The roots of Emory University trace back to Emory College, which was granted a charter by the State Legislature of Georgia on December 10, 1836. The founders, Georgia Methodists, opened the school in Oxford, Georgia, named for a young Methodist bishop John Emory, from Maryland. After more than fifty years, Asa Candler, the founder of The Coca-Cola Company and brother to former Emory President Warren Candler, helped the church decide that the new university should be built in Atlanta. Writing to the Educational Commission of the church on June 17, 1914, Asa Candler offered "the sum of one million dollars" and a subsequent gift of seventy-two acres of land in September 1914, the first unit of the university-the School of Theology-began classes in downtown Atlanta. Within a year marble buildings were under construction six miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, and within four years by September 1919, Emory College had joined the schools of theology, law, medicine, business, and graduate studies at the University's muddy new campus.
Emory University today bears as little physical resemblance to its fledgling ancestor as Atlanta does to the Georgia frontier. Surrounded by one of Atlanta¿s historic and more popular suburbs, the tree-shaded campus belies the short distance of the University from the downtown commercial and cultural hub of the Southeast. It is home to a number of facilities including EmTech Bio, developed by Emory and the Georgia Institute of Technology in association with the Georgia Research Alliance. The Alliance is a state institution that invests in Emory research for the molecular screening of new drugs, nanotechnology vaccines, genomics, biomedical and tissue engineering, cancer, imaging, and neuroscience. Overall, U.S. News & World Report ranks Emory among the top twenty research universities in the country. The University awards more than 3,000 degrees annually, and its enrollment exceeds 12,000. Among the centers for specialized research and study are the Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, the Center on Health Outcomes and Quality, the Center for Ethics, and The Carter Center.
Emory continues to expand its international programs and opportunities to meet the challenge of globalization. This effort underscores the University's conviction that a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century must embrace global perspectives and enhance cross-cultural understanding. Emory is committed to training its students to pursue their professions and lead fulfilling lives in a world that has become a global neighborhood. Schools within the University have strong international and global components in their curricula. The study abroad program has been substantially augmented; students can now study during the regular term in every major region of the world. A growing number of international scholars are teaching and conducting research at Emory; more Emory professors are pursuing scholarly research and service abroad, and their students gain from their experiences, insights, and broadened perspectives.