Leadership award winner to speak at commencement

Leadership award winner to speak at commencement

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2019

Senior Caitlyn Deal sits on the steps of historic Smith Hall

Caitlyn Jeanelle Deal, this year’s winner of the Waights G. Henry Jr. Leadership Award, will speak at Saturday’s commencement ceremony.

The award is the most prestigious annual award given to a student by the college and is based on excellence in scholarship, service and leadership.

Caitlyn is a Nonprofit Leadership major with minors in Poverty Studies, Religion and Servant Leadership. She served as class president and president of the Student Government Association for two years.

As a member of Phi Mu, she worked on the public relations committee and as assistant to the membership director and sisterhood development co-chair. She amassed more than 40 hours of community service with Phi Mu.

A Wilkinson Family Servant Scholar, she wrote and secured a grant for $5,000 for Our Daily Bread, volunteered at Harmony House domestic abuse shelter, performed more than 180 hours of community service and helped arrange gala events for hurricane relief and IAmHoldenOn.

Caitlyn was a Cornerstone teaching assistant and resident assistant, and was on the Orientation Team, serving on the head staff for one year to help organize the group, and as leader for two years. She was a Presidential Ambassador for three years and participated in the Leaders Inspired for Tomorrow program.

She has been described as “an outstanding woman of academic integrity, strong character and unwavering dedication.” Fellow students say she is always willing to extend a helping hand and offer support where needed. She has been called the personification of the transformative experience of LaGrange College.

A native of Atlanta, Caitlyn is the daughter of Holly and Brad Deal.

Commencement activities actually kicked off Thursday with the annual nurse pinning ceremony at First United Methodist Church. Almost 40 nursing majors received pins from either nursing faculty or family members who are nurses. The event is a symbolic welcoming of new nurses into the profession.

Dr. Celia Hay stands with her retirement gift - a LaGrange College branded chairDr. Celia Hay, retiring Chair of the Nursing Department, was surprised with the announcement that a new award has been established in her honor.

“Over the years, Dr. Hay has taught the history of nursing, as far back as Florence Nightingale,” said Dr. Maranah Sauter, Professor of Nursing and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “She instills in her students that nursing is both an art and a science. She exemplifies the art of being a nurse.”

The Art of Nursing Award will be given by the faculty to an outstanding senior who they believe will go on to refine the art of nursing. The inaugural commendation was presented to Caitlyn Newell.

Today’s activities will kick off with graduation rehearsal at 9:30 a.m. on the Residential Quad. The annual Legacy Celebration and Reception will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Bailey Room in Smith Hall. A legatee is someone whose grandparent, parent, sibling or spouse is an alumnus of LaGrange College. The 31 honorees will receive a medallion to wear during commencement.

The Rev. Dr. Phil Schroeder, director of the Center for Congregational Excellence for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the speaker for tonight’s baccalaureate service at 5 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.

Commencement ceremonies will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the Residential Quad. Louis M. Dekmar, LaGrange Chief of Police, will deliver the address. James “Jim” M. Wood III ’78 will be presented the Distinguished Service Alumni Award.

Immediately following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served at the south end of the Residential Quad. Commencement also will be streamed live in Dickson Assembly Room.


Video of the week


Campus notes

Dr. Patricia Marchesi gives two thumbs up while standing in front of a Literary Classics Awards banner

Dr. Patricia Marchesi, Assistant Professor of English, recently attended the Children’s Literary Classics award ceremony in Rapid City, South Dakota, where she won one silver and two gold awards for her second novel, “Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Alterax Buttons.” Her novel also earned the CLC Seal of Approval. She also won three CLC awards and the Seal of Approval in 2012 for her first book, “Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes.”

Caroline Stinson, right, stands with professor Kelly Veal after receiving the student counselor of the year award.

Caroline Stinson, a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health and Counseling Program, was named student counselor of the year at the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia conference recently in Savannah. She was nominated by Dr. Kelly Veal, Clinical Coordinator and Assistant of CMHC, who won the same award herself in 2008.

portraits of the three vocalists: Landon Bell, Dean James Kivotidis and Leigh Anne Hamlin

Congratulations to vocalists Landon Bell, Dean James Kivotidis and Leigh Anne Hamlin on being named National Association of Teachers of Singing national semi-finalists. They have been invited to compete at the national competition this summer in Minneapolis. 

“The Partisan Politics of Civil Asset Forfeiture” by Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science, and students Robert Allen, Peter Alford, Agrlin Braxton, Casey Evans, Breckin Lewis, Alanna Martin, Wade Ray, Yasmin Roper, Damir Rosencrants and Stephen Wagner has been accepted for publication by the journal “Questions in Politics.”

Registration for American Red Cross swimming lessons at Hudson Natatorium is now open. Visit their webpage for more information.

Watch/listen to Musical Theatre major Leigh Anne Hamlin's senior show, "When the Music Played," on the LaGrange College YouTube channel. Visit

Paying it forward

This week's panther meter shows 512 alumni donors

LC alumni, remember the excitement of commencement week? Finals are done, projects are finished and it’s almost time to say goodbye to the Hill. Remember, too, the many people who helped you along the way – faculty and staff who encouraged you to be the best you could be? Many people stepped up to help you – now it’s your turn to pay it forward. Consider giving back and helping current students through donor-funded scholarships and campus resources. Help reach this year’s goal of 1,100 alumni by making a gift before June 30. Any amount helps. 




The 14th-ranked Panthers (30-9) travel to Birmingham, Alabama, for the NCAA Regional. The Panthers will play a best-of-five series against host Birmingham-Southern starting today (Friday) with a doubleheader. Game times are 2 and 6 p.m. EDT. Tournament website

Two LaGrange golfers earned post-season awards. Junior Nathan Garner was named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf America Scholar. Sophomore Sam Rogers was selected to the South All-Region team. Both awards were announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America.


In the headlines

Panthers headed to Birmingham – LaGrange Daily News, May 13, 2019

Category: Events, Faculty, College, Academics

Keywords: Commencement, Henry, award, Hay, NATS,

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 05/17/2019