- Mercer University
Mercer University Established 1833 Type Private Endowment US $213 million President William D. Underwood Undergraduates 5,500 Postgraduates 2,500 Location Macon, Georgia, USA Campus Urban Colors Orange and Black Athletics NCAA Division I Nickname Bears Mascot Toby (a Bear) Affiliations Atlantic Sun Website www.mercer.edu
Mercer is the only university of its size in the United States that offers programs in eleven diversified fields of study: liberal arts, business, education, music, engineering, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, theology, and continuing and professional studies. Mercer enrolls approximately 8,000 students in its eleven colleges and schools. Students come from approximately 45 states and 65 countries; more than 80% are Georgia residents.
Mercer has major campuses in Macon, Atlanta, and Savannah, regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County, Eastman, and Newnan, teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah, a university press and a performing arts center in Macon, and the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins.
Mercer University was founded in Penfield, Georgia as a boys' preparatory school under the leadership of Billington McCarthy Sanders, a professor who served as the first president, and Adiel Sherwood, a Baptist minister who previously founded a boys' manual labor school that served as a model. Initially named Mercer Institute, the school opened with 39 students on January 14, 1833. The school was named for Jesse Mercer, a prominent Baptist leader who provided a founding endowment and who served as the first chairman of the board of trustees. The Georgia General Assembly granted a university charter in December 1837. Mercer adopted its present name in 1838 and graduated its first university class, of three students, in 1841. Mercer was one of the few Southern colleges or universities and the only college or university in Georgia to remain open throughout the American Civil War. In 1866, Mercer awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the only college or university to grant him an honorary degree.
Mercer moved to Macon, a center of transportation and commerce in Georgia, in 1871. The School of Law was established in 1873 and was named the Walter F. George School of Law in 1947 in honor of Mercer alumnus Walter F. George, class of 1901, who served as a United States Senator from Georgia and as President pro tempore of the United States Senate.
World War II
During World War II, Mercer was one of 131 colleges and universities that participated in the V-12 Navy College Training Program. The program offered military training that prepared students for a commission in the United States Navy.
Mercer expanded to Atlanta in 1959 when the university absorbed the independent Southern School of Pharmacy. The College of Liberal Arts, the Walter F. George School of Law, and the Southern School of Pharmacy comprised the university until 1972 when Mercer merged with Atlanta Baptist College, which became Mercer's Atlanta campus.
Atlanta Baptist College was founded in 1968 under the leadership of Dr. Monroe F. Swilley, a prominent Baptist educator. The college merged with Mercer in 1972 and became the College of Arts and Sciences, and in 1984 was named the Cecil B. Day College of Arts and Sciences. Mercer offered undergraduate liberal arts education in Atlanta until 1990 when the college closed. Faculty and students tried to prevent the closure, but were not successful. The mission of the Atlanta campus changed to graduate and professional education. The Southern School of Pharmacy moved in 1992 from its downtown location to the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus.
Mercer grew substantially between 1982 and 2006 with the establishment of eight colleges and schools: the School of Medicine in 1982, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics in 1984, the School of Engineering in 1985, the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology in 1994, the Tift College of Education in 1995, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing in 2001, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, and the Townsend School of Music in 2006.
Mercer opened the Savannah campus in 2008. The campus is the location of Mercer's second four-year medical school, which opened at the same time.
Advancing the Vision Campaign
Mercer successfully completed Phase III of the $350 million Advancing the Vision Campaign in December 2008. Phases I and II were completed with $208 million received or pledged. For Phase II, Mercer received one of the largest gifts in the history of higher education when it received a large tract of developed real estate in Atlanta. The property, given to Mercer and to LaGrange College jointly, was valued at $123 million. The campaign financed numerous projects including the construction and renovation of facilities and endowed scholarships for students. New facilities on the Macon campus include the University Center, a large multi-purpose facility that houses the university's athletics department, basketball arena, and student services, the Allan and Rosemary McCorkle Music Building that houses the Townsend School of Music, a new Science and Engineering Building, and the Greek Village with 18 fraternity and sorority houses. New facilities on the Atlanta campus include academic buildings for the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Tift College of Education, and the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing as well as a large student housing complex.
Mercer chose to retain its Baptist identity when its affiliation with the Georgia Baptist Convention ended in 2006 after 173 years. Mercer was founded by Georgia Baptists, but had an independent board of trustees and was not directly controlled by the convention. The convention provided financial support used to fund scholarships for Baptist students and other special projects. The lack of convention control caused friction with Mercer exercising its independence to embrace the moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The convention also saw Mercer as becoming secularized and not conforming to its values. In November 2005, the Georgia Baptist Convention voted to end the affiliation between Mercer and the convention. Mercer still has ties to individual churches, provides scholarships to students through its Baptist Scholars Fund, and operates the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, which is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Mercer's decision to become an independent Baptist university contrasts with other universities that became secular after severing ties with their state conventions. Such universities include Furman University, Stetson University, the University of Richmond, and Wake Forest University.
