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Emory Medal


The Emory Medal recognizes the best of the best.

This award is Emory’s most prestigious alumni award and honors recipients who are leaders in their field as well as leaders in their local, national, and global communities. Simply put, Emory Medal recipients are recognized for:

  • service to Emory, the Emory Alumni Association, or a constituent alumni association
  • service to the community
  • achievement in business, the arts, the professions, government, or education

The honoree is the featured guest at a celebration attended by previous medalists, Emory Alumni Board members, and top university administrators. Recipients also are honored with a biographical video.

2022 Emory Medal Honorees

We are pleased to announce that Clarence Cooper 67L and Jean O'Connor 98C 01L 01PH are the recipients of the 2022 Emory Medal. These recipients each have a storied career and are grateful for the unique experiences they had while students at Emory. Their brief biographies below give a glimpse into why they were chosen for Emory's highest alumni honor.

Luis A. Aguilar 85L

Luis A. Aguilar’s career and service exemplify Emory’s mission to create, preserve, teach and apply knowledge in the service of humanity. After immigrating to Georgia from Cuba as a child, Aguilar experienced firsthand the generosity of others, igniting a lifelong passion for public service.

After graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law, he began his law career as a staff attorney for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). While working full-time at the SEC and then at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Aguilar attended Emory School of Law in the evenings, earning a master of law in taxation. From 2008 to 2015, Aguilar served as SEC commissioner, where he oversaw one of the most transformational periods in its history following the 2007–2008 financial crisis.

Throughout his career, Aguilar prioritized giving back, particularly to Latinx communities in Atlanta and across the country. He chaired the board of the Latin American Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. While at the SEC, Aguilar served as a sponsor of the organization’s Hispanic and Latino Opportunity, Leadership, and Advocacy Committee, the African American Council, and the Caribbean American Heritage Committee.

Ben F. Johnson III

If the name Ben Johnson sounds familiar, it should. Ben Johnson Jr. was a professor and dean of Emory School of Law. Inspired by his father, Ben F. Johnson III attended Emory College of Arts and Sciences thanks to scholarships for children of Emory staff and faculty members. While at Emory, Johnson participated in the Barkley Forum—the award-winning debate team—and met his wife, Ann, an Emory alumna. After attending Harvard Law School, Johnson returned to Atlanta and had a successful career as a commercial litigator and then managing partner at Alston & Bird.

Johnson has been a community leader and volunteer for many organizations throughout Atlanta. He was chair of the board for Woodward Academy for 33 years, as well as a member and board chair of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Johnson is currently a board member of The Carter Center and a trustee of the Charles Loridans Foundation. His extraordinary commitment to service extends to Emory, where he served on the Board of Trustees for 18 years, 13 of which he served as chair. An ardent supporter of the arts, Johnson is actively involved in the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Nominate the next recipient

Do you know someone who fits the bill? The Emory Alumni Board's Nominating and Leadership Committee would appreciate your help finding the next Emory Medal Recipient.

