Outstanding Alumni plaque at LaGrange College

Accomplished alumni to be honored

Outstanding alumni will be recognized this weekend during LaGrange College’s homecoming festivities.

Winners of the Shackelford Alumni Achievement Award are Bill Gambill ’67 of Cartersville; Dr. Stephanie Gordy ’98 of Houston, Texas; the Rev. Dr. Alex Harris ’02 of Tampa, Florida; and Layne Williams ’74 of Marietta.

Dr. Benjamin Howard Williamson ’09 of Yorkville, New York, is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Bill GambillGambill earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education at LaGrange College, a master’s in education administration and supervision from Auburn University and has done post-graduate work at Florida State University.

He is retired from the Georgia Department of Education as deputy state superintendent of schools. As deputy superintendent for finance and technology, he had the primary responsibility for an $8 billion budget that included the dissemination of all state and federal funds to local school systems and the financial operation of all offices within the Georgia Department of Education. 

Dr. Stephanie GordyDr. Gordy graduated summa cum laude from LaGrange College with a degree in Biology, and earned her medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon. She did her internship and residency in general surgery at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah and a fellowship in surgical critical care at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. She is double boarded in general surgery and surgical critical care.

She practices acute care surgery at Ben Taub Hospital, one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in the country. She is the director of Baylor College of Medicine’s surgery sub-internship and the associate director of the surgery clerkship.

Dr. Alex HarrisDr. Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Services/Sociology and Psychology at LaGrange College, a master’s in social work in community organizing and strategic planning from Boston University School of Social Work in Massachusetts, a master’s in theological studies in ethics from Boston University School of Theology, extended graduate credits in adolescent counseling from Harvard University Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a doctorate in educational organization leadership and curriculum from Nova Southeastern University, Fischer School of Education in Miami, Florida.

He is cofounder and chief operating officer for the Arts Conservatory for Teens in Tampa, Florida. He also is principal owner of Three Oak Doors Enterprise, a company for music publishing, licensing and creative consulting, as well as a part-time professor of humanities and founder of the Teen Arts, Culture and Careers Festival at University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Layne WilliamsWilliams earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from LaGrange College. He has been golf administrator and senior director for rules and competitions for the Georgia State Golf Association since 1987, responsible for conducting state golf championships and national qualifying events for amateur golf in the state of Georgia.

Williams won the 2001 GAMMA Award for best essay for an article submitted to Golf Georgia magazine.  He also won the United States Golf Association’s Ike Granger Award in 2015 for distinguished service and leadership, and was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.

Dr. Benjamin WilliamsonDr. Williamson earned a bachelor’s in Chemistry from LaGrange College and a doctorate in pharmacy (medicinal chemistry) from the University of Iowa.

He is an assistant professor of chemistry at Utica College in Utica, New York. He also researches synthetic organic chemistry method development, the design and synthesis of small-molecule pharmaceuticals and the synthesis of molecule auxiliaries to be used in peptide ligation.

The Shackelford Award recipients and the Outstanding Young Alumnus will be honored today at a luncheon, while honorary alumni winners Dr. Robert Copeland, Dr. Brenda Thomas and Kirby McCartney will be recognized at a breakfast Saturday morning.

Cultural Enrichment events

  • Playing It Forward jazz concert, 7 p.m., Beason Recital Hall, West Side
  • Cinema and Native Americans: Wind River, 6:30 p.m., Corn Auditorium, Lewis Library
  • Minors are Major: How a Minor Helps with Careers and Graduate School, 11:15 a.m. Dickson Assembly Room
  • Business, Technology and Thinking as a Historian, 6 p.m., Callaway Academic Building, Room 222
  • Forgetting Emotionally Negative Memories, 11:15 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room
  • Giving Back Isn’t Scary, 11:15 a.m., The Boopie

In the headlines

Baldwin grads take stage in LaGrange musical – The Union-Recorder (Milledgeville), Oct. 18, 2018