New strategic plan
Mercer's board of trustees adopted a new 10-year strategic plan on April 18, 2008. The plan seeks to position Mercer among the most prestigious private universities in the Southeast along with Vanderbilt University, Duke University, Emory University, Wake Forest University, and Tulane University. Specific goals of the plan include increasing the student body from 7,300 to 8,500, enlarging the endowment to $1 billion, expanding the number of master's and doctoral programs, and constructing numerous new facilities including a medical education building in Savannah, a student center and an undergraduate sciences building in Macon, a chapel/performing arts center in Atlanta, and residence halls in Macon and Atlanta.
Implementation of the new strategic plan
Mercer set an enrollment record in the fall of 2011 with a university-wide population of 8,336 students. The larger student body reflects expanded academic programs including four new doctoral degrees: Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. Mercer also opened its second four-year medical school, in Savannah, in 2008 and its fourth regional academic center, in Newnan, in 2010. The university will begin offering the Doctor of Clinical Medical Psychology degree in 2012.
Mercer opened a large retail-residential center on the Macon campus in February 2011. The center, called Mercer Lofts, houses the Barnes & Noble operated university bookstore, other shops, and student housing. In July 2011, Phase II of the project was approved by the city planning council; Mercer Lofts II will be another large retail-residential center across the street from Phase I.
In addition to the Mercer Lofts project, the university is planning a new welcome center and admissions office on the Macon campus; the center will be named for Emily P. Myers, a long-time university administrator and will be the university's first LEED certified building.
Improvements to the Mercer athletics department are planned to increase the university's visibility. Mercer won the Atlantic Sun Conference championship in baseball and in women's soccer in 2010. Mercer's men's lacrosse team began play in 2011; the university has the first NCAA Division I lacrosse program in Georgia. Women's lacrosse will begin play in 2012. Mercer has also announced the reinstatement of intercollegiate football as a NCAA Division I, non-scholarship sport beginning in the fall of 2013. In September 2011, the university began construction of a new football stadium on the Macon campus.
US News and World Report continues to rank Mercer among the top 10 comprehensive universities in the South; Mercer is ranked ninth in the 2012 "Best Universities-Master's" category marking the university's twenty-second consecutive year among the top 15 and thirteenth consecutive year in the top 10. The 2012 edition also ranks Mercer among the "Great Schools, Great Prices" as the seventh best value in the South.  In addition, the Princeton Review, in its 2012 "Best 376 Colleges" guide, ranks Mercer in the top fifteen percent of all colleges and universities nationwide.
President William D. Underwood
President William D. Underwood became Mercer’s eighteenth president on July 1, 2006, succeeding Dr. Raleigh Kirby Godsey, who served as president for 27 years. Dr. Godsey continues to serve as the university’s chancellor.
Underwood has led Mercer during a period of dynamic growth and development for the university. Enrollment has increased by approximately twenty percent to more than 8,200 students. Mercer has launched a second medical school (in Savannah), initiated a master’s-level physician assistant program and a doctoral-level program in physical therapy, and added doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology, Nursing, Counseling, Educational Leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction. Reflecting an increased emphasis on research, Mercer now meets the criteria established by the Carnegie Foundation for classification as a research-doctoral university. Over the past three years, the number of doctoral students has increased from fewer than 25 to more than 200, while the amount of annual externally funded research expenditures has grown to more than $25 million. In addition to increased levels of funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, Mercer scientists have for the first time been funded as eminent cancer scientists by the Georgia Cancer Coalition, while other Mercer scientists are now receiving funding to support their research through the Georgia Research Alliance.
The university has intensified its longstanding commitment to service-learning and community engagement under President Underwood’s leadership. In 2009, Mercer announced a $5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support continued revitalization of the College Hill Corridor between campus and downtown Macon. The groundbreaking Mercer On Mission program, launched in 2007, has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative as “an exemplary approach to addressing a specific global challenge.” Prior to joining Mercer, President Underwood served at Baylor University as interim president and held the prestigious Leon Jaworski Chair at Baylor Law School.
