Three presidents, one stage: Emory President Claire E. Sterk and Student Government Association President Ben Palmer join U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Town Hall stage.

President Carter fields questions from students at Emory town hall

Student Government Association President Ben Palmer, an Oxford continuee, provided a welcome from Emory students to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

For 38 years, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has joined first-year Emory students for the annual Carter Town Hall, a spirited, surprisingly candid exchange that offers firsthand lessons in life, leadership and governance gleaned across a lifetime of public service.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the 94-year-old global humanitarian returned to campus for the popular, time-honored tradition, deftly fielding a variety of student-submitted questions, ranging from the political and personal to, naturally, the peanut-centric.

Carter’s unifying message — a call for peace building, public service and political engagement — bridged the generations, drawing cheers from an enthusiastic young crowd that seemed to welcome his words amid a national climate roiled by political divisions.

“It’s so easy to get so caught up in that kind of noise,” acknowledged Emory Student Government Association President Ben Palmer. “But by embracing the values and legacy of President Carter, we can remain engaged, present and intentional amongst all of it.”

Read more about the annual Carter Town Hall.

Emory President Claire E. Sterk and Student Government Association President Ben Palmer join U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Town Hall stage.