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Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
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New Admissions and Welcome Center in the works

Ground was broken on a new admissions and welcome center on the east end of the campus last week. The Emily P. Myers Admissions and Welcome Center will help attract more incoming students, and join all the admissions’ staff in one central location.

There will be many amenities available to both incoming students and the admissions’ staff not available in the current admissions office.

James Netherton, Mercer’s Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance said, “It will be very visitor friendly.”
The building will offer the staff and students more space, such as a larger waiting room, larger gathering rooms, and more importantly, private counseling rooms. Currently Mercer does not have any location where students can discuss matters of their future privately with their admissions’ counselors.

Netherton also said that the location of the building is key. The location allows easier access from Interstate 75. This is important because many families of incoming students do not know the Macon area.

The location of the building also creates a great starting point for campus tours. Netherton described the point where campus tours will be starting as a great visual vantage point where one can see most of campus.

The current location of the admissions faculty is not ideal. The main reason is that not all the admissions faculty is in one location. While most of the staff is located on the lower level of the Connell Student Center, some of the admissions staff, and record keeping for admissions are located in the current welcome house.

The lack of parking for prospective students and their families will also be alleviated by the new building, which will have its own parking lot on site.

The funding for this project will come from several sources. Emory Dunn, Director of Freshman Admissions, said the building will be in part a renovation and in part an expansion of an existing residence. The residence was donated to Mercer upon the owner moving out.

The sources of the other funds involved in the project are coming from an anonymous donor and bonds issued by Mercer.
The anonymous donor wanted to honor Emily P. Myers. Myers served 29 years as Mercer’s Senior Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs.

During her tenure, Mercer received private gifts and grants of over $500 million and over $300 million from the State of Georgia for funding of the Mercer School of Medicine.

As a senior administrator, Myers coordinated all of Mercer’s external relation programs.
As she progressed in her administrative career, Myers began to consistently take areas of the university that were having operational difficulties and turn them into productive units.

Her name became closely tied to Mercer’s admissions after she was asked by the president to work with Mercer’s undergraduate program. Under her leadership, Mercer was able to attain the most talented freshman class in the school’s history.

Many Mercer students and faculty are also excited about the fact that the new admissions and welcome center will be the first building on campus, and one of the first in Bibb County, to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED.

LEED certification provides an unbiased, third party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of environmental health, such as energy efficiency, water savings, and sustainable site development.

This LEED certification was particularly hard to achieve in this instance because the existing residence on the site was built in the 1800s, which creates more challenges that have to be overcome.

When putting all the aspects of the new building together, the new admissions and welcome center will truly “Put Mercer’s best foot forward,” said Dunn.

Both Mercer students and faculty and staff agree this project is a step in the right direction for the admissions program.

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