Jeff Lukken, mayor of LaGrange for 16 years, has been named the new Director of Graduate and Degree Completion Programs at LaGrange College. He will be joining the staff Oct. 14.
College president Dan McAlexander said he is excited about the level of expertise and experience Lukken brings to the position.
“Jeff Lukken has proven throughout his long career as a public servant that he is a thoughtful and responsible man of integrity,” he said. “His knowledge of LaGrange and Troup County will be invaluable as we strive to fulfill our mission of transforming the lives of our students and our community.”
Provost David Garrison said Lukken will spearhead an expansion of what was previously known as Evening College, as well other areas.
“Some of his duties will include developing additional online and graduate courses, certification programs, degree-completion programs and continuing-education courses.”
Dr. Garrison is excited about the skills Lukken brings not only to the college, but also to the community.
“Jeff will be able to help us interact with business and community leaders to determine the educational needs of LaGrange, Troup County and the region,” he said. “That will help us figure out how we can better respond to those needs.”
Lukken, whose mayoral term ends in January 2014, earned an accounting degree from Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He is a member of the Georgia Bar.
The mayor has served on many local and state boards including the Governor’s Information and Technology Task Force, the Governor’s Rural Development Council and Georgia’s Water Planning Council.
Lukken was named one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine, and has received awards such as the Executive Leadership Award from Government Executive Magazine and Rotarian of the Year from the LaGrange Rotary Club.
Under his leadership as mayor, LaGrange received the Intelligent City of the Year Award from the World Teleport Association, the Executive Leadership Award from Government Executive Magazine, City of Excellence Award from the Georgia Municipal Association, Innovation Award Finalist from Harvard University JFK School of Government, and the Innovator Award from Southern Growth Policies Board.
Lukken calls his new job in higher education an “excellent opportunity.”
“I’m thrilled that I will be able to continue to help make an impact on people’s lives – not just the students, but the community as well,” he said.
But there is another reason he’s excited about working at the college.
“We are truly blessed to be the home of an institution that is consistently one of the highest ranked colleges in the Southeast by U.S. News & World Report, as well as Georgia’s oldest private college, ” he said. “It’s a dream job to work with President Dan McAlexander and some of the most respected, creative and dedicated professionals in the South.”
Lukken is married to Cindy Lukken, who earned her master’s degree in education at LaGrange College. She is a teacher at Franklin Forest Elementary School and has taught in the Troup County school system for 21 years. The Lukkens have three children – Jeffrey, Mollie and Meghan.