Western professor named president of international honor society

CULLOWHEE – Gordon E. Mercer, professor of political science and public affairs and director of Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute, has been elected president of Pi Gamma Mu international honor society.

Gordon Mercer

Gordon Mercer

Representatives of more than 133 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad elect the Pi Gamma Mu president to a three-year term of office.

A resident of Franklin, Mercer recently met with the honor society’s board of trustees in Nashville, Tenn., to set new priorities and directions for Pi Gamma Mu. New organizational priorities will include promoting scholarship and academic excellence and reaching out to all universities and colleges in the United States and abroad to challenge them to raise academic standards, and to recognize academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate education.

“Our nation must once again realize educational excellence and access to higher education at all income levels is the only true way that our nation will grow intellectually and sustain the society that we want in the future,” Mercer said.

Mercer has held numerous positions at the national and collegiate level, including former vice president of Pi Gamma Mu and former president of the N.C. Political Science Association.

He has received multiple awards, such as the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award from Western in 1998 and the Political Science Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005. Former associate dean of research and graduate studies, Mercer is head of the Public Policy Institute at WCU.

Founded in 1924, Pi Gamma Mu provides social sciences students of high academic standing with a setting in which to engage in intellectually stimulating activities. The society works to nurture top students’ commitment to excellence, strengthen their efforts to resist conformity, teach them to assume the responsibilities of leadership, and help them develop the wisdom necessary for sound judgment.