@LaGrange - President celebrates college’s impact on community

@LaGrange - President celebrates college’s impact on community

Posted on Friday, September 07, 2018

President McAlexander's State of the College address

LaGrange College has a lasting influence on not only its students but also its community, said Dan McAlexander during his annual State of the College address Thursday.

“What we do here is important,” he said. “Our mission to serve is having a huge impact on this community.”

From an economic standpoint, McAlexander pointed to the college’s $42 million budget, 1,000 students, 200 faculty members and 50 outsourced employees with Aramark, National Management Resources and Securitas.

“Add that to the more than 2,000 campus visits from prospective students and their families, as well as all the plays, concerts and sporting events that draw thousands to our campus every year,” he said. “And, of course, there is the $37 million in construction we’ve done over the last six years. That all adds up to a significant economic impact.”

There is also the college’s influence on the local workforce.

“Almost 60 percent of the 400 registered nurses at WellStar West Georgia Health are graduates of our nursing program,” he said. “And 20 percent of the 900 teachers in Troup County are our graduates.”

Culturally and spiritually, the college offers free lectures through the 3D Journeys program, as well as fine and performing arts presentations. It also has served as funding and founding partners for Circles of Troup County and the Racial Trustbuilding Initiative.

“Our Servant Scholars are deeply involved with the work of Circles of Troup, helping raise people from generational poverty,” he said. “And as the home of the Racial Trustbuilding Initiative, we bring together African-American citizens and Caucasian citizens as we grapple with the long and lingering effects of our history.”

To demonstrate how the college affects the community, McAlexander turned his attention to eight of the young leaders featured in the LaGrange Daily News’ recent “Twenty Under Forty” publication.

“Almost half of them are graduates of LaGrange College or serve in leadership roles here,” he said.

He then presented a video that showcased each honoree, who talked about the impact the college had on their lives and careers.

They included Bethany Headrick ’04, M’07, director of Hillside Montessori; Chase Hall ’10, financial advisor with Edward Jones; Kayla Yeargin ’10, M’11, math teacher and 2017-18 Troup County Teacher of the Year; Trae Long ’12, CPA with Gay & Joseph; Hill Daniel ’13, Troup County Felony Adult Drug Court; Henry Jacobs ’13, outreach coordinator with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper; David Kelton ’13, Panther Head Baseball Coach; Lauren Venters ’17, development specialist for Circles of Troup County; and Curtis Brown Jr., marketing consultant and a member of the college’s Leadership Council.

Following the presentation, McAlexander introduced the honorees, as well as faculty mentors they credited with influencing them during their time at the college and after graduation.

“We have a terrific faculty that fosters a relationship-driven learning environment,” he said.

In today’s world, a liberal arts education has proven to be the core of successful employees, McAlexander said.

“In study after study, the qualities that we teach in a liberal arts curriculum are the ones that employers are looking for,” he said. “Things like the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing, to work together as a team and independently, to apply skills to real-world settings, to think critically and analytically and to have ethical judgment and decision-making.”

These surveys look at how engaged people are in their jobs and their lives, 10 years after graduation.

“What we’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter where you went to college, it matters what you did in college,” McAlexander said. “Students who had somebody take an interest in them and students who worked on projects over a long period of time got a sense of purpose from education.”

Although the college does guide its students to be part of a workforce, its purpose is greater, he said.

“We prepare them for something far bigger than themselves,” McAlexander said. “Higher education is not just about creating a cog in the economy. Our education is about creating a person who will be a great citizen, an engaged citizen, a wonderful family member, a person who will draw meaning out of life and will continue to learn as they go throughout life.”

He urged the attendees to think about what the college does in terms of affecting future generations, and to advocate for higher education every chance they get.

“Make no mistake about it,” he said. “Higher education is under threat. We are seeing a negative environment in the world and a negative environment politically for what we do. Institutions like this are important.

“Each one of you could be a voice for future generations,” he concluded. “This is the kind of education that matters deeply.”


Cultural Enrichment events


  • LaGrange International Festival, 3-7 p.m., downtown LaGrange


  • LIFE September concert, 7 p.m., Callaway Auditorium


  • Remembering 9/11 and Researching Terrorism, 11:15 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room
  • Alina Windell, faculty recital, 4:30 p.m., Beason Recital Hall at West Side


In the headlines

Collaboration with college, bonus for school district – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 5, 2018

Panthers ranked 25th in preseason poll – LaGrange Daily News, Aug. 27, 2018

Panthers rally but fall short – LaGrange Daily News, Aug. 31, 2018

Panthers make ’em earn it – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 1-2

Strong start for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 4, 2018


Video of the Week



Men’s soccer

Jude McEvoy’s goal in the second overtime gave the Panthers (2-1) a 4-3 win at Pensacola Christian on Thursday. McEvoy had two goals in the game and was named the USA South Rookie of the Week for the week ending Sept. 2.

Women’s soccer

The Panthers (1-1-1) lost 3-0 at Piedmont on Wednesday. Freshman Zoe Watts was the USA South Rookie of the Week for the week ending Sept. 2. Watts had four goals in LC’s 5-0 win at Judson last Friday.


The Panthers’ fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 34-28 loss at Birmingham-Southern in the 2018 season opener. Quarterback Kelly Hall threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. LC hosts Berry in Callaway Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m. 


The Panthers split matches with Methodist and Toccoa Falls last Saturday in Richter Gym. LC beat Toccoa Falls 3-1 as freshman Paeton Robinson had a double-double of 11 kills and 21 assists. The Panthers play in the Millsaps Invitational in Jackson, Mississippi, today (Friday) and Saturday.

Cross Country

Freshman Bryan Storie finished eighth to lead the LC cross country teams at the West Georgia Invitational last Friday. The teams will compete in the Huntingdon Invitational in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday.

Campus notes

The Office of Alumni and Community Relations will be sponsoring “Pounce Around Town” events in the coming months. The first one will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Beacon Brewing Co. at 700 Lincoln St. in the Hillside community. The LaGrange Panthers vs. Apprentice Builders (Newport News, Virginia) pep rally will feature snacks and the choice of a Beacon’s beer. All alumni are welcome, and the first 20 attendees will receive complimentary tickets to the Panthers football game against Apprentice on Sept. 22. For more information, contact or 706-880-8244.

The deadline for registering for intramural flag football has been extended to 6 p.m. Sept. 14. For more information, contact Mike White at

Don’t forget about the traveling exhibition, “Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health,” running through Sept. 29 on the main floor of Lewis Library. Developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Category: College

Keywords: president, pounce

Press Contact

Lindy Oller

Last updated: 02/14/2019