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Huntsville Scholar Takes Top Honor at Law School
June 7, 2007

Richard L. Cameron
(478) 301-5500

MACON , GA Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University presented Laura Watts Harper of Huntsville, Ala., the 2007 George Waldo Woodruff Award of Excellence during spring commencement in Macon.  The most prestigious honor the law school bestows on a student, the Woodruff Award is presented to the law graduate with the highest cumulative academic average for the three years of law study.


The wife of Dave Harper, she is the daughter of William and Nancy Watts of Huntsville, Ala., and the granddaughter of Charles and Ruth Hill also of Huntsville and Josie and Bill Watts of Tuscaloosa, Ala. She is a graduate of Randolph School in Huntsville.


She completed her undergraduate studies at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., where she was tapped for the esteemed Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. Mercer awarded her the Agnes Scott Presidential Scholarship, which covered her educational expenses at the Law School.  


At Mercer, Ms. Harper completed her studies for the juris doctor degree magna cum laude. A member of the Mercer Law Review, she received the Faculty Legal Writing Award in 2005. Her superior academic accomplishments earned her membership in the prestigious Order of Barristers and the Brainerd Currie Honor Society. Throughout her law studies, Ms. Harper earned a number of CALI Awards, which are presented to students who have the highest grade in their individual classes each semester. She was also the recipient of a Faculty Award to Outstanding Seniors in recognition for her academic and leadership qualities. Through Mercer’s Habeas Project, Ms. Harper assisted in the representation of indigent criminal defendants, signing an amicus brief to the Georgia Supreme Court.


After completing the Bar exam in July, she will join the law firm of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne in Huntsville, Ala.


About the George Waldo Woodruff Award of Excellence:

George Waldo Woodruff Award of Excellence was established to honor the memory of George W. Woodruff, a distinguished businessman, proponent of education and a friend of the Walter F. George School of Law. It is given to the graduate having the highest cumulative academic average.                     


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