Emory as Place

Discover. Inhabit. Sustain.

Emory as Place Highlights

The places we inhabit, our living systems, built environments, human histories and values, shape our identities and actions. The Emory as Place Initiative inspires the Emory community to respond ethically and sustainably to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Emory as Place educates students, staff, and faculty about the breadth and diversity of life within the campus and bioregion. Through stories, field experiences and service projects, participants discover skills for connecting to this place and beyond. Dedicated to creative and courageous leadership through intellectual excellence for social change, Emory as Place advocates responsible actions for a thriving world.

Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives acknowledges the Muscogee (Creek) people who lived, worked, produced knowledge on, and nurtured the land where Emory’s Oxford and Atlanta campuses are now located. The Muscogee people were forcibly removed from states like Georgia and Alabama during the Trail of Tears relocation (1830-1838), a shameful part of our history when the federal government forced Indigenous peoples across the region to leave their ancestral homes. In 1836, Emory University was founded on part of this land. It is important for us to acknowledge, honor, and respect the land we now call home; to further recognize the inherent intersections between Indigenous rights, sustainability, and the environment; and to continue to strive for justice and recognition for Indigenous communities. 

Read Emory’s official Land Acknowledgement and learn more here.

Emory as Place Benefits


To shape and strengthen the sense of belonging at Emory, Emory as Places seeks to institutionalize an earth- and place-centered legacy within the liberal arts tradition. Through Lullwater walks, class discussions, art activities and orientation events, Emory as Place aims to revitalize a foundational value system based around the natural environments of surrounding Emory.


Emory as Place partners with other sustainability programs on campus and in the region to instill a sense of civic responsibility. Service projects built on long term relationships bridge the gap between classroom study and public commitments. Projects include: invasive species removal, trail repair, contemplative gardens, watershed clean-ups, and legislative education.


Research shows that spending time in “green nature” reduces stress, restores mental alertness and enriches spiritual life. Outdoor experiences increase skills of observation and knowledge about local and bioregional ecosystems. Emory as Place advocates these activities as lifelong practices for maintaining mental and physical health, encouraging environmental consciousness, and ultimately living a sustainable life.

How It Works

Emory as Place is an experiential-based curriculum and school of thought focusing on a central location and the inherent values that lie within. Using multiple disciplines to challenge existent assumptions and stimulate creativity and mindfulness, the program strives for an integrative transformation of principles. Through a combination of intellectual, embodied, ethical, and spiritual approaches, Emory as Place examines the area surrounding the campus, and diverse pathways we can follow towards sustainability.