Mercer Names Sam Oni Scholars from Liberia


MACON – Mercer University has named three students from Ricks Institute in Liberia as Sam Oni Scholars. The students are graduates of Ricks and receive full scholarships, including tuition, room and board costs to attend Mercer. The recipients of the awards are Isatta Mushason, a 2011 graduate, and Josheph Kollie and Fabunde Mamey, both 2012 graduates of Ricks.

“(Mercer) President (William D.) Underwood embodies the letter and the spirit of the Ricks Institute motto: 'Not for self, but for other,'” said the Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, principal at Ricks and a 1995 Mercer graduate.

The recipients are named for Sam Oni, a Nigerian who was the first Black student admitted to Mercer in 1963. The students were chosen to receive the scholarship based on their academic achievements.

“Sam Oni changed a culture 50 years ago,” said Dr. Richard F. Wilson, chair and professor of Christianity at Mercer. “These three students have the chance to do a similar thing in a new century.”

Since graduating Ricks, Mushason has spent the last two years studying at Cuttington University in Bong County, where Kollie has been studying for one year. Mamey has been studying at the African Bible College University in Nimba County.

Nine Tift College of Education students participating in Mercer On Mission were present for the ceremony in Liberia, along with three members of Mercer faculty, and Dr. Craig McMahan, university minister and dean of chapel. The Mercer On Mission group was in Liberia to deliver supplies and work with Ricks Institute to continue rebuilding after a civil war.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center launched July 1, 2012, and includes the University's medical, nursing and pharmacy schools and will add a fourth college – the College of Health Professions – on July 1, 2013. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program.

Rick Cameron
Rick Cameron is senior associate athletic director for communications, overseeing athletic media relations, including management of, the official website of Mercer Athletics, while also maintaining his broadcasting responsibilities as Voice of the Bears.