The Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship in the Humanities

Lois Gean Kelly

An anonymous gift made through the Southern Arkansas University Foundation and Magale Library has established the Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship in the Humanities.

The Lois Gean Kelly Lectureship will celebrate Kelly’s influence on the cultural and business life of the community and the University. The owner of “Lois Gean’s,” a women’s clothing store in downtown Magnolia, she often sponsored fashion shows and gospel singings.

The lectureship will enhance the role of the humanities and the liberal arts at SAU. The lectureship will bring to the University campus authors, teachers, researchers, artists, and performers in the disciplines and arts which focus on the human life.

In addition to the founding gift, the donor has pledged to match every $2 received up to $100,000 in 2011 with $1. Those with interest in contributing towards the completion of this endowment may make contributions to the SAU Foundation by visiting or by mailing a donation to P.O. Box 9174, Magnolia, AR 71754-9174.

The inaugural lecture will be given by Lois Gean Kelly’s nephew, known here as Bobby Jones. The event will be titled “What it is to be human in the Bible” and is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, in Foundation Hall of the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center.

After high school and some courses at Magnolia A.&M., Jones studied at Baylor University and Yale’s divinity and graduate schools. He taught for 32 years at the George Washington University in religious studies.

Jones has also been a minister, ordained by the First Baptist Church of Magnolia, a student pastor in Connecticut for nine years, an interim pastor in suburban Virginia for one year, and a teacher in the adult education program of the First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years.

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