The Board of Trustees are honored to announce the inauguration of Claire E. Sterk as the 20th president, and first female chief executive, of Emory University on February 8, 2017. A leading international expert in public health and anthropology, Sterk joined the university in 1995, earning the title of Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health. She also chaired the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and was associate dean for research at the Rollins School of Public Health. With her husband and research partner, Kirk Elifson, Sterk has attracted more than $33 million in research funding to Emory. She is the author of three books and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. After joining the Office of the Provost in 2005, Sterk focused on faculty development and enhancing the undergraduate experience, becoming provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2013. Now, as president, her bold vision for enhancing the university’s global reputation and reach is already in evidence.

Inauguration Events

A Celebration of Emory's History and Traditions

Oxford Campus, Monday, February 6, 2017, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

A walking tour of the central Oxford campus, celebrating the university's origins and traditions. Dessert reception follows at the Library and Academic Commons for the Oxford campus community.


Michael C. Carlos Museum, Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 5:30–7:00 p.m.

Emory alumni are invited to register for a special reception prior to the Academic Symposium (ticket included in registration) to meet renowned artist and Emory PhD student Fahamu Pecou. The artist will reveal his commissioned inauguration art piece and provide insight into his creative process and interpretation of Emory's new beginning. Space is limited and registration is required.

Tickets and More Information

Inauguration Academic Symposium: Health Challenges and Bold Opportunities

Glenn Memorial Auditorium, Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 7:30–9:00 p.m.

Introduction and moderation of panel session by Carlos del Rio, Hubert Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine.

Emory Community Tickets Available January 20

Panelists include:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President, Republic of Liberia, and 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate
Michel Sidibe
Executive director, UNAIDS; under-secretary-general, United Nations
Deborah Bruner
Associate director for mentorship, education, and training, Winship Cancer Institute; professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Emory University School of Medicine
Elaine F. Walker
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Emory College; director, Emory University Development and Mental Health Research Program

The Inauguration of Claire E. Sterk, 20th President of Emory University

Glenn Memorial Auditorium, Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

The trustees of Emory University announce a special convocation to inaugurate President Claire E. Sterk. The ceremony is a blend of time-honored Emory traditions and modern elements beginning with a grand procession of dignitaries and academic delegates from around the world. Emory neurosurgeon and Emmy Award–winning CNN chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, will provide the keynote address. The Vega Quartet will perform, and poet Kevin Young, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will read a commissioned poem. Live webcast available.

Emory Community Tickets Available January 20

Wonderful Wednesday

Asbury Circle, Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Join the student body for a special inauguration-themed Wonderful Wednesday gathering at Asbury Circle.

Tree Planting

Quadrangle, Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

A tree will be planted on the Quadrangle in honor of President Sterk and in celebration of Emory’s commitment to sustainability.


Get to know our new president as she seeks out opportunities to engage with Emory alumni, donors, parents, and partners. On the Bold Beginnings tour, President Sterk will visit with Emory’s extended community living in five US cities to share her vision for a bold new era of leadership.

November 10, 2016
Woodruff Arts Center
February 1, 2017
Perez Art Museum
Los Angeles
February 23, 2017
Sony Pictures Studios
New York
April 18, 2017
Times Center
Washington, D.C.
April 19, 2017
US Institute of Peace


Meet the leadership teams of Emory, including President Claire Sterk, the deans of our nine schools and colleges, the President’s Leadership Council, and the President’s Advisory Committee.