Ha-tien “Titi” Nguyen/Podcast Editor

Letter From the Editor: Look Beyond the Numbers

After Emory University fell two spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings to No. 24 earlier this fall, it seemed like all anyone wanted to talk about were numbers. In interviews with The Emory Wheel, some students wondered how this drop might affect their future prospects, while others were indifferent. Even before the rankings dropped, administrators expressed concerns about the University’s waning undergraduate retention and graduation rates. University President Gregory Fenves said in a September interview with the Wheel that the University is “not where what I would say our peer universities are in terms of students coming to Emory.” 

Like it or not, numbers, rankings and data have come to dominate campus discourse. Whether it be rising dining hall prices or impressive athletic feats, numbers matter. Each value tells a larger story about student experiences on campus. These are the narratives our staff set out to tell in The Hub Magazine this year. 

Our News section examined the driving forces behind why 1 in 25 students in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences’ Class of 2026 did not return to Emory for their sophomore year. The Wheel interviewed students who made the decision to leave the University, with some citing weak academic programs and others a lackluster social atmosphere. 

Responding to national and local issues, campus activists have mobilized over the past year. At Emory Stop Cop City’s October protest of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, around 40 protesters occupied Convocation Hall in an attempt to deliver their demands to the University president. Our Opinion section delved into the recent history of activism on campus and asserted that Emory’s administration’s silence is incongruent with its position as a leading institution in Atlanta. 

As discussions around stolen artwork continue to unfold on a national scale, our Arts & Entertainment section revisited 5 artifacts in Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum that have been repatriated. Some of these objects are still on display, with the intention to eventually return them to their country of origin. The Wheel spoke with community members engaged in the effort to see these pieces preserved in an ethical way.

When national inflation rates rose, so did the cost of living on campus. Our Emory Life section examined how low-income students have endured these increases. The Wheel’s reporting found that Atlanta campus dining rates increased between 4.5-6%. Students who spoke with the Wheel reported issues with accessing essentials such as financial aid and health care while at school.

Finally, the Wheel’s Sports section caught up with two former Emory athletes with long-standing competition records. One former athlete holds a 21-year-old record for farthest hammer throw distance at 52.2 meters, and the other boasts a 39-year-old record for the most soccer goals scored in a single season at 25 goals.

These numerical values only begin to tell the story of our 187-year-old institution. We hope this year’s magazine offers a deeper look into the Emory stories behind these defining numbers. 

– Matthew Chupack & Sarah Davis, Editors-in-Chief