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Mercer University

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Title: Mercer University  
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Subject: Atlantic Sun Conference, Georgia Bulldogs football (all games), Mercer Bears, Patrick Henry (basketball), The Mercer Cluster
Collection: Baptist Universities and Colleges in the United States, Education in Dodge County, Georgia, Education in Douglas County, Georgia, Education in Henry County, Georgia, Educational Institutions Established in 1833, Mercer University, National Register of Historic Places in Georgia (U.S. State), Nursing Schools in Georgia (U.S. State), Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, Universities and Colleges in Atlanta, Georgia, Universities and Colleges in Georgia (U.S. State), Universities and Colleges in MacOn, Georgia, Universities and Colleges in Savannah, Georgia, Visitor Attractions in MacOn, Georgia
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Mercer University

Mercer University
Established 1833
Type Private
Endowment US$256.9 million[1]
President William D. Underwood
Undergraduates 4,500
Postgraduates 4,000
Location U.S.
Campus Urban
Colors Black and Orange          
Athletics NCAA Division I
Nickname Bears

NAICU[2] Southern Conference

Atlantic Sun Conference
R. Kirby Godsey Administration Building, a university landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Mercer University is the oldest Phi Beta Kappa.[3][4]

Mercer enrolls more than 8,500 students in 12 colleges and schools: liberal arts, business, engineering, education, music, continuing and professional studies, law, theology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and health professions.[5][6] Mercer undergraduates enjoy small classes (average class size is 20) made possible by the 12:1 student/faculty ratio.[7]

Mercer has three campuses: the main campus in Warner Robins. The Mercer University Health Sciences Center encompasses Mercer's medical, pharmacy, nursing, and health professions programs in Macon, Atlanta, Savannah, and Columbus.[8]

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Mercer among the top ten universities in the South for 17 consecutive years, and among the top two best values in terms of education relative to cost for four consecutive years.[9][10][11] Princeton Review consistently ranks Mercer in the top 10% of colleges and universities in North America,[12] and in 2005, rated Mercer has having one of the top five most beautiful college campuses in North America.[13] Mercer was cited by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its community engagement, and was among the 113 institutions listed on the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.[14]

Mercer has an NCAA Division I athletic program and fields teams in eight men's and ten women's sports; all university-sponsored sports compete in the Southern Conference except women's lacrosse and women's sand volleyball, which are not sponsored by the SoCon, and thus compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.[15][16]


  • History 1
    • Founding 1.1
    • World War II 1.2
    • Expansion 1.3
    • Underwood era 1.4
      • Religious affiliation 1.4.1
      • New strategic plan 1.4.2
        • Implementation plan
        • "Aspire – The Campaign for Mercer University"
  • Presidents 2
  • Location 3
    • Macon campus 3.1
    • Law school 3.2
    • Atlanta campus 3.3
    • Savannah campus 3.4
    • Columbus campus 3.5
    • Teaching hospitals 3.6
    • Regional academic centers 3.7
  • Colleges and schools 4
    • College of Liberal Arts 4.1
    • Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics 4.2
    • School of Engineering 4.3
    • Tift College of Education 4.4
    • Townsend School of Music 4.5
    • Penfield College (Continuing and Professional Studies) 4.6
    • Walter F. George School of Law 4.7
    • James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology 4.8
    • School of Medicine 4.9
    • College of Pharmacy 4.10
    • Georgia Baptist College of Nursing 4.11
    • College of Health Professions 4.12
  • Other university divisions 5
    • Mercer libraries 5.1
    • Opera House 5.2
    • University Press 5.3
    • Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) 5.4
    • Radio station 5.5
    • Student newspaper 5.6
    • Debating Society 5.7
  • Athletics 6
    • Facilities 6.1
    • Men's basketball 6.2
    • Football 6.3
  • Rankings 7
  • People 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Jesse Mercer, first chairman of the board of trustees and namesake of the university


Mercer University was founded in

  • Official website
  • Mercer University Athletics website

External links

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  2. ^ NAICU – Member Directory
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  19. ^ The University of Texas at Austin dissertation entitled Jesse Mercer: A Study in Frontier Religion was completed in 1950 by the historian Robert W. Mondy.
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  53. ^ Mercer University announces launch of $400 million capital campaign. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  54. ^ Memorial, Mercer break ground on medical school expansion. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
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  116. ^ Daniel Shirley, "Mercer football/lacrosse stadium renamed following major donation", ‘’The Telegraph’’, February 26, 2015
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  122. ^ Macon: Mercer University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-86554-052-7, p. 202
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See also


Mercer earned national recognition in 2008 from the Emory University and Spelman College, the only other Georgia institutions to achieve the classification to date.