- Billington McCarthy Sanders (1833–1840)
- Otis Smith (1840–1844)
- John Leadley Dagg (1844–1854)
- Nathaniel Macon Crawford(1854–1856)
- Shelton Palmer Sanford (acting President; 1856–1858)
- Nathaniel Macon Crawford (1858–1866)
- Henry Holcombe Tucker (1866–1871)
- Archibald John Battle (1872–1889)
- Gustavus Alonzo Nunnally (1889–1893)
- Joseph Edgerton Willet (acting President; 1893)
- James Bruton Gambrell (1893–1896)
- Pinckney Daniel Pollock (1896–1903)
- William Heard Kilpatrick (acting President; 1903–1905)
- Charles Lee Smith (1905–1906)
- Samuel Young Jameson (1906–1913)
- James Freeman Sellers (acting President; 1913–1914)
- William Lowndes Pickard (1914–1918)
- Rufus Washington Weaver (1918–1927)
- Andrew Phillip Montague (acting President; 1927–1928)
- Spright Dowell (1928–1953)
- George Boyce Connell (1953–1959)
- Spright Dowell (interim President; 1959–1960)
- Rufus Carrollton Harris (1960–1979)
- Raleigh Kirby Godsey (1979–2006)
- William D. Underwood (2006–present)
The main campus of Mercer University is in Macon, approximately 75 miles (121 km) south of Atlanta. The College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Tift College of Education, the Townsend School of Music, the School of Engineering, the School of Medicine, and programs of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies are located on the Macon campus. The R. Kirby Godsey Administration Building and the W. G. Lee Alumni House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Walter F. George School of Law is located on its own campus in Macon, one mile (1.6 km) from the main campus. The Law School building is a three-story partial replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia and is located on Coleman Hill overlooking downtown Macon. Adjacent to the Law School is the university-owned Woodruff House, a Greek revival-style mansion built in 1836, which is used for university special events. The Law School building and the Woodruff House are two of Macon's most recognizable sites.
The Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus of Mercer University is in Atlanta, approximately two miles (3.2 km) south of the interchange of Interstate 85 and Interstate 285 in the Northlake area of DeKalb County. The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, and programs of the Tift College of Education (Master's and PhD programs), the Stetson School of Business and Economics (BBA, MBA and Executive MBA programs), and the School of Medicine (Master's program) are located here. Mercer's Atlanta campus was formerly the home of Atlanta Baptist College until it merged with Mercer in 1972. The campus is named for Cecil B. Day, founder of Days Inn Hotels who attended Mercer before leaving to serve in the United States Marine Corps.
Mercer enlarged the Atlanta campus in 2004 by acquiring the former headquarters of the Georgia Baptist Convention, which constructed a new headquarters in Gwinnett County. The former headquarters building, renamed the Mercer University Conference and Administration Center, is occupied by the American Baptist Historical Society and the Baptist History and Heritage Society.
Mercer opened a new four-year medical school in Savannah in August 2008. The school is a branch of the School of Medicine in Macon and is located at Memorial University Medical Center, Mercer's teaching hospital in Savannah. The new medical school is the university's third major campus in addition to those in Macon and Atlanta. Mercer's strategic plan calls for construction of a new medical education building that will further enlarge the Savannah campus.
Regional Academic Centers
The Douglas County Regional Academic Center was named in 2007 in honor of Fred and Aileen Borrish. The Borrishes are longtime benefactors of Mercer University and of education in Douglas County. The formal name of the academic center is the Fred W. and Aileen Kasper Borrish Building.
The Henry County Regional Academic Center opened in 2003. The new facility combined programs previously offered at two smaller facilities in Covington and Griffin. The Henry County center is located in McDonough.
New Regional Academic Centers
Mercer opened a new regional academic center in Newnan in the fall of 2010 and will begin offering graduate education in Forsyth County in the spring of 2011. The Newnan center offers undergraduate degrees through Mercer's College of Continuing and Professional Studies. The Forsyth program, located in Cumming, will partner with the county public school system to offer a master's degree in education through Mercer's Tift College of Education.
Colleges and schools
College of Liberal Arts
The College of Liberal Arts, founded in 1833, is the heart of the university offering undergraduate degrees in the arts, humanities, communications, natural sciences, and social sciences. The college, with more than 110 full-time faculty members, offers dozens of majors, minors, and interdisciplinary programs, and the Great Books program allows students to study the classic writers and thinkers of the Western world. In 2011, the college’s largest majors were biology and biochemistry, psychology, chemistry, English, and political science. The curricular program of the college is recognized for its focus on critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving, and development of the whole person.
Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics
The Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, founded in 1984, has the highest level of accreditation for business schools from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The school, named for a Mercer alumnus who was a senior executive for The Coca-Cola Company, the Illinois Central Railroad, and JP Morgan, offers bachelor's degree (BBA) programs in Macon, Atlanta, and Douglas County, Evening MBA programs in Macon and Atlanta, Professional MBA programs in Henry County and Savannah, and an Executive MBA program in Atlanta.
The Mercer University Executive Forum, Georgia's premier business outreach program, is a part of the school. The program welcomes nationally known speakers who conduct management and leadership seminars in Macon and Atlanta. Speakers have included Lou Dobbs, Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, Lou Holtz, Jesse Jackson, Tom Ridge, George Tenet, George Will, Bob Woodward, and numerous other business, political, and social leaders.
