Condolences to the family of Sandra Lutters

Brenau adjust instructor Sandra Jean Lutters, 68, died on Saturday Dec. 15, at her residence in Gainesville after a brief battle with cancer. She was working for the Brenau music and theater departments.

Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel is in charge of arrangements, and online condolences may be made at Our thoughts are with her family at this time.

President Ed Schrader offers graduates advice for successful futures

Stephanie Lynn Burns laughs from her seat during the Brenau University Graduate Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 in Gainesville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

During Brenau University’s winter commencements on Friday, Dec. 14, President Ed Schrader challenged the graduates to go out and change the world by keeping in mind a few simple rules.

Schrader, a known dog lover and owner of chocolate lab Jake, told the audience to keep in mind the tips of renowned dog trainer Cesar Millan.

“Cesar has good and sound information to offer any of you who want to train a dog, because that’s what he does,” Schrader said. “But he suggests the three basic rules of dog training are really basic core truths and are necessary for successful human relationships as well. These three universal truths are consistency, discipline and affection. I don’t need to tell you how you can successfully apply those three things in your own human relationships.”

Approximately 350 degrees were conferred Friday, including 249 graduate degrees at the 10 a.m. ceremony in Pearce Auditorium on the Gainesville campus and 101 undergraduate degrees at the following 1:30 p.m. ceremony.

Graduates received diplomas for degrees ranging from doctorates in occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing to master’s degrees in business administration, accounting and interior design, plus a wide array of bachelor’s degrees in disciplines such as the arts, education, sciences and business administration.


The Women’s College announces plans for new signature programs

For 140 years, The Women’s College of Brenau University has supported, educated and prepared young women to become the professional thought leaders of their generations. On Thursday, Dec. 13, the university announced plans to strengthen The Women’s College with the addition of new signature programs.

The new programs underpinning this revisioning of The Women’s College were developed by a committee of trustees, administrators, faculty members, alumnae and staff appointed by President Ed Schrader. After two years of strategic planning, the committee developed programming that will redefine and reconceptualize The Women’s College student experience through two key undergraduate programs: GOLD and The Ideal Collective.

GOLD will be an integrated, cocurricular program for all Women’s College students focusing on gender awareness, personal and professional development, service, leadership skills, global perspective, and the advancement of women. Each letter represents one year of a Women’s College student’s experience, which will focus on:

  • Gender: a year committed to women’s empowerment
  • Ownership: a year focused on personal responsibility
  • Leadership: a year dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s leaders
  • Diversity: a year concentrating on global citizenship

The program will launch in fall 2019 by implementing the first G year with a focus on celebrating women.

The Ideal Collective, meanwhile, will be an immersive, living-learning community grounded in the principles of the Brenau Ideal — penned by early Brenau President H.J. Pearce — and focused on transformative leadership through collaborative, project-based service learning. This exclusive two-year program will be open to juniors and seniors only by competitive application.

The newly reimagined Women’s College will incorporate academic enhancements as well, including gender-focused training for faculty, individual career planning, portfolio development and mentoring for each student, along with speakers, capstone courses, seminars and more.

The flagship program of the redesign, however, will be an Executive Women’s MBA, the inaugural graduate program incorporated completely within The Women’s College and reflecting its focus. The first cohort of this graduate program is scheduled to begin in January 2020 and will be directed by Juli Clay, assistant vice president for executive graduate studies.

The all-female executive program is specifically designed to empower and promote uniquely talented women who are currently successful in the workplace but looking to advance to the CEO suite. It will be provided through a flexible platform combining online experiences with extended weekend residencies at the most significant financial and commercial centers in the world.

Read more about these plans and watch the accompanying video at

Condolences to the Family of Trustee Emeritus Tom Paris

Tom Paris

Longtime Brenau University supporter and Trustee Emeritus Thomas Hanie Paris Jr. died following a brief illness on Monday, Nov. 19. He was 79.

A native of Gainesville, Georgia, Tom Paris was a devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, as well as a successful businessman and community servant. He was a graduate of Gainesville High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia, where he was a three-year letterman for the SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs football team under Coach Wally Butts.

Upon graduation from UGA, Paris joined the family business, serving as president of Paris-Dunlap Wholesale Hardware Company. He also served as president of the Southern Hardware Association and was on the board of the National Wholesale Hardware Association. In addition to Paris-Dunlap Hardware, he founded Paris Management and Investment Company and Paris Storage Company. He also served as a director of Gainesville National Bank, Piedmont Southern Life Insurance Company and the local advisory board of Wachovia Bank.

For 25 years, Paris served as a Brenau trustee and chaired its finance committee. A lifetime member of Gainesville First United Methodist Church, he served on its administrative board and also chaired its finance committee. He was president of the Gainesville Rotary Club, the Chattahoochee Country Club, and he was a founding trustee of Lakeview Academy. He was a director of the Gainesville-Hall Chamber of Commerce, Campfire Girls board and a member of Leadership Georgia. He remained involved with the University of Georgia, serving on the Terry College of Business Alumni Board, the President’s Club and the Letterman’s Club. For more than two decades, he was a trustee of the Northeast Georgia Health System board and chaired its strategic planning committee. He was a very dedicated and visionary board member of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, and his impact on the organization will last for generations. He also served on the board of The Highlands Falls Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina.

The Paris family will host an informal visitation at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. A memorial service will be held at Gainesville First United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Alice Whitehead Paris of Gainesville, his son, daughter and five grandchildren, as well as his sister, two nieces and several nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations honoring his life may be made to the Gainesville First United Methodist Church, the University of Georgia Foundation or the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

Condolences to the Lochstampfor Family

Edgar Franklin Lochstampfor, father of Brenau Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 15, in South Carolina. He was 87.

