Some Mercer schools and departments are finding unique ways to honor students virtually. Mercer School of Law and Alumni Services recently held some of the first online celebrations.
The School of Law reveals a composite of its graduating class every spring, and the Class of 2020 saw the picture for the first time during a livestream, said Lauren Mauldin, director of communications and marketing for the law school. Dean Cathy Cox and Student Bar Association President Blake Walker unveiled the composite April 3 as more than 100 people watched online, including someone in Ireland with a sibling in the graduating class.
“Composites signify the bonding, the experiences, the hard times, the things you’ve been through for three years,” Dean Cox said during the event. “Your class composite will remind you of the experiences you’ve had forever!”
Alumni Services hosts a banquet each year to honor students in its Mercer Ambassador Program. Among their duties, Ambassadors assist with special alumni and University events, speak at alumni events, attend regular meetings, and conduct tours of the Macon campus and the tower inside the Administration Building.
Anneliese Vanderheyden, coordinator of Alumni Programs, took the celebration online this year by hosting a Facebook Live from her backyard on April 9.
Vanderheyden announced the winners of several student awards, recognized 11 graduating seniors and welcomed 11 new Ambassadors. She showed off the bear trophies, gifts, graduation cords and signature orange jackets that the Ambassadors would later receive. Viewers typed out comments of congratulations and thanks throughout the ceremony.
“Some of you have been with the program for three years now. I’ve watched you grow from unsure baby sophomores to confident leaders,” Vanderheyden said during the ceremony. “Others of you might not have been with the Ambassador Program as long, but you will be missed all the same. This year is especially hard with all of our lives being upended by the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s really not fair that this is how you’re ending your college career, but I do know that great things will happen for each of you. Despite the hard times that we are experiencing right now, we will always be here for you.”