Tift College of Education
The Tift College of Education, founded in 1995 as the School of Education, has the highest level of accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is the largest private provider of teachers in Georgia. The college was named in 2001 to honor the legacy of Tift College, a Baptist women's college in Forsyth. Tift College, founded in 1849, merged with Mercer in 1986 and was closed. Mercer adopted its alumnae and maintains their records.
The Tift College of Education offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs on the Macon and Atlanta campuses. The Educational Leadership Program is the newest graduate offering with candidates earning a Doctor of Philosophy in P-12 School Leadership or Higher Education Leadership.
Townsend School of Music
The Townsend School of Music opened on July 1, 2006. Mercer trustee Carolyn McAfee, wife of James T. McAfee, Jr., former chairman of Mercer's board of trustees, and her son and daughter-in-law, Tom McAfee and his wife Julie, provided the founding endowment. The school, named in honor of Mrs. McAfee's parents, Raymond and Sophia Townsend, is housed in the Allan and Rosemary McCorkle Music Building, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2001 on the Macon campus. The Townsend School of Music offers undergraduate and graduate music degrees formerly offered by the College of Liberal Arts.
The Townsend-McAfee Institute, established in 2005, is a collaboration between the Townsend School of Music and the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology offering graduate programs in church music that prepare musical artists for the ministry. The institute, located on the Macon campus with the School of Music, is preparing a new hymnal for Baptists and other Christian fellowships. Slated for release in 2009, the 400th anniversary of Baptists, the project demonstrates Mercer’s commitment to its church-related heritage and connects with the university’s namesake, Jesse Mercer, who authored Cluster of Spiritual Songs, a hymnal first published circa 1800 with 11 subsequent editions.
The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings offers conservatory-quality music training in a comprehensive university setting. McDuffie is an internationally renowned violinist who has served as Distinguished University Professor of Music since 2004. The focus of the center, housed in the School of Music on the Macon campus, is to provide highly talented string students the opportunity to learn with some of the nation's most renowned string musicians. Total enrollment is limited to 26 students: 12 violinists, 6 violists, 6 cellists and 2 double bassists.
School of Engineering
The School of Engineering, founded in 1985, is the only private engineering school in Georgia and one of only three engineering schools in the state, the others are Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Polytechnic State University. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and is the primary provider of engineers for Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. The school is located on the Macon campus in a modern 62,000-square-foot (5,800 m2) academic facility. Mercer dedicated a new $14 million Science and Engineering Building adjacent to the existing facility in 2007; the new building significantly expands the school's laboratory and classroom resources. Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC), an extension of the school located in a state-of-the-art facility in Warner Robins, directly supports Robins AFB and offers significant research opportunities for students and faculty. In addition, the school's National Engineering Advisory Board, composed of some of the nation's most respected corporate leaders including Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and Georgia Pacific, provides premier research and career opportunities for students.
The School of Engineering and Robins Air Force Base maintain an educational partnership that provides on-base internships and other learning opportunities for aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering students. The partnership is separate from the Mercer Engineering and Research Center, which is located near the base in Warner Robins. The educational partnership is one of two maintained by Mercer University, the other involves the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta.
The Clinton Global Initiative University, a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, recognized Mercer University in 2009 for its Mercer On Mission project, which provides amputees in developing nations with low-cost prosthetics. The prosthetics use a universal socket technology developed by School of Engineering faculty and students. Mercer On Mission was one of only three university projects recognized by former President Bill Clinton at the CGI University annual conference.
School of Medicine
The School of Medicine, founded in 1982, is partially state funded and accepts only Georgia residents into the Doctor of Medicine program. The school's core mission is to train primary care physicians and other health professionals for service in rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. The school is consistently recognized for its focus on family medicine, and in 2005, US News and World Report ranked the school 17th out of 126 accredited medical schools in the family medicine category. In addition to the Doctor of Medicine, the school offers master's programs in public health, family therapy, and nurse anesthetist. The School of Medicine's teaching hospitals are the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.
The School of Medicine received additional state funding in 2007 to expand its existing partnership with Memorial University Medical Center by establishing a four-year medical school in Savannah, the first medical school in southern Georgia. Third and fourth year Mercer students have completed clinical rotations at Memorial since 1996, approximately 100 residents are trained each year in a number of specialities. The expanded program opened in August 2008 with 30 first year students. The School of Medicine's Macon and Savannah campuses are administered by Senior Associate Deans who report to one Dean. The new medical program furthers Mercer's mission to train primary care physicians for service in rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia.
The Center for Health and Learning is an educational partnership between the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta. The School of Medicine joined the partnership in September 2007 when it partnered with Piedmont to offer a Masters in family therapy on the Atlanta campus. Piedmont is a not-for-profit organization with several hospitals, including Piedmont Hospital and Piedmont Fayette Hospital, both recognized as among the best in the nation, a primary care physician group with approximately 20 clinics, and a physician network with approximately 500 members. Family therapy students are provided learning experiences at various facilities throughout the Piedmont system.
