Category Archives: events

Updates from GALA NY

Matthew Kerrigan 09B

GALA: Emory LGBT Alumni – New York will hold a holiday happy hour Tuesday, December 13. More details will be available soon. Below please find a few individual alumni updates. Please send any personal or professional updates to Matthew Kerrigan ( to be included in future newsletters.

  • Neil Newman, 10 C, completed the New York City Marathon November 6.  He also recently began his medical residency program in Radiation Oncology, which he will complete both at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York and Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville.
  • Michael Silverman, 08C, has been actively involved in fundraising and event planning for the Trevor Project in the New York city area, The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
  • Jeffrey Kern, 09B, is pursuing his MBA from NYU Stern School of business, while continuing his career in the financial services industry.


Scot SThe election season was a difficult time for many of us. No matter your political perspective, it seemed that the country became more divided, and there was a constant stream of negativity. Throughout this difficult election season, GALA has continued to work towards accomplishing our main goals: advocating for the LGBTQ+ community at Emory and beyond, providing social networking and volunteer opportunities, and supporting students through scholarships and leadership funds.

Our advocacy efforts over the past six months have focused on ensuring that LGBTQ+ students continue to have access to safe spaces and quality programming during and after the reorganization of Campus Life ( We are glad that the Office of LGBT Life will continue to serve students after the reorganization, and that designed safe spaces will continue to exist for LGBTQ+ students.

To provide opportunities for students and alumni to get to know each other, we hosted the annual Blue Jean Brunch during Emory’s Homecoming Weekend. We were thrilled that President Claire Sterk joined us and spoke about her support for the LGBTQ+ community at Emory and beyond. We also volunteered at Lost-N-Found Youth ( for Emory Cares International Service Day, and we were glad to support this organization that aims to end homelessness among LGBT youth in Atlanta.

As always, we continue to provide scholarships to Emory students who positively impact the LGBTQ+ community at Emory, and we support other funds that help students attend leadership programs and access quality LGBTQ+ programing. We would love for you to learn more about and contribute to these funds. Please see for more details.

We hope that you will join us for our Holiday Social at the Four Seasons Downtown Hotel on Thursday, December 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.  You can register for the event here:

We would also love to see you at one of our upcoming GALA meetings. The next two meetings will be held on December 13th and January 10th. A light dinner is served at 6pm and the meetings start at 6:30pm at the Miller Ward Alumni House.

In pride,

Scot Seitz


GALA: Emory LGBT Alumni

GALA’s Annual Theater Outing Was A Hilarious Success

La_VivandereOn Sunday, April 10th, 22 GALA alumni and guests attended a matinee performance by the Le Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at the Ferst Center for the Arts.  The Trocks are an all-male ballet troupe that performs comedic interpretations of classic ballets…IN DRAG!

Our GALA group enjoyed a wine and cheese reception in Georgia Tech’s Smithgall atrium prior to the hilarious and engaging performances of Swan Lake, Esmeralda, and Don Quixote.  The Trocks were flawless and breathtaking in their execution, while still garnering plenty of laughs from the crowd with their parodies of ballet favorites.  This was the first ballet experience for many of our GALA members, and the fun and colorful performances by the Trocks certainly made ballet fun and accessible to the first-timers.

Now in its fourth year, GALA’s annual spring theater outing is a wonderful way for current students and alumni to connect while enjoying a shared love of the arts.

Coming up on July 15th, GALA joins with Emory’s Young Alumni and other affinity groups for a visit to the High Museum of Art for Friday Jazz in the Atrium.  Featured will be the swing sounds of trumpeter and vocalist Joe Gransden.  Drinks, music and art are the perfect way to begin a weekend, so invite your friends and come join the party.  Admission is free for the first 100 attendees, and only $8 thereafter. Registration information soon to follow!


Letter from Co-Chair – President Wagner visits GALA Steering Committee Meeting

Like most alumni affinity groups, GALA serves as a social and professional networking outlet for its members. Our summer and winter socials, spring theater outing, and monthly meetings are valuable ways for LGBTQ alumni to connect with one another.

What makes GALA different from most groups of its kind, however, is its involvement in campus-based advocacy. In the past 5 years, GALA has protested Chik-Fil-A on campus, supported the efforts of Freedom at Emory to grant financial aid to undocumented students, publicly opposed the Candler School of Theology’s decision to present anti-gay church leader H. Eddie Fox with a Distinguished Alumni award, and, most recently, lobbied the President to request that Emory oppose discriminatory statewide legislation.

