Mercer Spirit Award

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Each year, Mercer Spirit Award winners are announced at the annual Retirement and Recognition Ceremonies on the Macon and Atlanta campuses.  This award reaffirms Mercer's commitment to service by recognizing those employees who have demonstrated the highest level of service to members of the University community, both internal and external, as well as outside constituencies. 

The Mercer Spirit Award recognizes those employees who exemplify what it means to “Be the Bear," offering care, respect, inspiration and encouragement to the Mercer community and beyond.  Their accomplishments exceed expectations and reflect the utmost commitment to their profession, as well as to the students and colleagues they serve.

Purpose of the Award

To provide the Mercer community a vehicle to recognize extraordinary contributions of our non-faculty staff employees throughout the university who reflect an exceptional commitment to the university's mission to teach, to learn, to create, to discover, to inspire, to empower and to serve, as well as to reward specific and distinctive employee behaviors and accomplishments that embody Mercer’s core values.

Who is Eligible to be Nominated

  • All regular, non-faculty employees on any Mercer campus/location who hold a position below the level of management/administrator or department head (departments of one are not considered a department head).
  • Must have at least two (2) years of service to Mercer University.
  • Must not have won a Spirit Award in the previous five (5) years.

Who Can Make a Nomination

  • Any member of the University community, including supervisors, co-workers, department/division heads, subordinates, faculty members or students.
  • Individuals may not nominate themselves.
  • If someone other than the nominated employee’s supervisor is submitting a nomination, the nomination form must be forwarded to the nominee’s supervisor for review and signature.

How to Make a Nomination

  • Read the guidelines and selection criteria for the award.
  • Download a nomination form.  
  • Return completed nomination form and related attachments to Human Resources. 

Selection Criteria

  • Staff members must demonstrate a high level of service to members of the University community, both internal as well as external to their department, as well as to off campus constituencies when applicable.
  • Staff members’ accomplishments must reflect the highest levels of performance, going above and beyond what is normally expected.
  • Staff members must demonstrate initiative, innovation, leadership and exceptional service.
  • Staff members must demonstrate efforts to build the morale of their department/division and/or the university.
  • Staff members must work diligently toward improving their own productivity and the productivity of their department/division and/or the university.
  • Staff members must exhibit exceptional performance over time which demonstrates the values outlined below:
    • Compassion and encouragement, as demonstrated by positive and open working relationships;
    • Creativity and inspiration that result in improved systems or processes;
    • Professionalism, integrity, and respect for others;
    • Commitment to make the University a more inclusive and welcoming place to work and live.
  • The number of nominations received for an individual will not impact the selection process.

Selection Committee

  • The Selection Committee is comprised of University faculty and/or administrative staff with the following exceptions:
    • Must not be a nominator of a current nominee.
    • Must not be a supervisor or departmental colleague of a current nominee.
    • Must not work in Human Resources.


Winners will be announced at the annual Macon and Atlanta Retirement and Recognition ceremonies.  Each winner will receive an engraved Mercer Spirit Distinguished Performance Award plaque and a $1,000 cash award or gift certificate, or the same amount may be used toward a professional development opportunity.