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.[132][133] In 2005, Mercer was one of 81 institutions of higher education named a “College with a Conscience” by the Princeton Review and College Compact.[134][135] 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.[136][137]

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".[130] The program was ranked first in 2008 and third in 2009.[131] The Princeton Review also includes the Walter F. George School of Law in its "Best 174 Law Schools: 2010 Edition".[130]

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. In the 2013 edition of its law school rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks Mercer 105th among the nation's top 145 law schools.[127] The same edition ranks Mercer's legal writing program third in the nation. The legal writing program has been ranked in the top three since US News & World Report began the speciality ranking in 2006.[128][129]

The Princeton Review, in its 2014 "Best 378 Colleges" guide, ranks Mercer in the top 10% of all colleges and universities nationwide.[12] The 2007 edition ranked Mercer as one of the top five most beautiful campus in the entire nation.[13] In addition, in its most recent "America's Best Value Colleges" guide, 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".[126]

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Mercer among the top ten universities in the South for 17 consecutive years, and among the top two best values in terms of education relative to cost for four consecutive years.[9][124][125]


Mercer won its first Southern Conference game on September 27, 2014; the team defeated Virginia Military Institute on the road in Lexington, Virginia. Mercer finished the season with an overall 6–6 win-loss record (1–5 in the conference) with only half the team on scholarship due to start-up restrictions.

Mercer played its first game on August 31, 2013; the team defeated Reinhardt University before an overflow crowd (12,172 spectators) at the Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex.[123] Mercer finished the 2013 season undefeated at home with a 10–2 win-loss record (the two road losses were to the University of San Diego and Marist College) setting a NCAA Division I record for wins (10) by a start-up football program; Mercer had eight home wins, also a NCAA Division I record tied the same year (2013) by Auburn University, the FBS national runner-up, and Sam Houston State University who achieved its eighth victory in the FCS post-season.

On November 19, 2010, Mercer announced the reinstatement of intercollegiate football beginning in the fall of 2013.[119] The university competed as a NCAA Division I, non-scholarship program in the Pioneer Football League in 2013, and is now a scholarship program in the Southern Conference.[120] Reinstatement came after a 70-year hiatus; Mercer suspended football during World War II and did not revive it.[121] The final game was in 1941.[122]

Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex (under construction, view from the Homer and Ruth Drake Field House)


Mercer received national attention in 2014 when the men's basketball team defeated Duke University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament; the team was defeated by the University of Tennessee in the third round. The team finished the season with a 27–9 record, Mercer's third straight with more than 20 victories. In honor of its win over Duke, Mercer received the 2014 Espy Award for Best Upset.[117][118]

Men's basketball

Mercer's facilities are located next to Interstate 75. Large parking lots are available for visitors-spectators arriving via the Mercer University Drive exit.

Hilton Garden Inn operates a 101-room hotel on university-owned land adjacent to the University Center and the Moye Complex.

The president of Five Star Automotive Group, Charlie Cantrell, is also president of the Mercer Athletic Foundation. [116] Mercer opened the

[115][114] Mercer opened the

Homer and Ruth Drake Field House, a component of the Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex


Mercer was a charter member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, originally called the Trans American Athletic Conference, from 1978–2014. Mercer teams won 21 Atlantic Sun championships: five baseball, six men's basketball, two women's basketball, five men's soccer, and one each in women's soccer, men's lacrosse, and men's golf. The men's basketball team won the 2012 Postseason Tournament.[113]

Mercer fields eighteen (18) teams, known as the Bears, on the NCAA Division I level (FCS, formerly I-AA, for football); all teams compete in the Southern Conference except women's lacrosse and women's sand volleyball, which are not sponsored by the SoCon, and thus compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.[15][16] Men's teams include baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis. Women's teams include basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, sand volleyball, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Mercer Bears logo


Founded in 1884, Mercer's debating society is the oldest organization on Mercer's campus as well as the oldest debating society in the State of Georgia. In 2015, Jazmine Buckley made history at the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) tournament. Buckley became the first freshman and the first African-American to be named top speaker at the nation's largest parliamentary debate tournament. Buckley outranked 320 other debaters representing top programs such as the University of California, Berkeley, Wheaton, Rice and Whitman to receive the James "Al" Johnson Top Speaker Award.[112] Lindsey Hancock and Hunter Pilkinton also competed at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) at William Jewell College in Missouri. The duo from Mercer was the first team from the University and the state of Georgia to attend the NPTE, the most prestigious parliamentary debate tournament in the nation.[112]

Debating Society

Jesse Mercer in 1810.[111]

Student newspaper

Mercer and 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 established its first radio station as a Macon Junior Chamber of Commerce.[17][109] 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.[110]

Radio station

WMUM-FM, located in Mercer Village, an academic-residential-retail area on the Macon campus

, 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. U.S. Department of Defense and the Robins Air Force Base 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 [107] The Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) is located in a state-of-the-art research facility in

Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC)

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, 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.[106] Bailey was one of the first African-American female students at Mercer.

