Accreditation group honors finance officer

Accreditation group honors finance officer

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2020

Deborah Hall honored by accreditation board

Deborah Hall, Vice President for Finance and Operations, has been honored by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She received the Carol A. Luthman Meritorious Service Award during the organization’s virtual conference this week. 

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.  

“This award recognizes faithful and dedicated service to SACSCOC and support of its activities over a sustained period of time,” said Dr. G. David Johnson, Chair of the SACSCOC board of trustees and provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of South Alabama. “The honorees have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the accreditation processes in various volunteer capacities.”   

When announcing the award recipients, Johnson had high praise for Hall. 

“She is the type of finance professional you would want to review your books,” he said. “Despite the number of pages or complexity involved, she’s always willing to assist her peers.”  

During her years with SACSCOC, Hall visited 15 sites to review the institutions’ finances as part of the accreditation process. She also serves as a special reader with the Committee on Compliance and Reports from 2016-2020. 

Hall came to LaGrange in 2018 after serving as VP for business and finance at Brevard College for 25 years. 

At LaGrange, she manages the finances of the college, reports to the President, balances the budget and oversees Facilities and Human Resources. 

 In a normal year, budgets are built around the projected enrollment for the fall. But that number isn’t solid at the time budgets are set. 

“We don’t know for sure how many students we have until school actually starts, so we are working with a moving target,” she saidIt’s that way throughout higher education.” 

Hall’s job became even more complicated when COVID-19 hit. 

“All of us found ourselves in an environment that we had never experienced before,” she said. 

The college received federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act, she said, but that wasn’t enough to cover all the extra expenses brought on by COVID. 

She said one of the lessons learned during this time is how to be flexible. 

“We’ve all had to look at what we do and find a way to cut costs,” she said. “This is never a pleasant thing to do, but our faculty and staff have worked hard to make that happen.” 

Hall said she is especially grateful for her team in the Business Office, National and Human Resources. 

“Not only were there financial issues for everyone, but we had to keep in mind the emotional impact as well,” she said. “Each one of us played a role in keeping faculty, staff and students safe and healthy. It’s the day-to-day operations that keep us going.” 

President Susanna Baxter said Hall’s award was well deserved. 

“Deb has unselfishly served not only this institution but also the accreditation board,” she said. “Her expertise has been invaluable during these unprecedented times.” 

Hall said she was honored to receive the SACSCOC award. 

“To be a peer evaluator and reader for SACSCOC has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career,” she said. 

Campus notes  


Congratulations to Melanie Prater 20 for placing third at the Georgia Undergraduate in Psychology conference in June. Thregional conference is offered every year, and LC students always participate, said Dr. Christi Hu, Program Coordinator of Psychological SciencesWe present alongside institutions like Kennesaw State University, Young Harris College, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Emory University, Columbus State University and many others. This is our first win at the conference. Watch Prater’s presentation, “The expectations of sex education curriculums from the adult population,” here. 

Do you still need that special stocking stuffer? There are only a few LC masks left, so get yours before they’re gone. The cost is $15, with $10 counting as a gift to help LaGrange students, or two for $25, with $15 going as a gift. Two sizes are available – S/M and L/XL.  Visit for more info. 

Several LaGrange College students had their research published in the Newnan Times-Herald in a column, Evidence that the Electoral College Has Been Historically Unfair, by Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political ScienceTia Braxton, Connor Allen, Shawn Bailey, Gavin Battle, Kristina Calixto, Christen Copeland, Andrew Cunningham, Madison Demkowski, Thomas Emmons, DeQueze Fryer, Jayea Gladden, Luke Griffin, Andrew Harris, Fredrick Jones, Kat Juskus, Hunter Norris, Andrew Padovano, William Roberts, Karson Troth, Alexander Tucker, Luke Underhill, Mathias Vera, Tony Villanacci and Tyson Wilson did the research that contributed to the article written by Political Science Professor John A. Tures, published in the Newnan Times-Herald



Not only did LaGrange offer Blake Alford ’14, M’17, Ed.S.’19 a path to success as an educator, it also gave her a chance to play tennis on a collegiate level. 

Staff and faculty January birthdays 

3 – Bill McCoy 

Rachel Messerly 

6 – Lisa Farrow 

Jeff Geeter 

Leslie Sebaugh 

8 – Earl Chambers 

Jennifer Claybrook 

10 – Susanna Baxter 

14 – Bianey Diaz 

15 – Matthew Strother 

17 – Gus McMurray 

Lanora Yates 

19 – Scott Mularz 

22 – Rebecca Nicks 

31 – Marcia Brown 

Video of the Week 

 Erika Hill performs during last weekend’s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.


The complete performance is available on the college’s YouTube channel through December.  


In the headlines 

Recent graduate starts organization to clean up West Point Lake access areas– LaGrange Daily News, Dec. 10, 2020 

College service to proceed – LaGrange Daily News, Dec. 4, 2020 

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Category: College

Keywords: Hall accreditation SACSCOC

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 12/11/2020