DATE CHANGE: Reception for Dina Hewett Sept. 5

Dr. Dina Hewett Director of the Nursing Department

Dr. Dina Hewett Director of the Nursing Department

Brenau will host a reception in honor of Dina Hewett at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in the nursing lobby of Brenau East. Hewett has served with distinction as the director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing for the past five years.

During her tenure as director of the school, students’ first-time pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination have significantly improved, and she has worked closely with her students as a mentor in order to ensure the highest possible graduate placement rates.

Hewett developed a strong vision for the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, and she has raised the school’s academic profile within Georgia and across the region. She orchestrated the ongoing development of high-quality undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. She is a dedicated leader who has assembled a well-qualified faculty that is committed to excellence in teaching.

Hewett will remain in her current role until Sept. 6 and will continue to teach part-time thereafter. The university plans to name an interim director before the end of August, and it will conduct a national search for the new director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing.

Gay Baldwin completes additional wellness coach training

Brenau University Counselor Gay Baldwin recently completed wellness coach training, for which she received a $1,500 scholarship. The training offered by the University of Georgia Fontaine Center covered the pressing issues college students navigate and come to wellness coaching to address.

Wellness coaching, evidence-based focus on behavioral change, is a holistic approach that equips students by supporting self-efficacy, resilience and goal-setting from an empathetic and client-centered approach. It offers students an opportunity to seek a positive mindset regarding time management skills, academic concerns, self-esteem, adjustment to college life, everyday anxiety and to discuss their aspirations as students at Brenau University. Coaching also provides a healthy perspective regarding lifestyle management, wellness and nutrition, behavioral health and communication skills.

All-University Meeting Tuesday, Aug. 20

All faculty and staff should plan to attend the universitywide meeting on Tuesday, August 20, at the Downtown Center Theatre on the Square. Beverages will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m., and the meeting will begin at 9 a.m.

Please make note of campus improvement projects

As students and faculty return to campus for fall semester, you will notice a few improvement projects currently in progress:

  • New roofs are being installed on portions of Bailey Hall, Pearce Auditorium, Simmons Visual Arts and Geiger Hall. This project has an estimated completion date of Sept. 15. Golden Tiger Way is closed during this project.
  • The City of Gainesville is replacing the storm water drainage system on Boulevard between Academy Street and Washington Street. At various times during August and September, portions of Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic. Throughout the project, parallel parking on Boulevard is not available.
  • The remainder of the second floor of the Downtown Center will be built out to provide learning and work space for the students and faculty of the new Physician’s Assistant program. This project is scheduled to begin in September and be completed by the end of the spring 2020 semester.

Please use caution surrounding these projects and follow signage.

Purchase bows to support family of fallen Hall County deputy

Hall County Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, a 28-year-old husband and a father of two young boys, was shot and killed on Sunday.

Any offices or departments that would like to show support for the Dixon family can purchase black and blue bows to display on their office doors from Joyce Merck Florist, located at 403 Broad St. SE in downtown Gainesville. Call 770-534-6691 to order. The cost is $10 per bow, $5 of which will go to Deputy Dixon’s family.

Brenau sends its heartfelt condolences to Dixon’s family and friends.

Meet Dawn Marie Bernhard, Director of Development Programs

Dawn Marie Bernhard, director of development programs
Dawn Marie Bernhard, director of development programs

Dawn Marie Bernhard was recently hired as the new director of development programs in the Office of External Relations. She is an alumna who earned her Bachelor of Arts in theater production from Brenau.

Bernhard comes to Brenau after working six years as director of Business Development for Cure 4 the Kids Foundation in Las Vegas. The Cure 4 the Kids Foundation is Nevada’s only childhood cancer treatment center and facility for pediatric catastrophic diseases.

She brings to Brenau experienced with event management grown in fast-paced environments that demanded strong organizational, interpersonal and computer skills.

We’re happy to have you, Dawn Marie!

Condolences to the Barnett Family

Geraldine Veal Reese, mother of Brenau Executive Vice President David Barnett’s wife Kimberly Barnett, died Saturday, March 2, at age 79 at her home in Sargent, Georgia.

She was born on April 12, 1939 to the late Avery Veal and Katie Brown Veal.

She is survived by her daughters, Kimberly Barnett and Karen McDowell, her step-daughter, Sherri Wilson and her grandchildren Nikki Springston, Tyler Garmany and Tiffany Grosskreuz and great-grandchildren Charlotte Carlisle, Lincoln Grosskreuz and Nolan Springston.

The funeral service celebrating Geraldine’s life will be 2 p.m. this Wednesday, March 6, in the chapel of McKoon Funeral Home, 38 Jackson Street, in Newnan, Georgia, with Pastor Jim Hearn and David Barnett officiating. Burial will follow the service at historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan. The family will receive friends tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5, from 6-8 p.m. at McKoon Funeral Home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online on McKoon Funeral Home’s website.

Phi Beta Kappa reception in Sellars Gallery March 7

Brenau is planning to apply for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter when the opportunity is available again in three years. Lessie Smithgall, a long-time Brenau supporter and friend, has offered to host a reception to celebrate both the university’s intention to have a chapter and the long legacy of PBK in Northeast Georgia at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7, in Sellars Gallery.

The event will include light refreshments, a few comments and some time to interact with each other. Smithgall, a PBK member from UGA who will turn 108 on April 1, is planning to attend the gathering. We will also host representatives from UGA and the Atlanta PBK alumni group at the event.

Please consider joining us to celebrate this initial step toward being a PBK institution and to find out how you can assist during the application process. If you would like to attend, please email Matt Thomas at ude.uanerb@samohtm.

The Brenau Gospel Experience on March 29-30

The Ivester Programming Series Brenau Gospel Experience logo

Are you a fan of gospel music? If so, please join us Friday and Saturday, March 29-30, at the Brenau Gospel Experience.

The two-day event will include an instructive panel and workshop, as well as two evening performances from special guests Karen Peck and New River, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Madison and Shannon Easter, and Ty Scott King, along with the Spectrum Winds: New Music Ensemble, the Brenau Gospel Choir, and Brenau music education student Arabia Jones, winner of the 2018 Brenau Gospel Experience soloist audition.

The Brenau Gospel Experience is part of the Douglas and Kay Ivester Programming Series, which provides high-caliber educational experiences to Brenau students and the community.

The workshops and performances are all free, but seating is limited at all events. For more information and to RSVP for the Brenau Gospel Experience, go to

GTA Presents February Festival of Theatre

For the 11th year, the Gainesville Theatre Alliance is preparing its February Festival of Theatre, serving up not one but two productions: Noises Off and Men On Boats.

Noises Off brings nonstop laughs when a company of second-tier actors stumble through their final rehearsal of “Nothing On,” a silly sex romp, and can’t even get through the first act without serious and hilarious problems. Playwright Michael Frayn’s comedy has enjoyed three Broadway runs and is rated PG13.

Men on Boats is the true(ish) story of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition, when the one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Ten men and four boats take on the Grand Canyon and the American wilderness in this witty, boldly written adventure. The catch? The cast is all female.

Noises Off opens on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and Men on Boats opens on Friday, Feb. 15, both running through Feb. 23, with matinee performances on Sunday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 23. Patrons can purchase tickets and select their own seats at the GTA website,, or by calling the GTA Box Office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at 678.717.3624.

GTA is an acclaimed collaboration between Brenau, the University of North Georgia, theater professionals and the North Georgia community.