Celebrate the Servant observance set for Dec. 4
Nov. 19, 2010

Servant leaders from the campus and the community will be recognized Dec. 4 during the annual Celebrate the Servant observance. This year’s activities have been consolidated to offer a full day of activities.

“Since 2000, the college has observed Celebrate the Servant, a weeklong series of events highlighting servant-leadership and culminating with the college's Festival of Lessons and Carols,” said the Rev. Dr. Quincy Brown, Vice President for Spiritual Life and Church Relations.

“This year, due to feedback from community and college members, we have condensed the events of the week into one day, allowing for the opportunity to have the student-led Panther Toy Store, the Thompson Lecture, the presentation of the Servant-Leader Awards, and the Festival of Lessons and Carols concert all on the same day.”

The day will begin with the Panther Toy Store, a project that offers toys at a discounted price to disadvantaged families in the LaGrange area. This year’s store will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Callaway Education Building.

Dr. Kent M. Keith, chief executive officer of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, will present the Thompson Lecture at 3:30 p.m. in the Dickson Assembly Room. Keith is known internationally as the author of “The Paradoxical Commandments,” first published in 1968 when he was a student at Harvard.

The Arthur H. Thompson Lectureship brings to the campus a noted scholar on the interrelationship of religion and other fields of knowledge. The endowment was established by Mary Will Thompson, Class of 1898, in memory of her husband, who served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the college.

Immediately following the lecture will be the presentation of the servant-leader awards. The college will honor an adult from the local area, a current LaGrange College student and a college staff or faculty member who embody the characteristics of servant leadership.

This year’s winners are Laura Breyfogle, adult (older than 18); Walter Jones, young adult (younger than 18); Kaylen Short ’11 (student); and Cindi Bearden (faculty/staff).

The daylong celebration will conclude with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, featuring the LaGrange College Singers, at 7:30 p.m. in Callaway Auditorium.

Debbie Ogle, Director of Choral Activities, said preparing for the annual service involves a bit of detective work.

“I find the music first and try to coordinate it with the scripture passages,” she said. “Sometimes that can be challenging, because the passages have to tell the Christmas story and fit the music, and that’s where it can get tricky. You don’t want to leave out an integral part of the story.”

She praised the collaborative spirit among the performers.

“We have our chamber orchestra, which always provides such beautiful music,” she said. “Dania Lane, our harpist from Atlanta, is returning – she adds such a gorgeous touch to everything. Kim Barber Knoll, Chair of the Theatre Arts Department, will be doing the reading for the ‘Magnificat’ portion, as usual. She does such a remarkable job.”

Following Knoll, the choir will sing the same text in Latin, set to music by a 20th century composer.

“It should be interesting to see how an ancient text maintains its relevance throughout the centuries.”

Students are an important part of the evening, Ogle said.

“Kristoffer Appel, a sophomore from Denmark, is starting the whole thing off with an a cappella solo that will raise goose bumps,” she said. “It’s been interesting for him to see how Americans celebrate Christmas. And he’s been a good sport, letting me put him out there to start the concert.”

Morgan Earle, a senior, will perform the alto aria, “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings” from Handel’s “Messiah.”
“We’re very proud of Morgan,” Ogle said. “She was recently featured at the Georgia Music Teachers National Association conference in Augusta with other winners from last spring’s GMTNA competition. She was an outstanding representative of the great work happening in the Music Department at LaGrange College.  Her ‘Messiah’ solo will take your breath away.”

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