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Dr. W. Douglas and Jane G.
Dr. W. Douglas and Jane G. Skelton

Dr. Skelton, a Gainesville, Georgia native, attended the College of Liberal Arts from 1957-1959, leaving prior to graduation to pursue medicine at Emory University, receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1963. After an internship at the Macon Hospital, now Navicent Health, and a psychiatry residency at Columbia in New York, Dr. Skelton served Emory as a faculty member in psychiatry and vice president of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and Georgia as director of mental health and commissioner of the Department of Human Resources.

He became a trustee of Mercer in 1983, resigning in 1985 to become dean of Mercer's new School of Medicine. Under his leadership, the School ranked number one nationally in percentage of graduates choosing primary care in 1991, and in 1992 received the Gold Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for three consecutive years producing the highest percent of students choosing family medicine. Dr. Skelton is recognized at both the state and national levels as a leader in health and human services. He served on the National Advisory Mental Health Council during the Carter administration, the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as an appointee of the first President Bush, chair of the AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs, and on many state committees, serving as the initial chair of both the State Health Planning Committee and the State AIDS Task Force. Always an advocate for quality medical education, in 2012 he joined an initiative to bring Trinity School of Medicine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the standards of U.S. medical schools, a goal reached in 2015.


Jane Skelton, originally from Byron, Georgia, moved to Gainesville, Georgia in 1953 with her career teacher parents. She and Doug, going steady by then, graduated from Gainesville High School in 1956 with a plan to finish college in three years, marry, and start medical school. Jane finished Brenau University in 1959 with a bachelor of arts in education and she and Doug, according to plan, married in 1959 and Doug entered Emory Medical School. Jane taught school in DeKalb County to help support the family, expanded by Anslee born in 1961 in the middle of "finals." While at Columbia, Bill was added to the family in 1965. After Doug joined the Emory faculty in 1969, Jane became a very successful real estate agent in DeKalb County, a career she continued in Macon when Dr. Skelton joined Mercer in 1985. Jane was a leading realtor for Sheridan, Solomon, and Kernaghan for many years, and was influential in the decision of many Mercer faculty and staff to move to Macon and join the Mercer family.
Dr. W. Douglas and Jane G.Skelton
Honorary Degree
Doctor of Science
Awarded by Mercer University
Macon, Georgia
May 6, 2006
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