Born in 1931, Ed Lochstampfor grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. While making plans to attend law school at the University of Richmond, Ed felt called to pursue foreign missions instead. He enrolled in Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina, where he met his wife Charlotte.

The young couple moved to Philadelphia, where Ed attended Faith Seminary for a year, during which time he and Charlotte applied to the Sudan Interior Mission, now SIM International. After a year in Paris studying French, Ed and Charlotte flew to French West Africa for what was to be 27 years of church-planting, Bible school teaching and administrative ministry. Over the course of his life, his ministry covered two continents, many countries and touched the lives of innumerable people.

Ed and Charlotte returned to South Carolina in 1992, retiring from active service 1996, but never from ministering to their community. Ed delighted in sharing his love for Jesus to anyone he met, but his greatest delight was his wife of 65 years, his six children, 17 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Our thoughts are with Mike and the entire Lochstampfor family at this time.

Listen to Gainesville Ghost Stories in Podcast

lit window at the top of Pearce Auditorium against the night sky

If you haven’t heard the many ghost stories from campus or are interested in others in the community, the Gainesville Times recently released a podcast about the “Ghosts of Gainesville” with a special guest, our very own Kathy Amos.

You can read more and listen online here:, or download the podcast from the iTunes store here:

Give it a listen to hear about Agnes and several other specters reportedly haunting Gainesville!

How to Get Free or Discounted GTA Tickets

Did you know faculty, staff and students can get free tickets to select Gainesville Theatre Alliance weekday performances and $5 tickets to all others? If you’ve ever wondered how to order tickets to a GTA production as a faculty or staff member, here’s what you need to know.

These discounted rates to MainStage shows for faculty and staff open two weeks before the show. The best way to ensure you receive your Brenau faculty/staff discounts is to call the GTA box office at 678-717-3624 when that two-week window opens. This school year, that means you can get your discounted rates to The Wizard of Oz beginning Monday, Oct. 22, Noises off and Men on Boats beginning Jan. 28, and Cabaret beginning March 25 – and since most GTA performances sell out, you should call on those dates, before tickets are gone.

When the two-week window opens, free campus tickets are available for Preview Performances (the day before opening night, usually a Monday), the Wednesday and Thursday performances of the first week of a production, and the Tuesday and Wednesday performances of the second week.  For The Wizard of Oz, free dates are Nov. 5, 7, 8, 13 and 14.

To guarantee seats, especially for high demand weekend performances, faculty and staff can create half-price, custom Season Packages of any two or more shows at any time – totaling about $100 for two tickets to every show.

For more information about this year’s performances, go to

Reminder: Please join us for the ForeverGold Celebration

Dear faculty and staff,

A warm reminder that you are welcome to join us for the ForeverGold Celebration the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20, on the front lawn of the historic Gainesville campus.

Thanks in great part to your participation over the last several years in the campus campaign and your support of other issues and events, we have reached the culmination of the ForeverGold campaign. You are part of the donor base that allowed us to exceed the goal. We would love for you to join us as well celebrate the campaign at the ForeverGold Celebration!

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by calling 770.534.6163.

Domestic Violence Breakfast & Briefing in Thurmond McRae Oct. 10

The 14th annual Domestic Violence Breakfast & Briefing will be held from 7:45 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Thurmond McRae Auditorium. This year, the briefing will feature domestic violence survivor Christy Sims.

A native of Atlanta, Sims is a public speaker, author, nationally certified clinical mental health counselor and a survivor of and advocate against domestic violence. The mother of two was forever changed on April 28, 2013, when her ex-boyfriend severely disfigured her by dousing her with sulfuric acid. She sustained third and fourth degree burns to over 20 percent of her body, including her entire face, neck, chest and arms. After the incident, she remained in an induced coma for two months and endured numerous life-saving surgeries at the Grady Burn Unit in Atlanta. She emerged from the coma with a resolve to survive, to return to her children and to pursue the prosecution of her abuser. Due to her diligence, her abuser was finally brought to justice on July 17, 2015 after a two-year fight.

Sims was the first reported case of an acid attack in the state of Georgia. To date, she has undergone 13 surgeries to reconstruct her disfigured face and body, and her personal struggle has propelled her to advocate and support other survivors of domestic violence. Her story has touched the lives of millions around the world and possibly prevented other cases of domestic violence. The Christy Sims Foundation was founded in 2014 and is focused upon the prevention, education and awareness of domestic violence.

The event is presented each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force. It is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. The breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m. and the briefing will being at 8 a.m.

Downtown Gainesville Shuttle Now Available

Beginning today, Monday, Sept. 24, the city of Gainesville and Brenau have partnered to start running the Main Street Shuttle as an answer to the parking limitations around the Brenau Downtown Center and the city square.

More than 1,000 public parking spaces have been identified in and around downtown Gainesville, and the free shuttle will make stops at specific locations every 15 minutes. Click here to view the map (PDF) of the parking lots and shuttle stops. All the locations are clearly marked with “Downtown Shuttle” signage.

The shuttle will run from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The city anticipates that shuttle passengers will be more heavily concentrated in the city employee lots from 7 to 7:45 a.m., so those stops will be frequented more often until the Brenau students start to arrive at the other stops.

There will be a learning curve in this new service, but we are pleased to be able to offer a solution during the construction on the Main Street parking deck.