In October, the GALA Steering Committee wrote to President Wagner to ask that Emory take a public stand against so-called religious freedom bills that threaten to erode rights for LGBTQ Georgians. After exchanging emails throughout the fall semester, we invited President Wagner to join us for our January meeting. We were delighted when he, along with Jerry Lewis, Sr. vice President for Communications and Public Affairs; Sarah Cook, Sr. Associate Vice President for Emory Alumni Association; Cameron Taylor, Vice President for Government and Community Affairs; Evan Goldberg, Special Assistant to the President; and Jessie Arnidis, Director of Development, Campus Life and Athletics, agreed to attend our meeting and engage in a dialogue with us regarding Emory’s stance on these legislative initiatives. Our conversation with the President and his colleagues was engaging, informative, respectful, and enlightening, and we were thrilled to learn that Emory has indeed joined Georgia Prospers, a coalition of businesses and organizations that oppose discriminatory legislation on the grounds that it’s both unethical and bad for business.

As alumni, we see it as our responsibility to hold our alma mater to the highest standards of accountability and ethical engagement, particularly when it comes to matters of access, equity, and inclusion. Emory does not exist in a bubble; as an employer and an institution of higher learning, we are part of Atlanta’s community and a landmark of which Georgia should be proud. We therefore applaud President Wagner’s decision to join Georgia Prospers and send a clear message to our state legislature that LGBTQ students, employees, and alumni are valued at Emory. Furthermore, we are grateful that President Wagner and his colleagues took the time to sit down and talk with us at length about issues that are critical to GALA’s members, and we look forward to building a similarly mutually supportive and transparent relationship with his successor.

If you’d like to get involved with GALA’s advocacy efforts, please join us the second Tuesday of every month at 6pm for dinner and our monthly meeting in the Miller Ward Alumni House.

In pride,

Aby Headshot










Aby Parsons, 13G
Co-Chair, GALA: Emory LGBT Alumni


News from GALA NY Chair


GALA NY is kicking off summer with our annual PRIDE Happy Hour.  The event will take place on Tuesday June 23rd, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Boxers Hell’s Kitchen, 742 9th Avenue (corner of West 50th Street.)  For $5, attendees will get 3 drink tickets that can be used on everything but top shelf liquor.  GALA NY has the front area with high top tables reserved for its use.  GALA NY looks forward to helping kick off your PRIDE week celebrations.

GALA NY is still looking to increase its membership. In addition to working with the alumni association, should you know of anybody that you think would be interested in attending GALA NY events, please let me know. The success of our events depends upon the involvement and interest of our community.

As always, this quarter’s success would not be possible without the help of my board. To each of you, thank you for your hard work and dedication. As always, should you have any questions or suggestions for future GALA NY events, please let me know. I look forward to seeing everybody at future GALA NY events.

Brian Sperber 07C

Chair, GALA NY


Don’t Miss GALA’s Theatre Event on Thursday, April 2nd!

Image result for marcus or the secret of sweetImage result for marcus or the secret of sweet

SIGN UP NOW to join other Atlanta LGBT Alumni and friends for a performance of Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet at Actors Express Theatre.  A light wine and cheese reception will be provided in the theatre lobby prior to the performance, beginning at 6:30pm.

More about Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet

As an epic storm gathers in the distance, the currents of young Marcus’ life swirl toward a passage of self-discovery. As he comes to grips with his own burgeoning sexual identity, Marcus must look to the secrets of his family’s past to understand his future. From the staggeringly talented playwright of Choir Boy and In the Red and Brown Water, this uncommonly magical play will draw you into a world like nothing you’ve ever seen on the AE stage.

Thursday, April 2 at 6:30pm Reception:
Actors Express Theatre Outer Lobby
Thursday, April 2 at 8:00pm Performance:
Actors Express Theatre
King Plow Arts Center
887 W. Marietta St. Suite J-107
Atlanta, GA 30318
To register for the event, please click here. We look forward to seeing you there!

GALA NY Update

By Brian Sperber 07C

GALA NY held our annual Winter Happy Hour on February 17th. We had an intimate group of people from various class years and schools attend and it served as a great way to cure everybody’s post Valentine’s Day winter blues.

nyc-pride-logoIn speaking to future GALA NY events, we are partnering with CEBA NY, AWE NY and the NY Alumni Chapter’s Tolerance group to plan our first diversity panel discussion. We are looking to hold the discussion at the beginning of May and will be providing more information regarding speakers and location closer to the event.  Additionally, GALA NY will be hosting our signature PRIDE Week happy hour the Tuesday or Wednesday before NYC Pride.

GALA NY is still looking to increase its membership. In addition to working with the Office of Alumni Relations, should you know of anybody that you think would be interested in attending GALA NY events, please let me know. The success of our events depends upon the involvement and interest of our community.

As always, this quarter’s success would not be possible without the help of my board. To each of you, thank you for your hard work and dedication. As always, should you have any questions or suggestions for future GALA NY events, please let me know. I look forward to seeing everybody at future GALA NY events.