Mercer University honored District Attorney Dennis Sanders recently at halftime of the Mercer vs. Jacksonville game as a former student-athlete who has distinguished himself in public service.
Sanders and his wife Kay, along with their two sons, Shane and Reid, were called onto the basketball court at halftime along with State Sen. and Assistant Athletic Director Jim Cole. Also on hand was Sanders' former hall of fame coach, Bobby Wilder. Sanders was honored as an athlete for his tenure on the tennis courts representing Mercer. According to his former coach, Sanders was a standout tennis player for Mercer University and lettered all four of his college years at Mercer. Sanders, who wore his college letter jacket, joked how he was proud he could still wear it although it was pointed out that he was unable to button it.
It was also noted for the crowd that all four of the Sanders family were Mercer graduates and that Sanders was the current President of the Mercer Law School Alumni Board. In addition to his recognition as a former athlete for Mercer, his professional accomplishments were read to the basketball crowd as Sanders and his family stood at center court. It was pointed out that Sanders is the Senior District Attorney of the State of Georgia in addition to many other accomplishments which included being named District Attorney of the year for Georgia; past chairman of the State Ethics Panel for the State Bar of Georgia; president of the Toombs Circuit Bar Association; member of the Georgia Board of Governors; named to the 2007 list of Super Lawyers; faculty for the Prosecuting Attorney's Council of Georgia; faculty for Continuing Legal Education of Georgia, and faculty of the National College of District Attorney's at the University of Houston. In addition, it was pointed out that Sanders is a nationally-recognized lecturer having lectured in the Southeast, Midwest and New England to fellow prosecutors from all over the United States.
Mercer also recognized that District Attorney Sanders was a community leader, as he was the 2005 recipient of the Justice Robert Benham award for community service. Additionally, as most Thomson Bulldogs fans know, Dennis is and has been the voice of the Thomson Dogs on the radio since 1976.
After the proceedings, Sanders was asked to join the play-by-play voice of the Mercer Bears on the air as they discussed his days as a Mercer Bear.
"It was a special day for me and my family," Sanders said. "It was exciting to see my old coach, whom I haven't seen in years. I did have to wonder why Coach Wilder seemed to tell everyone how I was a better tennis player than he ever told me at the time when I was playing.
"And while I couldn't button my old letter jacket, I wore it proudly as the Mercer Bears upset the No. 1 team in the conference on a last second shot against Jacksonville. It just couldn't have been any better than that."