Bridge naming to honor Gulleys
Jan. 14, 2009

LAGRANGE, Ga.—A pedestrian bridge that will span Vernon Street, linking LaGrange College’s new Lewis Library with adjacent parking, will be named for school president Stuart Gulley and his wife, Kathleen, once fundraising is complete.

Three months ago Gulley announced he will leave the institution in June to assume the presidency of Atlanta’s Woodward Academy after a 13-year stint on the Hill.

“The Gulleys’ impact during their tenure at LaGrange has been tremendous,” said Bill Hodges, chair of the college’s board of trustees. “Kathleen has been a perfect first lady, and as with so many of the college’s projects and initiatives, Stuart has been the visionary and driving force behind the construction of the Lewis Library and the pedestrian bridge.

“It is with a sense of deep appreciation for their decade-plus of proactive leadership that we made the decision to honor Stuart and Kathleen with the naming of the new pedestrian bridge.”

The bridge, designed in a style in keeping with the college’s traditional architecture, will feature a clock tower reminiscent of a local landmark: the Callaway Clock Tower. The tower’s two clocks will each measure 7 feet in diameter and will face east and west toward traffic on Vernon Street.

Langford Construction of LaGrange is building the bridge, which will include concrete beams with brick abutments. On the span’s south end, a staircase, as well as an elevator for handicap access, will lead to a walkway 21 feet above the road.

To help finance the construction while improving educational programs, the college has launched a new fundraising initiative known as the “Bridge to the Future Million Dollar Match,” which calls for the college to use existing funds from the gift of a generous donor to match any new donations made from Jan. 1 through June 30 at a 2-for-1 rate—up to a cumulative total of $1.5 million. Once the funding goal is met, the naming will take place.

“By providing the match, the college is tripling the impact of gifts received,” said Scott Hawkins, chair of the college’s $65 million Defining Moment campaign. “This also allows everyone on and off campus the opportunity to say thank you to a wonderful couple who have given 13 years of their lives to the betterment of the college and the community.”

Designed by Benefield Richters of Knoxville, Tenn., the bridge will provide a physical connection between the portion of campus known as the Hill, which includes the college’s oldest structures, and the southern portion of campus, which features landmarks such as the Lamar Dodd Art Center, Price Theater and Callaway Auditorium.

“A pedestrian bridge is something the college has needed for some time now, and the construction of the Lewis Library has offered the perfect opportunity to bring this project to life,” Hawkins said. “The new construction will fill a big need, and at the same time, allow us to honor a couple who have taken LaGrange College to new heights.”

Construction of the bridge began early this month and is expected to be completed sometime in the spring. The library’s dedication ceremony is scheduled for April 17.

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