MCDONOUGH, Ga. – Mercer University's Henry County Regional Academic Center will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4:30-6 p.m., at 160 Henry Parkway in McDonough. Refreshments will be served inside the facility, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with a ceremony to follow outside at 5 p.m. President William D. Underwood and Henry County Development Authority Executive Director Bob White will offer comments on the occasion.
"Over the past decade, the Henry County Regional Academic Center has positively contributed to the expansion of Mercer's profile throughout the state of Georgia. The Center, which is centrally located between Macon and Atlanta in a convenient location off Interstate 75, has awarded more than 1,700 undergraduate and graduate degrees to students in the Tift College of Education, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies and the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics," said Provost Scott Davis. "We are grateful to the Henry County community for its support and look forward to many more successful years there."
"For more than a decade, Mercer University has been a wonderful partner for Henry County and the Henry County Development Authority, and we look forward to the next 10 years," said White. "Mercer's Regional Academic Center in Henry County has had an incredible impact on our community. More than 3,500 students have taken advantage of the academic opportunities that the Mercer Center provides."
The Henry County RAC combined programs previously offered at two smaller facilities in Covington and Griffin. Since the facility opened in McDonough, its educational offerings have grown to include nine bachelor's and four master's degree programs, as well as teacher certification and nursing preparation programs.
"The belief among Henry County leaders was that Mercer had something important to contribute to their community," recalled Dr. Thomas Kail, who was associate provost and dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies at the time the facility opened and now serves as professor of leadership studies at Mercer.
Dr. Kail credits White and other leaders in Henry County for their part in bringing the Center to McDonough. He also credits architect Michael Patrick, who was with the Leo A Daly firm in Atlanta at the time, with his vision for the 30,000-square-foot facility's construction.
"We put into that building values that are important to us," Dr. Kail said. "Teaching is about creating a space – intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical. How you arrange your classroom says a lot about what you want to happen in that classroom. You can stand anywhere in that building, and you're connected to the outside – that didn't happen accidentally."
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 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, 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, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. 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. www.mercer.edu