Hey future Bears! I’m Chance Allen, a Journalism and Media Studies double major with a minor in Film Studies. There are many things that make Mercer unique from other schools, and some of them are our Mercer traditions. Here are 6 Mercer traditions that will make your experience truly unforgettable!
1. Climbing the Tower
One of the many things you’ll get to do as a first-year student is climb the tower! Your UNV 101 class will go deep within the Godsey Administration Building, and “climb the tower” up to the top. You’ll be able to sign your name as well, leaving your mark on Mercer. Once you get to the top, you can see the entire campus and the Macon-Bibb County community. It’s a perfect Instagram photo opportunity!
2. Christmas Tree Lighting
During the merriest time of the year, the Student Government Association puts on Mercer’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Over 500 students, staff, and faculty fill Willingham Hall Auditorium to witness the lighting! With caroling, traditional Christmas readings, and delicious treats, the Christmas tree lighting is a perfect send-off before the holiday break.
3. Pilgrimage to Penfield
Pilgrimage to Penfield is definitely my favorite Mercer tradition, and is a staple in the first-year student experience. Students travel to Penfield, Georgia, which was the home of Mercer from 1833-1871. You’ll visit the original University chapel, the grave of Jesse Mercer, and more. After a fun day filled with history, culture, and community, you’ll end the night with fireworks and an all-around amazing experience!
Homecoming is major for Mercer. There’s nothing like cheering on your football-playing bears, enjoying a casual cookout, and reconnecting with Mercer graduates. Homecoming means all things Mercer, and it is the perfect way to show your Mercer pride. “Go Bears!” Am I right?
Convocation really allows you to feel a more intimate connection with Mercer. During Bear Beginnings, you and your classmates will get dressed up in your best ‘fit and head to the University Center. From there, you will walk through campus while being greeted by various upperclassmen, faculty, and staff, and proceed to Willingham Hall Auditorium for Convocation. Here’s a pro tip: while walking by the statue of Jesse Mercer, rub his head for good luck!
6. Founders’ Day
This Mercer tradition is very important to the Mercer experience as well! Founder’s Day was created as a way to celebrate Jesse Mercer’s birthday, and the Student Government Association has since made it one of Mercer’s most cherished traditions. Each year, an influential Mercerian is invited back to campus to give a glimpse into how Mercer has impacted their life. I personally love this event as you’re able to see just how far students can go! The opportunities are endless.
Overall, Mercer is filled with a ton of opportunities and experience that will stay in your heart for a long time. These 6 traditions are sure to make your Mercer experience a beautiful one, and I can’t wait to experience them with you this year!