Submit nomination

Past Recipients


2020
Mary S. McCabe 72BSN
Dr. Richard R. Souviron 58C 60D

2019
David Adelman 89L
Richard Hubert 60L

2018
Crystal Johnson 00N
Jason Slabach 13N
Lauren Mitchell-Spurlock 95Ox 97N
Kenneth Waler 56ox 58C 63M 65MR 70MR 71MR

2016
Perry Brickman 53C
Charles H. "Pete" Mctier 61B

2015
Paul M. Mclarty Jr. 63c 66L
Cecil B. Wilson 57c 61M

2014
William C. O'kelley 51C 53L
John W. Stephenson 70C

2013
Sonny Deriso 68C 72L
Joan Hall 71G 76PhD

2012
Miles Alexander 52C
Elliott Levitas 52C 56L

2011
Mary Ann B. Oakley 70G 74L
James W. Turpin 49C 51T 55M

2010
Twilla Haynes 80MN
William Warren III 53B

2009
Henry Bowden Jr 74L
Arthur Keys Jr 92T

2008
Kamal Mansour 68MR
Alvin Sugarman 60B 88PHD
Hugh Tarbutton 52Ox 55B

2007
Ronnie Weathers 60C 62D 66D
William H. Fox, Jr. 79G

2006
Sarah Ann Long 69G
Eugene M. Zimmerman 54T

2005
Verdelle B. Bellamy 63N
Charles C. Haynes III 71C 85PhD

2004
Donna Keesler Schwartz 62C P97 07
Frank Kellogg Allan 56C 77T
Michael Lucius Lomax 84PhD

2003
William Earnest Harwell 40C
Solon P. Patterson 57B 58MBA
Marianna R. Patterson 61C
John L. Cromartie Jr. 64C 88T

2002
William M. Kelso 71PhD
Venable Lawson 50G
Ralph T. Holland 47B

2001
W. Shain Schley 62C 66M
Sara E. Barger 73MN
Max Cleland 68G
Leah J. Sears 80L
Joseph R. Gladden 64C
Ellen Agnor Bailey 68C 87EMBA
Bradley Currey Jr.

2000
William N. Kelley 59C 63M
Patricia Dwinnell Butler 31L
Jane E. Smith 70G
James B. Carson 61B
F. Dudley Williams 31Xx
Burness E. Moore 33C
Anne Holden Carson 61C

1999
Walter H. Beckham Jr. 41C
Robert E. Chappell Jr. 56Ox 58B 68MBA
Margaret E. Parsons 75MN 85PhD
Kenneth Douglas Cole 76C
James L. Ferman Jr. 65B
Fleming L. Jolley 43Ox 47M
Cecelia Davis Ferman 65C
Beverly Guy-Sheftall 84PhD
Ann Brookshire Sherer 91T

1998
Laura Jones Hardman 67C
Jesse L. Walker 38C 41M
James R. Gavin III 70PhD
Earl Dolive 40B
Barbara Brown Taylor 73C
Anthony A. Alaimo 48L

1997
Nancy Rankin Tarbutton 57C
J. Harper Gaston 52C 55M
H. Jackson Brown Jr. 63C
Glenda A. Hatchett 77L
Edith Folsom Honeycutt 39N
Ben J. Tarbutton Jr. 49Ox 51C
Ben F. Johnson Jr. 36C 40L
Anne Elizabeth Hendrick Gaston 55M

1996
William C. Waters III 50C 58M
Tillie Kidd Fowler 64C 67L
Charles A. Harris 42B
Alicia Anne Philipp 75C

1995
Felker W. Ward Jr. 71L
Em Olivia Bevis 55N

1994
J. David Allen 67C 70D 75MSD
J. Ben Shapiro 64C 67L
Henry A. Mann 62Ox 64C
Gloria Jean Wade-Gayles 81PhD
Billy E. Frye 54G 56PhD
Austin Ford 50C

1993
Ulysses S. Seal III 48C 49G 57PhD
Marianne Mcdonald Leach 64C
John W. Mcintyre 51B
Jerry Wayne Leach 64C
Goodwin M. Breinin 40G 43M
Emily Saliers 85C
Amy Ray 86C

1992
Thelma Wyatt Cummings 71L
L. Bevel Jones III 46C 49T
James Thomas Laney
James H. Wilson Jr. 40C
James B. O'neal 77Ox 79C
Berta Laney

1991
Rebecca Cheney Mcgreevy 55C
Lynn H. Johnston 50Ox 52B
John N. Mclaughlin 41C
Henry King Stanford 36C 40G

1990
M. Lanier "Sonny" Carter 69C 73M
Linton H. Bishop Jr. 47M
Hamilton E. Holmes 67M
Ely R. Callaway Jr. 40C
Catherine E. Rudder 69C

