Distinguished Mercer Alumnus and Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal was selected for the honor of Georgian of the Year according to Georgia Trend Magazine.
Deal was featured in the January 2013 issue.
Deal is the 11th Mercer alumnus to hold the governor’s office. He was inaugurated as Georgia’s 82nd governor in 2010, and since has worked earnestly to improve Georgia’s economic position.
Susan Percy, editor at Georgia Trend, interviewed Deal for the January issue.
“We look for someone who has made a big statewide impact, someone who has really influenced the lives of citizens of Georgia for good,” Percy said.
The editorial staff from Georgia’s only statewide business magazine made the decision based on Deal’s earnest work in improving Georgia’s economy.
“He was kind enough to say that he was very honored,” Percy said. “He seemed very pleased.”
As a business magazine, Georgia Trend highlighted Deal’s attention to the business community and his leadership in the legislature.
The magazine also recognized Deal’s focus on issues that are important to the economy and his role in job creation.
“We found that this made him the best candidate,” Percy said.
According to Georgia Trend, Deal highlights two priorities, public safety and public education.
In his first year in office, Deal revamped the HOPE Scholarship Program and followed up last year with a criminal justice reform and tax reform package.
“I just believe that good decisions are made with good information,” Deal said, according to Georgia Trend. “I don’t ever presume that I have all the information. If an issue is raising enough concern or interest for people to express their opinion, I think it’s my duty to listen, to consider whatever evidence they have to support their position. They deserve to be heard. My job is then to decide what is the best course of action and what direction should I lead in.”
Deal earned his undergraduate degree from Mercer in1964 and continued his educated at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law.
While at Mercer, Deal was student body president and later served a term on the Mercer Board of Trustees.
Georgia Trend Magazine also revealed their list of 100 Most Influential Georgians. Mercer President William D. Underwood was selected on the list.
The magazine recognized that Mercer’s enrollment has increased over 20% since Underwood took office in 2006.
Georgia Trend also highlighted Underwood’s accomplishments for his work in overseeing the Center for Collaborative Journalism and continuing the school’s service-oriented approach to learning.