of their leadership and contributions to the Emory community. Other highlights included an address from U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff followed by a Q&A.

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One longstanding element of Emory Commencement celebrations is Class Day, a student-organized event for the baccalaureate degree candidates of Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the School of Medicine (Medical Imaging Program).

Traditionally, Class Day is held on the Thursday before Commencement and features a student-selected keynote speaker and presentation of several senior awards. 

Class Day 2021 was held virtually Thursday, May 13, and featured a special address from U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff. His remarks were recorded in front of a small student audience in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. Following his address, Ossoff answered questions from some students who were present.

He impressed upon students how important their role is to the future and that he hoped they would find ways to get involved rather than waiting for others to do the work.

“Our generation faces truly historic challenges and obligations,” he said. “It’s not just about America. It’s about humanity, it’s about our planet. … Our generation has the chance to make more progress than any other generation ever has, to achieve things our parents and grandparents could only dream of.”

“Reflect for a moment on what a privilege it is to be alive at this moment and what an obligation we have to meet this moment,” he added. “Dream big. This is one of the most exciting moments to be alive and to be in a position to make a difference.”

The following award recipients were announced during Class Day (watch the full program here).

Boisfeuillet Jones Awards

These medals were established, designed and initially endowed by D.V.S. Senior Society to honor Boisfeuillet Jones, a D.V.S. alumnus and one of Emory's most prominent and distinguished graduates. Recipients are selected for their good citizenship, outstanding leadership, devoted service to Emory and the community, academic performance and potential to become a “change agent” in their chosen profession and society at large. 

The 2021 recipients are Drew Avery Bullock (Goizueta Business School), Kassie Sarkar (Emory College of Arts and Sciences) and Natalie Scales (Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing).

Knights of Emory Spirit Awards

The Knights of Emory Spirit Awards, sponsored by the Paladin Society, recognize two outstanding seniors who are unsung heroes/heroines. Students selected for this honor have made great contributions to the university and promote Emory spirit with passion and selflessness. 

Samantha Jaloza (Emory College of Arts and Sciences) and Alexis Greenblatt (Emory College of Arts and Sciences) are the 2021 Knights of Emory Spirt awardees.

Brit Katz Senior Appreciation Award

Britton Katz, role model, leader and director of residence life, was recognized at the first Class Day celebration in 2003 for his devotion to Emory’s students. The Brit Katz Award is presented in his honor to an administrator or staff member for his or her service as a role model and friend to the senior class, for participation in the Emory community beyond his or her professional duty, and who is deemed worthy of special recognition.

Sharon Rabinovitz, is the 2021 awardee. She is an assistant professor of family and preventive medicine in the Emory School of Medicine and is executive director of Student Health Services.

Lightkeeper of Emory

The Lightkeeper of Emory recognizes a senior who works to make the world a better place without seeking attention or accolades for his or her actions. The award, established by the Order of Ammon, was first given in 2019. 

Kassie Sarkar (Emory College of Arts and Sciences) is the 2021 Lightkeeper of Emory Award recipient. 

100 Senior Honorary

In addition to Class Day awards, each year the Emory Alumni Board and Student Alumni Board recognize 100 members of the current senior class for their achievements and potential as alumni leaders. 

These seniors are known for being campus leaders, thought provokers, dynamic athletes, academic mentors and community influencers. They are committed to their passions and pursuits, and have made significant contributions to the Emory community. 

Because the 100 have demonstrated outstanding achievements on campus, they are charged with acting as alumni leaders after graduation, in whatever capacity fits their interests and skills. They might mentor upcoming students, serve as admission representatives, become involved with local alumni chapters, join host committees during reunions or serve on leadership boards. The possibilities for how they might serve Emory in the world are endless.

Learn more about the 100 Senior Honorary and the 2021 members.