University Press

The Bibb County. The Grand has undergone extensive renovation and regularly hosts special events that are open to the community.

Opera House

Mercer University has four libraries, which are organized as a separate division alongside the twelve 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.

Mercer's Central Quad, location of the Jack Tarver Library (with the clock tower) and Stetson Hall (on the right); Stetson Hall houses the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics and the Tift College of Education

Mercer libraries

Other university divisions

The College of Health Professions opened on July 1, 2013.[6] Mercer's twelfth academic unit offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree along with master's-level physician assistant and public health programs previously offered by the College of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine. The new college allows for the addition of future health sciences programs, such as occupational therapy, as well as expansion of existing programs on multiple Mercer campuses.

College of Health Professions

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.[104][105] Both programs are a part of Mercer's strategic plan to expand the university's doctoral programs.

The Center for Health and Learning is an educational partnership between the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and Atlanta metropolitan area.

The college offers undergraduate and graduate programs and provides clinical experiences at numerous Atlanta-area hospitals and at other community facilities. [103][102] The college was renamed the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary and Training School for Nurses when [103][102] The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing was founded in 1901 as the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary, an independent institution in Atlanta.

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Mercer's football stadium (10,200 seats, completion 2013) – the Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex – is named for William Anthony (Tony) Moye, Pharmacy Class of 1973. Moye is a member of the university's board of trustees and is a major donor towards the stadium.

The college was named the Southern School of Pharmacy until 2006 when it was renamed the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; the name change reflected new physician assistant and physical therapy programs.[99][101] The college received its current name in 2013 when the physician assistant and physical therapy programs were shifted to the new College of Health Professions.

The College of Pharmacy, founded in 1903, was an independent school in Atlanta until it merged with Mercer in 1959.[99][100] The college, ranked by US News and World Report among the top five private pharmacy schools in the country, moved from its downtown location to Mercer's Atlanta campus in 1992.[100] 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.[100]

College of Pharmacy

In February 2012, Mercer announced the establishment of a third School of Medicine campus.[83] The new campus, in St. Francis Hospital, and beginning in the summer of 2012, will offer clinical rotations for up to 80 third and fourth year students.

In April 2011, Mercer announced a new Doctor of Clinical Medical Psychology program with the first students to enroll in the fall of 2012.[98]

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.

Medical Education Building – 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 and Graduated ist first M.D.'s in 2012. 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.

[23] The Mercer University School of Medicine, founded in 1982, is partially state funded and accepts only Georgia residents into the

Medical Education Building – Macon

School of Medicine

The Baptist History and Heritage Society (BHHS), founded in 1938 as the Southern Baptist Historical Society, relocated from American Baptist tradition and the Southern Baptist tradition, which further enhances Mercer's position as a national center of Baptist scholarship.

The Rochester, New York.[96] The organization is housed in the Mercer University Administration and Conference 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 McAfee School of Theology and the Baylor University, the Divinity School at Campbell University, and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.[94]

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, founded in 1994, offers graduate 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.

James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

The School of Law offers the following degrees: Juris Doctor (JD), a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA), and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure, which is the nation's only LLM program with this subject matter focus.[92][93]

The United States Senator and was President pro tempore of the Senate.

Walter F. George School of Law

Walter F. George School of Law

The college's graduate-level programs include master's degrees in public safety, organizational leadership, school counseling, and clinical mental health counseling as well as an Educational Specialist degree in school counseling and a Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision.[91] In 2013, the college began offering graduate programs in human services and rehabilitation counseling.

The Public Safety Leadership Institute on the Atlanta campus offers educational programs for 9/11 world. The institute has been endorsed by numerous law enforcement organizations.

. Jesse Mercer Mercer maintains a portion of the original Penfield campus including historic Old Mercer Chapel and the gravesite of university founder [90][89] Penfield College of Mercer University, founded in 2003 as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for

Old Mercer Chapel, constructed in 1845 and listed on the Penfield, Georgia

Penfield College (Continuing and Professional Studies)

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.

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 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.

