MACON, Ga. – Steuart H. Botchford is one of two students to receive the highest honor Mercer University bestows on a graduating student: the Griffin B. Bell Award for Community Service. He was presented a crystal Steuben sculpture during the May 12th commencement of the Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts, where he received a bachelor of arts degree.
Named in honor of Mercer alumnus and former United States Attorney General Griffin B. Bell, the award recognizes students who have exemplified the true meaning of community service during their studies, improving the lives of others through their dedication and commitment. The Bell award is the only University honor that may be presented to students across all 11 of Mercer’s schools and colleges. The other 2007 award recipient is Chpryelle Carr, a doctor of medicine graduate of the Mercer University School of Medicine.
The Fort Myers resident is the son of Hawley Botchford and Mason Maulsby. He is a 2003 Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts graduate.
Throughout his four years at Mercer, Botchford was a campus leader. The 2006-2007 president of the Student Government Association for the Macon campus, he participated in several aspects of student government, serving as parliamentarian his junior year. Representing the student body on the Macon campus with strong leadership and vision, he successfully increased student participation in key policy-making decisions. He was tapped for membership by the national leadership honor society of Omicron Delta Kappa.
He volunteered with a number of service organizations on campus and in the community. He was a member of the Mercer Ambassadors, a selected group of students who assist with university events and functions, and a volunteer with the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Society, the Macon City Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity. A member of the Mercer Orchestra and the Mercer Singers, he tutored students with the Macon Youth Orchestra. He received the Thelma “T-Lady” Ross Spirit of Mercer Award in recognition of his commitment to the university.
Despite his busy schedule, he took a challenging academic path. A Presidential Scholar, he completed majors in philosophy and economics.
Active in Greek life, he is a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He has served as president, vice president and chaplain/historian, and as a representative on the Interfraternity Council.
Though he received offers from several top-tier law schools, Botchford has instead joined Teach for America, a highly-selective program that recruits the best of recent college graduates and trains them to be teachers in school systems in underprivileged areas of the nation.
About the Griffin B. Bell Award for Community Service:
Judge Griffin B. Bell served as the United States Attorney General in the Administration of President Jimmy Carter. He is a renowned statesman not only in this country, but also around the world. Since graduating from the Mercer Law School some 59 years ago, Judge Bell has given generously of his time and effort in many ways to Mercer University. One of his most valuable contributions to the institution has been as a Mercer Trustee. He is currently serving his fifth term as a Trustee. In 1999, the Association of Governing Boards and Universities presented him with the Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship. Judge Bell was one of two national honorees selected from the 50,000 members who volunteer their time to higher education. From the $10,000 the University was awarded in Judge Bell’s honor, the Board of Trustees of Mercer University voted to initiate the Griffin B. Bell Award for Community Service.
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.