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing was founded in 1901 as the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary, an independent institution in Atlanta. The college was renamed the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary and Training School for Nurses when nursing education began in 1902. The college, named the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing in 1993, merged with Mercer in 2001 and moved from its downtown location to Mercer's Atlanta campus in 2002. The college offers undergraduate and graduate programs and provides clinical experiences at numerous Atlanta-area hospitals and at other community facilities.
The Center for Health and Learning is an educational partnership between the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta. Piedmont is a not-for-profit organization with several hospitals, including Piedmont Hospital and Piedmont Fayette Hospital, both recognized as among the best in the nation, a primary care physician group with approximately 20 clinics, and a physician network with approximately 500 members. Nursing students are provided clinical experiences at various facilities throughout the Piedmont system, as well as other medical facilities across the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing began offering the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree in August 2009 and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in August 2010. Both programs are a part of Mercer's strategic plan to expand the university's doctoral programs.
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, founded in 1903, was initially an independent school in Atlanta. The college merged with Mercer in 1959 and moved from its downtown location to Mercer's Atlanta campus in 1992. In 1981, the college became the first in the southeast and the fifth in the nation to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy, the highest level of pharmacy education, as its sole professional degree. The college, formerly named the Southern School of Pharmacy, adopted its current name on July 1, 2006. The name change reflects additional health science programs, including a physician assistant program, offered by the college.
Walter F. George School of Law
The Walter F. George School of Law, founded in 1873, is one of the oldest law schools in the United States. The school is named for a Mercer alumnus, former United States Senator Walter F. George. Additional information is available on the school's Wikipedia entry.
Gary J. Simson, former dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, became dean of the Walter F. George School of Law on July 1, 2010. Simson is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.
James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, founded in 1994, offers graduate theological programs and is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. McAfee's curriculum is not directed by the Georgia Baptist Convention or Southern Baptist Convention. The school, located on the Atlanta campus, is named for James T. McAfee, Jr., former chairman of Mercer's board of trustees, and his wife Carolyn. The McAfees provided a founding endowment.
The McAfee School of Theology and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are "identity partners"; announced in 2006, the CBF provides funding for operating costs, scholarships, and collaborative projects. The designation, which grants the highest level of CBF funding, is held by four theology schools, the McAfee School of Theology, the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, the Divinity School at Campbell University, and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.
The American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS), with the largest and most diverse collection of Baptist historical materials and archives in the world, is located on the Atlanta campus. The ABHS moved to Atlanta in 2008 from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and Rochester, New York. The organization is housed in the Mercer University Conference and Administration Center, formerly occupied by the Georgia Baptist Convention. The ABHS provides research opportunities for Baptist scholars and positions Mercer and the McAfee School of Theology as a national center of Baptist scholarship.
The Baptist History and Heritage Society (BHHS), founded in 1938 as the Southern Baptist Historical Society, relocated from Brentwood, Tennessee to the Atlanta campus in 2007. The BHHS, an independent organization with historic ties to the Southern Baptist Convention, is housed in the former Georgia Baptist Convention headquarters building along with the American Baptist Historical Society. The two organizations complement each other by providing resources on the American Baptist tradition and the Southern Baptist tradition, which further enhances Mercer's position as a national center of Baptist scholarship.
College of Continuing and Professional Studies
The College of Continuing and Professional Studies, founded in 2003, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for working adults. Courses are offered on the Macon and Atlanta campuses and at the regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County, and Eastman.
The Public Safety Leadership Institute on the Atlanta campus offers educational programs for law enforcement and other public safety officials. The curriculum focuses on organizational leadership, liberal studies, and human resources administration within governmental organizations in the rapidly changing post 9/11 world. The institute has been endorsed by numerous law enforcement organizations.
In July 2009, Mercer announced a new undergraduate degree in public safety, reformulated from the college's criminal justice major, with the first students to enroll in fall 2009. The degree complements the college's master of science in public safety leadership.
Other university divisions
Mercer University has four libraries, which are organized as a separate division alongside the eleven colleges and schools. The Jack Tarver Library, located on the Macon campus, is the largest. The Medical Library and Peyton T. Anderson Resources Center, located in the School of Medicine, and the Furman Smith Law Library, located in the Walter F. George School of Law, are also in Macon. The Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library is on the Atlanta campus. Each library has a wide variety of print and non-print resources.
The Grand Opera House is Mercer's Performing Arts Center. Located in downtown Macon and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Grand opened in 1884 with the largest stage in the southeastern United States. The Grand has hosted vaudeville performances, Broadway touring companies, community theatre, concerts, movies, and numerous other events. Mercer has operated the Grand since 1995 through a lease agreement with Bibb County. The Grand has undergone extensive renovation and regularly hosts special events that are open to the community.