1989
Robert T. Thompson Sr. 51C 52L
Robert M. Strickland
Nina Rusk Hosch Carson 35N 51G
J. Coleman Budd 50B

1988
Sam A. Nunn Jr. 61C 62L
R. Howard Dobbs Jr. 27C
Marvin S. Arrington 67L
Luella Klein
G. Conley Ingram 49C 51L

1987
Mary Lynn Morgan 43D
Joanna Moseley Adams 66C
Cherry L. Emerson 38C 39G
Charles B. Ginden 55C

1986
J. Robin Harris 48C 49L
Henry J. Miller 26C
Covington Hardee 40C

1985
James B. Williams 55C
Elmo Ellis 48G
Dan C. Moore 35Ox 37C 40G

1984
Thomas E. Bryant 58C 62M 67L
Ferrol A. Sams Jr. 45M
Clifford A. Bell 46Ox 50C

1983
Joseph M. Beck 65C
E. Thomas Gross 42N
David E. Estes 46G 51G

1982
Smith L. Johnston Jr. 39B
George P. Cuttino
Betty Marie Stewart 52N

1981
S. Russell Bridges Jr. 33B
Harriet Harper Williams Mcdonald 32N 51N 57MN
George P. Crumbley Jr. 49C

1980
Wytch Stubbs Jr. 52C 55T 66M
Evangeline T. Papageorge 29G
Barbara Mcknight Hund 58C

1979
Woolford B. Baker 20G
N. Bond Fleming 33C 36T
Kenneth S. Taratus 56D
George F. Cooper Jr. 41C 52G

1978
W. Sam Smith 47B
John W. Rozier 39C 47G
Gardner B. Allen 28C 30G 33L

1977
William Alfred Strozier 19C
Elizabeth Long Atwood

1976
Paul H. Anderson 38C 40L
Emory Williams 32C
Charles N. Watson 38C 53G

1975
M. Erle Phillips Jr. 41B 48L
George S. Craft 31C
Charles Turner Lester 31Ox 33C 34G

1974
Sanford Soverhill Atwood

1972
Robert Sterling Wiggins 36C 39L
Guy Redvers Lyle
Charles Howard Candler Jr. 26C

1971
William Henry Jones 24C
Charles Thiot Winship 26C

1970
Alton Venson Hallum 29M

1969
Robert Fleming Whitaker 26C 27L
Randolph William Thrower 34C 36L
Lewis Lamar Clegg 25C 31G
Boisfeuillet Jones 34C 37L

1968
William Edgar Callahan 23C
Thomas Edward Braly Jr. 52D
R. Carl Chandler 41C
Ellis Heber Rece 25G

1967
Thomas Erwin Mcdonough Sr.
John Pollard Turman 34C 35L

1966
Virgil Young Cook Eady 36G
James George Lester 18C 23G

1965
William Eldridge Smith 18C
Halsey Sims Garland 17C
Ansley Bascom Andrews Padgett 35B

1964
William Ernest Rogers 20C
Perrillah Atkinson Malone 62G

1963
Judson Clements Ward Jr. 33C 36G
Emmett Beard Cartledge Jr. 31C 33L
Angus Waldo Sowell Jr. 37B

1962
Sidney Walter Martin 32C
Paul Douglas West 24C 40G

1960
Walter Ransom Davis Jr. 34C
Aubrey Fairfax Folts 26C 27L

1959
Paul Easterling Bryan 07C

1957
Sterling Gardner Brinkley 07C
Randolph Lewis Fort 29C 30G
Goodrich Cook White 08C

1956
Henry Lumpkin Bowden 32c 34L

1953
Charles Howard Candler Sr. 98C

1952
Henry Prentice Miller 27c 28G

1951
Mrs. De Los Lemuel Hill

1950
Chess Abernathy Jr. 34C

1949
William Lowry Pressly 12M
Granger Hansell 22C 24L

1946
William Danner Thomson 1895C
Walter Turner Candler 07C
Malcolm Howard Dewey
Elizabeth Chappell Duncan