ATLANTA, Ga. – The Georgia Senate honored Mercer President R. Kirby Godsey at the State Capitol on March 9 with a resolution highlighting the many accomplishments during his 27-year presidency. The resolution marks the second time in as many weeks that Godsey has been honored by Georgia legislators. On Feb. 28, the Georgia House of Representatives honored Godsey with a similar resolution.
The Senate Resolution recognized Godsey, who will be retiring on June 1, for the vital role he has played in providing leadership in education and in serving Georgia and U.S. citizens. The resolution was sponsored by Sens. Cecil Staton (District 18), George Hooks (District 14), Seth Harp (District 29) and Michael S. Meyer von Bremen (District 12).
Read before the membership by Sen. Staton, the resolution noted Godsey's efforts to better his community and state through his service as president of Mercer University, and through his writings and community service.
In its conclusion, the Senate resolution stated: "Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate that that the members of this body commend Dr. R. Kirby Godsey for his efficient, effective, unselfish, and dedicated service to the citizens of this state and nation and extend to him their most sincere best wishes for continued health and happiness."
When Godsey became president of Mercer in 1979, the University was composed of four schools—two in Macon and two in Atlanta—and had an enrollment of 3,800 students, an endowment of $16.5 million, and a budget of $21.3 million. Mercer today enrolls more than 7,300 students in 10 colleges and schools and has a budget of $175 million and an endowment close to $200 million, with more than $200 million expected from planned gifts.
Currently the longest-serving president among the public and private colleges and universities in Georgia, he has led growth in all areas during his tenure as president. Among the six schools added were the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering in Macon. Godsey also established the Mercer University Press and the Mercer Engineering Research Center and formed partnerships with Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta, Memorial Health University Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, as well as the Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins.
Georgia House Resolution 1122 was presented to Godsey on Feb. 28 and was sponsored by Reps. David Lucas (District 139), Brooks Coleman (District 144), Nikki Randall (District 138), Mickey Channell (District 116) and Jim Cole (District 125).
It cited Godsey's commitment to the Central Georgia area and downtown Macon, his vision as one of the founders of New Town Macon and his recognitions for service and leadership, including the 2002 Southeast CEO of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the 2003 Macon Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and numerous listings by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the top 100 most influential Georgians.
Godsey, in accepting the resolution, thanked members of the House for their support of the University, particularly in funding for the School of Medicine, which is providing physicians throughout the state and only accepts Georgia residents into its doctor of medicine program.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.