Townsend School of Music is housed in the Allan and Rosemary McCorkle Music Building

Townsend School of Music

The Tift College of Education offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs on the Macon and Atlanta campuses and at the university's regional academic centers. The college offers three Doctor of Philosophy degrees: P-12 School Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction.[88]

The Tift College of Education, founded in 1995 as the School of Education, has the highest level of accreditation from the Forsyth.[86][87] Tift College, founded in 1849, merged with Mercer in 1986 and was closed. Mercer adopted its alumnae and maintains their records.

Tift College of Education

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.[84]

The School of Engineering and Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta.

The Georgia Pacific, provides premier research and career opportunities for students.

Science and Engineering Building

School of Engineering

Mercer opened a large retail-residential center on the The Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, founded in 1984, has the highest level of accreditation for business schools from the

Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

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.

College of Liberal Arts

Willingham Hall, an academic building on the historic quad north

Colleges and schools

The Newnan Regional Academic Center opened in 2010.

The Douglas County Regional Academic Center was named in 2007 in honor of Fred and Aileen Borrish, longtime Mercer benefactors and supporters of education in Douglas County. The center is located in Lithia Springs.

The Henry County Regional Academic Center opened in 2003. The facility combined programs previously offered at two smaller facilities in McDonough.

Mercer has regional academic centers in Newnan. The centers offer undergraduate and graduate degrees for working adults.

Regional academic centers

Mercer's teaching hospitals are the Columbus.

Teaching hospitals

In February 2012, Mercer announced the establishment of a new campus in St. Francis Hospital, and beginning in the summer of 2012, will offer clinical rotations for third and fourth year students.

Columbus campus

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 an expanded medical education building that will further enlarge the Savannah campus; construction began in 2015.

Savannah campus

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.

The Cecil B. Day, founder of Days Inn Hotels who attended Mercer before leaving to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

Atlanta campus

The 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 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is used for university special events.[82] The Law School building and the Woodruff House are two of Macon's most recognizable sites.

Law school

The main campus of Mercer University is in Grand Opera House, Mercer's performing arts center, located in downtown Macon.[79][80][81]

Louie De Votie Newton Chapel, on the historic quad north
R. Kirby Godsey Administration Building, on the historic quad north, heart of the Macon campus

Macon campus


  • Billington McCarthy Sanders (1833–1840)[55]
  • Otis Smith (1840–1844)[56]
  • John Leadley Dagg (1844–1854)[57]
  • Nathaniel Macon Crawford(1854–1856)[58]
  • Shelton Palmer Sanford (acting President; 1856–1858)[59]
  • Nathaniel Macon Crawford (1858–1866)[58]
  • Henry Holcombe Tucker (1866–1871)[60]
  • Archibald John Battle (1872–1889)[61]
  • Gustavus Alonzo Nunnally (1889–1893)[62]
  • Joseph Edgerton Willet (acting President; 1893)[63]
  • James Bruton Gambrell (1893–1896)[64]
  • Pinckney Daniel Pollock (1896–1903)[65]
  • William Heard Kilpatrick (acting President; 1903–1905)[66]
  • Charles Lee Smith (1905–1906)[67]
  • Samuel Young Jameson (1906–1913)[68]
  • James Freeman Sellers (acting President; 1913–1914)[69]
  • William Lowndes Pickard (1914–1918)[70]
  • Rufus Washington Weaver (1918–1927)[71]
  • Andrew Phillip Montague (acting President; 1927–1928)[72]
  • Spright Dowell (1928–1953)[73]
  • George Boyce Connell (1953–1959)[74]
  • Spright Dowell (interim President; 1959–1960)[73]
  • Rufus Carrollton Harris (1960–1979)[75]
  • Raleigh Kirby Godsey (1979–2006)[76]
  • William D. Underwood (2006–present)[77]
Billington Sanders, Mercer's first President


On October 31, 2014, Mercer announced an effort to raise $400 million, including $207 million for its endowment, $109 million for capital projects, and $84 million for operations.[53] By its public launch, $90 million in gifts and pledges had been collected. The campaign aims to fund a $15 million medical education facility in Savannah, ground was broken on October 14, 2014;[54] a $25 million undergraduate sciences facility in Macon; a $20 million pharmacy building in Atlanta; a $3 million baseball stadium in Macon; a fifth phase of Mercer Lofts, additional endowment for faculty positions, academic programs and student scholarships; funding for programs and initiatives such as Mercer On Mission; and additional support throughout the university's 12 schools and colleges, Mercer University Press, the university libraries, athletic department, and other administrative units.

