Moroccan mosque entrance

Professor to bring passion for history to 3D lecture

Dr. Kevin Shirley believes a successful teacher brings passion and enthusiasm to class along with books and knowledge.

“If the professor gets excited, the students get excited,” said Dr. Shirley, a Professor of History who has been getting students excited at LaGrange College for more than two decades.

On Feb. 25, he will bring his passion for the past to the 3D Journeys podium as guest speaker for “Magic of Morocco,” the travel/lecture series now in its ninth year.  It’s a role he knows well.  A medievalist who teaches a broad range of courses, Dr. Shirley’s presentations on Ireland, Croatia and Sicily were highlights of previous 3D series.

“Dr. Shirley makes history come alive,” said Kay Durand, a volunteer on the 3D Journeys committee.  “He brings so much enthusiasm to his lectures, and I not only learn but am entertained.”

Dr. Shirley’s eagerness to hook listeners is reflected in the unusual title of his talk: “As Close as the Vein in your Neck.”

It’s from a story told by Ibn Buttata, a famous Moroccan traveler and chronicler from medieval times. The saying, Dr. Shirley explains, is drawn directly from the Koran and uses the position of the carotid artery to describe the intimate connection between God and man.

“There’s a powerful story to be told about Islam and Morocco,” Dr. Shirley said. “Islam in Morocco is as dynamic and living a faith tradition as it is anywhere else in the world, and we will try to explore some of that diversity, complexity and history.”

He aims to give historical context and an appreciation for the “complex story” that is Morocco,  an ancient and still-evolving kingdom  in a ruggedly beautiful North African setting that, on a clear day, can be glimpsed across the Mediterranean from Spain.

Dr. Shirley said he hopes that, in a small way, the 3D Journeys lecture will show that history is far more than dates, names and places, but rather “the fabric and fiber of human experience.”

“History is a living, breathing thing,” Dr. Shirley said.  “It seems alive because it is alive.”

About the 3D Journeys series:  Lectures are free and held at 10 a.m. on the fourth Monday of January through April in the Dickson Assembly Room in Turner Hall.  Parking is available at Sunny Gables Alumni House, 910 Broad St., with shuttle service to the door.

An optional Dutch treat lunch is available in Pitts Dining Hall following each lecture.


Cultural Enrichment events


  • Film, “13th,” 7 p.m., Corn Auditorium


  • How a religion scholar can become a human rights activist, 11:15 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room
  • Study Away presentation: Picturing Greece, the Birth of Drama and A Grecian Odyssey; 11:15 a.m., Bailey Room
  • Studies of illuminated manuscripts of the European Middle Ages, 6 p.m., Callaway Academic Building Room 218


  • Internships 101, 11:15 a.m., Corn Auditorium
  • Pharmacy as a career, 11:15 a.m., Jolly Room, Callaway Science Building Room 104
  • Film: “BlacKKKlansman,” 7 p.m., Corn Auditorium.


In the headlines

Panthers open tournament play – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 13, 2019

Hot-shooting Panthers top Hawks – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 13, 2019

Panthers tangle with Scots – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 13, 2019

Memorable senior day as Panthers soar past Scots – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 5, 2019

Panthers split pair of games – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 12, 2019

Panthers open with a win – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 9-10

Season ends for Panthers – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 14, 2019

Panthers soar past Hawks – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 14, 2019

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Video of the Week



Men's basketball goes for the basket

Men’s basketball
The Panthers (16-8, 12-5 USA South) got 23 points from Julian Cameron and another 20 from Jamison McCray to defeat visiting Huntingdon 85-71 in Mariotti Gym on Wednesday. Travis Thompson had a double-double of 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Women's basketball vs. Maryville

Women’s basketball
The 2018-19 season for the Panthers (13-13) ended with a 63-53 loss at Maryville in the first round of the USA South Tournament on Wednesday. Senior Marilauren Farr broke the school career record for rebounds in her last game. She finished her LC career with 729 rebounds and 1,152 points.

Swimmer in the pool

The Panther swim teams concluded their 2018-19 season at the Sun Coast Swimming Conference meet in Orlando, Florida. The men finished fourth with David Edmondson as the top points scorer for both Panther teams. Edmondson placed sixth in the 200-yard individual medley on the first day of the meet, breaking the school record.

Baseball pitcher on the mound

Emory scored in its last at-bat to edge the Panthers (2-2) 2-1 in Atlanta on Wednesday. McKinley Erves had two of LC’s four hits in the game. Gibson Bittner allowed a run in 5-2/3 innings pitched.


Upcoming sporting events

Friday, Feb. 15
Baseball vs. Virginia Wesleyan (2), Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 2 and 5 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 16
Baseball vs. Virginia Wesleyan, Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 2 p.m.
Men’s basketball vs. Piedmont (Senior Day), Mariotti Gym, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 19
Baseball vs. Berry,  Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 5 p.m.
Men’s basketball at USA South Tournament, Opponent TBA, Time TBA


Campus notes

The college’s Sustainability Council and Campus Circles will be planting a tree for Georgia Arbor Day at 3:30 p.m. today (Friday) in the campus garden area behind Manget Hall.

The Diverse Power Grand Prix will be held on campus Feb. 23 in conjunction with GreenpowerUSA, an organization whose objective is to advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people. GreenpowerUSA runs engineering challenges for schools based around designing and building a single-seat, electric-powered race car. The races will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and will feature more than 30 middle school and high school teams from as far away as Pennsylvania. For more information, contact local race director Chip Giles at

Dr. Toni Anderson, Coordinator of the Music Program, was interviewed as a scholar on the Fisk Jubilee Singers for a new PBS series entitled “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War.” The series is narrated by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and premiers this spring. 

Dr. Elizabeth Appleby, Associate Professor of French, gave a presentation entitled “Using Technology to Increase Motivation and Broaden Perspectives in the Foreign Language Classroom” at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ annual convention in November. She also spent the summer in an intensive Japanese language program at Washington University of St. Louis.

Cindi Bearden, Associate Professor of Accountancy, hosted the 2018 regional conference of the organization at Callaway Gardens in October. She is also chairing the accreditation self-study report for LaGrange College’s Business and Accountancy programs with that organization. The report is due this month.

Dr. Chris Bellon, Chair of the Exercise Science Department, recently published one peer-reviewed journal article as lead author in the “Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,” co-authored an additional peer-reviewed journal article in “Sports Medicine,” and provided three presentations at regional and national strength and conditioning coaches conferences.