2016 Emory Medalists

Recipients share a dedication to history, humility, and service

Honored Guests: President Claire E. Sterk (center) with Pete McTier (left) and Perry Brickman (right) at the ceremony honoring the newest recipients of the Emory Alumni Association's highest honor.
Ann Borden

Perry Brickman 53C and Charles “Pete” McTier 61B have a few things in common. They are proud Emory alumni, they were taught from a young age to give back to their communities, and they share the honor of being the 2016 recipients of the university’s highest alumni honor, the Emory Medal.

For Brickman, the son of first-generation Lithuanian immigrants, philanthropy has always been a way of life. “I was raised to work for your community. I didn’t even have to be told,” he explained in his Emory Medal video.

A retired oral surgeon, Brickman has a long history of involvement in the Atlanta community. He is a longtime supporter of Emory in the pursuit of Jewish studies through volunteer service and philanthropy. Brickman and his wife, Shirley Brickman, work with graduate faculty in the Jewish Studies Program and established the Brickman/Levin Award to support doctoral students in Emory’s Laney Graduate School. In addition, the Brickmans have pledged their support to numerous faculty endeavors, including the endowment for the Holocaust Denial on Trial website.

In 2012 Brickman organized the production of a documentary film, From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory’s Dental School History, which brought to light discrimination faced by Jewish dental students between 1948 and 1961. For his work, he was selected as one of 175 Makers of History by the university.

Recounting his student experience, he noted, “You just get up pretty quickly, dust yourself off, and move on. That’s it. And that’s what I did.”

He is deeply proud of Emory’s response to his research. “There would not have been a story had it not been for Emory,” Brickman said. “The thing that we have to all know is that we can always do better. You can make things right. And they did.”

Brickman practiced oral surgery in the Atlanta area from 1961 to 2004. He was a founding member and past president of the Georgia Society of Oral Surgeons, and served seven years on the Georgia Board of Dental Examiners. He is an honorable fellow of the Georgia Dental Association.

McTier is a director of Coca-Cola FEMSA and the CDC Foundation and a trustee of the Pediatric Center of Georgia, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Task Force for Global Health. He is a past director of AGL Resources and SunTrust Bank, Atlanta, and a past president of the Commerce Club.

An emeritus member of the Emory Board of Trustees, McTier served on the executive, academic affairs, and public policy committees, and continues to serve as a member of the university’s Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Board. McTier is past president of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, and Ichauway. He led the foundations as they played active roles in many of Atlanta’s major civic initiatives, including the creation of Centennial Olympic Park and the Chattahoochee River Greenway, the establishment of the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, and advancements at the Woodruff Arts Center, Central Atlanta Progress, and the Georgia Research Alliance.

Emory Medal recipients are recognized for their service to the university, to the Emory Alumni Association, or to a constituent alumni association; service to the community; and achievement in business, the arts, the professions, government, or education. Two hundred Emory alumni and friends have been awarded the Emory Medal.

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