Saving the planet and conserving energy is a good idea on general principle, especially  this holiday. Brenau paid $632,053.63 for electricity last year and it goes without saying that money spent on electricity is money that cannot be spent on more mission-urgent needs.

Please use good judgement on ways to close down your office. Here are three areas that might “spark” some ideas:

  1. Phantoms: Items that are left plugged in often still draw electricity. Look for opportunities to unplug.
  2. Heating and Lights: Adjust temperature settings if possible, make sure windows are shut and look for ways to keep the heat in. Turn off all lights.
  3. IT: Please turn off computers unless you plan to access them remotely from home. Turn off desktop printers and anything that uses power, including network (shared) printers.

Have a green holiday! Brenau, and the planet, will be better for it.


Condolences to long-time Brenau employee Tommy Smallwood and family for the loss of his mother, Frankie (Brownie) Smallwood, 89, of Gainesville who died on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The family will receive friends at Little & Davenport Funeral Home on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19 at Dewberry Baptist Church No. 2. Mrs. Smallwood will lie in state at the church from 1:30 p.m. until the service hour.

Born in Gainesville on Sept. 16, 1925, Mrs. Smallwood was the daughter of the late Harve and Lillie Mae Harrison Ingram. She was a lunch room manager for the Hall County School System. Mrs. Smallwood was a member of Dewberry Baptist Church No. 2. Mrs. Smallwood is survived by her husband, Rev. Howell “Hal” Smallwood member of Dewberry Baptist Church No. 2 and a 60 year Mason with a number of degrees; sons and daughters-in-law Dan and LaJune Smallwood, Marty and Sharon Smallwood, Sr., Tommy and Sonya Smallwood all of Gainesville; grandchildren Kelli Forrester, Dana Rockwell, Kimberly Pearson, Marty Smallwood, Jr., Cresha Hollis; great-grandchildren Chancey, Troy, Mackenna, Brody, Gage, Jaxon, Jordyn and a host of other relatives.

Read the full obituary and leave online condolences at

The Office of Human Resources has published the January 2015 (PDF) newsletter containing details about the tuition waiver change, new insurance and  important dates. Download PDF at

891 WBCX XMAS WREATH 120914Brenau’s Gainesville-based 89.1 WBCX will temporarily be off the air sporadically this week due to the installation of necessary new wiring.  During the infrequent times WBCX is off the air listeners may stream WBCX online at to hear Sounds of the Season.

Congratulations Brenau faculty and staff! You made history this year. For the first time, 100 percent of the Brenau full-time, ¾-time and ½-time employees stepped up to support the  2014-15 Campus Campaign by pledging or donating individual gifts that total close to $100,000.

Senior Vice President and CFO David Barnett  announced the historic achievement at the annual faculty-staff holiday party at the Brenau Downtown Center Dec. 15. “I congratulate you on this wonderful achievement, which will help Brenau as it continues its mission of providing quality educational opportunities to students.”

Matt Thomas, vice president for external relations and overseer of the ongoing $40 million ForeverGold capital campaign, said the achievement is significant on another level: other prospective donors, specifically foundations and financial support organizations, like to see significant numbers of donors, no matter the size of their gifts, among employees of institutions. If people who work for a university do not believe in it enough to support it financially, he said, how can you expect others to?

“This Campus Campaign represents our true campus spirit,” Thomas said. “This was our opportunity to support our passion, the programs that impact our lives, and our students’ lives that we impact daily. Our dollars are used to fund scholarships, attend conferences, purchase classroom equipment, and ensure that more students fulfill their dreams of becoming Brenau graduates. Through our contributions together we will build a stronger Brenau.”

Barnett said the university Board of Trustees was “thrilled” by the 100 percent faculty-staff support milestone.

“Speaking for the university administration,” Barnett said, “we are grateful to each of you for leading the way in supporting Brenau this year.”


Called by one of her peers “a person who eats and breathes Brenau,” Administrative Assistant to the Provost and Adjunct Faculty Coordinator Kathy Goodman received the top award that each fall Brenau University employees bestow on colleagues for outstanding performance and collegiality.

