The A Team

Emory University, CDC, and others seek to be annexed by the City of Atlanta

East Urbanism
In Georgia, Emory University, CDC, and others seek to be annexed by the City of Atlanta. (Courtesy Emory University)
In Georgia, Emory University, CDC, and others seek to be annexed by the City of Atlanta. (Courtesy Emory University)

The City of Atlanta would gain 630 acres, and an entire university campus, under a proposal that would dramatically change the city’s footprint.

Emory University, currently part of the Druid Hills section of DeKalb County, Georgia, filed a petition this week to have its campus annexed by the City of Atlanta, while also remaining part of the county.

Emory is one of three institutions that have filed petitions to become part of the city. Others include Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a federal agency.

If Emory’s plan is approved, Atlanta would be able to say it is home to yet another well-known institution of higher education, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta would also become home to Emory-affiliated medical facilities that are not already in the city.

Established in 1836 as Emory College, Emory is a private research university with 14,913 students as of fall 2016, 29,000 employees, and an endowment of $6.4 billion. It’s the second oldest private institution of higher education in Georgia and one of the 50 oldest private universities in the United States.

Emory President Claire E. Sterk said in a prepared statement that the annexation into Atlanta will complement the university’s commitment to both the city and the county.

“We are enriched by our relationships with the county and the city as well as the larger region and the state and look forward to building upon our commitment to community involvement, academic excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” she said.

The university indicated last year that it might petition for annexation, but this week’s action makes it official.



“Emory’s annexation into the city of Atlanta has always been viewed as one of the most viable, long-term options and one that provides consistency and alignment relative to the University’s marketing and branding initiatives,” officials said in a statement last August.

“Emory already promotes its location as Atlanta, is known internationally as being in Atlanta, routinely recruits faculty and students to Atlanta, and has an Atlanta address and zip code. The prestige of Emory as an international university and Atlanta as a global city are inextricably linked.”

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital is on Emory’s campus, and the hospital sought annexation to be consistent with what Emory is doing, officials said in a statement quoted by The Atlanta Business Chronicle. The annexation would be for the Egleston Hospital on Clifton Road but not the entire health care system, they explained.

The CDC filed its petition after “careful consideration,” the federal health agency said in a statement. The petition is for its Edward R. Roybal Campus on Clifton Road to be annexed by the city of Atlanta.

“Annexation by the city of Atlanta allows CDC to continue working with DeKalb County’s critical response capability while linking to Atlanta’s infrastructure and municipal services,” the organization said.

The petitions will now be considered as part of the city’s public meeting process for annexations. If the requests are approved, officials say, the annexations could take effect as soon as this fall.

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