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Mercer University Presidents

William D. Underwood (2006-present)

  • Increased eundefinednrollment to more than 8,750 students, with the University enrolling the largest and best-credentialed freshman class in the institution’s history in 2018. 
  • Launched second and third medical school campuses (Savannah and Columbus), initiated a master’s-level physician assistant program and a doctoral-level physical therapy program, and added Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology, Nursing, Counseling, Educational Leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Raised nearly $300M in gifts
  • Doubled the endowment to more than $350M 
  • Oversaw facilities projects totaling more than $200M:  
    • Spearman C. Godsey Science Center
    • Hoskins Medical Education and Research Center
    • Center for Clinical Research
    • Tattnall Square Center for the Arts
    • McDuffie Center for Strings
    • Myers Welcome and Admissions Center 
    • Drake Fieldhouse and Five Star Stadium (football)
    • OrthoGeorgia Park (baseball)
    • Center for Collaborative Journalism
    • Legacy Residential Hall
    • Engineering and Science Center
    • A downtown Macon facility for Mercer Medicine
    • The McEachern Art Center downtown (gallery and visual art studios)
    • Loft housing to accommodate more than 900 undergraduate students.   
  • Restarted Mercer's intercollegiate football program in 2013 after a 72-year hiatus. During the inaugural season, Mercer established a new NCAA Division I record for wins by a start-up program by going 10-2.
  • Before becoming Mercer's President:
    • served at Baylor University as Interim President
    • held the Leon Jaworski Chair at the Baylor School of Law
    • served as Baylor's General Counsel, 1997-1998
    • designated a Master Teacher at Baylor
    • named an Outstanding University Professor in 2005
  • Elected a member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation
  • Clerked for the Honorable Sam D. Johnson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Quick bio: Juris.D. (summa cum laude and salutatorian from the University of Illinois College of Law); spouse: Lesli; Labrador retriever: Cricket

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