Breakthrough season for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, Oct. 15, 2018

Georgia Lt. Gov. candidate speaks at LaGrange College – Valley Times-News, Oct. 10, 2018

Panthers soar on Sunday – LaGrange Daily News, Oct. 16, 2018

Solid finish for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, Oct. 17, 2018

LaGrange College golf takes eighth place in tournament – Troup County News, Oct. 19, 2018

Video of the Week



Football players during game

The LaGrange football team defeated Greensboro 43-16 last Sunday. Sophomore wide receiver Tyler Benjamin had four catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers (2-4, 1-2 USA South) host Maryville for Homecoming 2018 on Saturday at Callaway Stadium. Kickoff is 2 p.m.

Volleyball team celebration

The Panthers (7-9, 5-4 USA South) split USA South matches with Piedmont and Covenant last Saturday. Senior Mimi Loftus had a total of 31 kills in the two matches, including a career-high 17 in a 3-2 loss to Covenant. The Panthers host Maryville and Brevard as part of a USA South tri-match Sunday in Richter Gym beginning at 10 a.m.

Cross country runner during a race

Cross Country
The LC cross country teams competed at the Berry Invitational last Saturday. Freshmen Bryan Storie and Holly Moreland were the top finishers for the Panthers. The teams will run in the USA South Championships Oct. 26 in Maryville, Tennessee.

Golf player swinging club

Sophomore Sam Rogers tied for seventh in the individual standings as the LC golf team tied for eighth at the Golfweek Fall Invitational in Miramar, Florida. The Panthers close out their fall schedule at the Chick-fil-A Invitational in Rome, Georgia, on Monday and Tuesday.

Men's soccer player during game

Men’s soccer
The Panthers (9-6, 4-5 USA South) lost 3-0 at Covenant on Wednesday. LC will play USA South games at Averett on Saturday and at Greensboro on Sunday.

Women's soccer player during game

Women’s soccer
The Panthers (4-8-1, 1-5 USA South) lost USA South contests to Brevard and Covenant last Friday and Saturday. The Panthers host Maryville in a USA South game Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.

Campus notes

Homecoming 2018 kicks off today with an open house at Suber Archives from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the 35th annual Tom Duckett Golf Tournament at Highland Country Club and the Alumni Awards luncheon in Dickson Assembly Room. The Flashback Friday Party will be from 6:30 until 11 p.m. at Wild Leap Brewery’s Overlook Plaza, two blocks south of Lafayette Square. Featuring food trucks, live music and corn hole.  Admission is free. Vendors will feature their own menus and will handle cash and card transactions at their individual tent/food trucks. Acoustic artist Stoney Dennis ’07 will perform at 5 p.m., followed by Cougar Love at 6:30 p.m. and The Reasons Why at 8:30 p.m. A jazz concert featuring JTWildman-South will be at 7 p.m. in Beason Recital Hall at West Side. Visit the homecoming website to learn about all the fun activities planned for the weekend.

Dr. John Cook, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, recently published a book, “Empty Tomb, Resurrection, and Apotheosis,” with Mohr Siebeck in Tübingen.

The fall Service Saturday will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Oct. 27. Volunteers will be working with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper on a lake cleanup. CRK is an independent environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin.  Meet in the Dickson Assembly Room in Turner Hall at 8:45 a.m. for a brief orientation led by the CRK staff.  At 9 a.m., the group will divide into teams and travel to designated locations.   Lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the service project. Students, faculty and staff can register for Service Saturday here. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ServiceSaturday2018

Author Larry Williamson will discuss his four historical novels set in East Alabama during the Creek Indian Wars at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at LaGrange Memorial Library.

A GRE practice test will be given at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the Multimedia Room in Lewis Library. To register, email CareerCenter@lagrange.edu.

JTWildman-South, a traditional jazz band, will be in concert tonight at 7 p.m. in Beason Recital Hall in West Side. Free.