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University to Hold Two Commencements in Macon Saturday

May 12, 2011

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

MACON — Mercer University will hold two commencements in the University Center Arena on the Macon campus Saturday. The events will include more than 600 graduates, as well as thousands of guests. The Walter F. George School of Law will hold its commencement at 10 a.m. and the University will hold its final ceremony of the spring at 3:30 p.m. for students from the Macon and Savannah campuses, as well as the Eastman Regional Academic Center.

The Honorable Karen N. Moore, a circuit court judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, will deliver the Law School’s commencement address. Moore was appointed to the judiciary in 1995, following a distinguished career as a legal scholar. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, she served as a law clerk for Judge Malcolm Wilkey on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moore spent two years in private practice before joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve Law School, where she held the Petersilge Chair. The University will present Moore with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony.

The University’s final ceremony of the spring will take place at 3:30 p.m. The event will include graduates from the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, Tift College of Education, School of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Townsend School of Music and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Alberto Ibargüen, president and chief executive officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will deliver the commencement address.

Ibargüen has led the Knight Foundation, one of the nation’s largest, since 2005. Before his appointment, he served as publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During Ibargüen’s tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism. Prior to his newspaper career, Ibargüen was an attorney in private practice in Hartford, Conn., until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York, before moving to Miami. In addition to his role with the Knight Foundation, he also serves on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards. Ibargüen serves as chairman of the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the Web as a medium that empowers people worldwide to bring about positive change. For his work to protect journalists in Latin America as part of the Inter American Press Association, Ibargüen received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University.

The University will also present two honorary degrees at the Macon commencement. Ibargüen will receive a Doctor of Humanities, and Neva Langley Fickling will be presented with a Doctor of Humanities. Fickling is a longtime supporter of the arts in Georgia and at Mercer.

Overall, the University will hold four commencements this month involving more than 1,700 graduates. On May 7, Mercer’s School of Medicine held the first commencement of the spring in Macon. Also, this Saturday, the Atlanta campus will hold its first combined outdoor commencement for more than 1,000 graduates at 9 a.m. on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. The ceremony includes graduates from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, McAfee School of Theology, and the Atlanta-area graduates from the Stetson School of Business and Economics, Tift College of Education and College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Mercer Chancellor Dr. R. Kirby Godsey will deliver the commencement address.

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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