Mercer University is the oldest private university in the state of Georgia, located in the city of Macon. Established in 1833 in Penfield, GA by Georgia Baptists, the school initially began as a boy’s preparatory school called Mercer Institute, named after prominent Baptist leader Jesse Mercer who served on the first chair of the Mercer Board of Trustees. In 1871 the school moved to its current location in Macon and has since grown into a dynamic, comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Mercer University has been repeatedly ranked in the top ten percent of all colleges and universities in North America by The Princeton Review and has also been named a “College with a Conscience” by Princeton.
Academic ProgramsMercer University’s mission is to “teach, to learn, to create, to discover, to inspire, to empower and to serve.” The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1911. Made up of a dozen schools and colleges, Mercer University offers more than 130 programs including both undergraduate and graduate-level degrees. All classes are taught by professors and never teaching assistants, more than 90% of whom hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their respective fields.
The colleges and schools which make up Mercer University include the College of Liberal Arts (Mercer University’s oldest of academic units and the academic cornerstone of the University); the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics; the School of Engineering; the Tift College of Education; the Townsend School of Music; the Penfield College; the Walter F. George School of Law; the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology; the School of Medicine; the College of Pharmacy; the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing; and the College of Health Professions.
Student LifeMercer University has a total enrollment figure of more than 8,500, including over 4,500 undergraduate students. More than 125 student organizations are recognized by the University, providing opportunities for students to interact and connect with one another outside of the classroom. The mission of Mercer University’s Office of Campus Life and Student Involvement is to provide campus wide programming through the University’s activities board and to offer student services, leadership development resources, and recognition programs. Well over a dozen chapters of national/international Greek letter organizations exist on Mercer University as well. As an NCAA Division I-AAA school, Mercer University’s varsity athletic teams compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
One of Mercer University’s several traditions include first-year students climbing the tallest tower in one of the spires of the Godsey Administration Building which was featured in a well-known novel entitled The Whisper of the River, authored by Mercer University graduate, Dr. Ferrol Sams. The tradition of climbing the tower dates back over 100 years; autographs of alumni from years past can be seen on the walls, door frames, floors, ceilings, banisters, and pillars along the way up the tower. Ferrol Sams’ autograph is located on the Kappa Alpha Order wall.