Summer Reading Program
A core component of Mercer traditions and history is its students. To learn from another student’s story is to learn about the heart of Mercer. Raymond Partolan tells a personal story of setbacks and challenges, as well as successes and the impact that one person, one Mercerian, can make on their community. Sam Oni describes his experiences from growing up in Africa to attending Mercer University, and his encounters with the Southern Baptist Church and racism. Maureen Walker discusses the psychological impact of racism and the impact this had on her time at Mercer. These Mercerians’ stories are not only personal portrayals of living history at Mercer University and inspiring stories of overcoming challenges; it is an invitation for Mercer’s incoming first year students to begin to think of each other complexly.
Alongside President Underwood’s 2016 Convocation Address, these summer reading assignments will introduce students to the foundations and ideals of the University, and the intersection of race, the Southern Baptist Church, and the history of Mercer and the Mercer experience. President Underwood concludes his address, “Let us commit ourselves to considering fairly the views of others, to having the humility to entertain the possibility that we are wrong, and to engaging in civil dialogue, discourse, and debate with those of differing perspectives.” Engaging with Partolan’s, Oni’s, and Walker’s stories, both individually and in UNV 101, gives our first year students the opportunity to begin to put those ideals into practice as they join the Mercer community.
Summer Reading Essay Contest
Please respond to the following questions in a single essay:
- How do you think your Mercer story will go?
- What contributions do you hope to make?
- How will you come to understand and learn from the different experiences of your peers?
Be sure to answer these questions in the context of the readings.
Submission and Deadline Information
Create a well- developed, two-to-five-page, double-spaced essay using appropriate MLA or APA citations. Submit the essay as a Word attachment to an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 23. The winner will be announced during Fall Convocation in August, and will be awarded a certificate and bookstore gift card. For additional questions, please see aas.mercer.edu or call Academic and Advising Services at 478.301.2078.