Mercer Memories with Dr. Crawford

Photo courtesy Garland Crawford

Dr. Crawford, who originates from Kentucky, is a Chemistry professor who attended Mercer University and graduated in 1997. He was so wiling to share his memories with current students that he actually shared them twice. Due to an amateur error of not making sure the recording device was on, Dr. Crawford was generous enough to allow me to come back for a second interview. These are his responses.


Cluster: What made you originally choose to attend Mercer?

Crawford: As I was finishing up high school I was awarded a four-year ROTC scholarship. At the time, we just got information from a lot of different schools that were essentially trying to recruit. Mercer fit into the window of what I was looking for in a school: small liberal arts school with small class sizes, which was a big draw for me. The American Chemical Society certified their chemistry program, and it still is [certified]. I had a high school chemistry teacher that talked about that as being the mark of a good school. Distance from home was a big thing. The weather is not too bad. All those things came together, and it looked like a great place to get started. Once I visited the school, I fell in love with the campus.


C: Why did you choose your major?

Crawford: I had a very strong high school chemistry teacher, so I liked it coming in [to college]. That is what I thought would be my initial major along with pre-med. Like a lot of students who come here, Mercer is very appealing because of its connections with the medical field. Chemistry tends to be how I think about problems and how I approach things.


C: Whaclubs/organizations were you involved in?

Crawford: I was probably overcommitted in my time here. I did three years on student government, which it’s good to see those pictures are still up in the Connell Student Center. During my junior year, we made a bid for the SGA presidency and didn’t win, but I really enjoyed going through that process. I was involved in the Student Activities Board for a little over a year. I was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. I worked with the OAs (Orientation Assistants). I believe they are called PAs now. I worked on setting up and coordinating the Freshman Orientation program. I [also] worked with ACS.


C: Where was your favorite place on campus to hangout?

Crawford: They used to make fun of me all the time. I was a big cafeteria guy. Usually I would schedule my classes, if at all possible, to have a big block around lunch. If you could schedule over a couple of sessions, you could just sit in there and hang out for a couple of hours. I would usually just sit in the cafeteria and wave as people would come in between classes and [I would] hang out. I also hung out at our fraternity lodge, which sat about where the new UC pool is. We could sit up there, pull our couches out, and watch the softball field. In addition to obviously being in Willet. As a Chem major, you naturally hang out here.


C: What is your best memory from your four years at Mercer?

Crawford: The thing I think I enjoyed most was working with the Orientation Assistants as the Student Coordinator. I got to work with Dr. Laurie Lankin and Dr. Steve Brown, both of whom are still here at Mercer. We had about 40 to 50 OAs at the time who were a great cross section and diverse group. Being around orientation, which we are just coming out of now, there is a lot of excitement, and it’s nice to be apart of that excitement.


C: Which aspects of Mercer have you seen go through the most change?

Crawford: The biggest change when I came back was the physical change. The south half of campus has undergone significant improvements since I left. The UC sits on top of what used to be fraternity/sorority row and is a great addition compared to the gym and workout center we used to have, which was the front portion of Penfield gym. Also with the UC, basketball can now be played on campus. When I was here, we used to play [basketball] at the Macon Coliseum down off I-16. Attendance was pretty bad. The football stadium, which now sits on top of what were probably some of the worst apartments imaginable, has been replaced and looks really nice.