Advancement of education
Former Mercer University attendees Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald presented the University with a $2 million endowment gift in 2013, which underwrote the University’s Center for America’s Founding Principles and also established the Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Fund for Advancement of Education in the Dominican Republic. Mr. McDonald attended Mercer before going on to earn degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard University, and Mrs. McDonald is a graduate of Tift College, which merged with the University in the late 1980s.
This fund allows Mercer’s College of Education to provide resources for Dominican professors, secondary teachers, and education students through exchange programs, scholarships, workshops, and other collaborations. The program will help them improve their teaching and communication skills, as well as supplement their understanding and use of the English language in teaching, ultimately leading to expanded economic opportunities for Dominican students and the country in general. The endowment gift for the Center funds courses, reading groups, visiting faculty, and other initiatives that promote the study, understanding, and critical analysis of America’s founding principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and similar documents.
Center for America’s Founding Principles
The Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles is an interdisciplinary, faculty-led program that promotes the study and teaching of the foundational works of western civilization. Mercer is one of a select few institutions in the country and the only one in Georgia that has a Great Books of Western Civilization program as part of its general education curriculum, solidifying the University’s dedication to excellence and innovation. The Center complements this curriculum with programs including lecture series and campus conferences, and seeks to reinforce the importance of a traditional liberal arts education.