LIFT empowers students to lead with confidence

LIFT empowers students to lead with confidence

Posted on Friday, November 10, 2023

Freshmen participate in Outward Bound trip

While hiking through the North Carolina mountains lugging a 50-pound backpack, freshman LIFT (Leaders Inspired for Tomorrow) member Delacey Wilkerson found her inner strength and overcame obstacles holding her back.

“I learned I am capable of more than I realize,” she said.

Over the summer, Wilkerson and nine other freshmen in her cohort took part in a four-day Outward Bound experience that taught them how to navigate the wilderness.

“While this trip was mentally and physically challenging, it opened my eyes to my true capabilities,” Wilkerson said.

Sophomore Jenna Pittman said the Outward Bound trip provided her with the opportunity to bond with students she would interact with on campus.

“It helped me tremendously in adjusting to life at LaGrange College socially and academically,” she said. “Without LIFT, I wouldn’t be the strong, independent and fearless leader I am today.”

In the beginning

Ted Beason H’16, who co-founded LIFT with his wife Ann H’14 in 2013, said their son Amos inspired them to start the program.

“At the time, my son was on the board and later became chairman of the Outward Bound School in North Carolina,” he said. “My wife and I were fascinated with the possibilities of the program. So, after having conversations with LC’s Dean of Students, we had our first cohort.”

The leadership development program, which admits 10 freshmen each year, is the college’s most prestigious honor for entering students. Participants must submit a leadership/service resume and a short essay that describes a prominent leader in their life. They are selected by a committee of college faculty and staff.

“The LIFT program has not only gifted me the opportunity to discover and improve my leadership qualities, but it has also encouraged personal growth and sincere friendship,” said freshman Florinda Galbreath. “The people I’ve met and the things I have learned have been extremely valuable.”

Jacob Gaetanos ’17, a member of the inaugural LIFT class, said the program helped shape him into the person he is today.

“LIFT pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and learn about myself and develop into the kind of person I wanted to be,” he said. “It helped me learn how to handle situations and work better as a member of a team.”

Emily Arnold ’17, who was in LIFT with Gaetanos, said the program helped her realize her leadership potential.

“My participation in the program helped prepare me to be a member of SGA, SAC, Phi Mu executive board, and an athletic team captain during my undergraduate years on campus,” she said. “Those combined experiences have prepared me for my current role as an elementary school teacher and volleyball coach.”

Emphasis on service

During the school year, LIFT members participate in service projects as well as monthly leadership sessions that feature experiential learning activities.

Freshman Jala Williams, who is on the Cheerleading team with Wilkerson, said LIFT encouraged her to build relationships with people on campus and in her community.

“The program has given me the confidence to become a Student Ambassador and make meaningful connections with different families and potential students,” she said.

Senior and former LIFT member Jo Shoger said her experiences in the program helped her grow as a leader on campus.

“I was taught different leadership styles and learned a lot from hearing about the drive and skills that took people to do incredible things in our community,” she said. “I had people who invested in me, and it gave me an outlet to help invest in others and myself in ways that I had not before. It introduced me to leadership in a way that I have used firsthand as a Servant Scholar.”

Junior Kenzie Hornsby, who also participates in Servant Scholars, said the LIFT program taught her how to serve and lead others.

“This program helped me develop confidence in myself and in my leadership capabilities that I did not know I could ever have,” she said. “I now hold numerous leadership positions on campus in various organizations ranging from Greek Life to Athletics and everything in between. LIFT taught me how to believe in myself so that I can help others do the same, and that is a lesson for which I will forever be grateful.”

Beason said it brings him joy to see students who have been impacted by the program.

“I am excited about the people I have been able to meet,” he said. “When they go through their time in the program at LaGrange College, they become leaders, and they band together and make friendships in this experience that causes them to have a real impact on campus.”


Campus NotesStudents earn membership in honors society

  • Seven students were recently inducted into Psi Chi, the international psychology honors society, at the LC Chapel. Inductees represent students who have excelled in their study and application of psychology, have completed rigorous courses and are in the top 35% of their class. The 2023-24 inductees are, from left, Mayla Daniel ’25, Ja'Lisa Willis ’25, Jonyka Tenney ’24, Kenzie Hornsby ’25, Alexa Gonzalez ’25, Hannah Godfrey ’24 and Maggie Dattilo ’24. Psychological Science faculty Dr. Marci DeRamus, assistant professor and Psi Chi advisor, and Dr. Karen Walker, associate professor, hosted the ceremony.
  • Retired Psychological Science Professor Dr. Charles Kraemer ’71 will be the featured speaker for the faculty lecture series on Monday, Nov 13. His presentation will give an overview of current thinking about the structure and function of memory.
  • Retired English Professor John Williams will give a presentation at LaGrange Memorial Library on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. He will talk about his latest novel “End Times.”
  • The deadline to apply for faculty-led study away courses for Maymester and Summer 2024 will be Friday, Nov. 17. For more information, visit the Global Engagement website.


