Bishop-in-Residence Woodie White marches in his <br/> final Candler commencement ceremony.Emory University conferred degrees on 4,586 students at its 171st commencement exercises on Monday, May 9, as the Class of 2016 celebrated their graduation. Commencement began with a university-wide ceremony on Emory’s Quadrangle, which featured an address by renowned epidemiologist and former Emory public health professor William Foege, who is credited with creating the global strategy to eradicate smallpox.

Afterward, Candler graduates moved to Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church for their diploma ceremony. Candler conferred a total of 132 degrees this year, which included 82 Master of Divinity, 17 Master of Theology, 15 Master of Theological Studies, six Master of Religion and Public Life, seven Master of Religious Leadership, one Master of Divinity/Master of Public Health, one Master of Theological Studies/Master of Arts-Bioethics, and three Doctor of Theology degrees.

In her opening remarks, Dean Jan Love recognized four individuals retiring this year, who represent a collective 118 years of service to Candler: Barbara Day Miller, associate dean of worship and music; Woodie W. White, bishop-in-residence; Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins; Steven M. Tipton, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Sociology of Religion; and Brad Jones, director of finance and administration.

Faculty, students, and Candler Singers during commencement.The dean recognized Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology Karen D. Scheib as the recipient of the Emory Williams Teaching Award, the highest teaching award granted by the University. The award honors faculty for fostering participation, inquiry, and creative expression in the classroom, providing a model for teaching and scholarship, and serving as a mentor to students.

In her formal address, Dean Love acknowledged the many contributions that Candler’s Class of 2016 has brought to the school and university, including inspirational worship and preaching, an annual student-led academic conference, active community engagement regarding issues of social justice and creation care, and raising more than $28,000 for student scholarships through the senior class gift campaign.

Love also read from Acts 17:1-9, noting that authorities in the Greek town of Thessalonica accused Paul and the disciples of “turning the world upside down” and “saying that there is another king named Jesus.”

“What will you do to witness to the reign of God in your life and the ministries you serve?” Love asked the graduates. “The challenges and opportunities abound. The world needs your fervent daily demonstration that there is another king named Jesus.”

Story photos by Joseph McBrayer 09T 17G.

Homepage photo by Cindy Brown 09T.