MACON – Mercer University’s Board of Trustees elected 10 new trustees and a new board chair during its annual Homecoming meeting, and also authorized increasing the Aspire capital campaign goal from $400 million to $500 million.

Launched during Homecoming in 2014, Aspire, The Campaign for Mercer University, seeks to provide financial resources that will empower Mercer, already emerging among the Southeast’s elite private research universities, to become an international leader in applying its intellectual capital to better serve the needs of humankind.

With gifts and pledges expected to reach the initial $400 million goal by the end of December, the board voted to maintain the positive momentum by extending the goal to $500 million. To date, the money raised through the campaign has helped the University complete or get underway more than $150 million in construction projects, as well as fund more than 400 endowed scholarships, 15 endowed centers or institutes, nearly 100 endowed program enhancement funds and 30 endowed faculty chairs and professorships.

“Mercer alumni, friends, faculty, staff, foundations and other organizations have been exceedingly generous in their support of Aspire, The Campaign for Mercer University,” said President William D. Underwood. “We still see great enthusiasum among our constituents for the kind of impact Mercer and its people are having on our communities and our world, so we believe there is even more support in the pipeline for the work we are doing.”

In other action, the board elected 10 new trustees, whose terms began at the conclusion of the meeting. They include Cathy Callaway Adams, a former board chair from Fernandina Beach, Florida; Malcolm S. Burgess Jr., Macon; Milton L. Cruz, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Terry England, Auburn; Robert G. Goddard III, Atlanta; Genelle Jennings, Hawkinsville; William “Bill” Pou Jr., Mulberry, Florida; Joe Sam Robinson Jr., Macon; Charles Watson Jr., Washington, D.C.; and M. Troy Woods, Columbus.

Trustees who rotated off the board and were recognized for their service include Curtis G. “Curt” Anderson, Savannah; James C. “Jimmy” Elder Jr., Columbus; Benjamin W. “Benjy” Griffith III, Macon; J. Curtis Lewis III, Savannah; David E. Linch, Atlanta; William A. “Tony” Moye, McDonough; J. Reg Murphy, St. Simons Island; and Richard A. “Doc” Schneider, Atlanta.

Thad Warren, a 1986 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from Atlanta, was elected as board chair for 2023. He has served as chair of the board’s Executive Committee the past two years. Tom Bishop, a double graduate from Atlanta, was elected chair of the Executive Committee for 2023.

Featured photo by Bekah Howard