Collegiate Enrichment Events

Health and Wellness Fair

Tuesday, Nov. 14

11 a.m., Caswell Plaza

  • Nursing students will present various health-related topics that are specific to college students.

Technē Reflected-Artist Talk

Tuesday, Nov. 14

11:10 a.m., Lamar Dodd Art Center

  • Artists Forrest DeBlois (Assistant Registrar), Yson DeBlois (Assistant Professor-Film & Media Arts), and Robby Toles (Assistant Professor-Art & Design) will give talks and answer questions about their work and art practice.

Bret Bryant: “Unlocking Your Future: Lifelong Learning, Skills and Versatility of Life Insurance”

Tuesday, Nov. 14

11:15 a.m., Whorton Room, Third Floor, Smith Hall

  • Bret Bryant from New York Life will discuss the importance of insurance and working in the field.

Sierra Dancy ’24: My Study Away Experience

Tuesday, Nov. 14

11:15 a.m., Corn Auditorium

  • In celebration of International Education Week, senior Sierra Dancy will give a presentation on her study away experience last summer at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

“Silent Sky”

Flyer for fall Theatre drama

Wednesday, Nov. 15-Friday, Nov. 17

7 p.m. (Wednesday-Thursday), 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. (Friday), Price Theater

  • Called "startling, sheer magic,” this play set in 1900 is the story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt and her female colleagues who discovered how to chart the stars at a time when women's ideas were dismissed and men claimed credit for them.

SGA Campus Clean-Up

Thursday, Nov. 16

11 a.m., Smith Hall

  • Students are encouraged to join the Student Government Association in a campus clean-up before Thanksgiving break.

Funding Study Abroad

Thursday, Nov. 16

11:15 a.m., Lewis Library Multimedia Classroom

  • Jackie Belcher, Director of Financial Aid, and Michele Raphoon, Program Coordinator for Global Engagement, will walk students through the loans, grants and scholarships that are available to help pay for their international experiences.

Stress Less: The Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Thursday, Nov. 16

11:15 a.m., Suber Archives (Lewis Library First Floor)

  • Felecia Moore, Interim Director of Lewis Library, will discuss the art of journaling and the top benefits of keeping a diary. Students will also be given a free journal.


Video of the Week

"Silent Sky" at Price Theater Nov. 15, 16 & 17

The play tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, who, in 1895, became a volunteer assistant in the Harvard Observatory. She turned the heavens into a three-dimensional map while balancing her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love.



Cross Country

CCS conference meet

The Panthers will compete in the NCAA regional tournament on Saturday, Nov. 11 (tomorrow).


CCS conference tournament

LaGrange lost 3-0 to Huntingdon in the CCS postseason tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 7. This closes out the 2023 season.

Player named to CCS team

Sophomore Meredith Orton was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.

Women’s Basketball

Team season opener at home

The Panthers will begin their season in the CCS-SAA home tournament. The team faces Berry at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, and Sewanee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.

Men’s Basketball

Season tournament

LaGrange opened the season against Birmingham-Southern at home and won 98-85 on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The team will play Centenary on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. and then Millsaps on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. Both games are being held in Montgomery, Alabama.


Panther Calendar

(Please note that schedules may change due to circumstances beyond our control. Please check to confirm.)

Saturday, Nov. 11 – Cross Country at NCAA DIII South Regional, 11 a.m., Rome, Georgia

Saturday, Nov. 11 – Women’s Basketball (Home) vs. Berry, 4 p.m., Mariotti Gym

Saturday, Nov. 11 – Men’s Basketball vs. Millsaps (@Huntingdon), 6 p.m., Montgomery, Alabama

Sunday, Nov. 12 – Men’s Basketball vs. Centenary (@Huntingdon), 3 p.m., Montgomery, Alabama

Sunday, Nov. 12 – Women’s Basketball (Home) vs. Sewanee, 3 p.m., Mariotti Gym

Tuesday, Nov. 14 – Women’s Basketball at Emory, 6 p.m., Atlanta, Georgia


In the Headlines

Category: Service, College, Students

Keywords: Leadership, Education

Press Contact

Lindy Oller

Last updated: 11/10/2023