Vernon James joins Student Engagement staff
May 31, 2012
Vernon J. James has been named LaGrange College’s first Director of Residential
Education and Housing within the recently renamed Division of Student Engagement.
He comes to the college from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served
as a hall coordinator.
“We are pleased to have Vernon join us to lead our campus housing initiatives,”
said Marc Shook, Associate Provost and Dean of Student Engagement. “He brings a
wealth of residence life knowledge that will benefit our efforts to develop a housing
community that enhances a student’s transformational experience at LaGrange.
“We also are excited about the expanded mission of our renamed division. Our goal
is education: to actively engage students on a personal basis out of the classroom
and provide intentional learning opportunities that complement and enhance traditional
“We intend to build upon our unit’s past successes by developing more targeted
opportunities for student leadership and expanding collaborative relationships
with faculty across campus.”
In his new role in the division, James will oversee two professional Area Managers
who will live on campus and supervise the residential student staff.
He has six years of professional residence life experience at his alma mater,
Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. There, he worked in an evolving role
in housing that led to him serving as assistant director of residence life. He
also worked as the coordinator of multicultural affairs, coordinator of student
activities, and coordinator of summer conferences.
More recently, James spent two years in China teaching English and international
economics as a faculty member in the School of Foreign Languages at Sias International
“Based on my campus visit, LaGrange already feels like home for my wife, Ashleigh,
and me,” James said. “We are eager to join the college at this exciting time as
the institution continues to focus on new ways to engage and educate students.
“The residential environment provides a unique opportunity to engage students
in a living-learning atmosphere that complements the academic experience by teaching
valuable life skills, creating a space to explore individual identity and reflect
on life experience, building connections among the campus community, and holding
students accountable for their actions.”
A native of Sumter, S.C., James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration
from Presbyterian College and a master’s in higher education and student affairs
from the University of South Carolina.
His first day at the college will be July 2, 2012. The search for the Area Manager
positions is currently under way; more information can be found here