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Class Day Crossover 2024 program features actor Tyler James Williams
EPV shot of Class Day Crossover

Members of the Class of 2024 will celebrate their transition from Emory students to Emory alumni during the events of Class Day Crossover.

— Emory Photo/Video

UPDATE: MAY 6, 2024

This event has been canceled. Emory's 179th Commencement has been relocated to the Gas South District, an indoor facility in Duluth, Georgia. For more information, please visit the Commencement website and read a message from Emory President Gregory L. Fenves.

Class of 2024, now is your time to live in the moment and enjoy the events leading up to Commencement.

Golden Globe award-winning actor Tyler James Williams has been named the keynote speaker for Emory’s 2024 Class Day Crossover, a program celebrating students receiving bachelor’s degrees from Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Emory School of Medicine (Medical Imaging Program).

Tyler James Williams will deliver the keynote speech for Class Day Crossover, happening May 9.

Greg Williams

Held on Thursday, May 9, from 6-11 p.m., the evening begins in the Emory Student Center (ESC) with food, music and camaraderie.

Following the Senior Reception, the Class Day Program begins in the ESC Multipurpose Room, kicking off Commencement Weekend. The program will feature senior awards, a final Coke Toast and student-selected Class Day speaker Tyler James Williams.

After the program, when the sun sets over Emory’s campus, students are invited to take part in a treasured tradition: the Candlelight Crossover. Students will receive candles and walk as a class from the ESC to McDonough Field while alumni, faculty and staff line the path and cheer, symbolizing the moment the Class of 2024 changes from students to alumni. Following the crossover, end the night with a glow party on McDonough Field featuring refreshments, including alcohol for those 21 and over, student DJs and senior class photo opportunities. Last year’s graduating class took more than 11,000 photos in the selfie-museum style photo environments.

Williams, the speaker for the Class Day program, is the 2023 Golden Globe winner for best supporting actor in a musical, comedy or drama for his role of Gregory Eddie in the award-winning series “Abbott Elementary.”

He frequently appears in both movies and television shows, from the critically acclaimed film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” alongside Andra Day to a starring role in the Sundance-winning feature “Dear White People.” He has starred in CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” ABC’s “Whiskey Cavalier” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Perhaps most notably, Williams was discovered at the age of five for the lead role in “Everybody Hates Chris,” which he starred in for four seasons.

“Tyler James Williams, whose career has been multifaceted to include acting, music and advocacy for education and youth empowerment, makes him an excellent choice for Class Day speaker,” says Zeaven Hoxie, a senior studying music with a concentration in vocal performance and neuroscience and a member of the student speaker selection committee for Class Day Crossover. “His advocacy for these causes makes him an approachable and motivating figure for students as they embark on their next chapter, be it academic or professional.

“We watched him as a young actor on programs like ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ and now see him in the award-winning show ‘Abbott Elementary,’” Hoxie continues. “His career not only serves as a source of inspiration, but also prompts introspective questions, like what challenges he faced along the way, or how we, as Emory seniors embarking on new phases, can apply insights given to us by an individual whose influence is not only well-established but also widely recognized across our generation.”

Class Day program speakers are selected by a group of graduating students. Previous speakers include Kal Penn, Scott Kelly, Chelsea Handler, Adam Richman, Kenneth Cole, Mia Farrow, Peyton Manning, Ben & Jerry, Bill Nye and Chipper Jones. 

Recognition of outstanding graduating students

In conjunction with the food and festivities during the Class Day Program, which is open to all undergraduate seniors, several senior awards will be presented.

The Boisfeuillet Jones Medals honor students 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.

Presented to an administrator or staff member, the Brit Katz Senior Appreciation Award recipient is selected by seniors for service as a role model and friend to the Class of 2024, for participation in the Emory community beyond their professional duty and who is deemed worthy of special recognition.

The Knights of Emory Spirit Awards recognize two outstanding seniors who have made great contributions to the university and promote Emory spirit with passion and selflessness.

An invitation for Emory alumni, faculty, staff and community

Celebrating the Class of 2024 isn’t limited to graduating students. All members of the Emory community play an important role in helping students reach this milestone. Emory alumni, faculty, staff and community members are invited to light the path around the Student Center Plaza and Asbury Circle to cheer on graduates during the Candlelight Crossover.

Candles will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to sport their Emory gear, bring signs and cheer on the students. Before Crossover activities, alumni and community members are invited to enjoy a reception with Emory giveaways, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Emory Student Center Commons, second floor.

Participation is essential to building on Emory’s tradition and culture of support, and thus is strongly encouraged for all who work with and/or support Emory students; please register to attend

Emory University Commencement

Monday, May 13
8:30 a.m. | Gas South Arena

UPDATE: May 6, 2024

The Emory University Commencement Ceremony, traditionally held on the Quadrangle for students and guests of all schools, will be held at the Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia, only for all undergraduate bachelor's degree candidates from Emory College of Arts and Sciences, the Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, along with their previously ticketed guests. Graduates from Oxford College as well as the graduate and professional programs are invited to view this ceremony by webcast. 

Visit the Commencement website for the full Commencement weekend schedule, information about planning your visit, answers to frequently asked questions and more.

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