Mercer University Commencement to Include More Than 1,900 Students


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Among Speakers at Five Ceremonies Across the State

MACON/ATLANTA/SAVANNAH – More than 1,900 students will graduate in five Mercer University commencement ceremonies during May in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah. The University will confer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as four honorary degrees.

The University will confer a Doctor of Laws degree to its first commencement speaker, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, during the School of Medicine's Macon ceremony on May 3 at 1 p.m. in Hawkins Arena inside the University Center.

In 2006, Cagle became the first Republican ever elected to Georgia's second-highest office. Currently serving his second term as lieutenant governor, he is a successful entrepreneur and former State Senator. Cagle will deliver his address to 129 candidates for degrees.

The School of Medicine will hold its Savannah ceremony at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on May 4 at 1 p.m. The speaker will be Dr. Carl R. Boyd, executive director of graduate medical education at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

Dr. Boyd also serves as professor of surgery and associate dean of graduate medical education for the School of Medicine's Savannah campus. He will deliver his address to 42 candidates for degrees.

The University will confer a Doctor of Science degree to commencement speaker Ann M. Palmer during the largest of the five ceremonies, on the upper field of the Atlanta campus, on May 10 at 8:30 a.m.

Palmer is president and CEO of The Arthritis Foundation, a national organization headquartered in Atlanta, and has 30 years of leadership and success in volunteer health agencies, such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She will deliver her address to 1,040 candidates for degrees from the College of Pharmacy, Stetson School of Business and Economics, Tift College of Education, McAfee School of Theology, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, College of Continuing and Professional Studies and College of Health Professions.

The Walter F. George School of Law will hold its commencement on May 10 at 10 a.m. in Hawkins Arena. The speaker will be Presiding Judge Sara L. Doyle of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Doyle is a 1994 graduate of the School of Law and a member of Mercer Law School's Board of Visitors. She was elected to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2008 and took office on Jan. 1, 2009. She will deliver her address to 144 candidates for degrees.

The University will confer a Doctor of Commerce degree to Irwin Belk and a Doctor of Humanities degree to Georgia State Sen. Cecil P. Staton Jr. during the Macon ceremony on May 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Hawkins Arena.

Belk, who entered his family's department store business following his graduation from college, has a passion for sculpture and has commissioned a large bronze bear statue that will stand outside the gates of Mercer University Stadium.

Staton, who was first elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2004, has announced that he will not seek re-election when his current terms ends in 2014. He served for more than 11 years as a faculty member, Mercer University Press publisher and associate provost at the University. He is currently a publisher and broadcaster in Macon and Warner Robins.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will deliver the commencement address at the Macon ceremony to 560 candidates for degrees from the College of Liberal Arts, Stetson School of Business and Economics, School of Engineering, Tift College of Education, College of Continuing and Professional Studies and Townsend School of Music.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​