For many of us theater lovers on the SouthCoast, the name Angus Bailey brings back 60 years of thespian memories. From Little Theater to the University of Massachusett Dartmouth, he was coined as the "guiding light" of the theater company at the university for inspiring thousands of students with his passion. Now, the theatrical community around will get to know the newly appointed Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, A. Lawrence Jenkins.

According to UMass Dartmouth, Jenkens currently serves as the Interim Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Previously, Jenkens served as Associate Dean (2016-2018) and as Department Head (2010-2016) at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and as Department Chair of Fine Arts (2006-2010) at the University of New Orleans in Louisiana. He was the founding director of the University of New Orleans-St. Claude Gallery, the only off-campus university gallery in New Orleans and located in the recovering St. Claude-St. Roch neighborhood, and also in downtown Greensboro of the interdisciplinary Greensboro Project Space.

Professor Jenkens was the recipient of an NEH Fellowship of College Teachers (1997-98) and more recently, a residential fellowship at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti) in Florence, Italy (2001-02). His most current research interests focus on the avenue of cultural exchange between Central Italy and the Kingdom of Naples in the 15th century.

In his cover letter, he wrote, "I am particularly interested in working at a vibrant university that is deeply rooted in its community and has a mission that mirrors my own belief in the transformational role of the visual and performing arts in our culturally rich and diverse society.” Jenkens received his A.B. from Harvard University, his M.A .and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Break a leg on your new appointment, Dr. Jenkens.

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.