The Mercer University Press (MUP), established in 1979, is the only Baptist-related university press in the nation. MUP has published more than 1,000 books generally in the areas of theology, religion, Southern culture, biography, history, literature and music. MUP's annual Authors Luncheon, a book-signing event in Atlanta, is Georgia's premier literary event. Former President Jimmy Carter and civil rights activist Will D. Campbell are among MUP's published authors. Campbell's book The Stem of Jesse, a history of Mercer in the 1960s, discusses integration of the university. The book, named for university founder Jesse Mercer, profiles notable alumni including Sam Oni and Samaria Mitcham Bailey. Oni was the first student of African descent to be admitted to Mercer University. Bailey was one of the first African-American female students at Mercer.
Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC)
The Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) is located in a state-of-the-art research facility in Warner Robins, Georgia. This new facility is located a short drive from Robins Air Force Base and provides upgraded physical security, staff offices, laboratories, classrooms, and a large conference facility.. Established in 1987 as an extension of the School of Engineering, MERC has extensive research agreements with Robins Air Force Base and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as with private concerns. Providing a broad range of customer oriented services to commercial and government clients, MERC's offerings include: management consulting, logistics consulting and analysis, systems engineering, structural and mechanical engineering, information technology consulting, software engineering, and various areas of industrial process and equipment design.
Mercer established its first radio station as a physics class project in 1922. The call sign was WMAZ, which stood for “Watch Mercer Attain Zenith”. The student-run station operated from the tower of Willingham Chapel until 1927 when Mercer gave WMAZ to the Macon Junior Chamber of Commerce. WMAZ was purchased by the Southeastern Broadcasting Company in 1935 and a television station added with the same call sign in 1953. The radio station was subsequently dropped, but the television station remains a CBS affiliate, WMAZ-TV Channel 13.
Mercer and Georgia Public Broadcasting partnered in 2006 to create WMUM-FM, formerly WDCO-FM. The station provides local content to central Georgia public radio listeners from its broadcast studio on the Macon campus. The station's call sign was changed to WMUM-FM to identify the partnership with "Mercer University Macon". The studio, constructed in 2006, offers various media-related educational opportunities for Mercer students.
Mercer, a faith-based university with a Baptist heritage, has an active religious life program for students seeking that experience. Religion, however, is not overly prominent; Mercer has an independent board of trustees and is not controlled by the church. Students are not required to attend religious services and the only religion-related curriculum requirement for undergraduates is that they take an introductory course in the New or Old Testament.
Mercer has over 100 undergraduate student organizations that provide learning experiences outside the classroom. Students may choose from academic, pre-professional, religious, special-interest, and social organizations including a campus newspaper (The Cluster), a closed-circuit student-operated television studio (MERCER99), a student-operated internet radio station, and 18 Greek organizations.
Mercer's Greek social organizations are:
Traditional African-American Fraternities:
Traditional African-American Sororities:
- Alpha Kappa Alpha, Iota Eta chapter (Macon campus)
- Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi chapter (Atlanta campus)
- Delta Sigma Theta, Iota Sigma chapter (Macon campus)
- Delta Sigma Theta, Tau Omicron chapter (Atlanta campus)
- Zeta Phi Beta, Omega Mu chapter
- Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Zeta chapter
- Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa chapter
- Kappa Sigma, Alpha Beta chapter
- Lambda Chi Alpha, Zeta Omega chapter
- Phi Delta Theta, Georgia Gamma chapter
- Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Alpha chapter
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Georgia Psi chapter
- Sigma Nu, Eta chapter
- Alpha Delta Pi, Beta Sigma chapter
- Alpha Gamma Delta, Gamma Iota chapter
- Chi Omega, Psi Gamma chapter
- Phi Mu, Alpha Iota chapter
Mercer's graduate and professional schools sponsor numerous student organizations as well.
Mercer's Computer Science Programming Team, the "Binary Bears," earned an Honorable Mention in the 2007 ACM World Finals Programming Competition held in Tokyo, Japan. Mercer was one of 88 teams out of more than 6,000 teams from 75 countries that advanced to the championship round; the team qualified for Mercer's first appearance in the event after finishing second in the Southeast regional competition.
Mercer is an NCAA Division I member competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Mercer joined the Atlantic Sun, formerly called the Trans American Athletic Conference, in 1978 and is the only charter member remaining with the conference. The university fields varsity teams, known as the Bears, in six men's, seven women's, and one co-educational sport. Men's teams include baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis. Women's teams include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Air-rifle is co-educational. Mercer teams have won 15 Atlantic Sun Conference championships (as of November 2010): four baseball, three men's basketball, two women's basketball, five men's soccer, and one women's soccer. The most recent championship was the one in women's soccer achieved in November 2010.
