Passion for higher education drives new president

Passion for higher education drives new president

Posted on Friday, May 01, 2020

Dr. Baxter's family in front of a waterfall

Susanna Baxter is no stranger to LaGrange.

Just named on Tuesday, the new president of the college said she has visited campus and LaGrange several times during her tenure as head of Georgia Independent College Association.

“I think my first visit was about seven years ago when I attended a fundraising event,” Dr. Baxter said. “I’ve been back as a guest lecturer and consultant with the Cabinet. Last year, I addressed the national Advancement Roundtable hosted by the college, and I’ve spoken a few times at the LaGrange Rotary Club.”

With every visit, she fell in love even more with the institution and the town.

“I vividly remember a time several years ago when I and key members of my staff visited the college,” Dr. Baxter said. “We spent the entire ride back to Atlanta talking about how unique and special LaGrange College is to higher education. I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with this exceptional administration, faculty and staff.”

Dr. Baxter, her husband, Mark Huffman, and two sons hope to move to LaGrange in mid-summer.

“Inman is 11 and Wade is 6,” she said. ““My husband is self-employed as a consultant in organizational development. He also trains parents and professionals in how to teach and talk to kids about sexuality. We both feel it is important to be settled before the boys go to school.”

0219201759.jpgAnother member of the family also will be making the move.

“We have a Goldendoodle we found at a rescue place,” she said. “He’ll be a year old in May, and his name is Thor. That’s what you get when your boys enjoy mythology.”

When she isn’t working, Dr. Baxter said her time is spent around a soccer field, helping with schoolwork or at church.

“We are members of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, where I teach an adult Sunday School class,” she said. “That is something that feeds my soul.”

For fun, Dr. Baxter and her family enjoy sports.

“I am a huge Duke University football and basketball fan,” she said. “We also love Atlanta United and the Falcons.”

She has other interests she said she doesn’t have time for these days.

“I used to have hobbies before my second child was born,” she laughed. “I enjoy cake decorating, exercising, playing games with my boys and watching sports.”

She also is a fan of Motown music (although she likes a wide variety of genres) and smart action movies, such as the Jason Bourne series.

But one of her greatest passions is higher education.

“I have been privileged to work alongside and learn from many college presidents throughout my career,” she said. “But I’ve missed campus life and the interactions with students. I’ve also missed working alongside faculty and supporting scholarship.

“I am intrigued to work with the board and faculty to ensure that LaGrange’s programs are positioned to give students the foundation to live extraordinary lives.”


Campus notes

Honors Day is going online this year. The event will have its own page on the college’s website that will be available at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The site will feature videos from each presenter, along with pull-down tabs for the winners. The undergraduate research poster session will be linked from there and also featured on the website. The event also opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Visitors can go to the site and choose LaGrange College in the pull-down menu. You can either browse all submissions or go directly to the topics that interest you. For more information about the poster session, contact Dr. Christi Hu at Please note that these sites will not be available until 10 a.m. Wednesday.


Congrats to LC Miracle, a group of students dedicated to raising money and awareness for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Not letting COVID-19 derail its plans, the organization raised $17,125 in last week's Virtual Dance Marathon.


The Wilkinson Family Servant Scholars have completed a video of their Senior Colloquium, “Beyond the Book.” The project encouraged literacy in the community. 





Salute to outstanding Panthers: Pitcher J.R. Robinson posted a 4-1 record for the Panthers. Robinson tied for the most wins in the USA South conference and was fifth with a 1.36 earned run average. He tied for second in the NCAA Division III statistics with the four wins. Robinson led the team with 33 innings pitched and was second with 22 strikeouts.


Video of the week

With assistance from the LaGrange College Office of Global Engagement, Samantha James was able to spend a month teaching in Capetown, South Africa.


In the headlines

LaGrange College’s newest president is only second woman to hold the job in 190 years – Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, April 29, 2020

LaGrange College Sports Management Club puts on 2K tournament for COVID-19 relief funds – WLTZ First News, April 29, 2020

LaGrange College tips off online tournament to support COVID-19 relief – WRBL TV, Columbus, April 29, 2020

Students give back through video game tournament – LaGrange Daily News, April 27, 2020


No links available

Baxter named LaGrange College president – Troup County News, May 1, 2020

LaGrange College gets shout-out – LaGrange Daily News, April 29, 2020

LaGrange College names Susanna Baxter as new president – LaGrange Daily News, April 28, 2020

Category: Students, Academics, College, Community, Faculty

Keywords: president Baxter sports higher education

Press Contact

Lindy Oller

Last updated: 05/01/2020