Graduate Spotlight: Emma Gilliam

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Emma Gilliam wears graduation cap, gown and cords
Emma Gilliam. Photo by Anna Meer

Emma Gilliam, a Class of 2023 graduate of Mercer University‘s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and law and public policy.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to attend Washington and Lee University School of Law starting in fall 2023.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

I have had so many amazing professors that it is difficult to choose one favorite. Dr. David Davis, professor of English, is easily one of the best. I appreciate how he challenged me to be a better writer and thinker. I grew so much as an English major in his Faulkner course and literary studies course. I also had the pleasure of completing an honors English thesis with his help that I presented at BEAR Day. I never thought I would write an honors thesis, but Dr. Davis saw potential in me. I am so grateful to have had him as a professor.

What was your favorite class and why?

Any of the Great Books courses are my favorite. They are challenging and intense at times, but the camaraderie you build through the program and skills you develop make it so worth it. Some of my favorite professors have been in Great Books. Great Books bettered my discussion, writing and thinking skills, which will be extremely valuable to me in law school. I would highly recommend the program to anyone in any major.

How do you plan on changing the world?

I plan on being a Constitutional law attorney, specifically working to further women’s rights and protections. It is also my dream to be a judge some day and the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Do not worry about being better than your peers — focus on yourself and doing what makes you happy. Everything else will fall into place.

What makes Mercer special to you?

What makes Mercer special to me are the people — my friends, professors, sorority sisters and classmates. Everyone is kind and encouraging. Everyone is excited to see you succeed and will help you get where you need to be. I will miss Mercer’s uplifting environment!

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