Mercer opened the University Center on the Macon campus in 2004. The $40 million 230,000-square-foot (21,000 m2) center houses Mercer's athletics department, a 3,500-seat basketball arena, an indoor pool, work-out facilities, intramural basketball courts, an air-rifle range, offices, a food court, and numerous meeting facilities. Mercer's baseball, softball, and intramural fields are next to the center along with the university's tennis complex. In 2007, a 101-room Hilton Garden Inn opened on university-owned land adjacent to the University Center.
New Athletics Director
Bobby Pope retired on June 30, 2010 after 21 years as athletics director. Pope was affiliated with Mercer for 40 years starting in 1970 as a radio announcer, and in 1980 became sports information director. He became athletics director in 1989 and oversaw construction of the University Center and renovation of the baseball, softball, and tennis facilities. Jim Cole, a Mercer graduate and a former professional baseball player in the Milwaukee Brewers system, is the new athletics director. Cole, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, served as Governor Sonny Perdue's floor leader in the House and was selected to become Georgia Secretary of State in December 2009. He declined the appointment to become Mercer athletics director.
On November 19, 2010, Mercer announced the reinstatement of intercollegiate football beginning in the fall of 2013. Mercer will compete as a NCAA Division I, non-scholarship program and will compete in the Pioneer Football League. Reinstatement comes after a 70-year hiatus; the university suspended football during World War II and did not revive it. The final game was in 1941.
On January 20, 2011, Mercer announced the hiring of Bobby Lamb as its new head football coach. Lamb compiled a record of 67-40 in nine seasons as the head coach at Furman University from 2002-2010. He played quarterback at Furman from 1982-1985 and was the Southern Conference player of the year in 1985. Lamb was an assistant coach at Furman from 1986 until he became head coach in 2002. He resigned from Furman after compiling a record of 5-6 for the 2010 season, his only losing season in nine years. Lamb is a Georgia native; he was born in Augusta and graduated from high school in Commerce.
In September 2011, the university began construction of a new football stadium on the Macon campus. The new stadium is adjacent to the University Center and Mercer's other athletic facilities.
US News and World Report, in the 2012 edition of its college and university rankings, ranks Mercer ninth in the Southern "Best Universities-Master's" category marking the university's twenty-second consecutive year among the top 15 and thirteenth consecutive year in the top 10. The 2012 edition also ranks Mercer among the "Great Schools, Great Prices" as the seventh best value in the South.
The Princeton Review, in its 2012 "Best 376 Colleges" guide, ranks Mercer in the top fifteen percent of all colleges and universities nationwide. The 2007 edition ranked Mercer's campus as the fifth most beautiful in the nation. In addition, in its most recent "America's Best Value Colleges" guide (2008), the Princeton Review lists Mercer as a "Best Value", one of 165 colleges and universities in the nation that combine excellent academics, generous financial aid packages, and a relatively low cost of attendance; Mercer is one of 75 private institutions among the 165 "Best Values".
US News and World Report ranks the School of Medicine in the top 20 of the nation's 126 accredited medical schools in the family medicine category, the school's primary focus, and ranks the Walter F. George School of Law in Tier 3 with schools ranked 101 through 137 of the nation's 184 accredited law schools. The same edition ranks Mercer's legal writing program first in the nation. The legal writing program has been ranked first or second since US News and World Report began the speciality ranking in 2006. The program was ranked first in 2006 (tied with one other school), second in 2007, and first in 2008 and 2009.
The Princeton Review, in its "Best 301 Business Schools: 2010 Edition", ranks the Atlanta MBA program third in the nation in the category of "Greatest Opportunity for Women". The program was ranked first in 2008 and third in 2009. The Princeton Review also includes the Walter F. George School of Law in its "Best 174 Law Schools: 2010 Edition".
In 2007, Mercer was one of 141 colleges and universities selected for the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; the honor roll is sponsored by several agencies including the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to recognize support for community service. In 2005, Mercer was one of 81 institutions of higher education named a “College with a Conscience” by the Princeton Review and College Compact. and in 2006, Mercer was ranked thirteenth in the nation in the first “Saviors of Our Cities” ranking by Evan Dobelle, president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education.
Mercer earned national recognition in 2008 from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for the university's commitment to community engagement. Mercer is the only college in Georgia, and one of just 119 in the United States, to be selected by the foundation for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. The university joins 76 institutions identified in 2006, including Emory University and Spelman College, the only other Georgia institutions to achieve the classification to date.
