Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars

Continuing the legacy of Lettie Pate Whitehead, Mercer University’s Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars Program equips students from diverse backgrounds, who have demonstrated academic excellence, service, and leadership, to achieve their educational goals, while challenging them to inspire and empower the communities they serve.

The Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship provides recipients with a rigorous academic experience combined with community engagement, leadership development, and mentorship opportunities. Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars make a significant extracurricular commitment to participate in a variety of activities, including an annual celebration event, service projects, developmental workshops, and other experiences.

Lettie Pate Scholars at the UC


This scholarship is awarded to students with a demonstrated financial need who identify as Christian and come from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Eligible students are invited by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to apply prior to enrolling at Mercer.

Program Components

Students selected as Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars join a distinctive community that will provide special value to their four years at Mercer University. Program components include:

  • INT 101 class with fellow Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars during your first year (as applicable for your degree program)
  • Mentorship between first-year and sophomore Scholars
  • Service projects
  • Community engagement
  • Leadership opportunities

About Lettie Pate Whitehead

A business, church, and civic leader in Atlanta during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lettie Pate Whitehead and her husband secured an exclusive contract to bottle and sell Coca-Cola throughout most of the United States. When her husband died, Mrs. Whitehead immediately assumed responsibility for the family’s business affairs, including the bottling business and real estate holdings. In 1934, she became one of the first women to serve on the board of directors of a major American corporation, serving as director of The Coca-Cola Company for almost 20 years.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Whitehead felt a strong sense of duty to help those in need, as she supported numerous charitable organizations in Georgia and her home state of Virginia. Her benevolence even extended to England and France during World War II as she made gifts to the Queen’s Fund for air raid victims and to furnish ambulances for the French. Before her death, she established a foundation to ensure that her philanthropy could influence future generations.

To learn more about Mrs. Whitehead and her continued philanthropy, visit the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation.