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Atlanta Commencement Saturday to Include More Than 1,000 Graduates

May 12, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

ATLANTA —Mercer University’s Atlanta commencement on Saturday at 9 a.m. will include more than 1,000 graduates at the University’s first campus-wide outdoor ceremony. The Atlanta ceremony, now the University’s largest, consolidates the commencement schedule on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus from a high of seven ceremonies last year to one. As many as 6,000 guests are expected for the event, which will be held on the upper fields of the campus, and the University has taken steps to ensure traffic flows smoothly around the DeKalb County campus.

Mercer’s chancellor, Dr. R. Kirby Godsey, will deliver the commencement address. Prior to his five years as chancellor, Dr. Godsey served as president of Mercer for 27 years and presided over the greatest period of growth in the University’s history, expanding the number of colleges and schools to 11, making it one of the most academically diverse universities of its size in the country. Dr. Godsey is also the author of several books, including his latest, Is God a Christian?, which was released earlier this month.

Though the University has taken steps to ensure that traffic will flow smoothly around the Atlanta campus, there will be the possibility of delays due to the increased traffic volume from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 12 to 2 p.m. The impacted areas may include the Interstate 85 interchange at Chamblee-Tucker Road, as well as Chamblee-Tucker Road between I-85 and Interstate 285. In addition, traffic will increase along Mercer University Drive and Flowers Road South.

Graduates from six of the University’s 11 schools and colleges will participate in the Atlanta ceremony, including all graduates from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and McAfee School of Theology, as well as the Atlanta-area graduates from the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, Tift College of Education and College of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Overall, the University will hold four commencements involving more than 1,700 graduates. On May 7, Mercer’s School of Medicine held the first commencement of the spring in Macon. Two ceremonies will be held in Macon on Saturday. Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law will hold its commencement at 10 a.m. and the University’s Macon campus will hold its commencement at 3:30 p.m. The Honorable Karen Nelson Moore, circuit judge on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, will deliver the Law School commencement address. The Macon commencement address will be delivered by Alberto Ibarguen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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 8,200 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
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