Mercer Leadership Fellows

The Mercer Leadership Fellows Program is designed to allow first-year students at Mercer to develop leadership competency in four pillars: personal development, wellness, civic engagement, and professionalism. Each pillar represents a different area of leadership and together they help guide students to a more comprehensive approach to leadership. All first-year students can participate with no registration. Students must attend one workshop and submit one experience from each of the four pillars to complete the program. All fellows who complete the program will be presented with a medallion that can be worn at graduation.

It is not too late to join the Canvas Course! As this is our way of tracking our leaders' progress through the program, we strongly recommend interested students to join the course to see our upcoming events and meet other fellow leaders!

Join here: https://merceru.instructure.com/courses/84444

Mercer Leadership Fellows Flyer

See information about the four pillars below: 

Personal Development

  • Students will explore their individual leadership styles and learn to apply leadership concepts in their professional context. Experiential credit in this pillar is participation in at least one student organization.


  • Students will learn to explore their own well-being, personal growth, and self-awareness through various wellness themes and topics. Experiential credit in this pillar is participating in intramural sports or wellness events hosted by an office such as Counseling and Psychological Services.

Civic Engagement

  • Students will actively engage in various service projects to make a difference in the civic life of the Macon and Mercer communities. Experiential credit in this pillar is participating in a Merserve event.


  • Students will explore their professional interests, and learn tangible skills to contribute to career readiness, communication skills, time management, and leadership strategies to infuse into their professional practice. Experiential credit in this pillar is participating in a Center for Career and Professional Development event or an on-campus event with a professional speaker covering an area of professionalism as defined above.


Leadership Mercer

LM 2023 Wide

Leadership Mercer 2022-2023 Cohort

Mercer University’s co-curricular model for leadership is based on the Social Change Model for Leadership Development, which allows students to engage in leadership at multiple entry points (i.e. Emerging, Experiential, and Advanced). Currently, a program is in place to support students at the emerging leader’s level. Leadership Mercer is being implemented to support students at the experiential level. The program’s structure is designed to prepare and equip students to be leaders in the 21st Century.

Program Goals

Goal 1: To assist students in enhancing their leadership develop skills in order to be an effective servant leader.
 Goal 2: To provide co-curricular opportunities that allow for civic engagement and community service.
Goal 3: To assist students in developing their own philosophy of leadership.

Core Values of Leadership

Understanding yourself- A successful leader knows the leader they want to become; this session allows the cohort to begin discovering more about themselves, each other, and their leadership 

Integrity- A successful leader acts honestly and responsibly while promoting ethical principles on the part of one's own organization.

Service- A successful leader serves others first. Possibly partner with the Center for Community Engagement for the cohort to participate in a service project for this event.

Advocacy- A successful leader empowers others to succeed, grow, and create change.

Program Components

Monthly Seminars: A large group discussion with speakers, activities, and practice examples of important aspects of leadership (see Core Values of leadership).

Small groups: Monthly small group discussions of a Ted Talk, small passage, or other additional material as a chance to debrief the monthly experience.

Final Project: A culminating project to work with the entire cohort on a service project to put the leadership skills discussed throughout the year into practice.

Mercer University Student Leadership Awards

2023 BEAR awards

2023 Bear Award Recipients

Each April the Macon Office of Campus Life recognizes students and student organizations from across campus that have outstanding co-curricular involvement during their time at Mercer. Below are the awards given each year. We applaud all Mercer students that get involved and make a difference in their time at Mercer.

Nominations are all online for individual and organization awards. For all student organzation awards, you must submit Bears at Their Best throughout the year! fraternity and sorority chapter should not apply for student org. awards. Please see FSP website for award nomination process.

Student Organization Awards (Submitted through Bear's at Their Best throughout the year to recieve these awards)

  • The Best New Student Organization
  • Most Improved Student Organization
  • Student Organization Campus Contributions
  • Student Organization Educational Efforts
  • Student Organization of the Year
  • Community Service Award
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award (Student Organization)

Individual Leadership Awards (online submission only)

Nomination Form

  • Spright Dowell Award
    • The Spright Dowell Award is presented to the first-year student who has demonstrated exceptional scholarship, leadership, and service. The award is named after Dr. Spright Dowell who served as president of Auburn University for eight years and then as president of Mercer for twenty-five years.
  • The BEAR Awards for Campus Involvement
    • The BEAR Award recognizes seniors who have exhibited leadership through co-curricular involvements throughout their time at Mercer. Strong candidates are seniors who have been involved and been leaders throughout their time at Mercer whether as an RA, PA, student organization officer or club sports official, or more. Approximately 20 graduating undergraduate students are awarded a BEAR award each year. 
  • Thelma "T Lady" Ross Spirit of Mercer Award
    • This award recognizes a student who exemplifies the qualities of the late Thelma "T Lady" Ross: unwavering Mercer spirit and compassion for others, outstanding campus involvement, and in-depth knowledge of and pride for Mercer University. Ms. Ross first came to Mercer in 1947 and later established T’s Corner, dispensing valuable information, advice, and motherly love to the entire Mercer community. “T Lady” served the Mercer community with compassion and pride for over fifty-five years. All students, regardless of class rank or grade point average, can be nominated.
  • "Papa Joe" Hendricks Award
    • This award recognizes a student who has positively impacted the Mercer community and has been dedicated to unifying the student body. Dr. Joseph Hendricks, affectionately known as “Papa Joe,” was a Mercer alumnus who served the University for over forty years in several different capacities, including Professor of Christianity and Interdisciplinary Studies and Dean of Students. Papa Joe was instrumental in the integration of Mercer and was known as the moral compass for generations of students. All students, regardless of class rank or grade point average, can be nominated.
  • The Mercerian Award
    • This award recognizes a senior graduating during this academic year who has excelled academically while making Mercer a better place through their co-curricular involvement and contributions to the campus community. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award (staff/student)
    • The Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award recognizes outstanding faculty, staff, students, and student organizations who have made exceptional efforts and contributions in the areas of equity, access, diversity, and inclusion. These individuals and organizations are leaders who focus on making our college and/or the local community more inclusive by creating an environment where all individuals are respected and valued. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives is proud to recognize these diversity champions so others may be inspired by them.
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year
    • This award is presented to a Mercer faculty or staff-student organization advisor who has a strong belief in the organization, serves as a role model, has a willingness to commit sufficient time to the organization and to involve students making decisions for the organization, encourages the development of responsibility and leadership in students, helps students set up meaningful programs, meetings, and events that are consistent with the organization’s purpose, possesses a familiarity with the University policies that impact the organization, and displays an interest in students’ personal growth and development.

Other Awards Granted at the Student Leadership Awards:

  • SGA Student of the Year (SGA selects this award recipient)
  • The Barry Jenkins Award (SGA selects this award recipient)

Student Leadership Positions

SGA at Founders Day 2023

Student Life Leadership Opportunities

If you are interested in any of these positions and would like to be directed to the office that oversees them, please email at Campuslife@mercer.edu.

Academic Leadership Opportunities

Athletic Leadership Opportunities