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Welcome Emory College’s Class of 2026 at the Emory Gate Crossing + Coke Toast
Emory Gate

Emory College of Arts and Sciences students in the Class of 2026 will begin their time on Emory’s Atlanta campus with a new tradition: the Emory Gate Crossing + Coke Toast on Monday, Aug. 22.

One longstanding tradition for Emory’s first-year students on both the Atlanta and Oxford campuses is a Coke Toast during orientation. In a new twist on an old favorite, the Class of 2026 for Emory College of Arts and Sciences will participate in an expanded event that includes the Atlanta community. Oxford students will celebrate with a traditional candlelight procession after Convocation. 

The Emory Gate Crossing + Coke Toast will be Monday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. Emory College’s Class of 2026 will walk through the iconic Haygood-Hopkins Gate to mark the beginning of their journey at the university. 

Faculty, staff, fellow students and alumni are invited to cheer on the students as they proceed to the Quad. Once there, President Gregory L. Fenves will lead a Coke Toast.

“The Haygood-Hopkins Gate serves as the iconic front door of Emory’s campus,” says Jill Camper, director of orientation and new student programs for Emory College. “What’s a better way to mark the beginning of a student’s Emory journey than to invite them through our front door and greet them as they come into their new home?”

Camper says a student suggested the idea of pairing the gate crossing with a Coke Toast to make the tradition even more memorable. 

“It seems to fit so well,” Camper says. “My hope is that the Gate Crossing + Coke Toast becomes one of those moments that students can point to and say, ‘That’s when I fell in love with Emory.’” 

Details for Emory community members 

Any Emory community members — faculty, staff, students and alumni — are invited to the Gate Crossing + Coke Toast. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Arrive at 10 a.m. to get a spot on the brick sidewalk between the Emory Gate and the Quad.
  • Volunteers will be available to assist.
  • The student procession will begin at 10:15 a.m.
  • As students walk to the Quad, clap and cheer to create a welcome to remember.
  • After the final students walk by, feel free to leave or head to the Quad to hear Fenves speak and to participate in a Coke Toast.

Oxford College celebrations 

The Coke Toast for Oxford first-year students will be Friday, Aug. 19. 

Following Oxford convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 24, first-year students will participate in a candlelight procession through the campus Quad, where second-year students gather to cheer and formally welcome them to Oxford. 

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