[private]Young Harris College President Cathy Cox has been appointed dean of Mercer University’s law school, effective July 1.
Cox, Georgia’s former secretary of state and an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 2006, has been president of Young Harris since 2007 and oversaw the college’s transition from a two-year to a four-year institution as its student enrollment doubled.
“Cathy Cox brings to the Mercer Law deanship an uncommon breadth and depth of experience in higher education, public service and the practice of law,” Mercer Provost D. Scott Davis said. “We could not be more excited about her accepting this opportunity to return to her alma mater and provide leadership for the state’s oldest ABA-accredited law school.”
Cox earned her law degree from Mercer in 1986 and will be the first alum to head the law school on a fulltime basis since William Augustus Bootle, who was the dean from 1933 to 1937. Bootle was later appointed to a federal judgeship, where he ordered the integration of the University of Georgia in 1961.
“I have loved working with phenomenal trustees, faculty and staff during the past 10 years to transform Young Harris College into a thriving liberal arts college,” Cox said. “I hope YHC will continue to send some of its strongest graduates to Mercer’s Law School, just like the three who are enrolled there now.”
Cox, a native of Bainbridge, was a member of the Georgia House from 1993 to 1996, where she represented a district that had earlier been represented by her father, the late Walter Cox.
She left the legislature to serve as assistant secretary of state and was elected to two full terms as secretary of state in 1998 and 2002, the first woman to be elected to that office.
Cox received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1980 and was a newspaper reporter for three years with the Gainesville Times and Bainbridge Post-Searchlight before entering law school.
© 2017 by The Georgia Report