"Aspire – The Campaign for Mercer University"

Mercer Lofts V began construction in 2015 next to Five Star Stadium on the south end of the Macon campus; the complex will provide student housing, university offices, a parking garage, retail-food facilities, and a second on-campus hotel. Other projects (as of 2015) include expansion of the School of Medicine facility in Savannah, a new undergraduate sciences center and a new undergraduate residence hall in Macon, and a new College of Pharmacy building in Atlanta.[50][51][52] Mercer's Tattnall Square Center for the Arts opened in 2015; the center is the former Tattnall Square Presbyterian Church, adjacent to the historic north quadrangle, and now houses the university theater department and is a community performing arts center.

Mercer opened Mercer Lofts III in 2014; the facility is a large student housing complex on College Street next to Tattnall Square Park and the university's historic north quadrangle.[47] Mercer Lofts IV began construction in 2014 as well; the lofts are located adjacent to Macon's main post office between College Street and Interstate 75. In 2014, Mercer also completed an extensive renovation of the historic Amanda Bell House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the building houses the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings of the Townsend School of Music and is one of the finest conservatory facilities in the nation.[48] In addition, in 2014 Mercer's television station, WMUB (Mercer University Broadcasting), opened a new studio in Mercer Village as a part of the university's Center for Collaborative Journalism.[49]

[46], Tarver Library, and Connell Student Center.University Center (Hawkins Arena) In 2013, Mercer completed Cruz Plaza, a major landscaping project for the Macon campus central quadrangle linking the [45][44] certified building.LEED Also in 2012, the university opened a new admissions and welcome center on the Macon campus; the center is named for Emily Parker Myers, a long-time university administrator, and is the university's first [43][42], Bob Woodward, and numerous other business, political, and social leaders.

[39][38] The multi-campus

In athletics, Mercer has added programs in men's lacrosse, sand volleyball, and football; constructed a new football and lacrosse complex (10,200 seats); and changed affiliation to the Newnan, in 2010. Mercer's board of trustees approved the largest operating budget in university history in 2014.[37]

Mercer students have earned national recognition and prestigious Fulbright, Goldwater, Teach For America and Peace Corps scholarships and appointments; as of 2012, two of the last three recipients of the Gulf South Summit Award for Outstanding Student Contributions to Service-Learning have been Mercer students and Mercer ranks among the top three institutions in the Southeast for placement of Peace Corps volunteers among colleges and universities with fewer than 5,000 undergraduate students.[34][35][36]

[33][32][31] Mercer has launched second and third medical school campuses (in Savannah and Columbus), started 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 meets criteria established by the

Mercer Village, location of the university bookstore, other shops, student apartments, and the Center for Collaborative Journalism (newspaper, radio, television)
Implementation plan

In 2009, Mercer received 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.[25] The Mercer On Mission medical outreach program, launched in 2007, has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative as "an exemplary approach to addressing a specific global challenge." It helps students combine research, study abroad and service learning under faculty direction.

On April 18, 2008, Mercer's board of trustees adopted a 10-year strategic plan[29] to turn Mercer into one of the most prestigious private universities in the Southeast along with Vanderbilt University, Duke University, Emory University, Wake Forest University, and Tulane University.[30] The plan would increase the student body from 7,300 to 8,500, raise the endowment to $1 billion, add master's and doctoral programs, and build 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.[30]

New strategic plan

Mercer, founded by early 19th-century [28]

Religious affiliation

William D. Underwood became Mercer's 18th president on July 1, 2006, succeeding Dr. Raleigh Kirby Godsey, who served as president for 27 years and became university chancellor. Underwood previously served at Baylor University as interim president and held the prestigious Leon Jaworski Chair at Baylor Law School.[25] During Underwood's presidency, enrollment has increased by about twenty percent to more than 8,500 students.[5][25]

Underwood era

Between 1982 and 2013, Mercer established nine additional colleges and schools: the Savannah in 2008 and the multi-campus Mercer University Health Sciences Center in 2012.

Atlanta Baptist College was founded in 1968 under the leadership of Dr. Monroe F. Swilley, a prominent Baptist educator.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] The mission of the Atlanta campus changed to graduate and professional education.[23] The Southern School of Pharmacy moved in 1992 from its downtown location to the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus.

[17] Mercer expanded to


During World War II, Mercer was one of 131 colleges and universities in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered military training that prepared students for a commission in the United States Navy.[21]

World War II

In 1871, Mercer moved to of the United States Senatepro temporePresident .

[17] Mercer adopted its present name in 1838 and graduated its first university class, of three students, in 1841.[17]

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