Mercer grads to be grand marshals in parade
by Celia Shortt
Mercer University’s Working Adult’s programs have brought more educational opportunities for working adults in Newnan, including two of the Grand Marshals in today’s Christmas parade, Newnan Police Officers Chad Wood and Brent McComas.
Both Wood and McComas earned their Bachelor of Science Degrees from Mercer University while they were working full time with the Newnan Police Department. Wood earned a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and McComas a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety.
“At any age you can get a college education,” said Wood. “Education is very valuable not matter what you do. Having Mercer here is great.”
“(My degree) increased my knowledge of criminal justice - (I) do better at the job,” said McComas.
Both were supported professionally in their desire to complete their education.
“They (Wood and McComas) are Mercer’s ideal students, as they are working adults,” said Dr. Lynn Tankersley of Mercer University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies. “I’m just very proud of the work they put into the program. Chad and Brent consistently did their best. I really admired their dedication.”
Despite having a successful career with the police department, Wood wanted to finish college to be an example for his 18 year old son.
“You’re never too old for education,” he said. “Once you stop using it, you lose it. I strive to be a role model for my son to go to college.”
His desire to further his education, continued after he completed his degree in May of this year when he remained enrolled at Mercer and began classes to earn his Master of Science in Public Safety Leadership.
“It’s a sacrifice,” he said about going back to school and working. “It’s not for everybody.”
“It’s rough, but it pays off in the end,” said McComas.
The Newnan Regional Academic Center for Mercer University is located at the Central Education Center in Newnan. Its working adult programs there offer programs through the Tift College of Education and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.