Pilgrimage to Penfield makes minor changes

Same Mercer traditions without some of the traditions of the past


Image: Mercer Marketing and Communications

Students will be making their way to “Old Mercer” Sunday, September 27 around 10:30 a.m.

Conner Wood, Editor in Chief

Pilgrimage to Penfield has been defined for the past several years by its mystery.

Bekah Fulton, a junior chairwoman of SGA’s Heritage Life committee, wants to get rid of the enigma surrounding this autumnal event.

“By people participating, they help break the [enigma] of what is the mysterious Pilgrimage to Penfield,” Fulton said.

As recent as last year, the event, which was usually held on a Friday evening, included a tour of a graveyard in the dark and fireworks under the stars while sitting on a complimentary blanket.

This year there will be no fireworks or spooky cemetery walks, but the Sunday trip will still offer students, young and old, a peek into the history of Mercer University.

Fulton said many students hear the word ‘pilgrimage,’ and they think of pilgrims.

“That’s exactly what it is. It’s like this trek,” she said.

Students will load onto buses Sunday, September 27 about 10:30 a.m. And their journey to the site where Mercer was born in rural Greene County—about an hour and half northeast of Macon—will begin.

As a freshman, Fulton remembers the entire experience as enriching her first year at Mercer.

“It is definitely one of my first major memories from Mercer,” she said. “I’m really thankful for that.”

Fulton said students can expect to attend a chapel service, to participate in fun Mercer trivia and to learn more about Mercer’s heritage.

During the chapel service, senior Sarah Webster and Professor Kevin Honeycutt—a Mercer alumnus—will speak, and Bethany Ross will play the violin.

Fulton said there will also food and a free giveaway of Nalgene water bottles that say “Go Bears” on the side and Pilgrimage to Penfield stickers. Instead of blankets, which served their purpose when the event was held in October, Fulton said she thinks the water bottles are a fun gift to students.

Mercer was established in Penfield, Georgia in 1833, and the university relocated to Macon in 1871.

Fulton said that she hopes students who attend Pilgrimage to Penfield will appreciate their experience at Mercer more after they “return to where it started from.”

“I love this event. I love being on Heritage Life because I love Mercer so much,” Fulton said.

The Heritage Life committee will also be hosting the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony Dec. 3 in the Historic Quad.