- List of alumni of Mercer University
- Walter F. George School of Law
- Mercer University School of Engineering
- Mercer Bears
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- ^ "CBF signs 10-year lease for office space at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus". Thefellowship.info. 2007-12-19. http://www.thefellowship.info/News/Archive/CBF-signs-10-year-lease-for-office-space-at-Mercer. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ a b "National Register of Historical Places - GEORGIA (GA), Bibb County". Nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/GA/Bibb/state.html. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ "Adult Learning Newnan". .mercer.edu. http://www2.mercer.edu/AdultLearning/Locations/Newnan.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ "Adult Learning Forsyth County". .mercer.edu. http://www2.mercer.edu/AdultLearning/Locations/Forsyth+County.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ "News & Features 5-7-08 Tift College of Education Earns National Accreditation". .mercer.edu. 2008-05-07. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2008/080507NCATE.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ "Tift College Historical Marker". Georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu. http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/gahistmarkers/tiftcollegehistmarker.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ a b [dead link]
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- ^ a b c "100 Years of nursing education at Mercer's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing". Georgia Nursing. 2002. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3925/is_200211/ai_n9337346.
- ^ "News & Features New Doctor of Nursing Practice". .mercer.edu. 2009-12-08. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2010/091208DNP.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ "News & Features - New Law Dean Appointed". .mercer.edu. 2010-05-26. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2010/100526Law.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ a b "Associated Baptist Press - CBF council picks four schools as identity partners, reports shortfall". Abpnews.com. 2006-10-16. http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1547&Itemid=119. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ a b "Associated Baptist Press - Former Southern Baptist history group to join American Baptists at Mercer". Abpnews.com. 2007-02-26. http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1892&Itemid=120. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ "News & Features 7-21-09 New Public Safety Degree This Fall". .mercer.edu. 2009-07-21. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2009/090721PublicSafety.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ 3:30 pm December 31, 2009, by James Salzer (2009-12-31). "Rep. Jim Cole will be new Secretary of State | Gold Dome Live". Blogs.ajc.com. http://blogs.ajc.com/gold-dome-live/2009/12/31/rep-jim-cole-will-be-new-secretary-of-state/. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ http://www.mercer.edu/football/
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- ^ a b "News & Features Legal Writing Again Ranked #1". .mercer.edu. 2008-03-28. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2008/080401legal.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
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- ^ [dead link]
- ^ "News & Features 8-25-06 Mercer Ranked No. 13 in Nation on â€œSaviors of Our Citiesâ€? List". .mercer.edu. 2006-08-25. http://www2.mercer.edu/News/Articles/2006/060825Saviorslist.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ [dead link]
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- ^ [dead link]
- Mercer University Website
- Mercer Admissions
- QuadWorks: Student Programming Board
- Mercer University Student Government Association
- Mercer University Athletics
- Mercer University Press
- Mercer University - New Georgia Encyclopedia entry
- Jesse Mercer - New Georgia Encyclopedia entry
- Adiel Sherwood - New Georgia Encyclopedia entry
- Mercer Radio
- Mercer University School of Medicine/Medical Center of Central Georgia Nurse Anesthesia Program in Macon
Atlantic Sun Conference Pioneer Football League Current members
Butler Bulldogs • Campbell Fighting Camels • Davidson Wildcats • Dayton Flyers • Drake Bulldogs • Jacksonville Dolphins • Marist Red Foxes • Morehead State Eagles • San Diego Toreros • Valparaiso Crusaders
Mercer Bears (2013) • Stetson Hatters (2013)
Georgia private colleges and universitiesAgnes Scott College • American Intercontinental University • Andrew College • Argosy University • Art Institute of Atlanta • Atlanta College of Art • Bauder College • Berry College • Brenau University • Brewton-Parker College • Clark Atlanta University • Columbia Theological Seminary • Covenant College • Emmanuel College • Emory University • Interdenominational Theological Center • LaGrange College • Life University • Mercer University • Morehouse College • Morehouse School of Medicine • Morris Brown College • Oglethorpe University • Oxford College of Emory University • Paine College • Piedmont College • Point University • Reinhardt University • Savannah College of Art and Design • Shorter University • South University • Spelman College • Thomas University • Toccoa Falls College • Truett-McConnell College • Wesleyan College • Westwood College • Young Harris College Educational Institutions in Macon, GeorgiaColleges and Universities
Central Georgia Technical College • Georgia College & State University • Macon State College • Mercer University • Wesleyan College
Central High School • First Presbyterian Day School • Hutchings High School • Mount de Sales Academy • Northeast Magnet High School • Rutland High School • Southwest Magnet High School • Stratford Academy • Tattnall Square Academy • Westside High School • Windsor Academy
Cannonball House • City Hall • Douglass Theatre • Fort Hawkins • Georgia Children's Museum • Georgia Music Hall of Fame • Georgia Sports Hall of Fame • Grand Opera House • Hay House • Luther Williams Field • Macon City Auditorium • Macon Coliseum • Macon Little Theater • Medical Center of Central Georgia • Mercer University • Museum of Arts and Sciences • Nu-Way Weiners • Ocmulgee National Monument • Ocmulgee River • Rose Hill Cemetery • Sidney Lanier Cottage • Tubman African American Museum • Waddell Barnes Botanical Gardens
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