Mercer Graduate Matthew Wetherington, center, with friends Kathine Li and Nick Newins, is traveling the country in an RV for a television show, "Roadtrip Nation."
MACON, Ga.— Matthew Wetherington, a 2007 Mercer University graduate, knows he wants to make a difference in the world. How? He’s not sure yet, but he’s taking a road trip to sort things out. Wetherington set off on his journey this month as part of the PBS documentary series, “Roadtrip Nation.”
Together with friends Katherine Li, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Nick Newins, of Macon, Wetherington will be asking some famous, and some not-so-famous, people around the country about their career choices and how they found their vocation in life. Confirmed interviews include the Naked Cowboy in New York City; Weird Al Yankovic; Jamie Hyneman of the Discovery Channel’s “Myth Busters,” Dr. Francis Collins, author and former director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org, and Karen Mathis, president of the American Bar Association, as well as a number of workers and founders of nonprofit agencies.
“For me, the question has never been: ‘What do I want do with my life,’” Wetherington said. “For me the question is: ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ I want to make a difference, and I’ll be spending this trip trying to figure how to make that difference.”
Wetherington has already made a difference at Mercer, starting several student organizations, including Leadership MU, and working with the city of Macon and Mercer to create the College Hill Corridor Commission, among other projects. He’s also been working full-time as a staff member to United States Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon. He’s set to enroll this fall in Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law.
The Climax, Ga., native, along with his two friends, had to arrange their own interviews, then plot their trip in a 35-foot Roadtrip Nation RV, and share the story of their journey. So far, they have 25 interviews set up and are a week into their month-long, 6,000-mile journey across America. The trip began in Cambridge, Mass., and will wind its way down the Atlantic coast, cut across the South, then through the Midwest, and end in California.
“We have an amazing itinerary of people lined up,” Wetherington said, “whom we hope will be able to provide some much-needed enlightenment to our search for vocation.”
Roadtrip Nation will post some of Wetherington’s trip online at www.roadtripnation.com, and the full series will air around the nation next fall on PBS.
The son of Quinn Wetherington, of Moultrie, and the late Carol Wetherington, Matthew Wetherington graduated from Bainbridge High School in 2003 Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
About Roadtrip Nation:
Roadtrip Nation is a movement that encourages students to get out on the road and engage themselves and the opportunities that are available to them in the world through meeting with people who have the wisdom and experience that they aspire to have. This movement has manifested itself into a documentary series on PBS, two books, an online series with MSN, and a network of students across the globe who are dedicated to defining their own paths in life. Each year, Roadtrip Nation sends out groups of students in big green RVs with a film crew and a mission: find the open road.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.