Mercer University President William D. Underwood Honored with Leadership Character Award


ATLANTA – Mercer University President William D. Underwood was recognized this week with a Leadership Character Award from the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and the Turknett Leadership Group. The award was presented during a Sept. 24 luncheon at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

Underwood, who has served as Mercer's 18th president since July 1, 2006, was one of seven leaders from non-profit and for-profit organizations and companies recognized during the luncheon. He received his award in the education category. Kent C. “Oz” Nelson, former CEO of UPS, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for character in leadership. Award recipients were chosen by a five-person advisory board.

The Turknett Leadership Character Awards have been honoring Georgia leaders since 2003, recognizing those who show character in leadership based on the Leadership Character Model developed by Bob and Lyn Turknett in 1995. Turknett Leadership Group specializes in executive coaching, talent assessment, leadership team development, and culture assessment and change.

The Greenleaf Center, founded in 1964, is an international nonprofit organization that serves students, individuals, workplaces and the community by growing servant-leaders through education and programming. Robert K. Greenleaf was the author of The Servant as Leader, a landmark essay that coined the phrase “servant leader” and launched the current servant leadership movement.

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.​