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Piedmont College seeks new director for the LES Center

Piedmont College is currently seeking applicants for the position of Director of the Lillian E. Smith Center. Those interested in applying should visit the college’s employment web page for a job description and application form.

Upcoming documentary film on Lillian Smith

Breaking the Silence is a documentary film by Hal and Henry Jacobs that will explore how Lillian Smith became a formidable voice of the South — a voice that has been muted in the decades after her death. Just as important, the film will demonstrate her relevance today as we face a rising tide of intolerance and discrimination throughout the world.

Hal Jacobs started his own independent film company in 2014 after years of producing short videos for Emory University and others. His 2017 film, Mary Crovatt Hambidge: Wanderer, Whistler, Weaver, Utopian, was awarded the “Best Documentary” award at the Spring 2017 Southern Shorts Film Festival and was screened at the Atlanta History Center in September 2017.

Henry Jacobs is a photographer, a licensed drone operator, filmmaker, and musician. He is also the Middle Chattahoochee Outreach Director for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. His photography has appeared publicly in several juried exhibitions and can be found in the permanent collection of the Lamar Dodd Art Center of LaGrange College. 

Breaking the Silence is expected to be released in spring 2019. You can see a preview of the documentary, along with more information about the project, at the film’s website at

Dana De Greff Wins 2018 Writer-in-Service Award

The LES Center is pleased to announce Dana De Greff as the winner of the 2018 Lillian E. Smith Writer-in-Service Award. Currently a creative writing instructor at the University of Miami, Ms. De Greff is a widely-published and award-winning author of fiction, poetry, and book reviews. She has worked as a writing teacher in various capacities for eight years for both children and adults. She is the Executive Director for the administration of a $45,000 grant from the Knight Foundation that has created and operates PageSlayers Summer Camp, a series of three consecutive two-week sessions for rising 4th and 5th graders. She also served as the community outreach and public relations coordinator for the VONA Voices Writers’ Conference in Miami in 2016. Ms. De Greff will receive a $500 honorarium, a $500 travel stipend, and a two-week residency at the Center. Congratulations, Dana De Greff!



2017 Symposium Presentations Available on YouTube

Piedmont College hosted The Lillian E. Smith Symposium on Arts and Social Change on March 18, 2017 at the Athens campus. Moderated by the highly-acclaimed and bestselling author, Barbara Brown Taylor, “Between dream and reality” explored art in the public arena as an inspiration for social change and featured keynote speaker Jen Delos Reyes, Associate Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois Chicago. Other presenters included:

Ellen Elmes, muralist and professor of art at Southwest Virginia Community College
Hope Hilton, professional artist and art instructor at Athens Technical College
Broderick Flanigan, community activist and owner, Flanigan’s Portrait Studio (Athens)

Follow the links provided here to view videos of some of the presentations from the Symposium.

Jen Delos Reyes | Ellen Elmes | Broderick Flanigan | Panel Discussion

PowerPoint Presentations: Reyes, Elmes, Flanigan


Web-based Resources to Accompany New Book on Lillian Smith

A new anthology of Lillian Smith’s work is being published by the University of Georgia Press in September, 2016.  Bringing together short stories, lectures, essays, op-ed pieces, interviews, and excerpts from her longer fiction and nonfiction, A Lillian Smith Reader offers the first comprehensive collection of her work and a compelling introduction to one of the South’s most important writers. The book is edited by Margaret Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens. The book is published in association with Piedmont College, which is also hosting a webpage to accompany the book containing a variety of electronic resources associated with Lillian Smith’s life and work. Here you will find audio files of Lillian Smith reading from her own work, along with photographs, text documents, video clips and more.


LES Scholars Program 

Piedmont College recently created a new academic program called the Lillian E. Smith (LES) Scholars Program. This program encourages students to fully explore the values and convictions that shaped the life and work of this great humanitarian. By developing skills of critical and creative thinking, enhanced by real-life experiences far beyond the classroom, LES Scholars emerge from this program with a heightened sense of empathy, innovation, and personal responsibility – qualities useful for a number of occupations in non-profits and human services. 

LES Scholars will be recognized for their achievements at Commencement. They will also be presented with a framed certificate and will be included in an alumni affinity group. Piedmont College is seeking donations for scholarships for the LES Scholars. We are grateful for annual donations that will support these exceptional students as well as major and planned gifts that can endow the scholarships in perpetuity.  Please contact Craig Amason, director of the LES Center, at if you are interested in supporting our students.



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