Leadership Council celebrates 25 years

Leadership Council celebrates 25 years

March 25, 2015

Campus and community leaders came together last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the LaGrange College Leadership Council. The occasion was marked with two days of events, including a reception, dinner and symposium, along with the inaugural presentation of a new college award.

With more than 180 past and present members, the Leadership Council was formed in 1990 as an advisory and service-oriented group of friends of LaGrange College who work to advance its goals and mission.

“Through the dedication of its members, the council has made a tangible impact on our campus and this community,” said college President Dan McAlexander. “Leadership Council members have worked to find meaningful ways to engage alumni and friends of the college in the life of the institution. They have helped lead projects that have advanced our strategic plans. And they have supported those projects with their own resources, while encouraging others to do the same.”

The celebration symposium featured three seminars that examined the work of the council, especially over the last 15 years as it has focused on strategic priorities suggested by the college Cabinet and Board of Trustees. Past priority committees have helped boost undergraduate research, developed new avenues of service for students and helped build the rationale and financial underpinnings for the college’s new Lewis Library.

“When I review the results attributed to this body, I am both humbled and amazed,” said local attorney Mitch Key, 2014–15 Leadership Council President. “Thousands of students who have lived on the LaGrange campus and many residents of our local community have become the blessed beneficiaries of the council’s work.”

The council’s first president, former LaGrange banker Howard Park, was recognized during the occasion and was honored as the namesake of a new college award: the Howard Park Leadership Council Service Award, which will be presented every three years to a council member who has demonstrated outstanding and devoted service to the college.

The inaugural recipient is Tripp Penn, who serves as vice president of support services at West Georgia Health. Penn has been a member of the council for six years. During that time, he served as president and as priority committee chair of the group, performing the 2011-2012 council self-study.

At West Georgia Health, Penn oversees the West Georgia Health Foundation; occupational medicine; facilities, including engineering, grounds, security and environment of care; environmental services; laundry; and volunteer/community services. Prior to joining West Georgia Health, he worked as director of development for Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master of education degree from the University of Georgia.  He obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from LaGrange College. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Penn is a member of the LaGrange Rotary Club, is active on the church council at LaGrange First United Methodist Church and served on the board for Leadership Georgia.

He and wife Megan live in LaGrange with their three children; Riley, Hannah and Miller.

The new award recognizes Park’s role in the establishment of the Leadership Council.  As the group’s first president, he helped shape the organization and its vital role in the life of the college.

Park served as president of Commercial Bank & Trust for more than 20 years.



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