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Emory celebrates Charter Week with lectures, music and special events
charter week artwork

Emory University will reflect on its historic beginnings — and look to the future — during the 2023 Charter Week. Formerly called Founders Week, this traditional midwinter program highlights opportunities to participate in the rich diversity of academic and campus life.

Charter Week commemorates the first meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees on Feb. 6, 1837, two months after Emory College was founded in Oxford, Georgia. It also serves as an opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate the university’s past, present and future.

This year’s celebration will run Feb. 6–11 and feature a series of lectures and events spotlighting important issues such as race and culture, art and identity, politics and more. Members of the Emory community also can attend campus activities including men’s basketball games, women’s and men’s swimming and diving meets, and a poetry reading by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón. 

A highlight of Charter Week will be President Gregory L. Fenves speaking on the meaning of One Emory and future plans for the initiative. All members of the Emory community are invited to attend that event, set for Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 3:30–5 p.m. at the Emory Student Center.

“In 2018, Emory leadership developed One Emory, a strategic framework for the university,” says Fenves. “A lot of great work went into that plan, but in speaking with faculty, staff and students over the past two and a half years, it is clear we need to make additions to it. During the community gathering on Feb. 7, I will talk about a reimagined One Emory strategy that is bold and reflects the incredible institution that we are.”

Charter Week also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, which will be celebrated during the Emory University Jazz Fest. Jazz Fest is a three-day event that provides world-class jazz with master classes, artist lectures/demonstrations and concerts. 


2023 Charter Week Schedule 


Monday, Feb. 6

Race and Difference Colloquium Series: “They Tried to Kill Us With Their Democracy, So We Fought Them With Ours: A Story of Segrenomics, Racism, and Health in the Battle for Education in Detroit” 

12 p.m., Woodruff Library, Jones Room

This event is part of the James Weldon Johnson Institute’s weekly Race and Difference Colloquium Series (co-sponsored by Woodruff Library). The Charter Week lecturer Noliwe Rooks, chair of Africana Studies at Brown University, will speak on her research about education policy, political economy and citizen activism. The event is free but registration is required. 


Emory Oxford Men’s Basketball 

7 p.m., Oxford College, Williams Hall

The Oxford men’s team takes on Columbia International University Reserve Squad. Admission is free for Oxford students, faculty, staff, alumni and families.  


Tuesday, Feb. 7

Charter Week Gathering with President Fenves

3:30 p.m., Emory Student Center Multipurpose Room

Open to all Emory students, faculty and staff. Enjoy jazz music, free food and fellowship. President Fenves will make a special presentation about One Emory at 4 p.m. Registration is not required. 


Charter Week Gathering at Oxford College

3:30 p.m., Oxford Student Center, Greer Forum

All faculty, staff and students are invited to watch a livestream of Emory President Greg Fenves's Charter Week speech. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 3:30 p.m., with the speech starting at 4 p.m. No RSVP is required.


2023 John F. Morgan Sr. Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Reception 

6 p.m., Convocation Hall, Room 208 

Join the lecture and reception honoring Colleen McBride, recipient of the 2023 John F. Morgan Sr. Distinguished Faculty Award. McBride is professor of behavioral sciences and health education at Rollins School of Public Health and will speak on “Human Genome Mapped: Public Health Benefits?” The event is free but registration is required. 


Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) Inspiration Awards

6:30 p.m., Emory School of Law, Gambrell Hall, Tull Auditorium 

One of Emory Law’s signature annual events, the Inspiration Awards celebrate members of the community who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to public interest and public service. This year’s event also will recognize the 10th anniversary of the Volunteer Clinic for Veterans at Emory Law. Registration is required.


Wednesday, Feb. 8

Great Works Seminar: “Phillis Wheatley in the #BlackLivesMatter Era 

5 p.m., Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry

The Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry is a focal point for humanities endeavors at Emory  and serves to advance research and teaching in the humanities. This seminar focuses on the writings of 18th century African American poet Phillis Wheatley and is open to the Atlanta community on a first come, first served basis. 


100 Senior Honorary Induction Ceremony 

6 p.m., Emory Student Center, Multipurpose Room

Every year, the Emory Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Association recognize the success of outstanding students and identify emerging alumni leaders from the current senior class through 100 Senior Honorary. A committee of campus partners selected this year’s 100 Senior Honorary class from more than 1,000 nominations. The induction ceremony honors and celebrates the Class of 2023’s 100 Senior Honorary students as they receive this award and are charged to become engaged leaders in the alumni community.


Emory Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving 

Feb. 8 to Feb. 11, Woodruff P.E. Center

Emory will host the 2023 University Athletic Association’s championships, a four-day event with eight leading universities competing in swimming and diving. Admission is free. 


Thursday, Feb. 9

Biology Seminar Series with Andrea Duina, Department of Biology and Health Sciences, Hendrix College

11:30 a.m., O. Wayne Rollins Research Center, Room 1052

This seminar will feature Andrea Duina, professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology and Health Sciences at Hendrix College, discussing insights into fact-gene interactions in budding yeast.  


Emory Explores: Ethics of Innovation  

12 p.m., Maggiano’s Little Italy Buckhead 

This installment of the Emory Explores series discusses the topic of social entrepreneurship. Attendees will hear remarks from Peter Roberts, professor of organization and management and founding academic director of social enterprise at Goizueta Business School. 

Lunch and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the $15 ticket price. Parking validation is provided to guests who present their ticket inside the event. 


Jazz Fest: Lecture and Demonstration with Warren Wolf 

2:30 p.m., Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall 

A multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, Warren Wolf has played or recorded with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Pelt and “Creation,” Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, esperanza spalding and many others. The lecture and demonstration are free to the public with no registration required. 


Empowering Latinx Georgia in 2022 and Beyond 

6 p.m., Convocation Hall

Panelists will discuss the rising impact of Latino/a/x voters in Georgia and the work state organizations are doing to fully engage this community in political and civic affairs.  Representatives from the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, Poder Latinx and the Latino Community Fund of Georgia will be present. A light dinner will be served for registered attendees. This event is sponsored by the Latinx Studies Faculty Initiative as part of their thematic focus on “Local Latinx” issues in 2022-2023. Registration is required.


Friday, Feb. 10

23rd Annual 12th Night Revel with U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón 

6 p.m., Emory Conference Center Hotel, Silverbell Pavilion 

This annual celebration of poetry to benefit the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library will feature U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón. General admission tickets start at $150 or $100 for young alumni who graduated from Emory in the last 10 years. 


Jazz Fest: Warren Wolf and the Emory Jazz Fest All-Stars

8 p.m., Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall

Multi-instrumentalist Warren Wolf takes the stage with the Emory Jazz Fest All-Stars: Gary Motley (piano), Edwin Livingston (bass), Clarence Penn (drums) and Greg Tardy (saxophone). Reserved seating tickets are $30 each.


Saturday, Feb. 11

Jazz Fest: Jazz Clinic 

11:30 a.m., Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Tharp Rehearsal Hall

This event is free to the public and no registration is required. 


The Raymond Danowski Poetry Series with U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón 

3 p.m., Glenn Memorial Church Auditorium

Attend a free public reading by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón. Contact Jason Lowery for more event information.


Jazz Fest: Emory Big Band with Gary Motley Trio and members of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra 

8 p.m., Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall 

This event will conclude both Emory Charter Week and Jazz Fest. It’s open to the public and will feature the Emory Big Band, the Gary Motley Trio and members of the string section of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra. Admission is free, but a ticket is required.

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