The Emory University-Laney Graduate School STEM Research and Career Symposium, hosted by Laney Graduate School each year, brings a diverse background of undergraduate and graduate students to Emory’s campus. For two days students participate in poster and oral presentations, networking, recruitment, and career development seminars. This year the STEM Symposium hosted a special keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Lomax, the president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund of the United States. He spoke to a crowd of hundreds on Monday night, recalling the past and the day Emory University enrolled its first African American student while also imploring students to push for a future where students with diverse backgrounds are no longer minorities in academia.
Dr. Lomax has a diverse background in education that includes positions at Morehouse College, Spelman College, Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia, and Dillard University in New Orleans , as well as twelve years as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Fulton County.
During his speech, he highlighted the importance of minorities accumulating education, wealth, and power, particularly women of color. He beseeched the audience to aim high in their goals, make their name, and give back to their communities so that others can prosper from their generosity. Dr. Lomax stressed the importance of philanthropy in his speech, ending by asking others to make charitable donations to those in need and to always give back once you have succeeded to keep progress moving ever forward in STEM fields.