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College president announces plans to retire

November 04, 2019
LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander has announced his intention to retire next year, after completing 11 years of service with the institution.

“We are closing out a very successful strategic plan and a very fruitful fundraising and building program, highlighted by the new Hudson Lab Sciences Building,” McAlexander said. “As the college approaches its 200th birthday and I will celebrate my 67th, I have decided to make way for a new leader who will prepare the institution to enter its third century.

“Celeste and I count it an honor to have served at this wonderful place during a period of strong growth. We are indebted to our faculty and staff for their hard work and commitment, and to the institution’s many volunteers, alumni and friends for their generosity and support.”

Bobby Carmichael, Chair of the Board of Trustees, expressed his appreciation for McAlexander’s years of leadership.

“I am thankful that President McAlexander came our way more than 10 years ago,” Carmichael said. “He and first lady Celeste Myall have worked tirelessly to take LaGrange College to the next level, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their selfless service.”

Among the projects accomplished during their time on campus, he cited travel vouchers for students to enjoy study abroad experiences, the growth of undergraduate research, creation of the Wilkinson Family Servant Scholars Program and LIFT (Leaders Inspired for Tomorrow), the launch of online classes and the 3D Journeys program and the establishment of new academic programs like Exercise Science, Animation, Musical Theatre and Digital Creative Media and Film, along with master’s degrees in Strength and Conditioning and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Physical plant improvements under McAlexander’s tenure include the renovation of Lamar Dodd Art Center, Price Theater and Callaway Science Building; the purchase and renovation of West Side; the addition of the Broad Street Apartments; and the construction of Hudson Lab Sciences Building—all accomplished largely due to the successful completion of a $70 million-plus fundraising effort.

Also active in the community, McAlexander helped launch the local Racial Trustbuilding Initiative and has served on the board of the Troup County Strategic Planning Council and as president of the LaGrange Rotary Club.

Looking ahead, Carmichael said that a committee representative of all campus constituencies will be quickly formed to begin the search for a successor. A date for the transition has not been set.

“We will find the right person to lead LaGrange College into the future,” he said. “In the meantime, please join me in expressing your appreciation to Dan and Celeste as they, and we, prepare for this transition.”

Georgia’s oldest private institution of higher learning, LaGrange College is consistently ranked among the South’s top colleges by U.S. News & World Report. A four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, LaGrange offers more than 70 areas of study with an emphasis on global engagement and service.

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