Mercer University basketball fans are back down to earth after the Bears lost to the University Tennessee by 20 points Sunday night. Just 48 hours earlier Mercer was the talk of the sports world after upsetting Duke University in the NCAA tournament.
On paper, it didn't look likely at all. Mercer is a mid-sized private school Macon that hasn't taken part in March Madness since 1985, while Duke is one of the most storied college teams in basketball history.
The Confederate flag is back in the news in Georgia. Civil rights advocates are decrying the state’s recent approval of a specialty license plate incorporating the flag. It was a little more than 10 years ago when Georgia was embroiled in a debate about whether the Confederate emblem should appear on the state flag. David Davis, a professor of Southern Studies at Mercer University, spoke to GPB Macon’s Adam Ragusea about the complex history surrounding the issue of the Confederate flag in Georgia.
As Mercer University continues to celebrate 50 years of integration, students are taking their campus’s temperature on race. Emily Wilson is among a group of sociology students who surveyed 360 of their peers. “I personally was a little surprised by the overall response, in that for the most part students really did seem to perceive a positive racial climate,” she said. “I think I may have expected to see a little more controversy than we did.” However, Wilson says there were some students who thought there should be more diversity on campus. Currently the student body is just over 58 percent white, 23 percent black and Hispanic.
When American troops left Vietnam in 1975, they left something behind: landmines. In the decades since, more than a hundred thousand civilians have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordnance. Mercer University officials are hoping to massively expand a program that addresses this lingering tragedy of the Vietnam War.