MACON, Ga. — Mercer University presented William L. Emerson of St. Mary’s, Ga., with one of two top awards given to Mercer undergraduate students during commencement May 13 in the University Center. Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey presented him with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
Emerson graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology during the commencement. This fall, he will attend the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta on a full scholarship.
“In all my dealings with athletes over the last 30 some years, I’ve never known a better ‘student-athlete,’ and he’s the first athlete to win the Sullivan award since I’ve been here,” said Bobby Pope, Mercer’s Director of Athletics for the past 17 years. “We’ve had some very good athletes and some very good students, but we’ve never had one like Will. He’s as good as they come. He’s a great representative for the University and I think he’ll make a great physician.”
Emerson excelled as an athlete, playing for four years on the men’s basketball team and serving as captain during his senior year. He was twice recognized as a first-team Academic All-American by ESPN the Magazine, the premiere academic All-America team in the United States. He was also one of only two players on the All-America team to maintain a 4.0 grade point average. Emerson was a four-time Atlantic Sun Academic All-Conference honoree and was named the conference’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year for 2005 and again for 2006.
As a student, Emerson maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a biology major in the College of Liberal Arts. He will attend medical school and has been accepted to many of the country’s top programs. In his preparation for medical school, Emerson swept the awards for all three yearlong science sequences required for entry into medical school: the 2003 Outstanding Student in Introductory Physics, 2003 Outstanding Student in Organic Chemistry, and the Graydon L. Ware Rising Junior in Biology Award. Professors praise Emerson’s work ethic, intellectual gifts and ability to manage his time as an athlete and a scholar.
As a leader, Emerson served the student body as a Student Government Association senator for three years and as senior class president this year. He was also a leader in the community, serving as a volunteer with the Dolphin Swim Program for disabled children and with His Able Hands Respite Care Program, as well as helping Boy Scouts earn chemistry merit badges. Emerson also worked with children at baseball and basketball camps.
About the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award:
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is presented to the graduating student who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership, service to the community, and a commitment to spiritual values. This award was established by The New York Southern Society in 1925, and at Mercer University in 1926, in memory of Sullivan, a great humanitarian and philanthropist.
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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