On May 6, 2023, Emory & Henry celebrated its 175th commencement ceremony and the Class of 2023. Squire Miller Henry, a former porter and furnace stoker for the College, was among those celebrated, but with an honorary posthumous Doctorate of Divinity.
Vision Directs Our Future
During the next three years, Emory & Henry will take steps that will solidify a years-long transformation from a small, rural college to a comprehensive regional university that maintains a strong enrollment of a diverse student body receiving an education worthy of a top-tier institution while maintaining the culture of intimacy Emory & Henry is known for.
These initiatives are part of a recently devised strategic plan that is the culmination of efforts made by myself, the Board of Trustees, employees, alumni, students and friends. This strategic endeavor, known as “Elevate in Excellence,” seeks to complete decades of work toward an Emory & Henry that stands out in its application of the liberal arts, the success of its graduates and its support of diversity.
Specifically, this plan calls for the implementation of a host of new graduate and undergraduate programs (see cover story) that, when added to a long list of other such programs, elevate the College to university status. Emory & Henry makes this transition out of respect for what defines a university and for the benefits that Emory & Henry as a true university will deliver for its students and their futures.
This new strategic plan elaborates and activates the institution’s foundational principles of excellence, place and servant leadership while supporting the identity and vision of Emory & Henry. These principles define an essential character that will fuel the institution’s growth through this plan.
More importantly, these values are emphasized to remind the world of the virtue that comes to it from supporting and emulating the work of a rural college that humbly serves its mountain region, while leading the people of that place to higher levels of success, enlightenment and good will.
Our place in this region is one of significance and growth for the communities we serve. We have every intention to be connected to our partners in education, healthcare, technology, hospitality, business, government and religion. Together, we will impact the economic contributions to see the region thrive with our graduates at the helm.
Please consider your role and contributions as we continue to elevate in excellence and collectively contribute to our current campaign and fundraising efforts. Our connections are powerful and mighty. Never hesitate to reach out and let me know where you see making a difference at Emory & Henry.
Dr. John W. Wells
22 nd E&H President
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The 175th commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2023 was held at Fred Selfe Stadium on the Emory campus on Saturday, May 6. More than 230 graduates walked across the stage and received their diplomas with supportive family, friends and faculty cheering them on. Speakers included Dr. John W. Wells, president; Dr. Michael J. Puglisi, executive vice president and provost; Dr. Ann Sluder, ’81, chair of the board of trustees; Rev. Sharon Wright, ’94 College chaplain and co-pastor of Emory United Methodist Church; graduates Diego Zamarripa Velo, ’23 and Olivia Bailey, ’14, ’23; and keynote speaker Alan Levine, chair and chief executive officer of Ballad Health.