Graduating Mercer University students don’t have to wait until their diploma is in hand or they’ve moved off campus to attend their first alumni gathering. Every year in May, the University’s Office of Alumni Services hosts an event that celebrates the newest class of Mercerians and welcomes them as alumni.
Mercer’s 8th annual Reunion Zero is May 12-14 on the Macon campus. This introductory alumni experience was created in 2014 and generally includes three activities, two of them signature events that honor Mercer traditions. Masking and social distancing will be observed at all of this year’s events.
“Graduation certainly is not the end of our students’ relationship with Mercer,” said Ceallsach Crouch, Alumni Services program coordinator. “Graduates can stay in touch for a lifetime through the Alumni Association. Reunion Zero is not only a celebration, it’s an introduction to that relationship.”
This year’s Reunion Zero starts with a new activity called Mercer Rocks from noon to 3 p.m. May 12 on the RV parking lot across from the baseball field. Attendees will be able to enjoy free Greek food wraps and paint creative scenes and messages on rocks.
“They can give their ‘kindness rocks’ away or place them somewhere on campus for others to find. It’s a way for graduating students to leave one last note for Mercer and share some kindness and reassurance,” Crouch said.
This is the only Reunion Zero event that requires pre-registration, and the deadline is May 11.
The two staple events for Reunion Zero are tower tours and a picnic on the quad. Mercer students climb the tower inside the Godsey Administration Building as freshmen, and they are invited to repeat the experience between 1 and 4 p.m. May 13. A professional photographer will be on site to take photos that students can later download.
“This is another opportunity to go up in the tower and reflect on their experiences at Mercer,” Crouch said. “They have a different perspective, as they compare what they saw as freshmen to what they are doing now. It’s kind of an emotional event. They have come so far in their journey, and it is OK to reflect and do that in any way that they want.”
The annual Reunion Zero picnic is from 6-8 p.m. May 14, immediately following Baccalaureate. The event gives students a chance to enjoy food and music outside in the heart of campus, while mingling with their peers, faculty and administrators. They can also snag their first Mercer alumni shirt, an exciting milestone.
“Involvement in Mercer’s Alumni Association is free and open to all Mercer graduates, and Reunion Zero is a chance to remind new graduates about the many resources and services that are available to them,” Crouch said.