Mercer Trustees Approve New Programs, Elect Board Members

November 11, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or vanderhoek_m@mercer.edu

MACON — Mercer University’s Board of Trustees approved two new degree programs and elected nine new members during its fall meeting today. David Hudson, Mercer alum and attorney from Augusta, was elected chair of the board.

New trustees elected to five-year terms include Curtis G. Anderson, investor/philanthropist from Savannah; William (Bill) Coates, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Ga.; T. Michael Crook, certified public accountant and financial adviser from Stuart, Fla.; Benjamin W. (Benjy) Griffith III, Macon business owner; Frank C. Jones, Macon attorney; J. Curtis Lewis III, attorney and business owner from Savannah; Judge M. Yvette Miller, presiding judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta; William Anthony (Tony) Moye, business owner and member of the Georgia Pharmacy Board from McDonough; and Richard A. (Doc) Schneider, Atlanta attorney. Crook, Griffith, Jones, Miller, Moye and Schneider are Mercer graduates.

Trustees rotating off the board were recognized at the conclusion of the meeting. They include Barbara (Babs) Baugh of San Antonio, Texas; Roddy J.H. Clark of Ringgold; Miriam M. (Mimi) Holland of Jonesboro; Thomas W. (Tommy) Malone of Sandy Springs; M. Diane Owens of Lilburn; Judge Hugh P. Thompson of Milledgeville; and J.T. Turner of Savannah.

The board approved the Walter F. George School of Law’s second degree program, a Master of Laws degree in federal criminal practice and procedure, the first of its kind in the nation. The one-year advanced legal degree will, once approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Bar Association, prepare graduates for careers in federal criminal law. The program, which will begin next fall on the Macon campus, builds on the School’s international reputation in the area of federal criminal law, including its affiliation with the National Criminal Defense College. The School has significant faculty expertise in both federal criminal prosecution and defense, and the new degree will provide graduates with the depth of knowledge to pursue careers in federal criminal practice as prosecutors, federal defenders or private defense counsel.

In addition, the board approved a new Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in the Townsend School of Music. This degree, which also is subject to SACS approval, is a hybrid between the Bachelor of Music in Performance and the Bachelor of Arts in Music degrees. The new degree is unique in that it retains the focus and curriculum of a performance degree while offering a secondary area of study focused on entrepreneurial skills in business, economics, marketing, new media, communications, psychology and arts management. The degree will train musical performers to navigate in the challenging and changing world of the performing arts.

While not requiring board approval, trustees were informed of two new academic majors that will be offered at the University beginning next year, including an interdisciplinary major in law and public policy in the College of Liberal Arts and a major in sports management in the Stetson School of Business and Economics.

Students in the law and public policy program will study contemporary issues such as climate change, health care, fiscal policy and terrorism. Students in the major will develop the skills in analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication, writing and research needed to address these kinds of public policy issues. The major will educate students to pursue careers in policy-related fields such as law, government, public administration, health care or work with non-governmental organizations and non-profit groups.

The major in sports business management within Mercer’s Bachelor of Business Administration program will teach business skills and management techniques of a traditional undergraduate business degree, with additional courses and experiential learning in the business of spectator sports. The program will be offered in the traditional undergraduate program on the Macon campus.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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