MACON – Mercer freshman Kaylor Mondaizie, an honor graduate of Bibb County's Howard High School, is the University's 2016 Griffith Scholar.
The Griffith Scholars program is funded by Mercer trustee, alumnus and Macon businessman Benjamin W. “Benjy” Griffith III. The scholarship enables gifted graduates of Bibb County high schools with demonstrated financial need to obtain the premier education available at Mercer.
Mondaizie, the daughter of Dr. Rolston and Sonia Mondaizie, plans to pursue a career in medicine with a concentration in neuroscience. Her interest in health care is rooted in her aspirations to serve others and positively affect her community.
“Kaylor is an accomplished young woman who exemplifies the qualities of a Mercerian. She is successful academically, graduating in the top 10 of her class at Howard High School, and she also supports her community by serving in her church,” said Dr. Penny Elkins, senior vice president for enrollment management at Mercer. “It is our intent to recruit many more talented young men and women, like Kaylor, as a result of this scholarship opportunity. We are grateful to the Benjy Griffith family for its support of these students and the University.”
As senior class president and president of the National Honor Society, Mondaizie demonstrated excellence in academic and extracurricular activities. She was recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar and Georgia Merit Scholar. Her extracurricular pursuits included serving as drum major for the Howard High Marching Huskies and performing as a violinist in the chamber orchestra and as a clarinetist in the wind ensemble. She was also captain of the mock trial team and was awarded Best Attorney at the Georgia Mock Trial Competition.
As a student leader, Mondaizie participated in the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Debutante Program. She served as a student representative of the Amnesty International chapter at Howard and as community service chair of the high school's student council. She continues to spend time volunteering with her church as a mentor and as a tutor with local community outreach organizations.
The Griffith Scholars program was launched in 2010, with the inaugural recipient entering Mercer in the fall semester of 2011. As part of the program, the University matches each scholarship dollar awarded from the fund. Given the match by the University, the effect of this partnership between Griffith and the University is the equivalent of a $5 million endowed scholarship fund.
A Griffith Scholars candidate must be a senior who is progressing toward successful graduation from an accredited high school in Macon-Bibb County. The student must reside in the district and have been enrolled at a school in Macon-Bibb since at least ninth grade, have a minimum high school GPA of 3.25 and have demonstrated need.
Griffith, president of Southern Pine Plantations, and his wife, Teresa, are both 1977 graduates of Mercer's College of Liberal Arts. His father, the late Dr. Benjamin Woodward Griffith Jr. of Macon, was a longtime, revered member of the University's faculty and a 1944 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts.