New Documentary Traces Emory's History

The story of a small Methodist college that became a modern research university

Oxford rugby players, 1908
Emory Photo/Video

In the year of its 175th anniversary, Emory was finally ready for its close-up.

A new hour-long documentary, The Wise Heart: The Story of Emory University, was completed this spring and aired on Atlanta’s PBA 30 public television in April. Produced and directed by David Hughes Duke, an Emmy Award–winning writer and Georgia-based filmmaker, the program takes viewers on a journey past the historic milestones that helped a small, Methodist college grow into a multifaceted, modern research university.

“What we’ve tried to do in this film is to convey the scope of the university—its size, its complexity, its reach into the world—in a way, I think, that will surprise people,” says Gary Hauk 91PhD, vice president and deputy to the president and historian of Emory, who helped to write and guide the project.

With a storyline that moves viewers between past and present, Duke created what he calls a “living history,” both timeless and personal, told through the words of Emory students, faculty, trustees, and administrators against a visual tapestry of archival photos and video.

“To me, it really exemplifies what Emory is all about, which is a special fusion of discovery, scholarship, and intellectual work of the highest order, along with a commitment to values,” says Ron Sauder, vice president for communications and marketing, who spearheaded the project.

DVDs of The Wise Heart are available for sale at the Emory Bookstore.

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