Presidential Introductory Tour

Bold Beginnings

Taking a new president and her dynamic vision of the future of a historic university on the road.

Introducing a new president to a university’s far-flung constituents is always an opportunity for powerful moments of connection. When the president is the first woman and the first international citizen to hold the position, the occasion is even more exciting. To capitalize on these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, Emory University introduced new president Claire E. Sterk with a Bold Beginnings tour.

The goal of this regional presidential roadshow was to clearly demonstrate that President Sterk has the visionary power and will to lead Emory. The programming needed to arouse pride, community spirit, and a deeper appreciation for Emory’s local and global impact while looking to the future, respecting the university’s traditions, and showcasing Emory’s world-class reputation. At the same time, it needed to authentically reflect the unique personality and interests of the new president, defy expectations to deliver a “not business as usual” experience, and attract and engage record numbers of the Emory community.

From the save-the-date video featuring an array of colleagues, family members, and friends offering an engagingly personal glimpse into President Sterk’s personality, relationships, and interests, it was clear that this presidential roadshow would be anything but ordinary. A brief biographical video opened each event, showcasing the president’s personal and professional background and international stature. A custom stage setting helped to establish a tone that was warm yet modern and fresh.

From Jane Fonda and Kai Ryssdal to Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Young, Jr., the tour also introduced guests to favorite alumni and friends in each city. After sharing thoughts that spoke to the breadth and depth of her appreciation of and vision for Emory, President Sterk answered questions from the audience and joined guests in a dinner reception. Roles in the program were created to honor trustees and special donors in each city, and guests were given ample opportunity to interact directly with President Sterk, special guests, and one another.