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Emory 2O36 campaign launch to focus on the future

A little over a year into his term as president of Emory University, Gregory L. Fenves is ready to write Emory’s next chapter with the announcement of the boldest fundraising campaign in university history: 2O36.

With an eye on Emory’s bicentennial, 2O36 focuses on investing in people for the benefit of people and aims to spearhead a movement to radically rethink and reshape the future.

The entire Emory University community is invited to get a glimpse of that future at the 2O36 celebration on Friday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Quad. At the event, Fenves and other campus leaders will detail their visions for the university. The immersive experience will also feature interactive stations under five futuristic domes. The main stage presentation begins at 12:30 p.m. View the full event schedule.

“The 2O36 campaign is about forging partnerships with great purpose and bold ambition, to invest in our people, who will shape our destiny, while broadcasting the Emory story with pride,” Fenves says.

“Too often I have heard Emory referred to as a hidden gem, but there is nothing hidden about our impact. We will write a new chapter for our university that leaves no doubt about our dedication to serving humanity.”

The campaign includes priorities across Emory, including all nine schools, multiple centers and institutes, as well as Emory Healthcare. Additionally, there are three core areas where the campaign will place special emphasis:

1. Student Flourishing: Seeing students realize their potential; preparing them for a lifetime of accomplishment beyond graduation; providing an inclusive environment; valuing each student and enabling them to excel in academics and all aspects of their lives.

2. Faculty Eminence: Recruiting and retaining a diverse, top-tier faculty; investing in our faculty’s big ideas and scholarship and creating a campus where all faculty have the resources and infrastructure to thrive in their research, teaching, and service.

3. Research Excellence: Launching the next era of Emory excellence in research and discovery to answer the most pressing questions and address the crucial needs of the nation and communities Emory serves.

Bob Goddard, chair of Emory’s Board of Trustees, shared that the board approved a $4 billion fundraising goal for the campaign. Deeply committed to focusing this campaign on people, there are aggressive goals in this area, including $750 million for student support and $900 million in support of faculty.

“President Fenves hit the ground running, and it’s obvious that he is driven, fearless and single-minded about taking Emory from excellence to eminence,” Goddard says. “But let me be clear, this campaign is not about a number. 2O36 is about investing in people — our students, faculty and researchers — and how they will transform the world.”

At the Friday launch event, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to learn more by exploring the activities inside the domes.

Under the large dome, deans and other administrators will share their priorities for the future of Emory. In two of the smaller domes, attendees can see examples of faculty and student research as art installations. Guests are also encouraged to share their visions for Emory’s future in the stories dome.

In the afternoon, Fenves and other guests will record live episodes in the podcast dome. Professor Cassandra Quave will explain ethnobotany and the development of plant-based antibiotics; and 1915 Scholars will discuss the impact of the program on first-generation college students. Fenves will conclude by conversing with professors George Painter and Dennis Liotta about Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), through which the new oral antiviral drug molnupiravir was invented and developed to treat COVID-19. 

The 2O36 event leads into Homecoming weekend. As a part of the student-run Swoop’s Streets celebration, themed around famous U.S. city streets, there will be a “Peachtree Street” area featuring giveaways and Atlanta-themed food (Varsity hot dogs, Coca-Cola beverages and custom 2O36 King of Pops popsicles). Food will be available beginning at noon.

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