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Media advisory: 167th Commencement

Media Logistics for Emory University’s 2012 Commencement Monday, May 14

Emory University’s central commencement ceremony will begin at 8 a.m., Monday, May 14.  Due to extremely congested traffic in the area, I recommend that you arrive no later than 7 a.m.  Internationally renowned neurosurgeon and humanitarian Benjamin Carson will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. The event will take place on the Emory quadrangle for about 4,200 graduating students and their families. About 15,000 people are expected to attend. 

In addition to Carson, four other outstanding leaders in their fields will receive honorary degrees and include:

In addition to Carson, the four other honored recipients include:

  • Camille Billops, an artist, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.
  • James V. Hatch, writer and professor emeritus, who will receive an honorary doctor of letters.
  • Catharine R. Stimpson, a leader in the advancement of graduate education, who will receive an honorary doctor of letters. 
  • Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize winner known as the father of the microloan, who will receive an honorary doctor of letters.

Credentials:  Show your media credentials/I.D. to access the media section located in the front row to the far left of the stage and clearly marked. Please email your name, media outlet and contact information no later than 5 p.m. Friday, May 11, if you plan to cover the event. Freelancers must have a verifiable assignment from a recognized media outlet.

Arrival and parking:  Traffic is very congested on commencement morning in the Emory area; plan to arrive no later than 7 a.m. The best way to access campus is via Fishburne Drive off Clifton Road at the Goizueta Business School, and avoid the main entrance and traffic circle on N. Decatur Road.  View campus map, see: 

•  Television station vehicles:  Parking is available on Fishburne Drive across from Glenn Memorial Church. From Clifton Road, turn onto Fishburne Drive. At the second stop sign, go right. Emory Police officers will be there to direct you.

•  All other media will park in the Fishburne parking deck. From Clifton Road, turn on to Fishburne Drive. At the second sign, go left to reach the deck. A media relations staff member will be at the deck entrance to assist you and provide a parking pass.

Media seating:  The media section will be reserved at the front to the far left of the stage. A stand and a riser will be available along the back of the quad for camera crews. University communications staff will be in both locations to assist you and check credentials. A 12-port mult box with XLR connectors and mic or line level audiofeeds will be available. 

Video photography: Video crews will be allowed to move around the quad until the procession begins at 8 a.m. Then they will need to remain in the designated media areas. Tripods will be allowed only in the designated media sections. One 4X8 press stand will be available for your use along the back of the quad, which will be located about 62 yards away from the main stage. Additional space on the ground at the back of the quad with a riser will be reserved as well.

Still photography:  Photographers may approach the platform during the invocation, introduction of the speaker and during the first three minutes of the speech, then must move to the press section.

Lighting: No bat lights will be permitted on the platform party. 

The weather: In case of drizzle or light rain, the central ceremony may be shortened, but it will be held on the quad. In case of heavy rain or more extreme weather, the commencement address, awarding of honorary degrees and the hooding of Ph.D. candidates will take place at 9 a.m. in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road. Press seating will be very limited and a 12-port mult box will be available. We will contact you as early as possible that morning if a decision is made to move the ceremony indoors. 

** Call Beverly Clark at 404-712-8780 (w) or 404-275-4771 (c) if you have questions or special requests.

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