Goodman started working for Brenau in 2008 as a half-time employee primarily supporting the university’s part-time faculty members. But in her role that was expanded to full-time a year later, she is the person who arguably has the most contact with all faculty members throughout the university on a day-to-day basis.

Unlike other awards, the Hagerman-Thompson Staff Excellence Award is given to a recipient selected by his/her peers. The award is named for two beloved former staff members: Dr. Ron Hagerman, who was director of institutional research at Brenau from 1995 until his death in 2004; and Ione Thompson, a senior staff member at Brenau’s Child Development Center who died in 2008, and was a winner of one of the earliest staff awards before it bore her name.

Criteria for the award include five years of continuous full-time service to the university and a high standard of performance. There is no open nomination and voting scenario; employees individually nominate a person of their choice with testimonial comments and overall results are tallied in secret by the selection committee.

This was the first year that Goodman was eligible for consideration. Testimonials by those who nominated her attested to her continuous commitment and excellence to Brenau through her great attitude while keeping up with a large workload and her dedication to helping others.

“She eats and breathes Brenau,” said one nominator. “From my first meeting with Kathy, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and professionalism. I thought to myself that I wanted to be just like Kathy and have the same upbeat attitude.” Another colleague said, “She’s a joy to work with – no matter the issue.” Another added that “because of her attentiveness, adjuncts are in constant contact and feel they are a part of Brenau.”

Goodman has two daughters who attend Brenau: Abbey, as junior mass communication major, and Ellen, a senior biology major. Goodman has been designated as interim campus director for the Brenau operation in Jacksonville, which is pending approval by Florida state government education officials.


Please remember to visit the Staff Development Committee’s silent auction if you are attending Brenau Holiday Party at the Downtown Center in Gainesville on Monday, Dec. 15. You can pay for your auction items with cash, checks or credit cards. The SDC will also be holding a 50/50 raffle during check-in at the auction. Raffle tickets will be $2 each or $5 for three.  Raffle tickets must be purchased with cash. Happy holidays from everyone at the SDC.

The Brenau IT department recently completed an update of the Intranet to a new design and platform. The Intranet has used the same design and technology for roughly the past eight years and this change comes with many advancements.

  • Better performance (site uses continuously updated technology and is fully optimized for speed)
  • Consistent branding (site themes can now be synchronized between internal and external Brenau sites giving a more seamless browsing experience)
  • Better uptime (site is hosted externally so outages in Gainesville will not affect Intranet access for external users)
  • Better security (external hosting also prevents vulnerabilities affecting the internal network)
  • Mobile ready (the new site is mobile-ready and adjusts its presentation to match smartphones and tablets when applicable)
  • Easier authentication (some links, like human resources, will require you to authenticate but you can now use your Google email account to access those links with a single click rather than having to use your network credentials)
If you have any challenges or suggestions please contact the Helpdesk at or via the links on the Intranet.
Please keep in mind that some links may have changed so if you are having trouble accessing an old link, visit and follow the links from there to get where you need to go.

Make reservations to attend Brenau University’s Annual Research Symposium Friday, April 10, 2015, at Brenau East from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This information is being provided now so the event can be included in faculty spring syllabi for student abstract submission and/or attendance.

We will make the call for abstracts in early Jan. 2015. For more information please contact Kimberly Dean at

WonderfulLifeOpening night of Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s live radio play of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is sold out, but there are still good seats for the other seven performances at Brenau’s Downtown Center Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 25-27 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults. Call  678-717-3624 or order tickets online

GTA and WDUN celebrate 35 years of hometown theater and 65 years of hometown radio with this beloved American holiday classic. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is gloriously presented as a live 1949 radio broadcast complete with Christmas carols, live sound effects and commercial jingles. GTA’s ensemble of six brilliant actors brings George Bailey and the well-loved citizens of Bedford Falls to life in a story of love, regret and the humbling and powerful beauty of community.

The Gainesville Theatre Alliance is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between Brenau University, the University of North Georgia, theater
professionals and the Northeast Georgia Community.