Harrell accepts offer for permanent position at BSC

Published 7:00 pm Friday, July 4, 2014

On July 3, Dr. Richard Carvajal, president of Bainbridge State College, announced that Lauren Harrell has accepted the offer to become the permanent Executive Director for Institutional Advancement, following a national search held to fill the position.

Search committee members included Joann Simpson, chair; Hope Toole, faculty representative; Claude Bell, faculty representative; Lisa Wimberly, staff representative; Jeff Findley, BSC Foundation president; Marlene Free, BSC Ambassador chair; and Jennifer Rice, student representative, as well as all those who gave input during the search process.

Harrell, who has been serving as interim director since November, 2013, will now continue the work she has begun— a role that includes also serving as the Executive Director of the BSC Foundation and providing oversight to the college’s development and communications functions. She also serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

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Carvajal explained that at the time Harrell was named interim, she was chosen from a search field and named interim for a period of up to a year. “We didn’t know if we would use the whole time or not; but we needed leadership immediately, and we had a good opportunity to see her in that role over the past seven months. She has done an outstanding job in that capacity and proven herself to be someone who could get the job done.”

At the time Harrell was named interim, then foundation chairman Charles Bowles described her as having the ability to reach those throughout the entire region the college serves, as well as the local community—a prediction that has proven to be true.

During her seven months of service, the college has begun a first time, multi-year capital campaign that is already reporting success. As of mid-June, $897,052 (70 percent) of a goal of $1.15 million to support student success has been raised. As the first ever capital campaign by BSC, it has received a 99 percent participation rate from faculty and staff since its inception, and of the 465 donors to date, 306 are new donors who have never before given to the college.

One of her goals is to develop an alumni group for BSC for the first time, something they have never had. She also wants to build partnerships between business and industry and has a lot of creative ideas for raising community awareness. She believes that many people have no idea what all is on the campus — have never been in the new buildings, nor know the faculty members. Through a series of what she describes as fun events, she wants people to come visit the campus, see what is offered and get to know who it is that is teaching our students.

She is very excited about the momentum of the capital campaign so far and has enjoyed educating the public on investment opportunities with BSC. “It has been over-whelming to see first-hand the support BSC has in the region, and I look forward to building on that.”

She thinks that in the past the student body had little contact with the administrative side. Now, she said members of the student government have come forward and wanted to have their own scholarship fundraising.

Harrell, a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, has been very active in the community through her business and philanthropic affiliations. Since 2010 she has served as president of DeHildren Realty, where she has been a successful Realtor. Her current community involvements, many of which involve fund-raising are: The Friendship House, Little Black Dress, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Bainbridge Rotary Club.

Harrell is married to Mark Harrell and they have three children, Tanner, Katie and Ella.