MACON — Mercer University will welcome its largest-ever entering class to the Macon campus on Saturday. The University is expecting more than 650 freshmen and 125 transfer students to begin classes on the Macon campus next week. The University opens its academic year on Monday with its traditional Fall Convocation. Also on Monday evening at 6 p.m., Mercer President William D. Underwood and Lesli Underwood will hold the inaugural Ice Cream with the Underwoods event on Porter Patch to welcome new and returning students to campus.
Saturday’s activities begin with Move-In Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include a number of events in the afternoon as part of the Welcome Weekend. As a tradition in the Mercer community, upperclassmen, faculty and staff will be on hand to help the first-year students move into the residence halls on Saturday. Following move-in and lunch, students and their families will participate in two events at the University Center, a photo opportunity with their parents and Mercer mascots Toby and Tot from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and an official welcome program in Hawkins Arena from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., where the entire class will assemble to form an “MU” on the arena floor for a class picture.
On Sunday, new students will spend the day with their orientation groups and the day will conclude with a street carnival from 8 to 10 p.m. on Porter Patch. President Underwood will also hold a welcome dinner for student athletes at 6:30 p.m. in Hawkins Arena.
On Monday, the University will hold its annual Fall Convocation at 2 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium. President Underwood will speak at the event. The convocation also features faculty from the Macon campus in full regalia and a first-year student processional from the University Center across campus to Willingham. The event marks the beginning of the school year for the Macon campus.
A 4 p.m. Monday, first-year and returning students will head to the annual Bear Fair in the University Center to learn about ways to become more involved on and off campus. More than 120 student organizations, campus offices, nonprofits and local businesses are expected in the Hawkins Arena concourse and Heritage Hall. Immediately following Bear Fair, the Underwoods will hold their meet and greet on Porter Patch.
Classes for the Macon campus begin Tuesday.
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 campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center launched July 1, 2012, and includes the University’s medical, nursing and pharmacy schools and will add a fourth college – the College of Health Professions – on July 1, 2013. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It 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. www.mercer.edu
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