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 brenau.edu/gospel.

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, www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org, 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.

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 memorialparkfuneralhomes.com. 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.

Read more at brenau.edu.

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 brenau.edu/news/the-womens-college-announces-plans-for-new-signature-programs.

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.