1,500 To Earn Degrees in 10 Commencements
April 26, 2006

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MACON/ATLANTA — Mercer University will hold 10 commencements in two cities over three weekends during the month of May as more than 1,500 graduates receive their degrees. This year's exercises will be the final ceremonies that Dr. R. Kirby Godsey will preside over as president and CEO of Mercer. Dr. Godsey, the longest serving president in the University's history, will step down as president on June 30 after more than 27 years and will become chancellor and university professor.
 
President Godsey will give the address on Saturday, May 13, at the Macon Commencement, which includes the School of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics and the Tift College of Education. During his address, President Godsey will also introduce special guest, highly respected jazz and rock and roll musician Mr. Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, who will perform a special musical selection.
 
Two honorary degrees will be awarded during the Macon commencement: Doctor of Music to Chuck Leavell, musician and conservationist;  and Doctor of Humanities to Philip Walden (posthumously), founder of Capricorn Records and Velocette Records
 
On Saturday, May 6, Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will have the distinction of being the first speaker to address graduates in The University Center when she speaks at the School of Medicine commencement. The School will also award two honorary degrees for service to the medical professional: Dr. Gerberding and Dr. W. Douglas Skelton, who is the public health director for Chatham and Effingham counties, Georgia Department of Human Resources.
 
Among the other renowned graduation speakers will be retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman S. Fletcher, who will speak Friday, May 12, at the Walter F. George School of Law commencement exercise at the City Auditorium in Macon. The University will also award Justice Fletcher an honorary degree.
 
The University will award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The University will also present a total of seven honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate to the keynote speaker at the McAfee School of Theology commencement, Dr. Lien Hwa Chow, immediate past president of Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary. 
 
The following is a listing of commencement dates, times and speakers.
 
Macon Commencements
 
School of Medicine
Speaker: Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Saturday, May 6, 5 p.m.
The University Center, Macon Campus
Graduates: 89
 
Walter F. George School of Law
Speaker: The Honorable Norman S. Fletcher, Retired Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
Friday, May 12, 6 p.m.
Macon City Auditorium
Graduates: 120
 
Macon Commencement
College of Liberal Arts, Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, School of Engineering and the Tift College of Education
Speaker: Dr. R. Kirby Godsey, President and CEO, Mercer University
Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.
The University Center, Macon Campus
Graduates: 467
 
College of Continuing and Professional Studies
Speaker: Dr. Craig McMahan, University Minister
Saturday, May 13, 4 p.m.
The University Center, Macon Campus
Graduates: 144
 

Atlanta Commencements
 
Southern School of Pharmacy
Speaker: Dr. Carmen A. Catizone, CEO and Executive Director/Secretary of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 130
 
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Speaker: Ms. Sharon H. Cox, '66 Nursing, Principal Consultant, Cox & Associates
Saturday, May 6, 12 p.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 97
 
College of Continuing & Professional Studies
Speaker: Mr. Jim Huling, President and CEO, MATRIX Resources, Inc.
Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 110
 
James & Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
Speaker: Dr. Lien Hwa Chow, immediate past president of Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary
Saturday, May 20, 11:30 a.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 39
 
Tift College of Education
Speaker: Dr. Cathryn Futral, '49 Tift, professor (retired), Tift College and Tift College of Education
Saturday, May 20, 2:30 p.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 150
 
Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics
Speaker: Ms. Linda Willis,'87 CLA and '91 LAW, Senior Managing Director, Bear Stearns & Company Inc.
Saturday, May 20, 5:30 p.m.
Sheffield Student Center, Atlanta Campus
Graduates: 230
 
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County, Macon and Eastman. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. On July 1 2006, the University will add its eleventh academic program, the School of Music. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South. The Princeton Review has ranked it among the top 10 percent of colleges in the nation.
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