Mercer University to Recognize Graduates at Five Commencements in Macon, Atlanta

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Law Commencement 2019

MACON/ATLANTA – Mercer University conferred a total of 2,601 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year and will hold five commencements Aug. 7-9 to recognize graduates following the postponement of ceremonies originally scheduled for May.

Diplomas were distributed earlier this summer, and participation in the ceremonies is optional. Seating for each ceremony will be strictly limited, and a number of protocols, such as mandatory face-covering and social distancing, will be in place in accordance with federal and state public health guidelines for events during COVID-19.

Livestreams of each ceremony will be available at commencement.mercer.edu.

Commencement speakers will include Supreme Court of Georgia Justice Michael P. Boggs for the School of Law, Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert A.B. Reichert and recent graduate Sachin Khurana in Macon, as well as former corporate executive and current Mercer trustee Jerry Wilson in Atlanta.

School of Law

Mercer’s School of Law will hold its ceremony on Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. in Hawkins Arena. The commencement speaker will be Boggs, a Mercer Law graduate who was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia on Dec. 7, 2016, by former Gov. Nathan Deal.

Boggs previously served as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia from 2012-2016. Prior to his appellate judicial service, he was a Superior Court judge for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, where he founded the Waycross Judicial Drug Court Program and served as its presiding judge.

He earned his undergraduate degree in political science and psychology from Georgia Southern University in 1985 and his Juris Doctor from Mercer in 1990.

Following law school, Boggs practiced in Atlanta until 1992. From 1992-2004, he maintained a general trial practice in Waycross specializing in family law, real estate, banking, personal injury and general civil litigation matters. He served as a county attorney, development authority counsel and a special assistant attorney general, and served in the Georgia General Assembly from 2001-2004.

Boggs will deliver his address to 88 graduates participating in the ceremony.

Macon

The University will hold two ceremonies in Hawkins Arena on Aug. 8, including a 9 a.m. commencement for the School of Business, School of Engineering, College of Education and College of Professional Advancement, followed by a 3 p.m. commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Music and College of Health Professions.

Both ceremonies will include greetings from Mercer Law alumnus and Macon-Bibb County Mayor Reichert, as well as an address from student commencement speaker Khurana.

Reichert grew up in Macon-Bibb, is a veteran of the Vietnam War and graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science and Mercer’s School of Law with a Juris Doctor.

In 2016, he was elected to his second term as mayor of the consolidated Macon-Bibb County government. He is the first mayor of the new government, serving as chief executive officer of Macon-Bibb County, and he was also the final mayor for the City of Macon, serving in that role for six years.

Prior to being elected mayor, he served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years and on the Macon City Council for five years.

Khurana, from Macon, earned his bachelor’s degree with a triple-major in finance, economics and management and minors in mathematics, statistics and philosophy.

A finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, Khurana held a 4.0 grade-point average and was a recipient of Mercer’s Presidential Scholarship and a partial athletic scholarship. He was an Honors Program Research Scholar and received grant funding from Mercer’s BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, first-place prize money from the University of Georgia’s Student Innovation Competition and was selected as a finalist in Mercer’s Next Big Idea Competition. He has presented numerous research projects at more than a dozen academic conferences, including the 2019 World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Germany.

Khurana was a member of Mercer’s men’s tennis team and president of four business-related organizations on campus, including the Student-Managed Investment Fund, Financial Management Association, Bear Market Newsletter and Beta Alpha Psi Finance Society, among his many contributions to the campus community.

Following graduation, he has been accepted to Stanford’s Deferred MBA program and is starting his career as an investment banking analyst in New York City.

Reichert and Khurana will deliver remarks to 591 graduates participating in the two ceremonies.

Atlanta

The University will hold two ceremonies at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth on Aug. 9, including a 10 a.m. commencement for the School of Business, College of Education and College of Professional Advancement, followed by a 5 p.m. commencement for the College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Health Professions and School of Theology.

Both ceremonies will include greetings from Mercer’s Board of Trustees delivered by Wilson, who chairs the Board’s Marketing Committee.

Wilson is a graduate of Mercer’s School of Business in Atlanta, where he earned his Master of Business Administration in marketing. He is an accomplished corporate executive, strategic advisor, entrepreneur, author and public speaker whose expertise in branding contributed to the success of global icons including Ford, Volkswagen, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

Following 10 years in the automotive industry, he joined The Coca-Cola Company, where over the next 24 years he grew from an entry-level account executive to a board-elected senior vice president. He retired in 2012 as the global chief customer and commercial officer, having led a worldwide organization that managed 20 million customers that served 1.2 billion consumers daily in over 200 countries.

Wilson then opened his own independent business consulting practice where he has advised senior executives in a multitude of industries including consumer goods, financial services, online gaming, telecommunications, biotech and distribution.

Wilson will deliver greetings to 826 graduates participating in the two ceremonies.

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Kyle Sears